With Angels of the Deep, Raphael has created his own sonic mythology in which the natural merges with the supernatural. In these dark waters, dreams and archetypes rise up to nourish those who yearn for inspiration in the search for creative renewal. After thirty years of composing, performing, and inspiring other people with his lush, transcendental romantic style, the Maui-based musician Raphael faced an artistic crisis. His previous releases, Music to Disappear In and Music to Disappear In II had become bestselling classics in the new age/contemporary genre.
"My harmonies were getting stuck," he recalls. With only twelve notes in an octave, I was beginning to wonder if I hadn't already worn them out." The breakthrough came in a dream: swimming with a magnificent whale, he told the creature his fears of losing his muse. "That's ridiculous," said the whale. "The possibilites of music are endless. You can never reach the end. It's like trying to calculate the last decimal of pi. It just goes on forever."
On Angels of the Deep, real whales provide the impetus for Raphael's musical re-birth. The first two selections, "Angels of the Deep" and "Communion," constitute a two-part concerto for whales and synthesizers, and take a quantum leap in the use of natural ambient sounds in a musical context. Not content to merely add a few whale sounds as atmospheric background, Raphael actually derived his unusual twists of phrase from their amazingly soulful cries. Bending his synthesized sounds, the composer glides with the sinuous tones of his aquatic colleagues as his own luxurious melodies rise and fall in waves of emotion.
The level of ecstasy escalates as Raphael's themes swirl through a vast sea of liquid harmonies and swim circles aorund the songs of the whales. Soon the illusion of swimming becomes synonymous with flying as the music soars with an intensity of feeling unmatched by his previous recordings.