CelestiOwl is one of the most unique musical artists working today. 44 year old CelestiOwl has released his 44th album this year entitled StarGarden 12 – PlediAncestree and it embodies the best qualities of his work. Inspired by his shamanistic endeavors and interest, it has a spiritual bent. Make no mistake, however, CelestiOwl is not searching for converts. Instead, this is deeply personal music that invites listeners into its world but, in all honesty, there’s no question at all that CelestiOwl would still make music for his own spiritual needs even if he never released any of his work.
The album opens with its title track. “PlediAncestree” is a 20 minute plus epic that opens in “music of the spheres” style with CelestiOwl orchestrating a variety of sounds together in a collage of sound. It ebbs and flows during the early portions of the track with synth guitar and other electronic instruments weaving their spell. It is inward looking in these early portions of the track and the gradual swells of sound are pleasing to the ear.
There’s moodiness here as well. Much of the track has a haunting touch that never lapses into despair. It’s the sound of someone looking back and looking forward as well as within. The all-encompassing nature of the track sounds and feels cinematic without ever sounding chintzy or imitative. No one else is doing work like this, anywhere.
The second track “Balsamic Moon, Dreaming Piscean” is cut from the same essential cloth while still moving in a different direction. We hear ghostly touches of guitar laden with echo from the outset and it is obvious that his guitar work has a much more prominent role in this performance. Melodies emerge from the mist, always partial, and seemingly fragment before they can completely coalesce. It is easy to call this music dream-like, but that isn’t it at all. It is the sound of the soul.
It is, like its predecessor, a 20 minute plus track. Some listeners may balk at such durations, but the surprising thing for those sorts of listeners is that it never taxes your patience. The second piece is every bit as engrossing as the first and CelestiOwl has the ability to make you forget fast that you are driving deep into a lengthy track. It’s a rare talent.
Anyone looking for verse chorus verse or boisterous guitar solos should look elsewhere. CelestiOwl plays guitar, but he has no aspirations for being a rock star. This is musical poetry spawned from spiritual yearning and it comes from deep within his soul.
CelestiOwl’s StarGarden 12 – PlediAncestree lays down the gauntlet for anyone making music, challenging them to look deeper inside themselves, and find the poetry in their heart. CelestiOwl has and we will be hearing from him again. 44 years and albums have not dimmed his desire for self-expression one iota. It is an example that any artist should examine and, possibly, follow – if they can. It’s thrilling and profoundly intelligent music for adults.