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Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell | Notes from Celtistan

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World: World Fusion New Age: Celtic New Age Moods: Type: Live Recordings
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Notes from Celtistan

by Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell

The mythical world where Celtic meets Indian
Genre: World: World Fusion
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Iberian Nocturne
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
7:38 $0.99
2. Shining Child
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
4:35 $0.99
3. Sneakin' Out
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
2:46 $0.99
4. Banish Misfortune
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
2:25 $0.99
5. Bhagavan Dude
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
7:54 $0.99
6. Bhairavi
Benjy Wertheimer
3:53 $0.99
7. Waltz from the White Mountains
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
5:20 $0.99
8. Montuno
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
4:16 $0.99
9. Turkish Coffee
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
2:44 $0.99
10. Road Dogs (Guitar-Tabla Improv)
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
5:50 $0.99
11. Dreaming the Beloved
Benjy Wertheimer
2:08 $0.99
12. Touch of the Beloved
Benjy Wertheimer and Michael Mandrell
3:58 $0.99
13. What Was the Question?
Benjy Wertheimer, Heather Wertheimer, and Michael Mandrell
5:26 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
About Celtistan:

"All travelers through distant lands return with elements of those lands’ richness inside—later integrated into the creation of new richness at home. As musical and spiritual travelers, Michael & Benjy have taken this journey to create the new land of Celtistan.

"The beautiful musical landscape there reverently merges Michael’s Celtic and jazz sensibilities with Benjy’s love of Indian classical music, giving the ancient traditions of India and Ireland a new melodic voice (with occasional touches of Asia and Bosnia). Celtistan’s flowing and vibrant language was captured live, to preserve the unique richness, openness and spontaneity that shared moments bring.

"Michael & Benjy have shared the depth and beauty of these moments since 1999, when it was clear from their first meeting that their synergy would take them and their audience to new acoustic lands.

"Welcome to Celtistan."

–Eric Alan, Music Director
Jefferson Public Radio • Ashland, Oregon
Author/photographer, Wild Grace: Nature as a Spiritual Path

About Benjy Wertheimer:
An award-winning musician, composer, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist equally accomplished on tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards, Benjy Wertheimer has toured and recorded with such artists as Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Miten, Jai Uttal, Walter Becker of Steely Dan, virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell, and renowned bamboo flute master G. S. Sachdev. He has also opened for such well-known artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden. Benjy is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed world fusion ensemble, Ancient Future.

Beginning his musical studies at age 5, starting with piano and later violin and flamenco guitar, Benjy received training in Keyboard Improvisation at the University of Colorado and in Composition and Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. In addition, he has studied Indian classical music for over 25 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar, and was, along with the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart, a contributing composer and member of the Zakir Hussain Rhythm Experience.

For over five years, Benjy scored music for the internationally syndicated NBC series, Santa Barbara. He has also recorded music for several international clients including Master Card and The Nature Company. His CD Circle of Fire reached #1 on the international New Age radio charts in 2002.

About Michael Mandrell:

Moving to Taos, NM in 1991, Michael performed with the world fusion group "Taos" co-producing their CD, "The Deepening Edge," released nationally on Blix Street Records. His later self-produced CD, "The Great Spiral Dance" continued in the world fusion tradition with all original guitar compositions, adding flutes, East Indian percussion, Uillean pipes and other ethnic instruments.

Michael tours regionally and nationally, playing solo as well as with many of the acoustic warrior road tribe, including Jenny Bird and Benjy Wertheimer. As "Echoes" executive producer Kimberly Hass observes, "Michael's hybrid guitar style reveals a guitarist of eclectic sensibilities and delicate technique. His music circles the globe in imagistic compositions." He currently makes his home in Portland, Oregon.



to write a review

Michael - Professor Emeritus, Boulder, Colorado

A truly excellent CD
Lovely! Subtle, sophisticated, beautiful, varied: a truly excellent CD. I'm most impressed... and crystal-clear, gorgeous notes in the throat-singing of "What Was The Question" ...

Little Eagle, Little Eagle Music Review

Powerful and deeply moving
Where's the sixth star! The world needs more music like this. Outstanding, powerful, deeply touching. Wertheimer and Mandrell take step it up a big notch. Wow!

Victory Review - Nancy Vivolo

A brilliant work of World Music Art!
All the treasures of the world seem to flow
from the chalice of Notes from Celtistan, an
amazing collaboration from the Celtic strings
of acoustic guitarist Michael Mandrell and the
broad tonal voicings of percussionist and multi-instrumentalist
Benjy Wertheimer. The blend of
intricate fingerstyle guitar work in open tunings
combined with the talking tabla, congas and
traditional instruments of India is full and richly

Reminiscent of the travels of Genghis
Khan, Mandrell and Wertheimer gather together
the glitter of melodic soundscapes, the fragrance of
mysterious musical scales and the spice of flowing
rhythms to create these exotic sculpted songs.
The journey begins in the Pyrenees Mountains
with “Iberian Nocturne,” written by Mandrell,
which has an ancient yet agelessly classical dream
quality. “Sneakin” Out” illustrates the depth of
musical connection that these two have achieved
in what was a spontaneous creation materializing
out of thin air during their studio recording
session; just a little something that happened
on their break, as it were.

Their treatment of “Banish Misfortune” is traditional Celtic but
clearly influenced by their own individual style.
Defying regional boundaries, “Bhagavan Dude”
has a broad dawn-on-the-desert scope that seems
to contain elements of the American high plains
but spends equal time somewhere in the Sahara
giving new meaning to the term World Music.
Organic and earthy with the shadow of found
objects, “Turkish Coffee” had a full, round
openness that surrounds the listener while the
song moves forward with a steady assurance that
resonates deeply and with satisfaction. “Road
Dogs” is the rhythmic equivalent of one of those
word games that you play with your traveling
partner along vast stretches of highway from here
to somewhere. Notes from Celtistan is already a
brilliant work of World Music art, but Mandrell
and Wertheimer go one step further with the
capstone track “What was the Question?” The
poignant observations and actions of the Bosnian
cellist Vedran Smailovic are illustrated with a
graceful and effective presentation that you will
not soon forget.


Notes from Celtistan
Received the album on Christmas Eve, just in time, and in perfect condition, thankx to your very safe packing. It's a brilliant, most genius piece of work. I cherish it as part of my most precious possessions. Many thankx CD Baby.

wilbur frank

it is a great CD loved the music thanks
this cd sound great , good good music on it, its just what i wanted.

Christine Carter, Mystical Activist - Return To Center

The range of musical innovation on this CD is positively stunning!
Since I got 'Notes" I haven't stopped listening to it. It's unpredictable, it's smart and full of passion and refinement but doesn't slip into preciousness. These are seasoned artists who have such serious chops that I often couldn't imagine there were only two of them playing! Their range is masterful as they combine an infinite number of Celtic orchestrations, Hindustani rhythms and jazz modes. It's inspired music, sponteneous and filled with deep and abiding soul - a true gift.

Susi Wong

Wonderful, moving, relaxing music. I listen to it everyday while driving in this crazy traffic. It calms me down!
I highly recommend it!