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Alba - Meditations on Sunrise

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Audio CD, June 1, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Alba is a Spanish word that means dawn or daybreak. I chose it to represent this recording because when we convened for the sessions that eventually became this album, the music that emerged had a new age, early-morning sentiment. And, since this is my first CD, this album represents something of a sunrise in my musical life.

This music celebrates improvisation, intention, and most of all spontaneity. The music is almost completely impromptu composed in the moment it was performed. With the exception of one track, Saygita s Dawn, we had no written music in front of us and no preconceived notion of key, tonality, rhythm, or length. In each case we took a deep breath, looked at each other, and starting playing. In some cases we improvised over previously recorded material or composed tracks by layering sections on top of each other. For the most part, you re hearing single takes from start to finish.

I hope you find this music relaxing, inspiring, motivating, and overall something you ll look forward to experiencing like a glorious sunrise!

The title track, Alba, is an improvisation over the Japanese Koto played by Eric Miller and the Swiss Hang (a metal hand drum) played by Ron Kravitz.

The second track, Noesis, is a Greek word meaning the ability to sense or know something immediately. I recorded each of the five musical layers.

Next, Eclectacy is music of sheer joy it combines piano, Irish flute, and cello, and ends with a lot of victorious energy.

The plucked instrument in Tonkori Dreams is a lesser-known Japanese instrument, and this track is another overdub, improvised over an existing track.

Whispering Sunrise is the result of in-the-moment improvisation by Peter Dubner on keyboard and Clint Goss on Native American Flute during a break in our recording session. Thankfully, the recording system was still running!

There are four String Silhouettes, each a duet with violin and cello, and each expressing a type of musical energy inspired largely by the Czech composer Zoltán Kodály, who composed a famous cello and violin duet. You may hear some reminiscences of Aaron Copland in this track as well.

Blue Sunrise is a dark, brooding duet, but tinged with a jazzy feel.

Celestial Winter, another cello/piano duet, contrasts the blues feeling with an expansive tonality.

Saygita s Dawn is based on a melody composed by Peter Dubner. You ll hear the traditional Indian tamboura, which is a drone note that sets the key.

Winter Muse was composed by Clint Goss, who layered several tracks on top of each other to brilliant effect. It s just two of us playing, though it sounds like a full string orchestra.

Another Place is more upbeat, with Peter s piano introduction setting the basic energy level.

On Electric Slam Funk, I switched to an electric cello, and the music that emerged has a very different feel from everything that came before. We then took it further and added a funk rhythm. Clearly the sun has risen!

In Dark Winter Embers, we re back in the deep cold tundra - recorded with Saskia Lane and Jessie Reagen Mann in the sanctuary of the B nai Jeshurun synagogue just before a service.

Chances Are is joyful and victorious. The melodies are spontaneous, but to me, it sounds like a film score.

First Release was just that the first track we recorded. When we finished it, we knew we had started on a fantastic musical journey, which now closes out this album.

The last String Silhouette is a bonus track just for kicks. I think you ll be able to tell that David and I were punch drunk on music at this point, and you can taste our joy!

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Alba (feat. Eric Miller & Ron Kravitz) 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Noesis 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Eclectacy (feat. Peter Dubner, David Rudge & Clint Goss) 3:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Tonkori Dreams (feat. David Rudge, Clint Goss, Umeko Ando & Jim Oshinsky) 3:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Whispering Sunrise (feat. Peter Dubner & Clint Goss) 2:58$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. String Silhouette No. 1 (feat. David Rudge) 4:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Blue Sunrise (feat. Peter Dubner) 3:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. String Silhouette No. 2 (feat. David Rudge) 1:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Celestial Winter (feat. Peter Dubner) 3:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Saygita's Dawn (feat. Peter Dubner, David Rudge & Clint Goss) 5:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Winter Muse (feat. David Rudge) 1:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Another Place (feat. Peter Dubner & David Rudge) 2:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. String Silhouette No. 3 (feat. David Rudge) 1:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Electric Slam Funk (feat. Peter Dubner & David Rudge) 4:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Dark Winter Embers (feat. Saskia Lane & Jessie Reagen Mann) 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Chances Are (feat. Peter Dubner & David Rudge) 3:51$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. First Release (feat. Peter Dubner & David Rudge) 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. String Silhouette No. 4 (feat. David Rudge) 1:26$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Alba - Meditations on Sunrise
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