Jan Seiden,
Memory of Time
(Flute Journey, 2008)

The Native American flute can only play a certain number of notes, so a solo album using the instrument would tend to be limited. On these 12 tracks, however, Jan Seiden comes up with a surprising variety of sounds. The only other musicians are Jason Introwitz on softly played conga at points, and Peter Phippen on Haitian marimbula on one track.

Seiden uses flutes in all different keys, including bass and double-octave models. She also uses the Anasazi flute, which has a different scale, clay ocarinas and even bird-wing bone whistles.

As with all such CDs, the overall feeling is mellow and contemplative. But with all her different varieties of instruments, the moods vary and live up to her descriptions of each track.

For example, "Remembrance" has the explanation "hardship and hope, a people's journey towards peace." The use of a bass flute makes this a more stately tune, while the use of an Anasazi A flute in "Butterfly" helps to make it "light and joyful" as "butterflies dance from flower to flower."

Seiden also double tracks herself effectively for pleasant harmony on one of her compositions, "Midnight Sun."

If you like the slow, quiet ambience of Native American flute music, you will certainly want to include this CD in your collection.

[ visit the artist's website ]

review by
Dave Howell

14 February 2009

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