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A I R - the latest album!



A I R - the new Vollenweider-Album

We are very exited to present to you AIR, a very special new album with a very special history; it came as a surprise, even for Andreas himself! For 2008/9 he had planned to take time off to focus on other projects than music.

Andreas: "I actually was going to make room for my passion for storytelling and I was already in the midst of an intense writing process, when suddenly I felt an unbridled desire to play music rising. So I ended up writing during the day and at night I went to my studio, to completely lose myself in the playing, for hours, very much the same way as in the very beginning, no strategy, no concrete purpose, no plan. After some time it became very obvious; something wanted to come out and I should follow its 'calling'. I love the line 'man makes plans for the amusement of the gods...', how true this many times is ;-)."

Andreas began to call his friends and invited them for a spontaneous gathering in his studio... and in less than two weeks AIR was recorded.

 

A I R – the name says it all


• Music, passionately relaxed and uncompromisingly beautiful
• Music, tailor-made for people of our times who

- feel the need to take a deep breath again

- are longing to slow down

- need a break, a moment to themselves

- are looking for a protective distance from the overwhelming flood of impressions, expectations and pressures from all sides ...

- need a little time to reflect, to ponder

• Music with a gentle breeze blowing through its delicate sound tapestries

Vollenweider: “Listening to music is a perfect ‘excuse’ to take a little time-out from our lives’ crazy merry-go-round of speed, pressure and expectations. Listening to music is a ‘permitted time-out’, so to speak, for which nobody would criticize us … music – used this way – is like a secret door to the very personal inner space, the home of our emotions, dreams and hopes. We invite you to visit this space, in fact we strongly recommend it! After all, that’s the reason why we recorded AIR.”

AIR’s strength is its consistently lyrical atmosphere. Describing the character of this basic atmosphere, terms such as ‘poetical, lyrical, melodic, personal, intimate, close, relaxed, tender, dreamy, sensual, acoustic, live’ come to mind…

There are no floating, artificial synthesizer sound tapestries on AIR, everything was recorded live by exceptional musicians who do not care about acrobatic and garrulous virtuosity and know that you have to allow ample space for that mysterious tension to build up in the pauses between the notes.

Vollenweider: “Our approach on AIR was to actually really play just very few notes and only imagine or hint at the rest of the music. This created a lot of air to breathe.”

AIR hits the pulse of our times by providing an effective remedy for breathlessness.

More than three decades ago, Vollenweider reinvented harp-playing. His sound is unique in the world. In many of the songs on AIR, he no longer plays his harp as an accompanying instrument, but brings it more to the fore. Largely without extensive orchestral sonic landscapes, the subtlety, refinement and musicality of his innovative playing are allowed to be truly appreciated.

Additional instruments, such as drums, percussions, lap steel guitar, flugelhorn, baritone saxophone, ocarina and voices are used very sparingly and played in a highly sensitive way.

Special Guest: Collaborations have always been a part of Vollenweider’s musical world. Luciano Pavarotti, Milton Nascimento, Abdullah Ibrahim, Bobby McFerrin, Carly Simon, Zucchero, Angelo Branduardi, Ray Anderson... it’s a long list of illustrious artists from very different musical cultures who Andreas Vollenweider has worked with.

AIR
certainly doesn’t take second place to these collaborations: this time Xavier Naidoo, a highly respected German Singer, is Vollenweider’s guest, contributing his musical charisma. An encounter on MTV Unplugged – Andreas had been invited as Naidoo’s musical guest – spawned a fruitful cooperation which can be heard on the song “The Golden Dancing Shoes”.


The songs and the collaborators

 

1. Airdance 4:25
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp, breath & vocal percussion, Greek double flute
Daniel Schenker; trumpet

2. Prescious Smile 3:18
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp, voice
Andi Pupato; percussion
Kaspar Rast; drums
Daniel Pezzotti; violoncello
Noëmi & Keli; giggler

3. Oxygenia & Icarus 1:31
Andreas Vollenweider; gu-cheng (Chinese harp)
Steve Gorn; bansoori (Indian bamboo flute)

4. Windseeds 4:03
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp, vocals, bass flute
Kaspar Rast; drums
Andi Pupato; percussion
Daniel Schenker; flugelhorn
Sandro Friedrich; fujara (Slovak overtone flute)

5. Milonga Magica (thematic improvisation) 4:05
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp

6. World Inside a Grain of Sand 5:13
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp
Prem Joshua; sitar
Raul Sengupta; tabla

7. Tumbleweed Dreams 5:24
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp, hammond organ
Max Laesser; lap steel guitars
Daniel Kueffer; baritone saxophone
Andi Pupato; percussion
Kaspar Rast; drums
Uncle Frank; gas station, Mankha Desert, Nevada
Ionelia, his Romanian wife; geese, chicken and rabbits
Cesar; their blind dog
Tumbleweeds and passing cars; anonymous

8. One Breath 4:18
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp, ocarina (Italian clay flute)
Daniel Kueffer; bass clarinet
Kaspar Rast; drums

9. Keep on Dancing (for heavens sake!) 4:34
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp
Max Laesser; lap steel guitars
Kaspar Rast; drums
Andi Pupato; percussion

10. Liebeslied 2:11
Andreas Vollenweider; gu-cheng (Chinese harp)

11. Siesta 3:25
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp
Kaspar Rast; drums
Max Laesser; electric guitar, baritone guitar
Daniel Schenker; trumpet

12. The Golden Dancing Shoes 5:26
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp, vocals
Xavier Naidoo; beat box, vocals
Andi Pupato; percussion
Kaspar Rast; drums
Prem Joshua; sitar
Raul Sengupta; tabla
Fredrik Gille; frame drum
Friends & neighbors; choir
Golden eagle; himself

13. Air – epilogue
4:37
Andreas Vollenweider; avoharp
Daniel Pezzotti; violoncello


Bonus Video: the CD also incudes "Airdance", the video clip in 3 video formats, to be watched on your computer.
You can also find several videos in the video-section of "Music" on this website;
video clip, video trailer of the album, a 37 minute interview

Album distribution: AIR is being distributed through EDEL Records and its affiliates worldwide, except USA and Canada.

 

Important note: many of you may be surprised to realise, that another drummer is drumming on the album AIR. Here's the story, a story only life can write...:

Just a few days before the recording would start, Walter took his daughters motorbike and drove to the village nearby for some shopping. Unfortunately he had an accident and he broke his shoulder. For many month he was unable to play.

Because it was very clear to everyone, that AIR just had to be recorded, we were all looking for another drummer. We didn't have to look too far, because we already had someone in mind, who we knew already for some time and who's filigreed and differentiated way of playing would match to this music: Kaspar Rast. Like our percussionist Andi Pupato, Kaspar Rast is also a member of the groupe RONIN.

Kaspar was interested and was even able to make room in his schedule. A few days later the recording sessions started, for the first time in almost thirty years without Walter...

Just to clarify: Walter is back playing and still is member of our 'classic' AVAF Quartett.


the core band on AIR:(from left) Max Laesser; lap steel guitars, Kaspar Rast; drums, AV, Andi Pupato; percussion


Daniel Kuffer, musical travel companian since many years. On AIR he plays bass clarinet and baritone saxophone


A very special guest: Xavier Naidoo, young German poet and singer, enjoying the status of a true hero in his home country. The two met for the first time, when Xavier invited Andreas to perform with him at his MTV unplugged show. Only a few weeks later the two creatively met again, this time at Andrea's studio at the lake of Zurich.


Another gathering at the lake; Prem Joshua, Raul Sengupta and Andreas enjoyed the free playing and it was almost like watching as the musical elements were mysteriously falling into place.


Raul Sengupta, tabla playing companion of Prem Joshua. He is a true virtuoso on the very demanding instrument, the tabla


Daniel Schenker plays a very cool trumpet and flugelhorn on this album. This is the first time, this instrument has found its way into this music, supporting the breathing character of AIR


A very short musical fragment, has almost the refreshing effect of a sorbet in a multi course meal. The minitaure song was recorded a very long time ago, during the session for the album Dancing with the Lion at the legendary Hit Factory Studios in New York, summer 1988. Steve Gorn is a pioneer among the few westerners, who play this archaic and simple instrument, which allows a rich variety of sounds... if you know how to get it out ;-)


Daniel Pezzotti has contributed his golden-warm cello sound already on several of Andrea's albums.