After producing several albums over the last two decades I found that the role of music in my life was taking on a new meaning, a new motivation. I found myself wanting to listen to music that turned inward, was more reflective, introspective and calming.
I began composing in that vein, using smooth movements of chords of relative simplicity, never wanting to introduce more dissonance than was necessary to keep the music intriguing yet approachable.
Instead of using the sounds of nature's wild creatures in my music that I had become known for, I found the most evocative sound from nature to be the sound of the wind. From the gentle winds of the pine forests of North Florida to the more powerful yet less dense winds above the tree line in the Wind River Mountains of Wyoming, the wind speaks to me in unknowable voices. Several of the compositions in this compilation of music use these winds as a setting and the music feels as though it is taking place in one of this land's last remote places.
Over the years my musical interests have turned to wanting to learn more about so called "primitive" instruments such as flutes and drums made from natural materials-the basic musical instruments of all cultures past and present. I learned how to make flutes from our native river cane and bamboo. I also learned to make drums from cypress and tupelo trees hollowed by nature with drumheads of buffalo and elk rawhide.
In this collection of compositions the saxophone plays a smaller role compared to my earlier albums and is used less as a rhythm and blues or jazz instrument and more as a classical instrument, a product of my classical training from many years ago. In addition to the saxophones and handmade flutes I have introduced the Uilleann Pipes or Irish bagpipes which I have been learning to play over the last several years. The Duduk, an ancient double reed woodwind instrument from the Middle East is also used in The Hunter and blends easily with the reedy sounds of the saxophones.
Large deep voiced pentatonic bamboo flutes, bamboo overtone flutes up to 7 feet in length and much smaller diatonic river cane and bamboo flutes are used throughout this album. To me the sounds of these flutes represent thought forms or communications from the wild creatures and early humans. I call the sounds of these flutes the Voices of Wild Beings, as if the wind has taken shape and become the messenger conveying ancient, primal feelings from a place within where words are not adequate.
Listening to Transitions has become a part of my everyday life and when I feel the need to be calmed or want to be more reflective this music soothes me and transports me to that place of quiet wonder. I sincerely hope the listener will be moved in the same way.