The Wizard and
the Forest of All Dreams - 2004
When you´re reading these lines I suppose you´ll be aware of latestRick Wakeman´s releases. It seems our dear Ricky has been rejuvenated when he returned to the 70´s paths (Yes comeback, English Rock Ensemble´s project comeback, etc). In this whirl of creativity we must place the release of this wonderful Cd.
It´s hard for me to write this review because it is not the typical Wakeman´s album, but it´s easy to classify all the tracks because they seem to have been composed from a common idea: beautiful melodies for piano and The English Chamber Choir (who also appeared in “Out There”). If I had to find a reference, maybe I´d say it´s close to the music of “Country Airs”, -I don´t know if you remember that bet for a pure and simple new age, plenty of beautiful melodies that only had one problem: the formula was repeated in following albums –“Sea Airs”, “Night Airs”-, so it became a little boring. On the other hand, the presence of the Choir brings us “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” to our mind. The result?: attractive and startling; especially after the adrenalin inside “Out There”. Now we find a lyrical-descriptive atmosphere with the concept of Dream World.
As I stated, all the tracks are similar, so Rick himself will introduce us the album:
“The Meeting of Minds” (8:47)
“During deep sleep, there will often be a meeting with the mind of the Wizard, (who is the guardian of all dreams), and he will offer wonderful experiences to be had, but they are only on loan and have to be returned before we awake. It is up to us to “store” the experiences if we so wish, (and indeed are able to), and may the use in possible ways throughout our lives”.
“As we are well aware though, this is sadly seldom possible, and therefore the Wizard will forever be in control of our true inner selves within his Forest of all dreams”.
“A Wish to Fly” (8:54)
“I doubt if there is anyone who has not experienced the sensation of weightlessness and appearing to fly whilst dreaming. The freedom to go where you please with the cloak of safety within the skies around you, is something that the human is only able to experience during that magical sleep that we borrow from the Wizard and his Forest of all Dreams, on too few occasions… or maybe, we just never remember”.
“Childhood Dreams” (9:40)
“Try to imagine that you have the gift within sleep to return to your childhood for just one day, but could also take back with you all the knowledge and wisdom that you have gained throughout your life. You are then faced with the understanding of the reality of the destruction of the innocence of childhood by adults and there is quite simply nothing you can do about it … except perhaps to finally understand why children grow up to be adults just like us.”
“A Sense of Heaven” (8:30)
“It is very possible that during sleep and whilst dreaming, we are the closest we will ever get Heaven whilst living on this earth. If only it were possible to capture these visions for our conscious life, the truly there would be a world awakening of peace and understanding”
“Sadly, these are the very dreams that are returned without remembrance”.
“A Year in a Day” (7:17)
“The passing of time is assured, or so we are led to believe. However, this is not so in the mystical state of dreaming in which time can stand still, race ahead and even gently return to a time long since forgotten or perhaps fit a complete year into one single day.”
“The Gift of Life” (10:55)
“Every dream is a special gift and subsequently it is our God given choice to either use these dreams to perhaps make our waking lives more fulfilling, or to simply return them from whence they came, the Forest of all Dreams.”
“Only the Wizard really knows that if we could turn our dreams into reality, then truly the world would surely be a better place.”
There´s nothing more to say, except that all of us know that the name “sympho rock” is due to its resemblance to classical music, both in structures and development. So here you have a classic work at its best.