Release Date: 13 September 2011
Aptly named, Gary Stroutsos' OASIS offers listeners a tranquil sanctuary of soft flute music that is both earthy and Zen-like.
The music on this album was recorded impromptu in one single take, thus resulting in a very personal meditation through music that is perfect for healing and finding inner peace.
Stroutsos plays the pieces using a combination of rim and bass flutes. His spot-on use of silence and the low tones of the various flutes give the music an Asian flair, and often the sound is very reminiscent of a bansuri flute.
The soundscape is mostly solo flute, though ocean waves are incorporated into "Forgotten Seas" and a low sitar drone swirls in the backdrop of "Dharma." The rest of the songs offer warm, buttery flute tones and stark silences, making for a profound and deeply hypnotic musical experience.
For Oasis, his third recording for White Swan Records, woodwind master Gary Stroutsos draws from and advances the global tradition of flute artistry, breathing a pervading sense of calm into this deep, relaxing suite of meditative flute music.
All the music for Oasis was recorded in one take, 'in the moment,' during two late night studio sessions inside the Pacific Northwest. Using only a concert silver bass flute and Southwest desert rim flutes, Stroutsos recorded about a dozen pieces -- over an album's worth of material. Taken together, the nine tracks selected for Oasis reflect the artist's many moods.
The challenge of recording solo pushed Stroutsos to explore not only his inner landscape, but his surrounding environment as well. In addition to the sea, always a grand source of inspiration for the flautist, he considered the many religious traditions that incorporate the architecture of their houses of worship into their music. He approached the recording studio as a sacred space, treating it as an equal partner and musical collaborator.
Oasis also gave Stroutsos the freedom to further his mastery of his instrument. As he explains,'I have never recorded a concert bass flute before and the sound has been inside my head for a long time, so I gave it a go. The sound contrasts nicely with the haunting yet plaintive Southwest desert rim flutes. Each instrument reflects a different mood and space, giving the music a nice balance and, I hope, a sense of an oasis (or sanctuary).'
Indeed, this collection of 'tone poems' is a true celebration of the natural world, and offers a quiet respite from the cacophony of the present.
1 Forgotten Seas 13:35
2 Empty Sky 02:30
3 By Moonlight 04:09
4 Fourth World 03:32
5 Adobe Walls 03:21
6 Zuni 05:15
7 Crescent Moon 05:26
8 Kachina Dancer 06:13
9 Dharma 13:55
About the Author
With ten albums to his credit, the name Gary Stroutsos has become an established name in the world of meditative flute music. Having his music featured on the Ken Burns' PBS Documentary Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corps of Discovery lead to a command performance at the White House for President Bill Clinton. This exposure, along with features on the NPR syndicated program 'Echoes' (with John Diliberto) and Skitch Henderson's 'New York Evening at the Pops' have taken Gary into the homes of many Americans. With a complete musical background in American Jazz, Afro-Cuban and American Indian music, Gary incorporates his divergent styles to push the boundaries of all known genres - weaving delicate melodies into a global landscape.
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