Secret Luminescence 0490


rovi.MR0001893643 Used

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    Secret Luminescence 0490 Private Music

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Review Text Like many forms of world music, Asian music (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, or Vietnamese) has both its traditionalists and its forward thinkers. Lucia Hwong is among the forward thinkers; Secret Luminescence, her second album, has one foot in Asian culture and the other in the Western, non-Asian world. The composer/arranger was never an Asian purist; this 1987 release isn't traditional Asian music, but rather, combines Asian elements (Chinese and otherwise) with new age and electronica. Hwong's haunting, evocative offerings are essentially instrumental; wordless background vocals are sometimes employed, but for all intents and purposes, Secret Luminescence is an instrumental album. Throughout this memorable effort, Hwong favors an electronic/acoustic contrast. Synthesizers are a big part of her sound, but so are traditional Asian instruments that range from Tibetan bells (which the Southern Californian plays herself) to the shakuhachi (a bamboo flute that was invented in China but has been Japan's most prominent wind instrument for centuries). And it all blends together nicely; on Secret Luminescence, high-tech 1980s synthesizers sound perfectly natural alongside Asian instruments that were invented centuries before Hwong was even born. Because Hwong's music is as calm and tranquil as it is, Secret Luminescence is highly regarded in new age circles. But this album is a lot meatier and a lot more substantial than much of the instrumental music that was considered new age in 1987; Secret Luminescence isn't elevator Muzak, and it doesn't require listeners to turn their brains off. Although Hwong's best, most essential work came out in the 1990s, this is an enjoyable sophomore effort. ~ Alex Henderson

Track Listing

CD: 1

  1. 1. Poetry and Passion - 7:10
  2. 2. Generic Actress #3 - 5:41
  3. 3. Lunar Seas - 9:34
  4. 4. Body Current - 6:31
  5. 5. Loretta's Dance - 8:29
  6. 6. Paper Angels - 7:50

Customer Reviews