Review from Journeyscapes Radio
By Candice Michelle on September 19, 2017
Format: MP3 Music
Metamorphosis is the debut album from Arizona-based duet Nouveau Papillon (French for “new butterfly”). Comprised of eleven tracks spanning sixty-three minutes. The duet features Mark Bensette Aux Bois on acoustic guitars, harp and keyboards and Hildi Thelen on Native American-style flutes and percussion. Together, the duo creates a harmonious fusion of new age, ethnic fusion and contemporary instrumental arrangements.
“Rebirth” beautifully introduces the album with the rooted vibes of Australian didgeridoo followed by guitar and Native flutes, effectively painting images of canyon sunsets and desert plains with its spirit-soaring melody. Following next is “Whispering Winds”, one of my favorite pieces on the album, which opens with swirling wind gusts and a haunting bell toll. Perfectly conveying an overcast sky that signals an approaching storm, subtle tribal percussion and washes of acoustic guitar accompany a gentle flute melody that seemingly rides lightly upon the wind.
“Awakenings” is another favorite that begins with an oscillating drone, soon unfolding into an ethereal soundscape of sparkling acoustics and Celtic harp. Further complimented by soothing Native flute, the piece perfectly evokes the tranquil atmosphere of a deeply relaxing spa experience. Equally compelling is “Echo’s”, which effectively paints images of a mysterious night dance with its gypsy-like melody comprised of guitar, flute and percussive rhythm.
I’m also particularly fond of “Dance of the Fireflies”, which opens with ambient textures and haunting spoken word. Evoking a sense of contemplation and mystery, the composition’s hypnotic arrangement of breezy synths, native flute, guitars and glistening tones, all seemingly envelope the listener under the dome of a starry, desert sky. Didgeridoo and flowing rainsticks lend a dreamy, shamanic vibe to the hypnotic “Chrysalis”, which are further accentuated by lulling harp and subtle tribal percussion.
Effectively blending complimentary musical essences of indigenous Australia, North America and at times, even Celtic lands, Metamorphosis is a thoroughly rewarding listening experience that’s certain to have far-reaching appeal!
Nouveau Papillon is awe inspiring, fun for all ages and we can’t wait to have them back again.
Kate Moore | Librarian
Sun City Branch
I wanted to take a moment and let you both know how much I enjoy your music! My husband, in-laws and myself stopped into Birt’s Bistro for lunch one afternoon while you were performing. OMG!!!! I was hooked by the end of the first song!!! I could barely eat my lunch or pay attention to the conversation at my table.
I wanted to close my eyes, sit back and let the music take me away!!! ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!!! I will be the first in line waiting for your CD to be released!! Thank you both for sharing your gift! I look forward to attending more performances as well!