Review: Noosa Sunrise

Working under the name Mixile, Waterford’s Michael Shanahan, who works in sound art or ambient electronic music, has produced over five albums, which is significant in a little known or appreciated art or music form. His work has featured at the Science Gallery in Trinity College and his latest work ‘Noosa Sunrise’, has been performed in Transylvania Calling Festival in Romania and had a city launch at The Soma Gallery.

People like Michael work away almost in private like writers and it is always difficult to survive, not to mention achieve mainstream success. In this case the positive support of Waterford City Council and its Arts Officer, Conor Nolan, is to be commended, because in these difficult times individual artists often feel marginalised, as more organised groups can mount a cogent case for funding. It is heartening, at a time when the city is undertaking a major review of its arts plan and arts future, that such a project as ambience electronic music is funded and promoted.

Noosa Sunrise is Shanahan’s third CD in his Australian theme and is the most peaceful and relaxing. He records the sounds in Noosa, a township in South East Queensland, and blends these with electronic sounds from keyboards, strings, and wind instruments to create a beautiful, restful, seductive sounds cape.

The work is full of surprises like noises in the darkness, bird and animal sounds captured as pulses that suggest light and tranquillity. There is anticipation, expectation, as if on the edge of something primal and meaningful.

There is a pantheistic spirituality about the tracks ‘Noosa National Park’ and ‘Breakfast in Paradise’. ‘Rainforest Forest Aviary’ was recorded initially at Australia Zoo, just a few weeks before the death of Steve Irwin, and is dedicated to the Crocodile Hunter’s memory. ‘Edmundi Markets’ blends sounds of a large market with hundreds of stalls and you can hear snatches of business and tourists creating a beautiful effect.

This is an excellent CD to relax to and it has beautiful layout graphics by ‘Cobsart’. Work to treasure and enjoy.

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