The Scent of Light

John Diliberto’s review for The Scent of Light: Ottmar Liebert + Luna Negra: Music
With one of his two 2008 releases, The Scent of Light, Nouveau Flamenco pioneer Ottmar Liebert opens up his music into horizons that are new, yet also recall his 1993 CD, The Hours Between Night + Day. Like that album, many of the songs here are inspired by Liebert’s travels, and similarly, rather than fiery flamenco, he takes a more introspective path with subtle, spacious arrangements. Ambient music, which he explored in the 1990s on Opium, remains an influence in Liebert’s music. He uses electronics to gently shape the acoustic space around his guitar and band with reverse percussion echoes on “Firelight,” call and response guitars on “The River: Writing in Water,” and a tamboura drone and tabla on the haunting “Candlelight.” Mellotron flutes and reverse guitar bring “Moonlight,” the most arresting melody on the album, to a haunting close as it dissolves into birds and wind. The centerpiece of The Scent of Light is “Silence, No More Longing.” It’s an 11 minute excursion that builds from a solo flamenco alap to multi-tracked guitars adding ambient electronics, bass, percussion, and finally unleashing a quiet electric storm from guitarist Stephen Duros. Like the album, it takes you from a world of interior ruminations to exterior vistas.
– John Diliberto