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QUIET FIRE marks the first meeting of three remarkable artists, each distinguished for shaping (and reshaping) the face of contemporary world music. The woodwinds of master flautist Gary Stroutsos; William Eaton’s handcrafted stringed instruments; pan-global percussion by Will Clipman—disparate elements fused together in a meditative celebration of newfound common ground.More than an exchange between musical minds, however, QUIET FIRE represents a new nexus of sound. Koto-harp guitar, Chinese bamboo Xiao flute, water drums, udu and other exotic instruments don’t just mingle; they merge. The result: earfuls of open sky and whispering willows, a natural sound to unwind the mind and pacify the soul.Attuned to the soothing hum of well-being, QUIET FIRE is a musical journey impelled by an innate sensitivity. To luxuriate in its depth is to gaze into the reflecting pool of the heart. The view will ignite your imagination and restore your spirit.
For Oasis, his third recording for White Swan Records, woodwind master Gary Stroutsos draws from and advances the global tradition of flute artistry, breathing a pervading sense of calm into this deep, relaxing suite of meditative flute music. All the music for Oasis was recorded in one take, “in the moment,” during two late night studio sessions inside the Pacific Northwest. Using only a concert silver bass flute and Southwest desert rim flutes, Stroutsos recorded about a dozen pieces -- over an album’s worth of material. Taken together, the nine tracks selected for Oasis reflect the artist’s many moods. The challenge of recording solo pushed Stroutsos to explore not only his inner landscape, but his surrounding environment as well. In addition to the sea, always a grand source of inspiration for the flautist, he considered the many religious traditions that incorporate the architecture of their houses of worship into their music. He approached the recording studio as a sacred space, treating it as an equal partner and musical collaborator. Oasis also gave Stroutsos the freedom to further his mastery of his instrument. As he explains,”I have never recorded a concert bass flute before and the sound has been inside my head for a long time, so I gave it a go. The sound contrasts nicely with the haunting yet plaintive Southwest desert rim flutes. Each instrument reflects a different mood and space, giving the music a nice balance and, I hope, a sense of an oasis (or sanctuary).” Indeed, this collection of “tone poems” is a true celebration of the natural world, and offers a quiet respite from the cacophony of the present.
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