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Winter Dreams for Christmas
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This is exquisite mood music, a rich palette of calming colors and textured aural tapestries. The flute and guitar are well matched. The Native American flute can sound somewhat stark and lonely on its own; the acoustic strings provide a warm foundation and beautiful balance. Nakai is world-famous for his mastery of the cedar flute, which comes to life in his capable hands. Interestingly, Nakai began his musical career as a trumpeter (my instrument of choice many moons ago), but a car accident destroyed his embouchure, and this led to his fabulously successful flute career. It's funny how life (and fate) can steer us in radically different directions for unexpected reasons.
Winter Dreams covers nine ancient carols and one Eaton/Nakai original, The First Snowfall, a flowing and evocative piece that will have those early flakes blowing through your consciousness. On the closing cut, Silent Night, the Navajo Chorale provides faraway harmonies that suggest a dreamlike state. It is an appropriate finale to an elegantly-crafted album.
R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton make the familiar become brand spankin' new all over again. The innovative arrangements and artful execution on Winter Dreams are guaranteed to make visions of sugar plums dance in your head!
(Reviewed in 2007)
More From the liner notes:
As a Dine (Navajo), R. Carlos Nakai's world has two seasons. Summer is the explosive recreation of the natural world balanced by the quiet of the winter season. This is the time to reassess personal experiences in the journey of life and to respect all that has been created for survival and enjoyment by the Yei, Coyote and the First People.
So, too, in the Christian celebration of the birth of Christ, the darkest time of the year is the time of introspection, of renewal of hope and faith, of thanksgiving for the gifts of love.
In this spirit, R. Carlos Nakai and guitarist William Eaton arranged these beautiful Christmas songs from Europe. It is as if these melodies carried themselves from the Old World across the New... to the southwestern deserts where the wind and solitude imbued them with a new enchantment...
It is the dream of R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton that the peace and goodwill expressed in these timeless melodies lives throughout the year for people of all cultures and faiths.
From the Website:
Of Navajo-Ute heritage, R. Carlos Nakai is the world's premier performer of the Native American flute. Originally trained in classical trumpet and music theory, Nakai was given a traditional cedar wood flute as a gift and challenged to see what he could do with it.
Since 1983, he has released over 35 albums on the Canyon label. In addition to his solo appearances throughout the United States, Europe, and Japan, Nakai has worked with guitarist William Eaton, flutist Paul Horn, composers James DeMars and Phillip Glass and various symphony orchestras. --By Carol Swanson - ChristmasReviews website
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the songs are more improvisational than others and may not be to everyone's taste if you're expecting a more traditional collection of holiday songs and carols, but all are strikingly beautiful and reflective with a recognizable melody. I love the Navajo chorus on "Silent Night"--it's worth buying the CD just for this inspiring new version of a beloved song.
The album evokes the some of the same sense of wonder and contemplation as Loreena McKennitt's Christmas album "To Drive the Cold Winter Away." Hearing the Native American cedar flute carrying the melody and accompaniment was a very pleasant surprise. The cedar flute is hauntingly beautiful and mysterious, much like the holiday season itself.
I am not familiar with William Eaton, but his guitar playing is superb, gentle and radiant, shimmering like the lights on a Christmas tree. It is a perfect compliment to the flutework of R. Carlos Nakai.
"Winter Dreams" is among my most cherished Christmas albums but it is appropriate year-round as it is a deeply spiritual and beautiful CD. It captures the magic of the first snowfall, the winter silence and crisp air, peace and comfort. Buy this for yourself if you seek a little wonder, contemplation, and peace in your holiday season. Happy Holidays.
gift at work and its been part of my Christmas music for the end of the year
holidays. Beautiful, haunting music created by Carlos Nakai and
William Eaton with the theme of introspection and renewal at
its core. Something about this music, I guess the southwestern
desert landscapes and the open space created in the music just
make this a classic. Timeless melodies and familar songs created
by master musicans featuring flute, guitar, lyre and harp guitar. Unforgettable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This album has been a seasonal favorite since it came out. I have given it as a Christmas gift more than once. All instrumental and very peaceful. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Ann Hibbard
I have enjoyed this CD and am going to be sharing it with a friend as a Christmas gift.Published 3 months ago by Gene Moan
Had this as a cassette. Yes, I still played the cassette until I wore it out. Love this CDPublished 13 months ago by D. A. Behney
This has been a favorite of my for some time. It gives me such nontraditional Holiday joy and peace. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Evan Hyde
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