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Streamwalker Import

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, May 1, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Composer/pianist Craig Urquhart continues to create beautiful, compelling solo piano music, finding rich musical language to express profound spiritual connections between his soul and the world around him. Although Urquhart composes with clarity and balance, his creative process doesn’t overwhelm an innate ability to sound fresh and improvised. He has a contemporary voice while drawing upon the inspiration of the great keyboard masters. Streamwalker, his latest album, finds another lovely extension of this unique vision. Streamwalker, released by HeartEarthMusic, is his fifth album. Urquhart reaches a new heights in his artistry by exploring, via his own inner journey, the human soul’s response to the beauty of nature. The melody for the song that became the album’s graceful and serene title track came to Urquhart one day in the spring, while he was literally balancing on the rocks in a winding stream in woods behind a friend’s house in Rhode Island. He chose to bookend this set of 13 compositions with the optimism of Streamwalker and the similarly spirited opener, “Morning Eagle,” to reflect our ability to appreciate that life is indeed a gift. Looking further upstream, Urquhart devotes much of this music to our collective desire to remain reflective yet optimistic. The striking CD cover shot shows a close up of Craig’s right hand gently touching the stream, entering the world in which we interact with our environment. “Streamwalker is about the impact of nature on me as an artist and human being, and the many moods it inspires,” he comments.

Review

With just him and his keyboard, Craig Urquhart continues to evoke themes of reflection with his simplified sophistication. --Michael Debbage, Wind and Wire

Streamwalker is a beautiful collection of original piano solos by Craig Urquhart. What a great album! --Kathy Parsons, Solo Piano Publications

His music reaches through the invisible walls t... with an immeasurable sense of peace and beauty. --Richard Mauro, Sacred World Music

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Morning Eagle
  2. The Astronemer
  3. Silver Stream
  4. The Awakening
  5. Jazzed
  6. Remembrance
  7. Interlude
  8. Reverie
  9. Flow On
  10. Ghost Canyon
  11. Thanksgiving
  12. Impromptu
  13. Streamwalker


Product Details

  • Performer: Craig Urquhart
  • Audio CD (May 1, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Heart Earth Music
  • ASIN: B0009RYGEU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #615,053 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Kathy Parsons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 29, 2007
Format: Audio CD
"Streamwalker" is a beautiful collection of original piano solos by Craig Urquhart that range from gently melodic to more abstract and ambient to jazz. A classically-trained pianist who worked as Leonard Bernstein's personal assistant for the last five years of the legendary composer/conductor's life, Urquhart's music sounds deceptively simple. However the complex harmonies and rhythms as well as Urquhart's emotional and nuanced playing style allow the listener to discover new facets with each listen. Urquhart leaves a lot of open spaces between the notes and phrases, preferring subtlety and expression over showy pianistics, making this CD a very satisfying experience on a variety of levels.

All of the tracks on "Streamwalker" has its own charm, but I do have some favorites. The CD opens with"Morning Eagle," a sublimely peaceful piece that was inspired by watching eagles flying overhead while on a canoe trip. It is easy to picture these powerful birds effortlessly gliding through the skies, riding the wind currents. "The Astronomer" is a quietly passionate piece reflecting the awe of losing oneself while looking at the vastness of the night sky. The open feeling of this piece and the deeply emotional expression make this a real standout. "The Awakening" is a piece Urquhart composed as a birthday gift for Leonard Bernstein, and is a bit more classical. Urquhart usually includes one bluesy or jazzy piece on his albums, and "Jazzed" is that selection on this album. Showing a different side of his playing and composing, these pieces tend to be a bit whimsical and fun, lightening the mood considerably. "Interlude" is several shades darker and more reflective - gently melodic and very evocative.
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Format: Audio CD
It was a rare overcast day in Southern California, the perfect climate to review the new music of the mellow madman Craig Urquhart. This is the follow up to the solid Evocation and Urquhart once more evokes reflective and understated moments with his graceful and eloquent piano work. The music continues to be embroidered with sadness and sobriety, yet also embellished with style and sophistication, layered with a touch of hope.

Much like its predecessor, Streamwalker does not take the open road to viable commercialism. Craig continues to walk down the road less traveled using the less obvious melodies, draping it with his trademark lamentations, and yet never lacking in self-assurance. This makes the listening experience more demanding. And while the rewards are not immediate, with the patience of Job, the results are worth it.

That said, Craig does a magnificent job with the sequencing of the tracks, opening and closing the album with the most optimistic songs of the album. "Morning Eagle" starts us off with the word picture of a soaring eagle hanging in its balance as it glides on firm but gentle winds. The playful title track that closes out the cd is also one of the albums more sanguine moments. However, "The Awakening" also comes close with the deep and lush performance that we have come to expect from Craig. Written as a birthday gift to his friend and mentor Leonard Bernstein, he is not the only recipient who receives joy from this particular birthday present. This is a vulnerable moment bringing back memories of the early days of David Lanz. It is here along with hauntingly beautiful "Flow On" that we really see the flowing melodies that Craig is ever so capable of playing.
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