2009 Not just one of the founders of New Age music, Germany’s composer and maestro Deuter is one of New Age’s eternal crown jewels and one of its rarest and most delicate minimalists. Where others might go for big crescendos of world music instruments and impassioned voices, Deuter grows even quieter. His music continually slows you down, stretching out your thoughts until the bad and useless obsessive and egoic thoughts tumble away, leaving just the benevolent witness, the repose. Maybe he’ll accent his piano with a low, drawn-out cello or some ambient birdsong, as in the humble and reverent lullaby of “Drei,”(“Three” in German˜all the tracks are numbered in different languages, no names, adding to the egoless, global feel), or a moody orchestral section of strings and flute, but mostly it’s just his softly played piano, each note shimmering and fading like the last golden light reflecting on a pond at dusk.
With Atmospheres, Deuter creates a dreamy, somber, yet soothingly nostalgic haze, a drowsy music-box melody stretched in the vortex of our first memories as babies, down at the base of the tree from which our whole spirit and personality has grown; our whole conception of the world still, when it comes right down to it, based around the shapes of a mobile that once revolved gently over our cribs while the birds chirped outside. “Uno” is a similarly gentle, delicate piano melody, a slow and slightly melancholic nursery rhyme filtered through the backward gazing mirror of maturity, filled with wistful sadness against a backdrop of warm, barely audible drones.
A truly beautiful, hushed, and reverent little masterpiece, Atmospheres can never overstay its welcome because it never occupies the center stage, remaining always just out reach, as ephemeral and essential as the fading wisps of dream from the night before, the birds still singing to the vanished sun. Such is the case in the softly falling piano cycles in “Nine,” which are gradually subsumed into soft beds of moody strings and flute. The perfect thing to play for the kids who can’t sleep, the melodies always seem to be continually winding down, like that music box from the hazily remembered childhood dresser top, slowly coming to a peaceful stop, ready to start up again with the simple wind of the silver dial, whenever the child once more awakens.