John Huling

Mesa Sunrise: The Essential John Huling

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Inspired both by the natural environment of the desert Southwest and by the Native Americans who live there, John Huling's Musical Visions of the Southwest series was a lush and soothing portrait of that sublime landscape. Mesa Sunrise is a single-disc compilation from that series, presenting the best of his compositions and performances from five albums. Several things lift this above a myriad of similar-sounding recordings -- Huling's expert integration of nature sounds with waves of electronic and organic sounds, the soaring flute (some of which was recorded amongst Anasazi ruins), and the sparing use of percussion that gives the album its texture. The music rarely grabs your attention, but settles comfortably into the background, providing a soothing background for meditation, relaxation, or dreams of the desert.

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