Circle
by Kit Watkins (Audio CD)
 

“one of the true innovative classics of environmental-ambient-collage space music”Billboard Guide to Progressive Music

Kit Watkins ~ Circle

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OUTER BOUNDARIES

     1. All Things

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     2. The Harbinger

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     3. Under Temporal Blankets

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     4. Man/Machine

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SANCTUARIES

     5. Song of Spring

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     6. Snake Dance

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     7. Awash

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GATHERING SURFACES

     8. Heated Sky

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     9. Around and Around

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     10. Circle of Rain

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     11. Tumble

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     12. Dawn’s Return

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CREDITS

Kit Watkins: environmental field recordings, sampler, flute, percussion, sound design.

The album includes a variety of natural soundscapes such as summer storms, autumn crickets, spring birds, and winter streams, carefully interlaced with music and rhythm. Of particular note are the hauntingly beautiful owl calls and other bird songs acquired especially for this release from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology.

REVIEWS

SYNTHESIS

Much more than just environmental sounds; he deftly weaves musical poetry with a bewildering array of sounds. So much diversity so simply rendered makes this an eminently listenable work many times over.


THE BILLBOARD GUIDE TO PROGRESSIVE MUSIC
by Bradley Smith

          Circle is one of the true innovative classics of environmental/ambient/collage space music, taking listeners on a seductive 59-minute journey through the sounds of water, wind, rain, musical instruments, animals, insects, objects, and machines. It’s a soothing, drifting, and picturesque travelogue that honors our natural environment. Relaxing, positive, never abrasive, Circle has a totally universal appeal—anyone, anywhere, of any age, would like this.
          Kit Watkins, former keyboardist for the late 1970s American instrumental prog rock band Happy The Man, composed and painstakingly assembled Circle in 1992 in his hometown of Linden, Virginia. The disc recalls similar environmental recordings by Annea Lockwood, Bill Nelson, Syllyk, Michael Prime, Deuter, and Edgar Froese. Although there are a spate of releases on the market that combine music and nature sounds, they are mostly produced by hacks. Circle, however, is a standout, both because of its variety and because the masterful transitions between the various sounds (which never break the flow) draw the listener into an awareness of the construction of the pieces, as opposed to offering a static, unchanging canvas of relatively few sounds that functions merely as a background.
          Perhaps the most striking feature of Circle is its crystal-clear, extremely spacious sound, which is virtually perfect, filling any space it’s played in, and making for ideal headphone listening. Watkins’s cover design, consisting of a lush blue circle is also very attractive.