Posts Tagged World Music

New Album by Bill Leyden Available for Listening and Download

“Beneath the Mask” Album Art

“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:

Beneath the Mask – Bill Leyden

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:

Stephen DeRuby (Tracks 9, Los Huérfanos (The 19); and 10, The Mystery of Los Feliz),

Geoffrey Ellis (Track 4, Bay Theater),

J. P. Gomez (Tracks 2, Abracitos; 3, Rezo de los Niños; 6, En Silla; and 7, Victoria Herida; 8, Shaman’s Farewell),

Rich Halliburton (Track 11, Querencia), and

Leonard McGann (Track 1, Beneath the Mask).

Track List:

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!

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Zone Music Reporter’s Review of “Beloved,” an Album of World Music by Bill Leyden

I was surprised and pleased to receive an email from music reviewer and master wood craftsman RJ Lannan in February, 2012 which read:

Hey Bill,
I am one of the reviewers at Zone Music Reporter. For some strange reason I believed I had a copy of Beloved. I clearly remember the girl on the white bed. But I have looked everywhere and I can find no record of you sending me something. May I impose on you for a review copy? Thanks in advance.
R J Lannan

In fact, because the music that I record in large part is my attempt at personal healing by creating an aural diary, I typically do not promote or send out copies of the albums to reviewers.  And I had sent no copy of Beloved to anybody except my dear friends, Kitty and Creek Norris.

But for some time, I have been a fan of The Sounding Board by RJ Lannan and Binkelman’s Corner by Bill Binkelmen, which are music review columns published by ZoneMusicReporter.  So it was a bit of a rush to see that here in June RJ Lannan had decided to review “Beloved,” one of my favorite projects.  He had this to say:

[reprinted from http://zonemusicreporter.com/recording/viewreviews.asp?rvwbrd=2&rvwbrdpstn=1&rvwbrdcmmt=981]:

Almost Immortal
I love my writing job because I never know when a surprise will arrive in the mail in the form of great music. This time it is flutist Bill Leyden‘s latest creation, Beloved. For some unknown reason I have been receiving lots of flute music is the last two years; De Maria, Adams, Finzer and many more. Leyden’s music is powerful, yet remains subtle throughout the album of fifteen songs. There are some haunting solo performances as well as multi instrumentals. The light, synthesized orchestral accompaniment of many of the songs is filmy, weightless and does not impede the flow. Where the Hammond organ came from, I’ll never know. Furthermore, there are many Native American flute influences throughout, but that is not in fact the main theme. It sub-title could be something like “things you love” or “a musical journey in my life so far” of the things that I love. In any case, the gentle music is very additive and just the right medicine to calm the spirit. I beg indulgence with my Spanish title translations.

Beloved, the title tune opens the album with a sultry blend of haunting flute and back ground strings. It is s slowing pulsing melody, a heartbeat of passion if you will. There is a drifting quality to the music, a free-floating sense of a heart wandering about and then, returning to the point of origin, to return to safety perhaps.

Rel[oj] de la Vida (The Clock of Life) is the music of a solo wooden flute with its wondrous echoing sound and organic sense. I could hear the music reflect off canyon walls and through the forests as the mountains counted the seasons with their own sense of time. Man has yet to adjust his own spiritual timepiece to such magnificence.

The crash of ocean waves opens the song The Wake I Left. Synthesized background and flute verse balance in a song of inner directed refection. Like the sea, the tune does have a noticeable ebb and flow that slows down the heart long enough to permit retrospection.

Gueve del Tosoro (The Treasure Cave) is a solo piece that notes the history of a mysterious place in the south of Spain. You travel the coast road until you reach La Calla de Moral and take a right turn. The cave is one of the few carved by the sea and has stories of great fortune left by ancient conquerors. The treasure may actually be the blissful beauty that surrounds the area. Bill’s flute snakes along the paths and ends up somewhere in the hills where the legends and splendor abide.

Second Growth seemed so appropriate on the day of this writing. The storm came in quickly, and with a cleansing wash covered everything around me. The air was fresh and pure after its passing and everything seemed renewed. The leaves were greener, the irises were a brighter purple and the sky was study in blue contrast. Bill’s use of sinewy violin, gentle drones and an echoing flute promised second growth that was palpable.

Ya Habibi may be Arabic for loved one and so carries the title in a Middle Eastern themed solo flute tune. Though the arid wind blows and the empty desert freezes in the nighttime, the warbling intro and peaceful melody reminds me that there is no sun hot enough to desiccate the power of love. And no distance is too great to try to separate the heart of a lover from another.

Bill Leyden has at least forty albums that I know of. He is a master of the Native American flute and his music is intricate, emotional and peaceful. His dogma is that once we understand the theory of the Incans who believe that our body is surrounded by a special energy, than we can use the knowledge to heal in extraordinary ways. His music has made me a believer.

Rating: Very Good Very Good


(Reviewed by RJ Lannan 6/22/12)

As I read the review, I was astonished at how well RJ understands the story behind the Beloved album, as he put it in words that go beyond a mere description to a level where the emotion and ‘voyage’ of the track and its place in the album are masterfully conveyed.

Thank you, RJ!

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New Music Video for “Beloved”

I was thrilled when director, Shayde Christian selected the title track off of the “Beloved” album to be placed in his feature film “Painting in the Rain“. To my further enjoyment, he made this music video for the song:

I understand that the film is in the final stages of post-production. I can hardly wait to see it.

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“Talking Stick” Album by Bill Leyden Released August, 2011

"Talking Stick" Album Art

If the Native American style flute puts you in another world, this album will guide you to another universe! In the spirit of the Talking Stick, I decided you use the flute and include close harmonies using the 4th, 5th and 6th notes of the scale of the individual flute. The result on the listener seems to cause a drifting feeling, where memories and plans can come together.

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

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