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POP
Echoes
A Celtic Odyssey
A Celtic Odyssey
Musicians Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning embark on another fantasy CD, a score for Terryl Whitlach's novel The Katurran Odyssey. Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning, "The Katurran Odyssey" (Hearts of Space) Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning have been setting fantasy novels and Celtic myths to music since they got together on the Songs of Albion discs more than a decade ago. Their latest CD finds them creating a score for Terryl Whitlatch's illustrated book, The Katurran Odyssey.

Whitlatch has been working at Lucas films for years, designing creatures for Star Wars films, among other things. But Johnson & Dunning don't opt for a prog-rock opus or light and breezy New Age landscape. Instead, they orchestrate a richly textured panorama with Johnson's inventive keyboard textures and melodic touch along with the airy themes of Dunning's flute.

Tracks like "Behind the Water Wall" conjure up an air of mystery and portent with Janet Chatval's ghost fairy vocals and Johnson's ostinato piano of portent. Fiddler John Fitzpatrick scratches out a troll-like dance on "Shifting Sands" over thudding percussion hits and Johnson's wafting synthesizer atmospheres. Dunning's staccato ripsaw flute provides an unusual rhythm for "Following the Butterflies."

The Katurran Odyssey is a bit less obvious in its influences than previous CDs, which often relied on Middle Eastern and Celtic themes. Instead, Johnson and Dunning have opted for a more impressionistic sound that conjures in its own world.