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MP3 Alan Tower - Quintessence

A strong eclectic record articulating the personal & ecological journey of Alan Tower from his folk, classical roots to a later world music influence. The most interesting 16 pieces of music 1973-98.

16 MP3 Songs in this album (66:12) !
Related styles: FOLK: Folk-Rock, WORLD: South American

People who are interested in Michael Hedges Jackson Browne R. Carlos Nakai should consider this download.

Quintessence – best acoustic instrumentals & songs 1998
The formation of the acoustic sound of Free Energy is evident in this record of the most interesting 16 pieces of music from 1973-1998. Instrumentals and songs linked together by short audio clips providing an historical backdrop of important events taking place during the year pieces were composed. A strong eclectic record articulating the personal and ecological journey of Free Energy leader Alan Tower from folk & classical roots to a later world music influence. 66 minutes

The music of Alan is all tracings. Like the bards of ancient times they hold up a mirror of our follies. But they also hold up stars and mists and fleeting lights that treats hidden paths out of the darkness. He is a composer of dreams and a gentle artisan of hope.
- Miriam Teresa McGillis, Founder - Genesis Farm and lecturer, Fate of the Earth

Alan Tower brings together innovative technique and real heart to create a new voice for guitar.
-Alex deGrassi - solo guitar composer/performer

Alan Tower is a modern day musical renaissance man, creating both simple and complex compositions from many different musical instruments. His music reminds me of earthy fantasy landscapes with as many axes flowering from the soil.
- Matthew Montfort, leader of Ancient Future

organic world acoustic

For many years I was entranced with writing for solo acoustic guitar with Leo Kottke, Alex deGrassi and Michael Hedges as inspiration or mentors. In the early 90’s, experimenting with a new barring technique, I injured my hand so severely I was not able to play for many years, and now only for short periods. However, this was a gift, as I became drawn to a series of new earth based instruments and began working with the inventors to expand their tonality and resonance in the world. The first was the huaca, a triple chambered clay vessel flute, then the didjeridu and most recently the Hang and Shruti Box. These instruments are made from clay, wood, alloy or agave and provide a natural connection to my work as an environmental activist. The instruments are also based on, or directly from, non-western cultures and use the natural scale vs. equal temperament. The intersection of music, activism and world cultural became complete without a previous plan to integrate these together. In bringing the western compositional approach used in writing for solo guitar to these new instruments, I discovered that there was a wide world open to me in pushing the instruments beyond their current boundaries and became fascinated by experiencing an music based on this natural scale heard in Indian music.

The work of Brian Swimme and Thomas Berry have particularly inspired my vision of music as a voice and catalyst for a more humane sustainable culture. My compositions and unusual sounds were spotlighted in the Ellipsis Arts CD/book Orbitones, Spooharps and Bellowphones, in a series of Tsunami Rangers video’s on sea kayaking, in the 2004 https://www.tradebit.comwalker movie Peter Pan, and in soundtracks for meditation and yoga. I perform solo, in duo, with Ancient Future and SpiritMoves, and in the Cave Concert series overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. (https://www.tradebit.com)

“The music of Alan Tower is all tracings. Like the bards of ancient times he holds up the mirror of our follies. But he also holds up stars and mists and fleeting lights that trace hidden paths out of the darkness. He is a composer of dreams and a gentle artisan of hope.”
- Miriam Teresa McGillis O.P. Founder Genesis Farm Lecturer, Fate of the Earth

“When I listen to the huaca music on Waves I feel as if I am being drawn into an ancient mystery tradition where the secretsare all encoded in the subtle blend of notes, evoking something ineffable from the heart without passing through the mental region and its thoughts”.
- Brian Swimme, Author of The Universe Story, and The Universe is a Green Dragon

A pan-cultural triple chambered clay wind instrument. A radical innovation on the ocarina invented by Sharon Rowell of Berkeley, CA in 1980. The split mouthpiece allows one, two or three chambers to be played together in harmony. With three independent chambers of sound arising from a single breath, the huaca for some seems to trigger a response from strands of DNA long atrophied away - resonating with an eternal place deep in our genes.

An Australian instrument discovered and developed some 35,000 years ago by aboriginal peoples in partnership with termites. It is now played throughout the world. Made from a wide variety of woods and cactus stalks each has a sound unique to the climate it grew in. My approach tends to focus on harmonic melodies above the drone, odd time signatures and driving rhythm.

A new instrument from Swiss makers that is a modern day pan instrument of the new millennium. The amazing sound of the Hang (Hung) has captivated the hearts of both musicians and audiences around the world.

Shruti Box
From the Indian music culture most consider this a simple drone box with bellows, but in reality it is one of the most versatile instruments in the world today and can be played like a drum combined with chord changes. https://www.tradebit.com

Recordings (released on Ancient Future https://www.tradebit.com and Hemi Sync/Monroe Products)are each based on and ecological or cultural theme with the different musical pieces linked together.

10,000 Thunderstorms: the spirit of evolution 2003 remaster original pressing 2000
A mesmerizing sojourn into the cosmos. A 7 year project, this record is a wild ride from the initial flashpoint of creation to the present. A musical telling of the great story of the universe. A sound signature of fired clay, alloy, wood and agave towards a whiff of the spirit of evolution. Like nothing else. 74 minutes

The Eternal Presence 2003
A transcendent four part didjeridu compositions for deep listening, yoga, massage & meditation.
This project was recorded in a 50 yd stone tunnel overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge, which transforms the sound with its radically powerful resonance. The collaboration features master players from South Africa, Mexico & the U.S. on one-of-a-kind agave didjeridu instruments in harmony ranging from 2 ft. to 10 ft. long. 71 minutes

Arktos - crystalline compositions for guitar – solo & duo 2004
11 truly innovative pieces touching on archetypal Arctic elements of raw natural beauty, glaciers, & ocean rhythms as well as the intuition, sorrow & equanimity around preservation of this frontier wilderness. With virtuoso Matthew Montfort on second guitar.

Breath of Creation - solo huaca 2006
A remake of the original Waves recording 2001.
11 Compositions for the haunting beauty of the huaca. The shape of the instrument reminds some of lungs or the heart, while the finish looks ancient and earthy. The sound has a primal quality that can call up memories of a distant past. The overall concept of Waves is the ocean as our own 70% salt water body with human activities creating a growing toxicity, requiring a radical change in perspective about our role here.

Emergence – 2007 Hemi-Sync/Meta Music
Pieces for solo Hang and three Hangs played together on a custom built Triple Hang Altar. The amazing sound of the Hang has captures the hearts of both musicians and audiences worldwide.

Bearing Witness: our vanishing ethnosphere
solo & duo didjeridu 2000
We are in the middle of a mass extinction estimated by experts conservatively to be 5,000 times higher than the expected natural extinction rate. A singe species - ours- is responsible for this sixth extinction crisis in the history of life. Languages are disappearing at five times this rate of species extinction. Each language, is in itself, an entire ecosystem of ideas and intuitions, a watershed of thought, an old growth forest of the mind. The world is in a massive phase of homogenization brought about primarily by relentless corporate values & actions - the global corporatization of world culture - resulting in the tearing apart of indigenous cultures through the mining and destruction of sensitive ecosystem for profit.

Quintessence - 1974-1998 best acoustic instrumentals and songs 1998 Pieces linked together into a whole using short historical audio clips providing a backdrop for the year each piece was composed.

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