NIGHTINGALE, the solo recording debut of the orchestral flutist-turned-improvisational artist Sarah Swersey, cuts straight to the heart. These lullabies are far from being mere sleep aids for little ones. They're also ideal accompaniment for yoga (Sarah is a Kripalu- and Anusara-trained teacher), massage, meditation, and deep relaxation. And the gorgeous flute playing on the CD most definitely stands up to active listening as well.
Half of the tracks in this enchanting collection are based on traditional melodies from cultures around the world: the Yiddish children's song "Alef Bas," the Sephardic lullaby "A La Nana y La Buba," and "Arrorro," a graceful Spanish song that Sarah used to perform in concert halls around Europe during her days as principal flutist with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain. True to her classical roots, Sarah also plays sweet variations on the Brahms Lullaby.
Perhaps most engaging, though, are Sarah's original compositions, particularly the emotionally charged 16-minute "Nina's Peace," dedicated to a dear cousin who died young. Another original, "Mozaique," evokes the sounds, sights, and smells of a family trip to Israel when Sarah was 7 years old.
NIGHTINGALE was co-produced by Grammy Award winner David Darling, the innovative cellist who has featured Sarah's flute on several of his recordings.
* * *
What the MEDIA say about NIGHTINGALE:
"Music that can wake you up to a peaceful place in the heart."
--Derk Richardson, Yoga Journal
"Why should babies be the only ones to enjoy a good lullaby?"
--Bob Genovesi, Body + Soul magazine
"One of my favorite albums of the year."
--Bill Binkelman, KFAI-FM, Minneapolis
"Sarah Swersey's flute sings like a nightingale. A wonderful discovery!"
--Lynne Remick, Rambles.net
"Moment by moment, Swersey's soulful technique creates sculptures of sound."
--Larry Parnass, Daily Hampshire Gazette, Northampton, Mass.
"Spellbinding lullabies for children and adults alike. A perfect gift."
--Mara Applebaum, New Age Retailer
What other MUSICIANS say:
"There are times when a beautiful lullaby is the best of all music, and these are all beautiful."
--Jimmie Dale Gilmore, three-time Grammy Award nominee
"Often wistful, often childlike (but in no way childish), the virtue of the music is its evocative simplicity."
--Ray Lynch, three-time Billboard Award winner ("Deep Breakfast")
"Flawless technique and tasteful selections bring the listener to a serene and restful place amidst the noise and haste."
--Thomasina, traditional folk musician
More acclaim for NIGHTINGALE:
"Listen to this CD and try to *not* feel your breath deepen, your body soften, and your mind relax and begin to melt. Go ahead. I dare you."
--Sudhir Jonathan Foust, former president of Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health
"If you've been looking for the perfect music to play during relaxation, look no further. Sarah's tranquil, transporting improvisations on solo flute (also ideal for the little ones' bedtime) ... are evocative and enchanting."
--Tresca Weinstein, Kripalu Yoga Teachers Association newsletter
* * *
About the Artist:
Sarah Swersey has performed extensively in the United States and Europe as a solo, chamber and orchestral musician. A native New Yorker, she spent seven years as principal flutist with the Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife in the Canary Islands, Spain. Since returning to the United States, she has performed at the Lincoln Center Festival, Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, and the Tanglewood Music Festival. She studied musical improvisation in David Darling's organization, Music for People, and since has taught improv skills to young conservatory students at Kinhaven, Greenwood and the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra's summer camps. Sarah has been featured on three of Darling's recordings, "Balance," "Bliss," and "Open Window," and David also co-produced NIGHTINGALE. Sarah holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Yale School of Music. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, where she performs classical recitals and is one half of the jazz-and-classical ensemble Duo Fusion.