Posts Tagged New Age Music
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.
Actually, it may be 41 albums — I’m sure that have lost count. But it has been at least 40 albums in-the-making since Peruvian shaman, Don Francisco hit me on the head with his hefty medicine bundle while transferring to me the 9th Incan Rite-of-Passage (the Creator Rites).
“Hey, Man … take these two flutes. I want you to have them. Pay me — don’t pay me — it’s up to you!”
I accepted the flutes and embarked on a magnificent flute and recording journey that continues to this day.
Notes To Myself on Following the Muse
Becoming a recording artist in the middle of life has been mysterious. But even more surprising is the range of the comments that I receive on the music that I publish. (I don’t take a lot of credit for the music – most of the time, I cannot technically play what I hear in my mind’s ear).
I think that I am beginning to understand what pianist Helen Jane Long meant when she responded to a question during a radio interview about what her compositions meant. I paraphrase:
” …. I’ll let the listeners decide what the song’s meaning is. What I was thinking at the time that I wrote it might unduly influence the listener’s experience.”
So, too (in the receiving direction), the comments and interpretations that I receive seem to depend on the mood and circumstance of the listener. My Mother, for example, may have completely different (and sometimes opposite) feedback on the same song at different times.
So, over the years (for my own amusement and improvement — and with a light heart), I have attempted to categorize the type and source of feedback that I typically get after each album. I have also tried to recognize any patterns. But so far they have eluded me. Here is a sample categorization:
|Mother||“Too Frenetic, but I am your No. 1 fan!”|
|Son||“I’ll be sure to not operate any heavy machinery or drive while listening to your albums. By the way, why [when I listen] do I suddenly feel the urge to be in the nude and to wear healing crystals?”|
|Brother||“Are you ever going to get a real job, or are you just going to keep playing that ‘beaver medicine’?”|
|Sister 1||“When I try to listen to one of your albums in the [health food] store, somebody buys it. I’ve tried three times today! Will you send me a personal copy?”|
|Sister 2||“Oh, you mean you have albums out? I didn’t know that!”|
||“Whatever …. “|
|New Age Fan||“When are you going to do an album with just plain flute?”|
|Old Age Fan||“Just take the flute out of it — and it will be perfect”|
|Fellow Musicians||“Very … interesting.”|
|Law Enforcement||“Step over here, Genius”|
|My Dog||“Fantastic!. The best that I’ve ever heard! No … really!”|
The Next Album
Is it any surprise, therefore that the next project has the working title, “Let It Happen”?
‘May you walk in Beauty.’
–(a Navajo prayer)
“Beneath the Mask”
A New Album of New Age/World Music (Música Mundial)
I am thrilled to release a new album for download on Bandcamp.com on August 1, 2013. This is a collection of lush and plaintive musical textures punctuated by guitars and the Native American-style flute:
Remember, on Bandcamp.com you can listen without purchase. Should you be moved to purchase, however, you can pretty-much name your price!
About the Flutes
On this album, I used flutes made by the following master craftsman:
1. Beneath the Mask,
2. Abracitos [Embraces],
3. Rezo de los Niños [A Child’s Prayer],
4. Bay Theater,
5. Sunset on the River,
6. En Silla [In the Saddle],
7. Victoria Herida [Wounded Victory],
8. Shamans’s Farewell,
9. Los Huérfanos (The 19) [The Orphans],
10. The Mystery of Los Feliz [Los Feliz is a location near Griffith Park in Los Angeles, CA where some have reported to have had unusual nocturnal sightings and experiences],
11. Querencia [A place where one feels at home], and
12. Ribbons and Lavender.
I hope you 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:
About the flutes that I used:
Lately I have been drawn to flutes in keys below middle E.
Here is the track list with the flutes that I used:
1. Talking Stick – Anasazi flute in A by Stephen Deruby
2. Flume – Low Bb Bamboo flute by NZT Designs
3. Auriga – Jeff Ball Signature flute in Eb by Geoffrey Ellis
4. Perseids – Low Bb Bamboo flute by NZT Designs
5. Pondering Winter – Low G Redwood flute by Geoffrey Ellis
6. Iron Horses – Low A Sassafras flute by Leonard McGann
7. Camarilla – Anasazi flute in A by Stephen Deruby
8. Call to Kiva – Tigerwood flute in D by Geofrey Ellis
9. Astral Muse – Flame maple flute in Em by John Stillwell
10. Lone Wolf – Babinga flute in F# by John Stillwell
11. Fire Ceremony – Maple flute in C by Geoffrey Ellis
12. Eventide – swamp ash flute in low B by Geoffrey Ellis
13. Yellowthroat – peruvian walnut flute in E by Geoffrey
14. Rejoinder – Anasazi flute in A by Stephen Deruby
15. Entreaty – swamp ash flute in low B by Geoffrey Ellis
16. Accord – swamp ash flute in low B by Geoffrey Ellis
17. Closing -swamp ash flute in low B by Geoffrey Ellis