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Andreas Vollenweider: Quiet Places

Robin B James By

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Andreas Vollenweider: Quiet Places
Music for the heart and mind, bliss and joy for the ears and spirit. It has been 10 years since the last album from Andreas Vollenweider and now he emerges with new music—three new albums, the first is Quiet Places. The new album has 10 tracks and features several homages to ancient arts as well as more contemporary studies, secret doors into worlds of respite and relaxation. "Pygmalion" was in Greek mythology the Muse of sacred poetry, sacred hymn, dance, and eloquence as well as agriculture. The sound is slow and thoughtful, establishing a meditation on the mysteries, then swings into different time signatures before returning to the slower dance. "Polyhymina" comes from the Greek word "poly" meaning "many" and "hymnos," which means "praise," the cello and harp keep elevating their dialog, circular motions exploring new passageways before settling into a peaceful conclusion. "The Pyramidians" might refer to the uppermost piece or capstone of an Egyptian pyramid or obelisk. The harp creates swaying triangles of swirling fantasy. The ninth track,"Wanderung," is a delightful hike through various piano and cello landscapes, stepping along hilltops and beside deep lakes. Overall, Quiet Places presents a satisfying range of music for your listening pleasure, from a supremely talented and unique musician who brings his heart to your ears with a gift from the classical and improvisational realms he is famous for inventing with his joyful spirit.

Andreas Vollenweider was born in 1953, the son of Hans Vollenweider (1918—1993). His mother was a gifted painter. His style has often been labeled as Instrumental. Jazz, Classical, and New Age, but really what he is doing what people have been doing for thousands of years, which is making his own style of music. He is a self-taught, a multi-instrumentalist. He often plays a harp that he has modified to produce a wider range of sounds and a more percussive attack. The left hand mostly plays the bass and the accompanying chords, very much like on a piano, while the right hand plucks the strings similar to a classical guitar. He also makes his own strings of silver- wound steel.

Beginning around 1976 he had a trio that toured extensively. He was playing a wide array of instruments, such as guitars, harpsichord, sax, flutes, fiddle as well as the Fender Rhodes stage piano, and experimenting with various string instruments. In 1981 at the Montreux Jazz Festival he performed together with four percussionists accompanying one harp as "Andreas Vollenweider & Friends." 18 albums have been released since 1980 and over 15 million records have been sold worldwide. He is also known for his music for film, mainly nature documentaries. He has shown a great commitment to environmental issues as well as helping to popularize World Music, recording with an eclectic mix of guest artists, including vocalists Bobby McFerrin and Carly Simon, trombonist Ray Anderson, fiddler Mindy Jostyn, Brazilian singer-songwriter Milton Nascimento, South African jazz pianist Abdullah Ibrahim. During the pandemic he has been performing "mini concerts" from his studio in Zurich which can be found on his You Tube channel as well as his website https://www.vollenweider.com.

Track Listing

Pygmalion; Polyhymina; The Pyramidians; Entangled; Come to the Quiet Place; Venus in the Mirror; Bella Smiling; Wanderung; Sculpture; Fields of Blue

Personnel

Andreas Vollenweider: harp; Isabel Gehweiler: cello; Walter Keiser: drums.

Album information

Title: Quiet Places | Year Released: 2020 | Record Label: MIG Music

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