Alchemy of Earth by David Campbell and Pauline Frechette
By Ron Powers
Alchemy of Earth begins with Pauline Frechette’s “Spring Awakening”. I was taken away by this song’s delicate progressions. It unfolds like the blooming of a flower and expresses a deep and meaningful feeling. This song is a good example of music communicating something words cannot. The light and airy feeling of “Spring Awakening” seamlessly melts into the album’s second song (“Summer Skies”). As you might expect from the title, this song has more warmth to it. As I was listening an image of sunset came to mind. It expresses all the beauty of a sky full of expansive clouds painted with glowing pink, orange, and purple light as a summer’s day comes to an end. For the album’s third track Frechette continues with her seasonal theme, delivering “Liquid Moon”. This song is one of my favorites by Frechette. It makes you feel like you’re stepping out into nature when you listen to it. “Liquid Moon” also appears on an EP by Pauline called A Winter’s Tale. For Frechette’s fourth and final installment of seasonal gems, we’re treated to the exquisite and vigorous “Ice Storm”. This song has a dark and enchanting power pulsating through it. From its mysterious and meandering melody lines to its thundering brass section. “Ice Storm” is a piece of music that keeps your attention from beginning to end.
Legendary composer David Campbell keeps things moving with the album’s fifth track, “19th Century Entanglements”. The bustling energy of this song pulls you in and gets your blood pumping without warning. I was particularly struck by the depth of prowess that this song exudes. Every note rings with the weight and authority of a man who has mastered his craft. Campbell continues his entangled journey with the beautifully eerie “20th Century Entanglements”. The emotion of this song is somewhat ambiguous. While listening, you don’t know whether it’s taking your breath away or if it’s sending chills down your spine. It ventures to an emotional space few have managed to express with such precision and grace. Finally, we come to Campbell’s most elaborate contribution to the album, “21st Century Entanglements”. This song delivers all the bustling energy of “19th Century Entanglements” and simultaneously expresses the expansive emotion of “20th Century Entanglements”. In short, Campbell engulfs the listener in an array of sonic textures and colors that few musicians possess the wizardry to summon.
While researching Pauline I was impressed by some of the highlights of Frechette’s career. Her music has been performed by the Baltimore Symphony, the Cincinnati Symphony, the New West Symphony and the California Contemporary Ballet Co. Furthermore, her credits include singing on major motion pictures like Aladdin, Rent, Mermaids, and recording/performing with legendary artists like MUSE, Paul McCartney, Willie Nelson, Leonard Cohen, Cher, and Neil Diamond. And if you want to be flabbergasted, take a look at David Campbells Wikipedia page. He has worked on over 500 albums with major artists and over 100 films. No wonder this duo’s music is so powerful!
It was an incredible experience listening to Campbell and Frechette together on this album. They are two musicians who understand what it takes to emotionally connect with an audience through music. I can’t recommend Alchemy of Earth enough. If you’d like to listen to the album you can find it on Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and most other places music is streamed or sold. If you like to learn more about Pauline Frechette you can find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at paulinefrechette.com. If you’d like to learn more about David Campbell you can find him on Instagram, Facebook, and at davidmusic.com.
About the Author: Ron Powers is an independent A&R specialist and music industry consultant and is constantly searching for, discovering and writing about new talent.