Twilight Serenade Peter Sterling 2013 / Harp Magic Music 53’18”
Subtitled "Music For Dreaming," Peter Sterling’s "Twilight Serenade" is harp music at its most relaxing. I sat down to write this review a couple of days ago and had to stop because I kept falling asleep! (This is intended to be a compliment!) We’ll see if I make it through this time! The seven tracks on "Twilight Serenade" were the result of two nights of recording in 2009 with shaman Howard Lipp, following several months of intensive and transformational work that Sterling did with Lipp and his wife. Quoting Sterling: “Inspiration for this music was born from these deep soul journey experiences which brought me to many transcendental and visionary states. My intention was to somehow recall and access this quantum field of being and bring forth music as an expression of it.” "Twilight Serenade" was from the first night of recording and 2012’s "Patterns of Reflection" was from the second (and went on to be nominated for ZMR’s Best Contemporary Instrumental CD for the year). All seven tracks were created from improvisations as Sterling allowed the spirit of the moment to flow through him unencumbered. The song sequence on the album is the same as it was that night and Sterling spent the next two years orchestrating the tracks. He appears on electric harp, keyboards, percussion, and voice; Crystal Bliss appears on alchemy crystal bowls, Dov on electric violin, Richard Hardy on silver and bamboo flutes, and Fitz-Hugh Jenkins on guitars.
"Twilight Serenade" begins with the title track, a ten-minute piece that meanders a bit the first few minutes as Sterling searches for the direction the music wants to go. After that, the peaceful, gently rocking rhythm and graceful melody flow seamlessly and effortlessly. “Walk With Me” is much more ambient with the harp playing in a rather circular fashion with guitar, voices, and atmospheric sounds creating a mood of absolute peace and relaxation. “A Mother’s Love” overflows with warmth and tenderness as the harp gently touches the heart. Strings and subtle keyboard washes give the piece an ethereal feeling that is soothing and comforting. On “Isle of Light,” the harp seems to be emulating flickering beams of light dancing on peaceful water. “Dream Catcher Suite” is an ambitious 17 1/2 minute piece the seems to feature all of the contributing artists and bits of a multitude of musical styles. Because of the length of the piece, it is leisurely and organic, evolving and moving in any direction the spirit leads.
"Twilight Serenade" is a very calming and soothing musical journey that will undoubtedly earn Peter Sterling many more accolades. It is available from www.harpmagic.com, Amazon, and CD Baby.
I have been a private piano teacher since 1981. I have been writing reviews for a long time, and have my own review and interview site, MainlyPiano.com. I teach piano in person and online, so now I can … more