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From MainlyPiano

  • Jul 18, 2010
"Satyagraha: Songs of the Earth" is a fascinating new album from Jeffrey Fisher, a multi-talented artist, musician, composer, healer, poet, and teacher, just to name a few of his passions. "Satyagraha" translates to "the power of truth" and was Gandhi's term for non-violent resistance; it is also the name of Fisher's retreat in the San Jacinto Mountains of Southern California. The lead instrument on this recording is a 160-year-old contrabass, an instrument that is not often given featured status unless it is to improvise a riff in a combo. Fisher's solo bass is especially interesting to me because I played bass in school and often played cello duets with my best friend. I remember how melodic and soothing the bass can be with its deep, rich sonorities - much like a cello, but lower in pitch. Fisher also performs on Navaho flutes, keyboards, and percussion in this collection.

Fisher's musical background is amazing in its diversity. He has played jazz and blues with many artists over the years as well as new age, rock, neo-classical, folk, and rhythm and blues. Some of his music is designed for healing and massage therapy, but he has also composed for string quartet, solo piano, marching band, jazz band and vocals, and others. He says that in his years of playing and listening, he has felt and heard "an underlying connection with the earth, the specific area that music came from." For this album, Fisher tapped into that feeling directly - "not just in mimicking the sounds of birds and coyotes but in portraying the landscape musically." (Quotes are from the liner notes.) Taking this natural process to an extraordinary length, the computer that Fisher used in the recording the music is powered by the sun! What an inspiration! Even the beautiful cover artwork was done by Fisher, a watercolorist and oil painter who has had his work shown in museums and galleries.

The music of "Satyagraha" is a collection of eight tracks that range in length from just under three minutes to just over nineteen. Some of the music is very peaceful and serene while other pieces are more intense, reflecting the various moods and intensities of nature. The instrumentation is layered and in some of the music, it is interesting to focus on one instrument for awhile and then move on to another - much like listening to the various sounds of nature - the flow of a river, the call of a bird, the rush of the wind. These layered sounds can create some challenging listening at times, but they depict an artist's interpretation of his surroundings in a way that is refreshing, deeply felt, and completely honest. Check it out!

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Kathy Parsons ()
Ranked #60
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
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Composer Jeffrey Fisher's unique new albumSatyagraha - Songs of the Earth, is an outstanding collection of meditative, ambient and healing, instrumental music, featuring his 160 year old Bass Violin. Satyagraha, the power of truth, was Gandhi's term for non-violent resistance, and the name of Fisher's retreat in the San Jacinto Mountains where he composed and recorded this album. Jeffrey also plays Native American Flute and keyboards. His compositions and instrumentation depict both the peacefulness and intensity of nature, the colors and textures of the land and reveals musical influences from the entire planet. Jeffrey Fisher is a well known author, Tai Chi teacher, painter and healer. Jeffrey is continuously touring the USA, performing from Satyagraha and lecturing at various centers, stores and other venues throughout the year. His healing work incorporates Reiki, Acupressure, Reflexology and Auricular Medicine. He is a museum-shown watercolorist, poet and speaker on wellness, nutrition and the principles of Tai Chi Chuan. His other albums includeOcean of Consciousness - the Bhagavad Gita Suite,Triumph of the Spiritand the award winningFairy Tales-Musicfrom the Ballet 'Hans Christian Andersen.'
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Label: Two Birds Flying Publishing, Healing Music of the Southwest
Artist: Jeffrey Fisher
Release Date: June 15, 2010

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