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Album Review: Immerse
Timothy Wenzel
Cover image of the album Immerse by Timothy Wenzel
Immerse
Timothy Wenzel
2023 / Coyote Flow Music LLC
56 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Immerse is the ninth album from composer/pianist/keyboardist Timothy Wenzel and the fifth of his albums that I've reviewed - something I always look forward to! Timothy explains some of his motivations for the music on the album: "I often write in winter, when I can walk the countryside alone, especially at night and then return to the warm studio. So being alone is one theme: solitude, time to think and all those things a card-carrying introvert needs for happiness and productivity." A stellar cast of supporting musicians includes Josie Quick on violin (10 tracks), Tom Carleno on acoustic guitar (9 tracks), David Cullen on electric guitar (2 tracks), Graham Cullen on cello (11 tracks), Jill Haley on English horn (2 tracks) and Jeff Haynes on percussion (5 tracks). Corin Nelsen produced, mixed, mastered, and did some of the recording. In addition to composing the twelve tracks and playing keyboards and synthesizers, Timothy took the album photographs and designed the cover artwork. It's a beautiful package as well as an outstanding album!

Immerse begins with "The Gale," an intense piece with quite a backstory. In short, the music was composed as the soundtrack to a video Timothy took recently of a major storm on Lake Michigan with gale-force winds and a temperature near freezing. With careful planning, he was able to film the huge waves as they slammed against a lighthouse. It's well-worth watching the video to fully understand where the music came from. "Hello My Friend" is much lighter and happier with kind of a Celtic feeling. The title track begins with an acoustic guitar solo before becoming a trio (mostly) for guitar, violin and piano with wordless choral vocals. The cover photo is taken close to where the video for "The Gale" was shot, but shows the lake in a totally different light - literally - as does the music. Warm, calm and very peaceful, it's a beauty! Timothy has been fascinated with ice for most of his life, and the piece called "Ice" delivers a very definite chill yet remains peaceful and magical. "Far From Here" recalls a trip to Bolivia: "Never have we had an experience like that: at once so physically demanding yet so indescribably rewarding." Guitar, cello and violin team up with the piano to tell the peaceful story. "Taliesin" refers to the home Frank Lloyd Wright built for his family in Wisconsin. Tragically, the home was destroyed by arson, but Wright rebuilt it - twice. The piece is mournful yet reflects strength and determination. Jill Haley's English horn is haunting, as is the cello. "Rivers, Hills and Sky" has a beautiful Celtic, "folkie" spirit and is an ode to Timothy's second home in West Virginia. "Water, Light and Joy" was inspired by the International Fountain in Seattle. Performed with a quartet of piano/keyboards, guitar, cello and violin, the music expresses peace, optimism and a sense freedom - gorgeous! The album closes with "Thank You for Your Smile," which Timothy calls "Simply a love song..." The full ensemble except Jeff Haynes (percussion) plays on this heartwarming piece that is sure to bring a smile to your own face!

Immerse is another wonderful musical experience from Timothy Wenzel! It is available as CDs, downloads and streaming on Amazon, streaming and downloads from Apple Music/iTunes and from many streaming platforms including Spotify. Highly recommended!
January 6, 2024
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