Stephen DeRuby's deepest gratitude goes to Victoria, for her skillful passion in this creation
Christopher Franke, the force behind the soundtracks for the TV series Babylon 5, Walker, Texas Ranger
and Pacific Blue, founded Earthtone Records, sister label of Sonic Images Records. The label now houses
other New Age and World Music artistes under its wings and Stephen DeRuby is one of them. This album
evidences the oft-used phrase that music transcends all boundaries.
The album direction carries a strong, unmistakably Far Eastern flavour with the caressing notes of the
flute and the hypnotic percussion beats. Yet ironically, the artiste himself is an American. This is perhaps
the essence of World Music - artistes are not limited by the geographical boundaries that tie us down but
rather, allow their creativity to run boundlessly. Passionflute opens with Sunfather and the listener is
immediately transported to the Tibetan highlands amidst the inhabitants of a tribal village who have
gathered for some evening entertainment around a campfire.
With the exception of two tracks (Softly My Heart and Mystic Spiral) Which are slightly more upbeat
with the use of furiously-plucked strings, the mood throughout is relaxing and especially therapeutic
after a hard day's work. The liberal use of the sounds of a gurgling stream and singing birds on Coming of
Spring lures the listener into imagining himself being surrounded by lush greenery in a misty valley. If
you like albums which have a running theme or mood, then this album is great for popping into your
player while you spend a quiet evening.
-Vincent Lim, Home Infotainment