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music reviewmusic review  out of 4 Music Review: Dawn

Artist: Don Robertson
Genre: Instrumental
Release Date: February 2003

Review by Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
2 stars out of 4

Don Robertson's album Dawn was originally recorded for Mercury's subsidiary label Limelight in 1969. Akarma Records gave this sought after release a well-earned rebirth with their recent reissue. The original album artwork is included with a detailed tri-fold insert on nicely textured paper with a history, pictures and biography of Roberston. Robertson contributes the story of his career and a detailed account of the recording session for the album as well. This treats the collector to a complete package that was previously unavailable.

There was no written music or scores to follow while recording was taking place during the Dawn sessions. Everything about the project was spontaneous and committed to tape in one take. These are points of interest that have made this album a valued collectors item and a wonder in the recording industry to this very day.

In 1969, the hippie counterculture was in full bloom. Their mottos were love not war, free love, and lots of dope smoking to enhance the carefree attitude that prevailed. The entire album is all instrumental music with a few spoken word passages. The instruments utilized on the album give it a World-Indian flavor with spaced out sound effects in the background with things like crickets chirping for a calming effect. Although none of this was unusual at the time of its inception, the way it all was accomplished put it in a category all by itself. The use of unconventional instruments was finding their way into modern rock music (i.e. The Beatles) more and more. This is but one more example of that practice.

Robertsons premise was to make positive music, prior to that, he felt that he was recording negative music that would have such a dreadful influence on those that listened to it that he felt compelled to change direction entirely. From that point forward, he focused on our human spirituality and music that would encourage energy to that end. He presently has a website with MP3s dedicated to this style of music. Although I was not very crazy about the music itself, I certainly could see the value and importance of how and why its validity remains strong today.

Side One

1. Dawn - 9:33
2. Why? - 0:53
3. Contemplation - 3:06
4. Where? - 0:48
5. The Candle - 3:48

Side Two

1. Gateless Gate - 5:22
2. When?- 1:18
3. Belief - 8:37



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