New Jersey based Dan Palladino is a guitarist, vocalist, improvisational composer, and music instructor. “Pastoral Memory” is his first “New Age” ambient release, but not his first album.
Dan is a multi-instrumentalist who started playing guitar at a very early age and played his first gig when he was twelve-years old. He went on to earn his Bachelor of Music degree from Berklee College of Music.
“Pastoral Memory” began with Dan’s desire to record some nature sounds. In that process he created quite a library of birds, crickets, cicadas, streams, and rainstorms. The calming nature recordings influenced the instrumentation on “Pastoral Memory.” The instrumentation includes synthesizer pads, kalimbas, chimes, wooden flutes, harps, and ethereal voices, along with multiple layers of hypnotic acoustic and electric guitars.
The album took Dan six years to complete and is intended to be one long relaxing piece. But for purposes of the album, he’s broken it into seven tracks. “Pastoral Memory” is perfect for general relaxation, meditation, help in sleeping, stress relief, and even as yoga music. The album is a big slice of tranquility and a wonderful escape from all that ails you.
The first track, “Rising,” is good ten minutes of peaceful calm that begins with soft rain sounds. The percussion and mellow guitar layers that come in make this an ultra-soothing, deeply meditative track. Lovely. “Rising” leads seamlessly into the just over five-minute “Thankful,” which is just as tranquil with its ethereal, dreamy soundscapes.
Another seamless transition and we find ourselves effortlessly immersed in the almost nine-minute “Joyful Cleansing.” Like the others, this is super-serene and stress relieving. And here we can find ourselves easily transported to a whole other universe.
By the way, the album is so relaxing, you won’t want to listen to it while driving. And you’ll want to listen with headphones, perhaps, so as to catch all of the layered nuances and subtleties.
“Joyful Cleansing” gives way to the very brief “Passing Storm,” which is just that. Silky, soft rain is interspersed with distant thunder and eventually some sweet tweeting bird sounds. This all morphs into “Aftermath” which is just over eight minutes. Etheric voices, tabla rhythm, kalimba melody, chirping birds, and gentle stream make this track hypnotic and engaging.
Bringing us into another eight minutes of bliss is “Yesterday’s Dream.” Here we still have the gently flowing stream and softly chirping birds, plus reverse harp and gentle electric guitar. Very dreamy and rather trance inducing.
“Yesterday’s Dream” melts easily into “Counting Stars,” which is the final track on “Pastoral Memory.” Here the electric sitar is combined nicely with swirling synthesizer pads over a background of chirping cicadas, crickets, and the soft, flowing stream. And now, completely relaxed and rejuvenated, we are more than ready to embrace the day.
Get “Pastoral Memory” here: http://danpalladinomusic.com