Music with Nature: Impressions of the Rocky Mountains

Music with Nature: Impressions of the Rocky Mountains

by Steve Haun
     
 
There's no doubt that award-winning composer and keyboard artist Steve Haun loves the Rockies. This lush and lyrical musical tribute -- with keyboards, piano, live chamber ensemble, guitars, Celtic whistles, and vocals -- captures both the rugged heights of craggy mountains and the peaceful harmony of a pond. Between musical tracks are

Overview

There's no doubt that award-winning composer and keyboard artist Steve Haun loves the Rockies. This lush and lyrical musical tribute -- with keyboards, piano, live chamber ensemble, guitars, Celtic whistles, and vocals -- captures both the rugged heights of craggy mountains and the peaceful harmony of a pond. Between musical tracks are crystalline nature recordings of threatening thunder, peaceful crickets, migrating birds, waterfalls, brooks, lovelorn elk, and woodpeckers. Haun's impressionistic music, reminiscent of Ralph Vaughan Williams's pastoral compositions, is not overly sentimental; "Enchanted Places" offers an intriguing musical struggle, so the hint of angels on "An Answered Prayer" is very welcome. The piano solos are evocative of a crisp morning warming to the sun, while "Peak to Peak" captures the glorious rainbow vistas from a mountaintop. Many nature/music CDs don't go the distance and are suitable only for the background, but Impressions of the Rocky Mountains is an impressive musical achievement that matches the almost holy magnificence of this region. The final "Gateway to Grandeur" captures the noble core of the mountains, and you'll end the album feeling like you've walked through "God's country."

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jonathan Widran
Unlike a lot of new age-oriented musicians who create a musical tribute to nature based on a glorious visit, composer/keyboardist Haun grew up near Boulder, CO, and knows his Rockies intimately. Not only does his awe for the sweeping landscape shine through with magnificently melodic piano and keyboard expressions that build into majestic orchestral passion statements, but he lends a more natural touch of authenticity by including actual nature sounds after each musical track. Between "Visions of Paradise" and "Gateway to Grandeur," for instance, he inserts a soundscape with forest ambience and a distant canyon wind. He follows the gentle piano solo "Simple Abundance" with water sounds like a babbling brook and distant waterfall. It's almost as if he's giving the listener his own interpretation of the landscape, then letting the listener experience the scene as his ears first heard it. The average ear or stereo system might not detect it, but both series of sounds are processed using Wave Dance Spatial Audio Technology, providing a true three-dimensional journey. So listen closely. A number of great string orchestra players help Haun achieve his visions, and fellow Coloradoan Nelson Rangell's flute adds a feeling of flight to "Visions of Paradise" and "Gateway to Grandeur." Bob Rebholz' pennywhistle is used on one of the nature tracks to create a call-of-the-wild effect, and on the subsequent musical track "Peak to Peak" to dramatic effect. Great photos and liner notes too.

Product Details

Release Date:
03/21/2000
Label:
Snh Records
UPC:
0791022106824
catalogNumber:
2001

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