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Album Review: Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame
Peter Kater
Cover image of the album Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame by Peter Kater
Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame
Peter Kater
2011 / Point of Light Records
62 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame is Peter Kater’s homage to the four elements and to his love for the Hawaiian Islands and ocean. The music was created for healing, deepening, sanctity, and love and features Kater on piano, synthesizers, and Native American flute. He is joined by Silvina Samuels on cello, James Hutchinson on acoustic bass, David Choy on soprano sax, and Anthony Natividad on bamboo percussion. The “Sea” and “Wind” tracks also include the sounds of whale song. Incredibly soothing and relaxing as well as hauntingly beautiful, this is Peter Kater’s seventh Grammy-Nominated album.

Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame is divided into four almost-equal parts - one for each element - and each is a little more than fifteen minutes in duration. In 2005, Kater recorded a four-CD The Elements Series on Real Music that featured music for one of the elements on each CD - Earth, Fire, Water, and Air - and, like that series, “Flame” and “Wind” are serene and tranquil rather than even remotely dangerous; more like candle flame rather than a raging fire, and more like gentle breezes than hurricane-force winds. It’s really amazing how hypnotic Kater’s music can be and how such a prolific artist continues to produce music that is so fresh and inspired. Since moving to Hawaii, Kater has also developed a reputation as an incredible photographer, and his photos on the cover and inside of the CD jacket are stunning.

“Sea” begins as something of a duet for piano and whale, accompanied by ambient keyboard sounds; the cello enters after a few minutes, casting a magical spell. The slow, easy melody lines intertwine peacefully and effortlessly as the whale continues to sing intermittently. “Flame” begins mysteriously with continuous low cello sounds and light keyboard ambience. Keyboards create a shimmering backdrop for the soft, spare cello and piano; David Choy’s sax completes the trio. Leisurely and sensual, it’s another beauty. Although “Rock” is also very tranquil and soothing, there is a feeling of elegant grandeur. “Wind” begins with piano, keyboards, and whale song, adding Native American flute and sax a little ways into the piece. A more relaxing musical hour would be difficult to find.

Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame is a great choice for music to calm and soothe as well as for an exceptionally nice background for reading, dining, or any other quiet activities. It is available from peterkater.com, Amazon and iTunes. Recommended!
December 24, 2011
This review has been tagged as:
Grammy Nominees
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