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Road To Chiang Mai
Ponder Dust Publishing
Join the Venture to Destiny
When travelers used to visit forbidden kingdoms in Asia, the exotic country known as Siam was a frequented destination. Today, what we call Thailand is a bountiful land of beauty and mystery. Chiang Mai is a land of ancient temples, flowers, night time safaris and historic palaces. It is also home to one of Thailand's most precious commodities, Thai elephants. The sanctuary at Chiang Mai is a haven for elephants that have been mistreated. For centuries elephants have been forced to go through the ritual of Phajaan, a torturous treatment that coerces them to carry men and goods on their backs, something they are not naturally suited to do. Bill Wren's music glorifies the not only the plight of these creatures, but also the freedom of the elephants, the natural beauty of the land and the spirit of the Thai people.
I have to tell you, after hearing visionary composer Bill Wren's newest album, Road To Chiang Mai, I will always yearn for a live performance. This neo-symphonic epic is exhilarating, invigorating and oh so satisfying. I'm not surprised, his previous album with partner Frank Ralls, Journey Around the Sun: A Mayan Odyssey was a prodigious release and Road To Chiang Mai will fare even better. The album which has thirteen tracks of exuberant contemporary music is a like opening a book. The first page or in this case, the first track sets the stage for adventure, excitement and discovery. The music is a group effort, that is Wren invited a wonderful assembly of artists, true talents that eat and breathe music and the result is gift for those that love instrumental music with a theme and that includes me. I've tried repeatedly to find a comparison to the album, but nothing comes to mind.
Siam is often called the Enchanted Kingdom and Bill's initial song of the same name throws open the gates of discovery for this inscrutable domain. Micah Gilliam's banjo is unexpected,