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Album Review: Cloud Hands
Peter Kater
Cover image of the album Cloud Hands by Peter Kater
Cloud Hands
Peter Kater
2008 / Point of Light Records
53 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Cloud Hands is the fifth installment in Peter Kater’s “Healing Series,” and this time the CD cover states that the music is for “Tai Chi, Qigong, Yoga, Walking, and All Spiritual/Physical Disciplinary Arts.” Over his long and prolific career, Peter Kater has produced an astonishing amount of music, but he always seems to return to creating healing music for the mind, body, and spirit. The first two volumes in the Healing Series were originally released in 1997 and 1998, and then the third, fourth, and fifth volumes were released on the fall of 2008. Cloud Hands features Peter Kater on piano, synth, and sequencing; Richard Hardy on bamboo flutes; Mike Hamilton on acoustic guitars; and Pete Korpela and Michael Moses Tirsch on percussion. Gentle rhythms give this musical meditation a heartbeat while the flute, piano, and guitars weave their peaceful magic.

The title track begins with gongs along with exotic flute and percussion. Native American flutes and drums create a sense of vast open space and stillness. As the piano enters, the piece takes on a cinematic sweep that suggests images of the American Plains. I love this piece! “Bowls” includes singing bowls and a strong Middle Eastern influence. Most of the instrumentation is flute, guitar, and quiet percussion with synth washes in the background - ambient and calming. “Flutterby” is a peaceful spring morning set to music - pastel flowers and butterflies gracefully floating on a breeze. Wordless vocals are added to the mix, bringing a new dimension to the sound. “Shift In Time” is hypnotic with a repeated piano note pattern, gentle rhythm, and synth washes that give it a shimmer. “Heart Mudra” floats on an elegant cloud of soothing flute, guitar, and piano accompanied by exotic percussion instruments - this one could melt rocks! “Gentle Breeze” creates the feeling of a perfect day - fresh, serene, and lovely. “Bamboo Dance” begins with exotic sounds from flute, chimes, piano, and quiet percussion. The first 2 1/2 minutes are an interesting ambient interplay between these instruments, and then the piece becomes more of a “dance” for flute and piano with gentle rhythms in the background. Beautiful!

As always, Peter Kater and crew have outdone themselves. Cloud Hands is available from peterkater.com, amazon.com, cdbaby.com, and iTunes. Recommended!
June 22, 2009
More reviews of Peter Kater albums
Cover image of the album Etheria by Peter Kater
2015
Review by Kathy Parsons