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The Silence Between by Timothy J.P. Gomez
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/25/2019
Packed full of imagery
I have always found the sound of the flute to be the most haunting and mood creating of all musical instruments, fortunately for me I am surrounded by friends of the flute, Nigel Shaw, David Rose and Jan Michael Looking Wolf, even my wife Chrissie Sheppard plays, so it’s become an integral part of my life now, as much as I think that this album will be as well, as it is one of the most reflective and meaningful performances I have heard for quite some time.
The opening piece is called Among the Giants, for me I could picture myself standing in a forest of redwoods listening to this piece, it is outstanding. The duel nature of this composition is fascinating, the higher pitches beautifully morph into lower more subtle tones as the track weaves its way onward.
Emerald Pools is a wonderfully hypnotic offering that seems bathed in a timeless energy; for me the flute is always a masterful narrator of imagination and tone, the imagination draws a narrative of an old time worn lake, where denizens of the deep green waters, peak the mirrored surface to create ever outward ripples, the tone sounds like the very essence of nature itself.
Well we’re moving slowly towards winter now as October beckons, and the performance by Gomez here is deep, sullen and slow, depicting perfectly this most torpid of months. Winters Lament says it all for this most languorous of times, through the sound of Gomez’s flute we can even feel the chill wind of a long hard winter, bring tears of ice from our very soul, in what is a stunning performance.
Almost the mirror piece of the previous track is up next and called Desert Serenade. There is indeed warmth about this offering that is most pleasantly received, but what charmed me about this composition was the sublime fluency of playing by the artist, on a bright and uplifting musical presentation.
An interesting musical narrative can now be found on this next arrangement called Into the Subterranean Sea. The accomplished execution of this piece is beautifully thought out, and the pace is also perfect, one truly feels like they are on the beach of middle earth, and gazing out at the western seas; a vast performance here by the artist.
Passage to the Spirit Realm was one of my favourite offerings; there was also a slight Celtic feel to this track as well, which added an extra flavour to the composition. One could feel a rhythmic approach here that seemed to almost play the role of the pied piper, perhaps drawing the spirits towards the realm of the otherworld.
Timothy J. P. Gomez has really created a colourful and masterful album here, and that can be emphasised further by listening to the title track, yes that moment when the canvas of the main story can be drawn, and what an opportunity is taken by the artist. The Silence Between is both deep and addictive to listen to; one is almost perched on the edge of the seat waiting for the next note to be played, in what is a truly mesmeric offering.
Reflections of the Deep, it’s a track that really does what it says on the can, the presentation is pitch perfect, one that really slows down the mind and allows the senses to sink to a deeper level during meditation. I know this because I have literally just tried it, the mixture of playing here is a delight to listen to, the interplay of flute with itself is utterly magical, and I look forward to going in deep with this piece again sometime soon.
The smoothness of operation here is magnificent, and on A Sanctuary of Sound, I think I have found my personal favourite off the album, the sheer ambience of this piece was sublime, one could easily be alone in a vast dimension, perhaps a lush green forest, where all that can be heard is the calling tone of this most magical of flutes, a simply uplifting and spiritual experience can be found within this offering.
As we tread the path of our ancestors towards the conclusion of this recording, we come across a track entitled Alpenglow, and it seems natural energies of this album are in the fore once more, this wonderful presentation on flute was addictive to listen to, so much so, that I felt compelled to listen to this track alone several times before writing; a beautifully colourful musical narrative indeed.
The description of the title is key here, this next piece is entitled Canyon Solitude, whilst I have yet to visit one in the states, I have been in a canyon here in Cyprus, and I would be the first to say that this offering would be perfect for it. Within my mind’s eye Gomez literally transports me there to watch the sun fall and the shadows grow, in a splendid performance indeed, one indicative of a portrayal of solitude in the wide open beauty of nature.
There are very few instruments that can illustrate the quality of nature’s gift like the flute, and on this, our penultimate composition called Echoes of Light, we have a fine example of an enactment of tone and shade, of sound and luminosity. Gomez stands supreme here in creating a short, but extremely empowering musical narrative of both echoes and light.
So we have reached the final gateway of the album, it is called Dark Tides and Distant Stars, one to be played on the far reaches of a midnight ocean perhaps. This is a real stand out offering, and the perfect one to end the album with. I adored the textures within this composition, one that was so well played several images of possible locations for this arrangement came to mind, easily the most graphic piece off the release.
The Silence Between is a masterful album by Timothy J. P. Gomez, one that is amazingly artistic, one that creates images within the mind’s eye, and also one that is as fluent as a summer wind. Gomez has delivered a fine album to us all here, one the realms of flute fans will be eager to snap up quickly, but for those who are intrigued by the instrument, and always wondered about owning a flute based album, then this would be the perfect place to start, as the artist has made the music within accessible to all.
Rating: Excellent
generous night, redeem by Ryan Marvel
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/11/2019
Music to enrich you
I spent many an hour reflecting forward through Marvels last release that lies within my collection, and here I am once more on the borderlands of a new dimension of solo piano by the artist called Generous Night, Redeem, and another musical voyage calls to me from the inner realms of tone and sound.
We start this sojourn through this new offering with a piece called Lunar Melody, a really powerful opener, one that seemed to provoke many thoughts through this intrigued mind of mine. There was such a delicious depth to this piece that made it the perfect opener and also the sound track for many a moonlight perambulation.
The ranks of the solo piano genre are jam packed with talent and artists of all standards, but Marvel stands out as one of those special performers, one that has the ability to manifest something special with a thoughtful and crafted performance; music like this next composition called Whispered Words, oh how I wished this had been longer, I really fell in love with the major, minor narrative and chord structures on this beautiful opus.
On Crying Heart at Sleepless Dawn we have a truly moving arrangement, one that has a real sense of sadness upon its shoulders; there is a mournful refrain that seems almost inconsolable at times and also one that is really addictive to listen to as well, Marvels skill set on the piano here leaves us in heightened anticipation of what is going to come next.
What does actually come next is one of the finest slices of piano I have heard from Marvel, and called Fleeting Passage. There is a wonderful sense of calmness built into the narrative here, much in the way you can glimpse a moment of a sun kissed beauty in autumn, but its presence is fleeting, but always memorable, this performance by Marvel is one of those I never wanted to end.
We are now in the full current of the release and as we reach this piece called Overwhelm, it certainly feels that way, a fast running offering that feels like a fresh winter stream is about to burst its banks is upon us; this graphic musical narrative is incredibly compelling and thoroughly enjoyable at each and every twist and turn, a wonderfully inventive piece from Marvel indeed.
One of the hardest things to gaze upon is The Face of Truth; this undeniable moment of life’s rich tapestry is something quite brutal at times, but it can also bring with it a sense of freedom as well. Here Marvel explores that narrative with a performance that is solemn, mood filled, reflective and above all else brutally honest in its manifestation, a thoughtful musical prose indeed, one tinged with a little hope at the very end as well.
At the half way marker we come across the title track and that of course is Generous Night, Redeem. Ryan Marvel is proving to be a master builder of fluent reflective music, and on this very composition I would say that is so true and even to film score standard. One could imagine taking a moonlit walk whilst listening to this offering, perhaps whilst going over emotional moments of the recent past or actions of a future yet to be written, this is without doubt one of the cleverest tracks off the album and beautifully played too.
Interesting that we come to this piece as we take our first musical footfalls into the second half of the album, it is called Evening Benediction, perhaps a blessing from the divine to help us along on our way, whatever, this is one very classy composition and performance. Marvel has brought a beautiful fluency to our ears with this piece, one to be thoroughly enjoyed.
Grounding - I did this very function a few hours ago, something happened that knocked me off kilter for a short while, so I needed to ground myself; a small meditation and some sage helped then, perhaps I should have played this offering as well, the gentle but firm guidance through the keys here would have been just the medication required, this is one of those offerings that to some may seem easy to perform, but Marvel squeezes such emotion out of each and every note played, that when finished your left truly moved at what you have just received.
Our musical boat is now sailing in the deeper waters of the release and as it does so we can view the next offering in comfort and safety, it is a track so beautifully composed and played and entitled Veiled in Tender Warmth. This piece is like a reconciliation song from a movie, it is like a reassuring arm going around your shoulder when you most need it, and with ease one of the warmest offerings off the album
The exotically entitled offering Breath of the Vagabond is up next, here is a really charming musical narrative, one that has an incredible resonance built into its construction, there is an almost cheeky theme that runs through the piece too, one bathed in a stylish Celtic energy.
One of my personal favourites, music and title, is about to unfurl and called Shifting Sands of Providence. At just short of 5 minutes it is also the longest offering off the album and certainly a composition that is not only emotive, it has a thought provoking moodiness that I completely adored. Life changes, times change, but with a farsighted awareness one can be at peace with this perhaps. Marvels performance here is sublimely crafted on a track that could easily be described as anthem like it is manifestation.
Amazingly we have just touched the hem of our penultimate offering and it is called Sweet Memory Deliver. The lightness of touch here was so delightful to hear and indeed feel. There is such a sweet sensitivity here that is so appreciated and its calming musical narrative is almost romantic at times in its mood, one most also praise the performance on the keys as simply one of the best I have heard from the artist.
The ending of this epic voyage is upon us, but before we depart the artist has one more musical gift of tone and splendour to give us, it is called Glance the Stars. Marvel’s thoughtful and thoroughly professional approach leaves us wanting more with this cheer filled finish, one that is so exhilarating and bright in its construction and of course simply the best way to leave the album possible.
I must admit I was eager to listen to this album, let alone write about it, in my opinion Generous Night, Redeem is Marvels best work so far with ease. Each and every composition has been very carefully composed, but also with an openness of heart and hands of complete honesty. The reflection allowed by the arrangements gives us music to enrich ourselves with, so much so, that at its conclusion, we feel fulfilled from the presentations given and the performances so beautifully played. If you are a fan of the solo piano genre, you are going to be in utter heaven with this album.
Rating: Excellent
Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli
- posted by Dyan Garris on 9/5/2019
Vision Quest Album Review
"Flute and guitar are braided beautifully together here to form a heartfelt heaven on Earth."
_______________
A vision quest is a “hero’s journey” of sorts; a rite-of-passage in Native American/indigenous cultures. Essentially, it is a contemplative spiritual seeking of an alignment or re-alignment of one’s mind, body, and soul, as well as a reconnection with nature, the ancients, and Creator.

“Vision Quest,” the album, is the second studio album by Native American Music Award-winning flutist Bearheart Kokopelli. Guest artist on the album, contributing his stellar guitar performances, is Harald Peterstorfer, an accomplished musician and guitarist. Flute and guitar are braided beautifully together here to form a heartfelt heaven on Earth throughout the entire album.

The quest begins with the outstanding “Can You Tell Me.” A poignant, haunting flute melody calls us provocatively to the journey. An interwoven drumbeat underneath sets us steadily on the course forward. The beautiful guitar, somewhat reminiscent of “Stairway to Heaven,” adds to the wonderful and dreamy feel. The song builds passionately, and at just over six minutes, it’s a perfect genesis to the journey.

Following is “Talking to the Ancestors.” We feel like we are high on a bluff, overlooking eternity, and connecting with all that is, all that was, and all that will ever be. Our vision is that much clearer as we move along.

“Follow The Sun” has a distinct sacred feel to it. This is amazingly beautiful, bringing deep peace to the soul. As well, this feels extremely healing, not just on a personal level, but on a global level as well. I so love this one.

On any journey, we always arrive at some type of crossroads. In “Crossing The River” we are standing at that junction. There is a duality here that is beautifully and effectively expressed by both flute and guitar. Should I stay or should I go? Stay awhile and then know that it is safe to go. Just go forth.

After this, we encounter the awesome “Mojave Sundown.” This is gorgeous, sumptuous, sweet, and so peaceful. It’s hard to describe. It’s something you feel deep in your soul.

Have you ever walked a labyrinth? Ever embarked on a real vision quest? The tranquil “Walking the Sacred Path” speaks to everything you feel on that walk. Overtone singing blends in nicely here and the tones allow for chakra opening and alignment in bigger ways.

Love the guitar and flute together on “Canyon Sunset.” This is a call to a deeper knowing and we are one with the soft sunset colors. Love this. It’s exquisite.

Showcasing versatility and immense talent, “Desert Blues” is wonderful and bluesy with flute and guitar doing their thing and doing it well. This is great.

Title track, “Vision Quest,” is ultra-relaxing and soothing to the soul. A haunting flute melody intertwines well with Harald’s guitar performance. The vibe here feels like a person receiving answers to their quest.

The gorgeous “Medicine Song” is an easy favorite. Flowing and very melodic, this is truly medicine for the soul. Very nice.

The album culminates with the very enjoyable “Can You Tell Me Now.” Intertwined drumbeat, enchanting flute, and splendid guitar make this song quite engaging. We return from the vision quest with wisdom and knowledge that will stand us in good stead for the next part of our journey.

“Vision Quest” by Bearheart Kokopelli is his finest work yet, and we look forward to hearing more.

_________
“Vision Quest” is available everywhere music is streamed and downloaded.
Official artist website: http://www.bearheartkokopelli.com
Harald Peterstorfer’s official artist website: http://www.haraldpeterstorfer.com
Press contact: bearheart@gmx.net
Rating: Excellent
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