Catherine Marie Charlton | River Flow - Sanctuary

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New Age: Relaxation New Age: Healing Moods: Type: Background Music
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River Flow - Sanctuary

by Catherine Marie Charlton

Tranquil and evocative 60 minute solo piano performance, the sequel to the critically acclaimed River Dawn: Piano Meditations
Genre: New Age: Relaxation
Release Date: 

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1. I: Prelude
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2:03 $0.99
2. II: Bluebirds of Happiness
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5:12 $0.99
3. III: On My Wing
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4. IV: Stars Awaken
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5. V: Sleep to Dream
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6. VI: Be Still, My Soul
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5:36 $0.99
7. VII: Release
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8. VIII: Learning to Fly
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11:52 album only
9. IX: Twilight
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10. X: Whispered from Within
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11. XI: River Flow
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12. XII: Epilogue
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
A tranquil and evocative 60 minute uninterrupted solo piano performance, the long-awaited sequel to the critically acclaimed River Dawn: Piano Meditations.

***
The art of improvising for an hour without break is a challenge in concentration and a practice in "release"- letting go of all worries and planning and dreaming- a time to just be with the music, with the piano keys, and to have faith that my experiences and emotions of recent times will pour forth through my fingers, and to trust that the time I have spent on technique will be there for me like a security blanket. It's an adventure with thrill of discovery and yet a profoundly grounding experience as straying thoughts are pulled back to the present moment. When River Flow came to me in September 2012, I was pretty sure that this was the sequel to River Dawn, but I lived with the recording for months before I decided if this was the take to share- after listening hundreds of times in the baby's nursery and in the car, I came to realize that when I hear the music, I feel a calm wave come over me and I feel protected and safe- I have entered a "Sanctuary" as it were- moments of peace amongst the chaos of motherhood. Once I recognized the meaning of the music to me personally, all the track titles and vision for the art flowed forth- as if it had been hidden and then "whispered from within".

My wish for you is that the music becomes your Sanctuary- a safe place to remember to breathe, to release, and to just be.

--Catherine Marie Charlton, February 2013
credits
released 02 April 2013
Music written, performed, and recorded by Catherine Marie Charlton on her Steinway B grand piano, September 6, 2012, 10:01-11:01 PM, while her family was upstairs sleeping.

Mixing and Mastering: Eric Troyer, Charlestown Road Studios
Piano Technician: Gerry Cousins
Design and Illustration: Betsy Molina Mortenson, BetsyMoDesign

Produced by Catherine Marie Charlton

Carina Nebulae image courtesy of : NASA, ESA, N. Smith (University of California Berkeley), and the Hubble Heritage Team (STSCL/AURA)


Reviews


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REVIEWS NEW AGE

Unas melodías que realmente tienen vida!
Grabado ininterrumpidamente en una sola noche en su Steinway B, la pianista y compositora Catherine Marie Charlton lanza River Flow, la continuación de su premiado debut, River Dawn, un trabajo que se componía de piezas improvisadas y que le otorgó numerosos premios y reconocimientos. En este nuevo álbum Charlton improvisa de nuevo, esta vez doce piezas que completan un tiempo de sesenta minutos; fue una hora inagotable, (desde las diez de la noche, hasta las once) en la que el piano sonó libre. En River Flow encontramos música con mayúsculas, un piano que irradia libertad, sin ataduras, donde todas las notas casan perfectamente en unas improvisaciones nacidas en lo profundo, y que las manos de Charlton han sabido recitar.

“Prelude” abre el tierno álbum. Dos minutos de armonía que se trasladará a todas las pistas que componen River Flow. Es imposible no dibujar una sonrisa en nuestro rostro al atender tal maravilla.

Continuando con la melodía que abría el álbum y con un toque más decisivo, Catherine nos presenta “Bluebirds of Happiness”. Sin duda, esta música representa un vuelo, la libertad que lo define. La calidez de la música mantiene al oyente aislado de todo y ensimismado en sus propias ilusiones.

Los silencios; el secreto no sólo es acudir a ellos, es saber exactamente dónde deben aterrizar, entre qué notas deben “sonar”. Son parte importante de la música. En “On My Wing”, Charlton acierta siempre con ellos, es tan perfecta, que en ocasiones sus notas acarician con su brillo y su justo cuidado.

“Stars Awaken” coge vida lentamente en la zona alta del piano. Cada nota aguda tocada dibuja una nueva estrella en el firmamento. Otra grácil pieza que podemos disfrutar en River Flow.

Con un tempo más apropiado para una canción de cuna, nace “Sleep to Dream”. La melodía que hemos escuchado anteriormente, ligeramente modificada e interpretada con un cuidado que crece por momentos, parece que el miedo se apodera de la artista, es sensacional.

“Be Still, My Soul” continúa con la amabilidad y ternura de “Sleep to Dream”, haciendo que la canción de cuna sea más extensa. En esta pieza, podemos disfrutar, de nuevo, del juego entre el silencio y el casi inapreciable toque de notas. Qué mimo!.

Catherine resurge con más ímpetu en su interpretación, esta vez con la pieza “Release”. Más apasionada y colmada de un gran optimismo, “Release” se convierte en una de las piezas más activas y alegres de River Flow.

Casi doce minutos marcan la pieza más extensa del CD, “Learning to Fly”. Una improvisación hecha para ser disfrutada en nuestros sueños. Con elevada atención, Charlton nos invita a surcar los sueños, los extensos cielos de nuestra mente, acompañados de una música que no tiene fin, una música bellísima.

“Twilight” comienza reservada, pero sutil, para más tarde apagar su sonrisa y dejar paso a un carácter más íntimo, personal, minimalista… “Twilight” es el sedante perfecto hecho música.

Un bailoteo de notas altas juegan solitarias en el piano, un sonido diferente y muy bien recibido, así aparece “Whispered from Within”. Otra de las piezas a destacar en River Flow. Un toque diferente, una música perfecta.

“River Flow”, la pieza que da título al álbum. Nuevamente escuchamos la melodía que abría el álbum, recordándonos que dentro de la improvisación, escuchamos una composición de más de una hora. Bajando las escalas por primera vez, Catherine interpreta la ya conocida música en unas notas más bajas, lo que nos advierte de que el fin está próximo.

Qué mejor título para cerrar un álbum que “Epilogue”. Compañera de “Prelude”, “Epilogue” vuelve a jugar con las notas más altas y con el cuidado más extremo para dar el cierre a este álbum compuesto para soñar, para volar… Qué maravilla!.


Y sin enterarnos, el álbum llega a su fin… La unión de todas las piezas, fundido con unas melodías que realmente tienen vida, nos envuelven en una música escrita para ser escuchada con mucha atención. Catherine Marie Charlton no ha grabado un álbum cualquiera, River Flow contiene doce piezas que poseen vida propia; tienen sentimiento, cuidado, pasión y calidez, todo ello gracias a unas manos que han conectado como nunca con el instrumento. River Flow es un álbum muy recomendable.

reviewsnewage.com
10/04/13

Michael Diamond

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)
In 2012, Catherine released a re-mastered and re-packaged 10th Anniversary Edition of her best- selling River Dawn: Piano Meditations. A one-hour uninterrupted solo piano performance, the original release debuted at number 3 on the NAR radio charts. Her new album, River Flow: Sanctuary is actually a sequel to this earlier release. This one follows the same format with the music created spontaneously as one continuous 60-minute performance. Although there are track markers sprinkled throughout to reference different sections of the improvisation. It’s an interesting format in that the markers make it seem like there are separate songs each with its own name and inspiration. However, it is as they say, “all one.” Because the music is meant to be experienced as one piece, I’ll refrain from referencing individually named sections as “songs” like I usually would, and will focus on the bigger picture of the album.

I agree with a description of Catherine’s music from a review on her website that says: “Her music ranges from meditative soundscapes to robust sweeping crescendos with hints of the avant-garde and 20th Century classical abstraction.” The “sanctuary” aspect, as reflected in the title, is like a sonic scent that wafts throughout the performance. Given that, I could see this album having wide appeal for its tranquil, yet evocative flow. While I enjoyed actively listening to it for its detail and nuance, it could also create a perfect ambience for massage, yoga, relaxation, an intimate dinner, etc. There is a nurturing quality to her evolving melodies that listeners will resonate with on an emotional level. On this note, perhaps Catherine should have the last word: “My wish for you is that the music becomes your Sanctuary – a safe place to remember to breathe, to release, and to just be.”

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"River Flow - Sanctuary" is the long-awaited sequel to Catherine Marie Charlton’s 2001 release, "River Dawn." "River Dawn" was conceived as background music and not intended for close, focused listening. I have listened to "River Flow" with full attention as well as in the background and have found that it stands up beautifully to either type of listening - or a combination of the two. A continuous one-hour solo piano improvisation, there are track listings and titles for twelve segments, but the CD plays as one uninterrupted piece. Staying focused while improvising for a full hour has to be extremely difficult, but the music unfolds effortlessly and naturally without areas that lag or seem out of place. The remarkable thing about this album is how calming and soothing it is without being simplistic. Parts of the music are more complex and vibrant than others, but the themes flow together seamlessly, allowing the music to evolve at its own pace. Charlton is a composer/pianist with an extensive background in classical music and jazz as well as new age stylings, bringing a wealth of musical as well as life experience to her music and creating a unique musical voice in a very large world of solo pianists.

Charlton explains in the liner notes that after recording the music, she lived with it for months before deciding to make this the take to release. She explains: “After listening hundreds of times in the baby’s nursery and in the car, I came to realize that when I hear the music, I feel a calm wave come over me and I feel protected and safe - I have entered a ‘Sanctuary’ as it were - moments of peace amongst the chaos of motherhood.” I was surprised to read this after listening to the album several times and feeling that same “calm wave” - a most pleasant sensation! The music also extends a warm and welcoming invitation to breathe, to release, and to just be for awhile.

"River Flow - Sanctuary" is truly an exceptional listening experience, and one that I highly recommend. Great stuff!

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Catherine Marie Charlton’s latest album is aptly named. Like a river, it flows smoothly from beginning to end. And also like a smoothly flowing river, it provides sanctuary from the hectic hustle and bustle of life.

The CD contains one long 60-minute piece composed, performed, and recorded in one take by Charlton on her Steinway B grand piano from 10:01 p.m. to 11:01 p.m. on September 6, 2012, while her family slept upstairs. Perhaps because Charlton made this music during her brood’s nocturnal slumber, the disc has the sound and feel of a late-night set at a quiet, intimate jazz lounge. The composition is engaging and lively while at the same time soothing and tranquil.

Although the album consists of one primary track, the one piece is divided into several parts based on riffs, movements, and themes, much like the tributaries of a river. This allows listeners to find and listen to their favorite parts of the overall tune, even while the whole piece can and is designed to be enjoyed in its entirety.

This is an excellent addition to the catalog of fine solo piano CDs available on the market.