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Aug 032013
 

The Water Garden

The Water Garden

solo acoustic guitar from one of the masters of the contemporary acoustic genre; nominated for both Grammy & Indie Awards, this release was the winner of the Crossroads Magazine Award for Best Acoustic Instrumental Album”Meditation and water are wedded forever,” says New Acoustic progenitor Alex de Grassi, quoting Herman Melville in the liner notes to this 10-song cycle of solo steel-string guitar pieces “on the theme of water.” There’s a stillness at the heart of this Garden, but don’t expect p

List Price: $ 17.84

Price: $ 9.78

  3 Responses to “The Water Garden”

  1. 11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Music for Meditation, December 4, 2001
    By 
    Rebecca of Amazon “The Rebecca Review” (The World of Amazon) –
    (COMMUNITY FORUM 04)
      
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    This review is from: The Water Garden (Audio CD)

    Each note seduces you into wanting to hear more. The music flows from one solo guitar piece to the next. The notes almost drip into your mind and ripple outward sending vibrations through your soul to calm you and yet they awaken something deeper in you at the same time.

    Just as being near water calms us, Alex De Grassi seems to want to lull you into a meditative state. While this is named The Water Garden, it is much more and is far from a submissive offering. Each note is filled with a vibrancy that can only be compared to floating on cloud nine and will elevate your mood to a state of joy.

    Prelude is an ecstatic piece reminiscent of water tumbling over rocks in a never-ending cycle as rain falls in the mountains, perhaps dripping from leaves and falling down to the earth. Each drop of water finds its way to another droplet and together they flow to the sea. It is absolutely breathtaking and then fades away.

    The Zipper almost seems to be a piece about when the water reaches the ocean and as the sun is setting. You can almost imagine the water from a lagoon merging with the salt water. There is a sense of closure and a journey completed.

    The Water Garden is a very mellow piece at first and produces a feeling of floating. As if you were floating in a pond gazing at an azure sky.

    Lost in the woods must be a woods near the sea because it has a certain longing to it and almost seems to be waves lapping around the shore and at times crashing onto a beach. There is a deep ocean feel, with lighter notes, that make the sounds surface from time to time. I see whales playing in an ocean calling to one another as I watch them from a cliff.

    Another Shore has an inevitability and certain sadness as if two lovers have given up trying to find one another and a certain regret is present in the piece.

    Cumulus Rising is a far more airy and hopeful piece. An eagle seems to be spiriling upwards towards the sky. Heaven!

    Ripple is a rapid selection which seems to move out in all directions at once. Someone almost seems to be swimming towards a waterfall in the shade of trees sending out ripples towards the shore. The most active piece and has a touch of sadness or deep contemplation.

    Vanishing point is a very appropriate name as the notes appear and dissolve. As if rain was falling on soil and soaking in very quickly, yet more rain keeps falling. This is my favorite selection because it captures a variety of emotions.

    Down below could very well be sunlight reaching as far down as it can go into the water where it reflects off fish playfully swimming below.

    In Endless Rain, a torrential downpour of notes is almost overwhelming and you can literally hear drops of water splashing wherever they fall, then suddenly the rain does end.

    Music can at times be a drink for your soul. I have never received such a beautiful gift and I thank the wonderful friend who introduced me to music I will enjoy when I need to relax deeply and completely.

    ~The Rebecca Review

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  2. 7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    The sound of two hands playing, November 8, 2001
    By 
    Marc Ruby™ “The Noh Hare™” (Warren, MI USA) –
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)
      

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    This review is from: The Water Garden (Audio CD)

    Alex de Grassi is one of our national treasures, a fine composer and a wizard of improvisational guitar playing that crosses from jazz to ‘new age’ and back again with alacrity. He uses acoustic guitars with anywhere from 6 to 18 strings and countless open tunings, combined with a blazing technique that leaves you perpetually wondering who the other guitarist is. Trust me, there is no other guitarist.

    At first listening I found this a less accessible album than some of de Grassi’s other efforts. After several listenings, though, I realised that I was the problem, not the music. “The Water Garden” requires the listener to be present to the music. This is stuff for contemplative thinking and soft introspection. Something I should probably do more of. This is stuff that fills space with harmony and works with light, not background elevator music.

    From the abstract minimalism of Prelude (3:31) and The Zipper (2:46) to the jazzy melodics of The Water Garden (4:03) and the percussive strikes of Lost In The Woods (4:05) this is an accumulation of pieces that draw the mind in and let it relax in a state of wonder and receptivity. The songlike Another Shore (4:29) is one of my favorites. Cumulus Rising (4:37) returns to the jazz idiom and continues de Grassi’s investigation of subtle percussive effects.

    Ripple (5:09) is another favorite, laying melody over a pulsing counterpoint that almost becomes a conversation. Vanishing Point (5:01) contrasts to alto voices that seek common ground, one contemplative, one seemingly lost in nervous energy. Down Below (4:04) returns to light jazz with some protechnical work on the bass strings. Endless Rain (4:09) ends the CD in the minimalist style it began in but now in an imitation of life. Great meditation music, and highly recommended.

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  3. 4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Crystalline Beauty, February 17, 2004
    By 
    Charles Calvert “charliecal” (Bellevue, WA United States) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    This review is from: The Water Garden (Audio CD)

    Alex de Grassi is one of the best contemporary acoustic guitarists, and this is one of his best albums. Nominated for a grammy award, the compositions, guitar technique, and production quality on this album are all superb.

    This album creates an aura of meditative peacefulness and ordered perfection. Every note is exactly in place, and yet at times they cascade over the ear in rich profusion like a waterfall of sound. But this is a peaceful waterfall, not the niagra of a rock band, but the gentle trickling one would hear in a garden.

    Many of de Grassi’s albums are good, and it is hard for me to describe exactly why this one stands out as one of his best. There is something about the clarity and subtlety of the compositions that catches one’s heart. Many of the songs on this album are beautiful, yet none of them are cloying. Some of the pieces are quite abstract, yet they never lack a clear structure and a few subtle themes to tie the composition together.

    I recommend this album whole heartedly to anyone who enjoys acoustic guitar music with a peaceful and meditative side to it. Don’t mistake this for background music. The meditative aspect comes from the rewards one gets from listening very closely and careful to a superb craftsman and artist at the height of his powers.

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