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New Album from Bill Leyden – “In Another World”

Release Notes and More:  “In Another World”

I am happy to announce the release of “In Another World.”  This New Age  album is filled with lush, orchestral melodies, exotic, subtle rhythms and accents made on the Native-American-style flute.  I find the completed collection to be ideal for meditation and healing; I think you will too!

Flute Improvisations (Image: Hugh Milne)

In Taiwan, the 7th lunar month is referred to as ‘Ghost Month.’  My friends from that island-nation advise me:

“…You don’t want to travel during Ghost Month!  You should make offerings to your ancestors and don’t let the ghosts who are roaming the Earth this month learn your address!”

I’m not particularly superstitious, but in the coming years, I may take a little more notice of Ghost Month.

Recent albums by Bill Leyden

I was minding my own business recording improvisations on the Native American-style flute for this album. Then along came the 7th lunar month -July and August this year (2012).

I took a short road trip during which every appointment was suddenly rescheduled out of the month.  I started to think that the Ghost Month advice may have some merits.

When I returned home to Arizona, disappointed by the drop in personal productivity, I attempted to salve the feelings by getting out the Fender Stratocaster guitar and recording some musical passages.  The recordings would eventually find their way onto the “Faded Splendor” track.  I tried adding strings (violin, violas and cellos) — and the whole album shifted. The melodies became more lyrical and complex. One track followed another in quick succession until the album was a collection of compositions, rather than a series of Native American-style flute improvisations.

Passing Through the Portal

When I was done, I knew that I had crossed a threshold (into another musical world) through which I may not return.  Next year, I will be less inclined to ignore Ghost Month and more apt to pass it with a wink and a smile as I compose.

I hope you enjoy the tracks. They will be available for download first on Bandcamp, and later on iTunes and the usual download services, including Amazon.com.

Listen to “In Another World” by clicking on the arrow below:

I used flutes from the following craftsman:

Stephen DeRuby

Geoffrey Ellis

J. P. Gomez

Album Credits:

Dedication:  Chris Will
Kitty & Creek Norris

All tracks © 2012 by Bill Leyden.  All rights reserved.

Images:  Damon Allen

Availability:

Physical CDs:

Createspace.com

Amazon.com

Downloads:

iTunes

CD Baby

Amazon mp3

Bandcamp.com

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Of Hearts and Talking Sticks

I thought that I would take a break from recording for a short time – but then I saw a talking stick in my mind’s eye. I am not sure where I heard about the lore of the talking stick; many cultures have employed something like it. The possession of the talking stick gives a council member the right to speak uninterrupted until the stick is passed to the next member. Possession of the stick is also said to empower the holder with the gift of clear communication.

Maybe because my brother was visiting me this year again and I was hoping to chat with him quietly heart-to-heart. There is no one in my life left who knew me as a boy; all of those friends are gone, and prematurely so. And although his visit was better in this regard than last year’s hotly delivered political opinions, I thought that maybe next year I will have a talking stick ready. Then maybe the ritual will let us shed the topical and experience the essential. That may be a tall order in an election year.

So I therefore have the working-title for the next flute project: “Talking Stick.” In this album, I will use the Native American style flute to scrape the surface of my personality away and attempt to get to my deepest feelings. I will use some orchestration, but minimally as a balm to a burn.

Typically, when I start a new project, I try to find or make an image that inspires me during the recording phase of the work. In this case, on a rainy day in the monsoon season of Arizona, I found a rattle made by Judy Derosa of Yosemite, and placed it on a sacred textile that was made in Peru and used for the Despacho ceremony. The Despacho is the shamanic ceremony of the Q’ero, the modern day Inca that is intended to bring balance into one’s life. The image that I made is shown below:

Which becomes this:

Talking Stick Album Art

To begin the album, I used an EZ-Anasazi flute in the key of A made by my friend and master musician and craftsman, Stephen Deruby. You can hear the unnamed first track of this as-yet unreleased album by clicking here.

When I record for this album, I am hoping that the melodies will track directly to my heart and clear it so that I may play clearly, without artifice. I hope you enjoy it.

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