There is a fascinating new age album called UNDERSTANDING THE SIGNS by Geoff Hall. The music is fascinating because it mostly consists of a variety of different-sized string sections. However, the thick string textures are bolstered by a few other instruments that can be heard upon close listening -- synth (on many tracks), piano (tunes 4 and 7), cello (1 and 5), tympani (6), bazantar (on #2 according to the press materials) and cymbals (7). These instrumental tunes range from the very slow and mellow “Gone But Not Forgotten” to the building-in-intensity-and-speed “Perserverance.”

This is wonderfully rich, lush, tapestry-of-sound music. It probably fits best in the new age genre, so if you like soft, gentle, string sounds, this is the place to be. Some of the string parts (whether they are real instruments or synthesized) are really quite interesting.