Tim Wheater

Heart Land

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This monumental and ambitious "oratorio" headed by flautist Tim Wheater combines synth orchestra, boys' chorus, men's chorus, male and female operatic soloists, flamenco guitar, French horn, overtone chanting, and ethnic drums and other instruments. It is (or should be) to the men's movement what Constance Demby's 1986 Novus Magnificat is to the new age movement or what the 1812 Overture is to the 4th of July. The album concept sprouted from a simple recording Wheater made of overtone chanting, and the theme is the fateful voyage of The Warrior to the realm of love; a mystical element is added by tying the story into a quatrain written by the prophet Nostradamus.

"The Warrior's Return" begins with a vast and peaceful panorama of overtone chanting, orchestral strings, and Wheater's golden-toned flute. "The Warrior's Prayer" is a deceptively "lighthearted" embrace of the concept by The Warrior; here, Wheater plays a carefree melody on his flute and sings with Spirit in a clear and engaging style. This prayer is obviously not enough, for an ominous and warlike piece titled "The Inner Battle" follows. The climactic outburst by Heart (Sarah Leonard) is the spine-tingling moment of the album. The Medicine Man offers a peaceful prayer in the Lakota language, which is followed by a tribal percussion chant titled "Shaman Rap." "In Love's Domain" begins with a peaceful flute melody by Wheater, backed by a meditative organ drone. The French horn (and echoes) signal the arrival of The Warrior's harmonic chant. Spirit's song weaves lovingly amid The Warrior's singing and his descant flute. The Angels, harp, and Spirit join in until The Warrior is victoriously elevated to spirit. Sharing credit with Wheater on composing the music is David Lord; Stuart Wilde co-authored the words. Works of this scope and impact are rare.

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