Posts Tagged Geoffrey Ellis flutes
I have just released a new ambient music album, “Crystal Theory.”
I used flutes by the following friends and master craftsmen:
Here is the track list:
Also available at:
I think you’ll enjoy it.
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!
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.
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.
Listen to “In Another World” by clicking on the arrow below:
I used flutes from the following craftsman:
Dedication: Chris Will
Kitty & Creek Norris
All tracks © 2012 by Bill Leyden. All rights reserved.
Images: Damon Allen
Each time that I start a music project I wait to see if the music is going to come out as solo Native American-style flute music or whether there will be orchestration. I admit to a certain soft spot for orchestrated soundtracks, and I think I naturally lean to string arrangements with the addition of traditional woodwinds like the silver flute and the oboe.
I can’t really say that I ever start a musical project — more truly, it starts me! The last project, “Talking Stick” was like that. The recording hiatus that I had planned ended abruptly even before it started. And here it comes again – “Tracking the Bear.”
As a videographer, I find that many of the tracks are suitable for backing tracks of life stories and testimonials of trans-formation. This is music of contemplation and transformation. The musical phrases do not often repeat, but instead follow an idea to a conclusion ‘in-the-moment.’
After completing the album, I noticed that the flute phrases would appear in different tracks, slightly altered as if they were sweetened scents on the wind. Of course! I was tracking a musical scent. I hope you enjoy the result. Look for it on BandCamp and iTunes in February, 2012.
About the Flutes
On this album, I used flutes made by the following friends and craftsmen:
I decided to put the title track of this album-in-progress as an exclusive download on ReverbNation. I have become a big fan of ReverbNation – it’s a great venue for artists to share. If you click on the “Tracking the Bear” song link it may ask you for your email (don’t be afraid), and you’ll be able to hear the track in its entirety months before the album is ready.
Anyway, I am going to stop telling myself that I am going to take a break from recording; every time that I do, I find myself right back in the studio. I think it because the music seems to act as my aural diary – tracking what I am doing and feeling from-day-to-day.
We smile in my family when my brother takes his annual vacations from Europe to visit us. I think he does this in August because that is the month that they close France! Over the years, as my brother has worked in Africa, I think he has developed a personality that I describe as ‘percussive’ (at least, that’s my take on it).
An intelligent man, fiercely loyal to his family, my brother has (as we all do) certain pecadillos. Among these are his distrust of all taxi drivers, a European resistance to tipping and a compelling desire to expound on the state of American politics. (He has my gratitude for resisting this latter desire in my presence).
As I get older, on the other hand, I search for stillness and an absence of percussion. So when my brother left to return to France this year, I was contemplating our relationship; he as the bear or dragon – and I as the rabbit. And I headed again for the recording studio with the irreverent working title of ‘Pokin the Bear,’ which I quickly discarded in search of another. I settled instead on ‘Tracking the Bear.’ And the music began to manifest with mysterious background sounds which I interpreted as the bear’s cave.
The totem for this work, as usual is a preliminary mock-up of the album art:
The first track starts out with the rumbling of a large, cavernous space. The rumble is broken by the breathy trill from a Native American style flute made for me by Geoffrey Ellis of Earth Tone Flutes. The musical textures evolve invoking a celestial mood and then to a seductive percussion with cascading melodies. I pulled a Fender American Standard Stratocaster into the track for a couple of twangs.
I hope you enjoy listening to it … you are listening to my diary.