Konrad Rhee,
Night Flight - A Separate Reality
(Condor, 2001)

Night Flight is a remarkable collection of contemporary Native American flute music with accompaniment by several instruments, most notably guitars and percussion. Many of these pieces have a Latin tone, while "Sea of Sand" and "Night Flight" seem distinctly Celtic. The background sound effects are wonderfully and contain a wide variety of nature sounds, especially bird calls and songs. All selections are upbeat and lively.

There are bonus tracks on this CD that feature Konrad Rhee singing: "Freedom Dance," "Crystalino" and "Escape." He demonstrates the same type of control over his voice that he possesses with his flute. This man is multi-talented and gifted!

Rhee plays bamboo flutes, which produce a light, airy sound when compared to heavier wood flutes. He has extremely interesting special effects on these flutes. He does an "almost rip." It is not a true rip because the notes are distinguishable, yet they are not fully tongued and they are too fast to be a slur. They follow the rip pattern. This is a beautiful technique that causes you to listen again and again.

Rhee is superbly accomplished in all the common flute techniques: rips, slurs, barks, breath-through notes, trills and staccato notes. He readily changes from the light and airy sound to full-bodied tone and exercises precision control over his volume to manipulate the listener's emotions and imagination. He has an extremely slow trill that is otherworldly!

My favorite of the selections was "Night Flight," the one that represents a shaman's flight through the night sky in bird form. This is the one that best demonstrates Rhee's talent and skill. It has a most interesting breath-through section and is set to an upbeat tempo. But "Firestorm" runs a very close second. It showcases different techniques and features a duet with contrasting and layered melodies that will mesmerize you. There is a drum solo in "The Door of the Wind" that made me jump up and dance. If you like "Wipe Out," buy Night Flight for this one drum solo!

This CD has a healing quality. It will lift your stress away and leave you feeling relaxed, energized and vibrant. I highly suggest that to get the full effect of Rhee's music, you prepare a comfortable spot, start the music playing, turn off the lights, lie back and close your eyes. If you are used to meditating, this music will carry you to different places.

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 28 June 2003

Buy it from Amazon.com.