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generous night, redeem by Ryan Marvel
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/11/2019
Music to enrich you
I spent many an hour reflecting forward through Marvels last release that lies within my collection, and here I am once more on the borderlands of a new dimension of solo piano by the artist called Generous Night, Redeem, and another musical voyage calls to me from the inner realms of tone and sound.
We start this sojourn through this new offering with a piece called Lunar Melody, a really powerful opener, one that seemed to provoke many thoughts through this intrigued mind of mine. There was such a delicious depth to this piece that made it the perfect opener and also the sound track for many a moonlight perambulation.
The ranks of the solo piano genre are jam packed with talent and artists of all standards, but Marvel stands out as one of those special performers, one that has the ability to manifest something special with a thoughtful and crafted performance; music like this next composition called Whispered Words, oh how I wished this had been longer, I really fell in love with the major, minor narrative and chord structures on this beautiful opus.
On Crying Heart at Sleepless Dawn we have a truly moving arrangement, one that has a real sense of sadness upon its shoulders; there is a mournful refrain that seems almost inconsolable at times and also one that is really addictive to listen to as well, Marvels skill set on the piano here leaves us in heightened anticipation of what is going to come next.
What does actually come next is one of the finest slices of piano I have heard from Marvel, and called Fleeting Passage. There is a wonderful sense of calmness built into the narrative here, much in the way you can glimpse a moment of a sun kissed beauty in autumn, but its presence is fleeting, but always memorable, this performance by Marvel is one of those I never wanted to end.
We are now in the full current of the release and as we reach this piece called Overwhelm, it certainly feels that way, a fast running offering that feels like a fresh winter stream is about to burst its banks is upon us; this graphic musical narrative is incredibly compelling and thoroughly enjoyable at each and every twist and turn, a wonderfully inventive piece from Marvel indeed.
One of the hardest things to gaze upon is The Face of Truth; this undeniable moment of life’s rich tapestry is something quite brutal at times, but it can also bring with it a sense of freedom as well. Here Marvel explores that narrative with a performance that is solemn, mood filled, reflective and above all else brutally honest in its manifestation, a thoughtful musical prose indeed, one tinged with a little hope at the very end as well.
At the half way marker we come across the title track and that of course is Generous Night, Redeem. Ryan Marvel is proving to be a master builder of fluent reflective music, and on this very composition I would say that is so true and even to film score standard. One could imagine taking a moonlit walk whilst listening to this offering, perhaps whilst going over emotional moments of the recent past or actions of a future yet to be written, this is without doubt one of the cleverest tracks off the album and beautifully played too.
Interesting that we come to this piece as we take our first musical footfalls into the second half of the album, it is called Evening Benediction, perhaps a blessing from the divine to help us along on our way, whatever, this is one very classy composition and performance. Marvel has brought a beautiful fluency to our ears with this piece, one to be thoroughly enjoyed.
Grounding - I did this very function a few hours ago, something happened that knocked me off kilter for a short while, so I needed to ground myself; a small meditation and some sage helped then, perhaps I should have played this offering as well, the gentle but firm guidance through the keys here would have been just the medication required, this is one of those offerings that to some may seem easy to perform, but Marvel squeezes such emotion out of each and every note played, that when finished your left truly moved at what you have just received.
Our musical boat is now sailing in the deeper waters of the release and as it does so we can view the next offering in comfort and safety, it is a track so beautifully composed and played and entitled Veiled in Tender Warmth. This piece is like a reconciliation song from a movie, it is like a reassuring arm going around your shoulder when you most need it, and with ease one of the warmest offerings off the album
The exotically entitled offering Breath of the Vagabond is up next, here is a really charming musical narrative, one that has an incredible resonance built into its construction, there is an almost cheeky theme that runs through the piece too, one bathed in a stylish Celtic energy.
One of my personal favourites, music and title, is about to unfurl and called Shifting Sands of Providence. At just short of 5 minutes it is also the longest offering off the album and certainly a composition that is not only emotive, it has a thought provoking moodiness that I completely adored. Life changes, times change, but with a farsighted awareness one can be at peace with this perhaps. Marvels performance here is sublimely crafted on a track that could easily be described as anthem like it is manifestation.
Amazingly we have just touched the hem of our penultimate offering and it is called Sweet Memory Deliver. The lightness of touch here was so delightful to hear and indeed feel. There is such a sweet sensitivity here that is so appreciated and its calming musical narrative is almost romantic at times in its mood, one most also praise the performance on the keys as simply one of the best I have heard from the artist.
The ending of this epic voyage is upon us, but before we depart the artist has one more musical gift of tone and splendour to give us, it is called Glance the Stars. Marvel’s thoughtful and thoroughly professional approach leaves us wanting more with this cheer filled finish, one that is so exhilarating and bright in its construction and of course simply the best way to leave the album possible.
I must admit I was eager to listen to this album, let alone write about it, in my opinion Generous Night, Redeem is Marvels best work so far with ease. Each and every composition has been very carefully composed, but also with an openness of heart and hands of complete honesty. The reflection allowed by the arrangements gives us music to enrich ourselves with, so much so, that at its conclusion, we feel fulfilled from the presentations given and the performances so beautifully played. If you are a fan of the solo piano genre, you are going to be in utter heaven with this album.
Rating: Excellent
Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli
- posted by Dyan Garris on 9/5/2019
Vision Quest Album Review
"Flute and guitar are braided beautifully together here to form a heartfelt heaven on Earth."
_______________
A vision quest is a “hero’s journey” of sorts; a rite-of-passage in Native American/indigenous cultures. Essentially, it is a contemplative spiritual seeking of an alignment or re-alignment of one’s mind, body, and soul, as well as a reconnection with nature, the ancients, and Creator.

“Vision Quest,” the album, is the second studio album by Native American Music Award-winning flutist Bearheart Kokopelli. Guest artist on the album, contributing his stellar guitar performances, is Harald Peterstorfer, an accomplished musician and guitarist. Flute and guitar are braided beautifully together here to form a heartfelt heaven on Earth throughout the entire album.

The quest begins with the outstanding “Can You Tell Me.” A poignant, haunting flute melody calls us provocatively to the journey. An interwoven drumbeat underneath sets us steadily on the course forward. The beautiful guitar, somewhat reminiscent of “Stairway to Heaven,” adds to the wonderful and dreamy feel. The song builds passionately, and at just over six minutes, it’s a perfect genesis to the journey.

Following is “Talking to the Ancestors.” We feel like we are high on a bluff, overlooking eternity, and connecting with all that is, all that was, and all that will ever be. Our vision is that much clearer as we move along.

“Follow The Sun” has a distinct sacred feel to it. This is amazingly beautiful, bringing deep peace to the soul. As well, this feels extremely healing, not just on a personal level, but on a global level as well. I so love this one.

On any journey, we always arrive at some type of crossroads. In “Crossing The River” we are standing at that junction. There is a duality here that is beautifully and effectively expressed by both flute and guitar. Should I stay or should I go? Stay awhile and then know that it is safe to go. Just go forth.

After this, we encounter the awesome “Mojave Sundown.” This is gorgeous, sumptuous, sweet, and so peaceful. It’s hard to describe. It’s something you feel deep in your soul.

Have you ever walked a labyrinth? Ever embarked on a real vision quest? The tranquil “Walking the Sacred Path” speaks to everything you feel on that walk. Overtone singing blends in nicely here and the tones allow for chakra opening and alignment in bigger ways.

Love the guitar and flute together on “Canyon Sunset.” This is a call to a deeper knowing and we are one with the soft sunset colors. Love this. It’s exquisite.

Showcasing versatility and immense talent, “Desert Blues” is wonderful and bluesy with flute and guitar doing their thing and doing it well. This is great.

Title track, “Vision Quest,” is ultra-relaxing and soothing to the soul. A haunting flute melody intertwines well with Harald’s guitar performance. The vibe here feels like a person receiving answers to their quest.

The gorgeous “Medicine Song” is an easy favorite. Flowing and very melodic, this is truly medicine for the soul. Very nice.

The album culminates with the very enjoyable “Can You Tell Me Now.” Intertwined drumbeat, enchanting flute, and splendid guitar make this song quite engaging. We return from the vision quest with wisdom and knowledge that will stand us in good stead for the next part of our journey.

“Vision Quest” by Bearheart Kokopelli is his finest work yet, and we look forward to hearing more.

_________
“Vision Quest” is available everywhere music is streamed and downloaded.
Official artist website: http://www.bearheartkokopelli.com
Harald Peterstorfer’s official artist website: http://www.haraldpeterstorfer.com
Press contact: bearheart@gmx.net
Rating: Excellent
Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/4/2019
One of the best Native American styled albums
Much can be said about Bearheart Kokopelli’s subtle mastery of the flute and on this brand new offering “Vision Quest” we have probably the artists best work to date. Using the guitar talents of the very classy Harald Peterstorfer, the musician has manifested a work of art that is utterly beautiful with every note played.
Our musical sojourn takes place within the comforting arms of an outstanding opening piece called Can You Tell Me, at times emotive, at times moving, but always passionate and colourful. You can usually get a feel for an album after hearing the basis of composition from the first track, and if this is the case, then this is an album that is going to be breath taking, and it is.
Talking to the Ancestors is up next a piece that embodies everything that I would like to do one day with my guitar and my wife’s flute. The performance is rich in texture and incredibly fluent as well, the mournful reflective guitar is matched with such perfection and charming narrative on flute. The slight energy increase in the latter half of this arrangement was noticeable, but beautifully done and strangely enough reminded me of some of the more acoustic work of Led Zeppelin, on a Stairway to Heaven perhaps.
On Follow the Sun we have a slightly different offering, one that has a little mystical sense about its construction. This magical composition sparkled with the brightness of a warm summer’s day, and at times the flute of the artist reminded me of the imploring nature of the UK’s leading flute performer Nigel Shaw. Peterstorfer eloquent performance added such a layer of smoothness and quality to the piece, and Kokopelli’s delicate nature brought us a true stand out composition indeed.
I adore compositions about rivers and here we are, about to walk over the musical bridge and sit on the banks of one as we listen to Crossing the River. The song has a built in sense of slow movement, as if we are there, watching the life giving water flow under our bridge of tone and timbre. This is a clever piece, beautifully played and arranged with some quite complex moments of musical mastery on both flute and guitar to enjoy.
It wasn’t until I played Mojave Sundown, that I realised just how crafting an artist Kokopelli actually is, his tenderness on this track is to be honest, stunning. One can picture in the mind’s eye a sunset with ease, we’re literally there to watch the artist paint a lush and colourful canvas of calmness and tranquillity, this is one of the warmest offerings on the album, and one that will no doubt be played many times over, as we watch yet another loving sunset.
We are at the half way juncture now and I have realised just what a wonderfully beautiful experience I am having; that would continue with the longest offering of the album called Walking the Sacred Path, something I think I have done for a few years now, as we walk, we create our own energetic footprint. The harmony with which the artist and Peterstorfer manifest this piece is truly a halcyon moment of musical genius. A slight native chant can be heard in the distance and the deft and delicate heartbeat of a drum can be heard on the musical horizon, this is a legendary offering indeed.
The cry of the flute can now be heard echoing through and over the mountains as we watch a Canyon Sunset, something I would love to do one day. Peterstorfer and his guitar now join Kokopelli as the piece seems to create its own reality. For me this track felt like a celebration of life, the happiness when one realises just how wealthy and rich they are, when their gifts are as simple as a new sunrise and a glorious sunset, a wonderful example of symbiosis in musical partnership can be found here also.
There is a powerful eastern element in this next piece that is balanced by a clever western styled performance on guitar that manifests another really clever opus of music. We seemed to cross a few genres here as well; one could feel the blues and a hint of Jazz too. Desert Blues is one of those pieces that you just fall in love with and find yourself whistling around the home randomly, a fun offering, but also one that is quite ambient in its own way as well.
I’m rubbing my hands with glee as the title tracks start to play, this is always a special moment for me, this is the ultimate canvas on which the artist has created the overall narrative of the album on. Vision Quest, a delightful eight minute plus opus, a musical vision so grand and complex, but a composition incredibly well performed by two artists who clearly are in touch with their muses. This arrangement offers up a meditative creation of bliss, one that leaves such a positive footprint of skilful mastery, within the minds eye of us always ever eager listeners.
The penultimate track off the album is the light and heartfelt piece Medicine Song. Bearheart Kokopelli is at his best in creating one of the sweetest melodies off the album. The soothing guitar creates the backdrop for Kokopelli’s sublime moment of stylish manifestation and leaves us with such a wonderful emotional energy of happiness at its conclusion, I could see with ease this composition being released as a single, I am sure it would be a big hit.
We finish now with a return to the opening title, almost, in Can You Tell Me Now. This is almost like summing up the feelings and all the emotions that have gone into making this release possible, a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment can be heard in this last truly beautiful offering.
Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli is in my view his best work by far, the artist has really created something so good here that I hope it will go down as a land mark album for all time to come. I never wanted this journey to end and I hope you won’t either. Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli has to be one of the best Native American styled flute and guitar based albums I have ever heard, and I urge you to make this part of your collection as well, your soul will love you for it.
Rating: Excellent
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