(All Album Reviews by Windhawk)
HenriŽtte Kat is a Dutch based composer that has written music since 1995, and some time ago decided to perform some of her compositions herself on the synthesizer because, as it is stated on her homepage, "I took the step to write for an orchestral ensemble myself. And since I can't put them in a closet and wait for the orchestra to come by, I execute them on synthesizers." Violet Fire is her debut album, and was released by Musea Records sublabel "Dreaming" in 2006.
The compositions on this release are all very much of a symphonic nature. All these songs are compositions that in other arrangements easily could have been performed by a regular classical symphony orchestra - it is quite easy to listen and hear the place for the horns, the violins and other regular instruments used in classical music.
Apart from that, the dominating traits in these compositions are the slow pace of the compositions, a structure where the melodies often consist of subtle melodic layers coming, going and returning, and a general feeling of relaxation from the compositions. These tunes won't light your fires, rather they will make you relax, and open up your mind for contemplation and dreaming, gently siphoning away any stress and volatile emotions poisoning your system.
This effect is the major strength of this release, but also it's main weakness. The compositions are a bit too similar, especially when listening to this music with a high degree of concentration. I do suspect that this music wasn't made for the manner of listening I do as a reviewer though; and that the main purpose of these compositions are to help the listener meditate and relax.
In style the symphonic style of these tunes as well as the general sound of the album reminds me quite a lot of Isao Tomita. The music on this release is slower and much more mellow; but similar in sound and mood. Fans of Tomita may want to find out more about this release; and anyone looking for gentle music to soothe the mind should find this release worthwhile to check out as well.
My rating: 75/100