Secret Garden-Dreamcatcher: A Night with Secret Garden (2004)

If you create a user account, you can add your own review of this DVD

Released 16-Jul-2002

Cover Art

This review is sponsored by
BUY IT

Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Music Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Making Of-Songs From A Secret Garden And White Stones
Featurette-Making Of-Dawn Of A New Century
Biographies-Cast-True Tales
Discography
Gallery-Photo
Music Video-Nocturne
Music Video-Moving
Rating ?
Year Of Production 2004
Running Time 95:25 (Case: 170)
RSDL / Flipper RSDL (35:53) Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Stanley Dorfman
Studio
Distributor

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Rolf Loveland
Fionnuala Sherry
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $36.95 Music None Given


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame Full Screen, not known whether Pan & Scan or Full Frame English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Descriptive Audio Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
English Linear PCM 48/16 2.0 (1536Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.29:1
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio Unknown Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    I must admit that this disc came as a bit of a surprise to me. My Celtic collection centres around the vocal with artists such as Mary McLaughlin, Emma Christian or even the more traditional works of Sinead O'Connor alongside other discs such as Joanie Madden on the Irish whistle. The surprise was that I was not expecting Dreamcatcher to be primarily instrumental in nature - purely my own expectations and nothing against the music because of this.

    It would appear from the history of the band that I was not the only one surprised by their music. They took their unique blend of Irish and Norwegian music to the Euro Song Contest and created history by winning with a instrumental piece in what was up to that point a vocal competition.

    Rolf Loveland is one half of the pair that makes up the group. Born in Norway, he is a composer, and over the years he had composed a series of pieces that did not fit into anything else that he was doing - this became his Secret Garden. Teaming up with Fionnuala Sherry, a brilliant and very talented violin player, they brought the music of the Secret Garden to life. Fionnuala was born in Ireland and this is where the fusion of Celtic and Norwegian music comes from. Her presence on stage is strong and her skill with the violin is outstanding.

    The concert featured on the disc was recorded in 1999 in Lillehammer, Norway.

Don't wish to see plot synopses in the future? Change your configuration.

Track Listing

1. The Rap
2. Song From A Secret Garden
3. Pastorale
4. Children Of The River
5. Sigma
6. Nocturne
7. Steps
8. Passacaglia
9. Sona
10. Poeme
11. Moving
12. Adagio
13. Windancer
14. In Our Tears
15. Elan
16. Prayer
17. Heartstrings
18. Dreamcatcher
19. Celebration
20. Ode To Simplicity
21. Hymn To Hope
22. Dawn Of A New Century

Transfer Quality

Video

    Presented at what is probably its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, this transfer is not 16x9 enhanced.

    The opening credits that appear before the main menu react somewhat strangely on my equipment. On the Panasonic they appear, flash to another screen, reappear, disappear then reappear much larger than the screen so that only part of the credit is visible and then disappear once again. On PowerDVD on my PC they do not appear at all but the main menu appears straight away.

    The image is sharp but moving objects do blur to some extent. Fast moving objects have a rather annoying shadow image that leads the movement. An example is the hand at 7:36. As this is material shot under stage lighting there is the usual high contrast with shadow detail suffering somewhat. There is some low level noise triggered by some slight video noise.

    Colours are solid with only slight noise present, again triggered by the video working under stage lighting.

    I saw one rather strange artefact at 6:48. The top quarter of the screen looks something like a bar code. A line of video information near the top is repeated for the next 50 odd lines. As one of the performers has light hair, the top of his head is replaced by this bar code effect. Other than this there is some slight pixelization such as in the face at 13:42. There is also some slight aliasing. The video source is surprisingly clean considering the lighting.

    There are no subtitles.

    This is an RSDL disc with the layer change at 35:53. This is just after Fionnuala introduces the next piece but before the music actually starts.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    There are three soundtracks on this disc: two Dolby Digital 5.1 tracks and a single PCM stereo track.

    The first Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack and the PCM stereo track are of the concert. They are similar in timbre but on at least one song (The Rap), the balance of the instruments is slightly different. The Dolby Digital track has material in the surrounds. This sounds to me to be simply a copy of the main left and right speakers rather than the ambience of the venue. The other Dolby Digital soundtrack has the same material but with Rolf Loveland telling you a little about each piece; he talks over the beginning of each song to do this. This track is several dB louder than the other Dolby Digital soundtrack.

    Dialogue quality and audio sync are good.

    My system did not resolve a particular sound stage out of this material on either the Dolby Digital or the PCM soundtracks, just giving a general frontal or wide (with the addition of the surrounds) impression.

    The subwoofer supported the well balanced soundtrack well but there is no pounding beat to this music.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The 1.33:1 menu has a static picture of a stylized secret garden - computer simulated watercolour is the closest I can come to describing it. The audio is Dolby Digital 2.0 and is a soundtrack of the sound of a garden with birds and an owl.

Documentary: The making of "Songs From a Secret Garden" and "White Stones". (25:09)

    Standard English style documentary combining a voiceover giving some information, interviews and footage of the musicians playing various pieces. This is a commercial offering as opposed to a work produced by the group themselves but there is still some interesting information contained within. The audio is Dolby Digital 5.1.

Documentary: The making of "Dawn of the New Century". (29:23)

    A much more intimate documentary that I think that Secret Garden have produced themselves. This time there is no voiceover and much more time spent listening to both Rolf Loveland and Fionnuala Sherry. There are also sections of concerts and rehearsals presenting the songs that Rolf and Fionnuala are talking about. Presented at 1.33:1 and accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

True Tales.

    A series of text pages telling us a little about both performers and how they met.

Discography.

    Three CDs are presented in this section; Songs From a Secret Garden, White Stones and Dawn of a New Century. When you make your selection of the CD you are presented with a list of the songs on that CD along with a short text description of the CD. You can select any of the tracks and a forty-odd second clip of that track will play and another short text piece will appear describing the track. This is a very clever inclusion, particularly if you do not own any of these particular CDs as you can explore the CD and decide if it is for you.

Photo Gallery

    Nine photos, either a concert or a publicity still.

Videos.

    Two video clips: Moving (3:38), filmed during a stage concert and Nocturne (3:10), a more traditional video clip. Moving is presented at 1.33:1 and Nocturne is presented at 1.85:1 letterboxed within a 1.33:1 frame. Both are accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This disc appears to be identical across the various regions.

Summary

    Secret Garden has a unique sound with a blend of Celtic and Norwegian influences. While some regard the tag 'new age' as derogatory (I do not), it is the correct label for this material.

    The video is reasonable.

    The audio is good though lacking a proper sound stage.

    The extras round out a good package.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Terry McCracken (read my bio)
Monday, April 26, 2004
Review Equipment
DVDSkyworth 1050p progressive scan, using RGB output
DisplaySony 1252q CRT Projector, Screen Technics matte white screen 16:9 (223cm). Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with AVIA Guide To Home Theatre.
AmplificationOnkyo TX-SR800
SpeakersB&W DM305 (mains); CC3 (centre); S100 (surrounds); custom Adire Audio Tempest with Redgum plate amp (subwoofer)

Other Reviews NONE
Comments (Add) NONE