Music Review: Immortelle
New Earth Records
For critics of the New Age genre that Deuter helped pioneer, the notion of an album whose songs are named after various medicinal plants and flowers might set off alarm bells. Truth be told, though, this German instrumentalist’s latest recording—one of more than 60 albums he has created since 1971—isn’t half bad. Making use of instruments like keyboard, flute, piano, cello, guitar, and voice, Immortelle is relaxing, melodic, and thoughtfully constructed.
“Monarda” opens the album on a slow, reverent note. Featuring an elegantly harmonized melody and a bit of classically influenced counterpoint, it sounds like it was lifted from one of the more poignant scenes from a Lord of the Rings film.
On one of the album’s simpler songs, “Lily of the Valley,” Deuter improvises a piano melody over a tranquil two-chord progression. With steady percussion adding a sense of motion to the calmness, the song conveys a sense of arrival, as if emerging from a goalless state of complete fulfillment.
“Binsuga” has a religious feel befitting its namesake: a plant identified in German mystic Hildegard von Bingen’s natural medicine treatise, The Physica. Keyboard-simulated choral voices create ethereal chords that slowly melt into one another.
A few slightly cheap-sounding synth tones notwithstanding, Immortelle is a quality offering that may pleasantly surprise wary listeners.