Flying is a 75 minute soundtrack to life or whatever you want it to be. The music is inspired by my experiences in nature, particularly from a life changing trip to Antarctica last year. The 14 tracks range from solo bass and minimalist piano to fully produced pieces with layers of bowed melodies, percussion, organ and voice.
The CD cases were handmade in the mountains of Nepal, using traditional Nepalese Lokta paper. Each case was hand silk-screened and tied shut with small, beeswax-coated brown thread, woven through orange beads. (See video above)
To order a CD in the Nepalese packaging or to download Flying please visit my webstore.
Whether heard at yoga sessions or during reflective or climatic scenes in independent films, active ambient music provides the mostly instrumental soundtrack to life’s emotionally contemplative times. Double bassist, composer, and Berklee College of Music alumnus Garth Stevenson joins the likes of Brian Eno, Sigur Rós, and David Sylvian as a practitioner of this ethereal yet accessible genre. The western Canadian native’s Flying opens with the nearly 13-minute “Dawn”, a constantly unfolding exploration of longing strings and subtle electronics. “Horizon” follows with soothing, wordless crooning and quiet treble piano accompaniment. “Flux” introduces sensitive percussion underneath warmly kinetic keyboard and piano lines, while “The Southern Sea” offers the aural equivalent of effortlessly swimming underwater without ever needing to come up for air. – iTunes
“Garth’s music timelessly traverses through our bodies, hearts, minds, and back again.” – Elena Brower
June 14, 2011. Flying is feature on the Main Page and Alternative page on iTunes!
All compositions by Garth Stevenson
Garth Stevenson: Double Bass, Organ, Synth, Electronics
Sunny Kim: Voice on My Secret Place—Ziv Ravitz: Percussion on East and Kyoto—Kyoko Kitamura: Voice on Kyoto
Recorded and Mixed by Garth Stevenson—Mastered by Ryan Ferreira
Photography by Mayumi Nashida and Ada Kulesza
Listen to selections from Alpine below.
East My Secret Place Alpine
Review by Robert Nairn in Double Bassist Magazine.
“This first release by Canadian bassist and composer Garth Stevenson is one of the most strikingly beautiful CD/DVD packages to cross my desk. The music on the CD is all original compositions, in most cases evolved from recorded improvisations while the DVD features seven improvisations filmed live on location in picturesque Harriman State Park and Rockaway Beach in New York. The discs themselves are housed in cases hand made from birch bark collected in New York and New Hampshire.
Musically, there are a wide diversity of musical influences one can hear/feel in this music – there are moments that recall many of the earlier solo improvised soundscapes of Grillo, Leandre, Kowald, Holland, and Phillips ranging from ambient to highly energized ostinatos. Many of the tracks are meditative and hypnotic, while some of the processed sounds and harmonics resonate like a sitar or electric guitar and conjure up moments of the Beatles from the 60s. The track East is missing only George Harrison’s vocals while the second track on the CD My Secret Place reminds me of something that Bjork could easily have included on one of her albums. Robert Fripp and Brian Eno also come to mind.
The textures he builds using acoustic and electric sounds, (bass and keyboards), pedals, overdubbed layering and loops are complex and evocative. The production is clear and vibrant and highly detailed. It was recorded almost entirely in his home studio in Brooklyn.
Stevenson has had an extensive and diverse career for a 26 year old. A full scholarship to Berklee, where he double majored in performance and composition led to engagements with Joe Lovano and Bob Moses among many others. He has been based in New York since 2004 appearing with a huge range of projects and ensembles, and becoming a key figure in the experimental and electronic music scenes there. This first release is and excellent album, both highly original and very accessible. I’m looking forward to hearing him live with his 5.1 surround sound system and will look forward eagerly to his next release. – Review by Robert Nairn.”
Associate Professor, Penn State University
Adjunct Faculty, The Juilliard School
President, International Society of Bassists
Principal Double Bass, Handel and Haydn Society
Alpine Reviewed in Yoga Journal
Alpine, by Garth Stevenson. Self-published; garthstevenson.com
Garth Stevenson’s Alpine is an extraordinary example of nada yoga, the yoga of sound.
By Jeremy Lehrer
Stevenson, an accomplished double-bass player and a principal figure in the ex-perimental and improvised music scene, has gained a large yogi following for his live “soundtracks” performed during yoga classes in New York City and Boston. On this, his debut solo CD, Stevenson demonstrates the power of sound to open the heart. “Grandfather,” a rich track that hits high and low registers, is full of melancholy and ardent yearning. “My Secret Place,” one of two songs to feature vocals, evokes a magical wonderland of trees covered in crystals after an ice storm.
Nature is a consistent theme throughout, with song titles such as “Bear Swamp Pond,” “Wind Speaks,” and “Sunrise” de-scribing the thematic terrain that Stevenson explores. The CD package includes a DVD of solo videos that he filmed himself, taking his 150-year-old bass and recording equipment into remote areas of state parks in New York. And the CD sleeve is handmade by Stevenson using materials such as birch bark collected during outings into the wild. Alpine is particularly suitable for yogis seeking music to accompany meditative reflection or Savasana. The album offers a refuge, as it evokes that still, calm space we seek to create, and remain in, through our practice