Reviews 06-01-2024

Music Reviews 



David Arkenstone


Quest for the Runestone
by David Arkenstone






David Arkenstone's Quest for the Runestone is a new album set to be released on July 1st, 2024. Since 1987 David has been supplying his fans with a steady flow of enjoyable music to stir our imaginations and soothe our troubled minds in these stressful days that we find ourselves. According to Wikipedia, David has given us 81 studio albums to date. As we go into the heart of the summer 2024, David will shortly deliver his latest sonic adventure to the delight of his fans worldwide.  

The soon-to-be-released album is a unique musical journey featuring twelve new compositions inspired by a captivating story penned by David's son, Dashiell Han Arkenstone. Each song is a narrative, crafted for the characters and events presented in the story, reminiscent of Mr. Arkenstone's earlier musical concept works like Quest of the Dream Warrior or Music Inspired By Middle Earth. 

The short story is about a woman named Réann. She lives in the mountains of the far north, suggestive of Scandinavia, in a time before or after our own. She is the heroine, forced into a quest to find a Runestone to quiet the sleeping giant in a mountain who is threatening to wake and is causing the mountains to shake and avalanches to fall. 

The music follows her awakening. She realizes she must journey to the mountain to find the mages who kept the giant asleep and give them the spell to return him to sleep. The Runestone is the key to the spell. 

The music beautifully mirrors the emotional journey of the heroine, offering robust orchestrated pieces and lovely melodic tracks. This musical journey, from the awakening to the realization of her quest, is a testament to the heroine's strength and resilience. The music and vocals grow in intensity as she faces the trials in the frozen mountains, yet, her theme presents a sweet, melodic piece, reflecting her growth in the reprise at the end.  

In the story, the magic is sung. Clara Sorace's vocals perfectly reflect this part of the story. Clara's powerful vocals are part of the music and are strong and clear. Ms. Sorace's voice compliments the lush productions, never overpowered by the music. David has assembled a talented group of musicians, including Clara, that have joined him on this project to help bring his vibrant compositions to life. 

David Arkenstone's musical artistry, with its Celtic undertones and hearty drumming, creates a vivid sense of being in another world at another time. His mastery in transporting listeners to a fantasy realm through his words and songs is unparalleled. This album is a testament to his ability to power a story with our imaginations, beautifully complimented by his compositions. 

David's experience with movie and gaming soundtracks provides a true cinematic feel for the story and fires listeners' imaginations as they follow along with Dash's story. Music and words become one, and the visuals are left to the listener's imagination. 

This is an exciting new work by David Arkenstone. It is readily apparent that David has mastered the art of crafting songs that fully express the emotions conjured by the story's words. His fans will be thoroughly pleased and we here at Ambient Visions are happy to be able to wholeheartedly recommend David's new album.

Reviewed by Margaret Foster for Ambient Visions


1. Prophecyl (5:24)

2. The Soothsayer Speaks (5:24)

3. Ancient Magic Awakens (4:53)

4. Réann (4:03)

5. Eyes of Skata (4:44)

6. Oceans of Ice (4:20)

7. Path of the Mountain's Bones (4:32)

8. Stars Without Light (4:12)

9. The Arbos Stirs (4:33)

10. Inscriptions (4:30)

11. Secrets of the Runestones (4:05)

12. The Keep of the Flame (5:39)

Composed, performed and produced by David Arkenstone 

Mixed and Mastered by Jill Tengan at RUSK Studios, many thanks to Elton Ahi 

Story by Dashiell Han Arkenstone 

David Arkenstone - guitar, cittern, saz, flute, whistle, melodica, drums and percussion, handpan, bass, vocals, keyboards 

Luanne Homzy - violin, Hardanger fiddle  

Eric Rigler - Uilleann pipes 

Kimberly Zaleski - flute, piccolo, bass flute  

Carlyn Kessler - cello 

Clara Sorace- vocals 

Sergio González Prats - hurdy gurdy 

Dov - violin, viola 

Giulia Colantonio - vocals (From Ethera Gold Atlantis) 

This recording is also available in the DolbyAmos spatial audio format - Immersive Mix and Mastering Engineer - Brad Smalling, Evergroove Studio - Immersive Mix Engineer - Athena Wilkinson 

Hawk illustration - Manny Carrasco 

David's Photo by Ellen Van Naarden

Eric's Photo by Bren Holmes (@brendopix)

About David Arkenstone:

5-time Grammy nominee David Arkenstone has established himself as one of the best contemporary instrumentalists of our time. This visionary continues to create distinctive tracks that inspire the imagination. A musical storyteller, David is passionate about taking listeners on a journey, creating sonic tapestries that evoke every emotion. “I envision a place where I would like to go, or an adventure I would like to take, and let my imagination run free,” says David. “I’ve gotten countless messages from listeners who love to take these journeys with me. I’m sometimes surprised by how powerfully people respond to my music.” 

David enjoys touring and meeting his fans from around the world. “One of the most exciting things about performing live is the interaction I have with the audience. It’s very different than making a recording, where you’re not sure who will be listening to it. A lot of the roots of our musicianship come into focus in a live situation. You’re in the moment, you perform your best, and many times reach new heights – then it’s gone and on to the next show!” 

David loves to travel and enjoys photographing the world. His recent trip to Iceland, Switzerland  and other parts of Europe will surely inspire new music.