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Places of the Spirit Music and Images Inspired by the Berkshires
Paula Robison; Jim Schantz

"This multi-media package resulted from a personal collaboration between Robison and Schantz, who both have had a long-time association and affinity for the scenery and mood of the mountains of Western Massachusetts. Jim Schantz’ pastels are at once both figurative and impressionistic as they capture the essence and beauty of this locality while Paula Robison echoes and interprets this vision from her vivid experience of this lovely region through solo flute works. Works included are: Morning Has Broken; Air by Toru Takemitsu; Morning Song by Peter Schickle; Chipewa Grace, an improvisation on a Ojibway melody and “Amazing Grace”; Three Hungarian Folksongs; Flutings by Leon Kirchner; “Allegro” from Vivaldi’s La Printemps; I Have Come Into My Garden by Meira Warshauer (a lovely piece especially written for this recording); the spirituals, “There is a Balm in Gilead” and “Deep River”; a song “Brethern We Have Met to Worship” from the Continental Harmony; Claude Debussy’s Syrinx; A Transcendential Evening Walk, an improvisation inspired by Charles Ives; and “God Be in My Head” from the Sarum Piner.
These lovely meditative melodies are presented with a background of birdsong and sounds of nature, which combine to evoke an air of nostalgia and contemplation that is both inspirational and inspired. Clearly, Robison feels these songs deeply and her soulful renditions are direct and expressive without being cloying or artificial. Each of the 17 pieces and 18 paintings is further reinforced by poetry and quotations that give insight into the art and the music. Only an artist of Robison’s reputation, maturity and mastery could have brought off such a difficult and intensely personal undertaking. The overall effect of this blending of art, music, and poetry is simply breathtaking. This is a special treat and treasure for flutists and all lovers of beauty. We are left wanting to go again to enjoy the Housatonic river at sunset, the special light and fragrant air, the verdant vistas filled with songbirds, and the gentle winds and fleeting clouds--Away to the hills once more."

-Jerrold Pritchard Professor of Music California State University, San Bernardino

2003 Pucker Art Publications

CD and book