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Album Review: Air
Peter Kater
Cover image of the album Air by Peter Kater
Peter Kater
2005 / Real Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Air is one of the four-part Elements Series by pianist/composer Peter Kater. It is interesting to note that Water and Fire are completely acoustic, and Earth and Air are much more ambient and embellished with synthesizers and sequencers. Air features Kater on piano, vocals, and electronics; Paul McCandless on penny whistles, oboe, and soprano saxophone; and Richard Hardy on bamboo and soprano flutes. The CD is comprised of four lengthy pieces that were created to transport the listener to a place of beauty and peace. Some of the music was composed prior to the recording, and some was improvised - it is virtually impossible to tell which is which. Kater certainly shares the spotlight, allowing McCandless and Hardy to add their own magic to the creative process.

“Wings of Sound” is more than twenty minutes of soothing ambient music that, although calm, has the sweep of a soundtrack - perhaps to accompany a sunset or watching birds effortlessly floating in the sky. “Flying Dream” is 16 1/2 minutes of bliss. Ambient and ethereal, it’s so easy to just let your mind drift away. The wordless vocals and layers of synth sounds envelop the minimalist piano and carry you off to Dreamland. “All Souls” is mostly electronic, but the flutes, whistles, and piano occasionally bring the heavenly sounds back to earth. “Heaven’s Gate” sustains the mood of serenity with mostly piano and synth; McCandless weaves in his magical oboe in the last few minutes.

The “Elements Series” is an amazing achievement in peaceful, uplifting music. Peter Kater has been one of my favorite artists for several years, and these CDs are all excellent. Treat yourself to a relaxing vacation for the mind without having to buy gas or a plane ticket! Air and the rest of the Elements Series is widely available online and in retail stores that carry Real Music’s releases. Recommended.
November 10, 2005