Craig Urquhart | Calm Seas

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New Age: Neo-Classical New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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Calm Seas

by Craig Urquhart

Calm Seas is Urquhart's latest in his continuing journey of the beauty of the piano. This his tenth recording (ninth of solo piano) reflects his unique voice and beautiful technique.
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Calm Seas
5:12 $0.99
2. North Star
3:50 $0.99
3. Waltz
3:57 $0.99
4. Wellfleet Winter
7:44 $0.99
5. Green Mountain
2:53 $0.99
6. Night Thoughts
4:03 $0.99
7. Fair Wind
4:59 $0.99
8. Sandpiper's Dance
3:36 $0.99
9. New Moon
3:29 $0.99
10. Devotion
4:17 $0.99
11. Day Dreaming
4:50 $0.99
12. Grace
4:36 $0.99
13. Blue Skies
3:36 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes


When I saw my first Leonard Bernstein’s Young People’s Concert on television, I caught the bug. I wanted to make music the central focus of my life: to share music, to write music, to perform music. I realized that the language of music spoke to me, transported me, and helped me be a better person. I pursued music in the ways I could when I was a youngster, taking piano lessons, singing in choirs, and attending free concerts at the nearby university. But when I realized I could also write music, that was when I was hooked.

I went on to the University of Michigan, pursuing and achieving a Master of Music degree in composition, with piano as my minor. I struggled to understand the concepts of 12-tone music, alleatory music, and other trends of the times, but they felt so foreign to my own voice, the one I had developed as a child. Still, I wrote many works in these unknown languages and achieved a level of recognition for my efforts.

I knew I had to leave the Midwest and travel to New York, the city where those Young People’s Concerts took place: to experience Carnegie Hall, to attend the Metropolitan Opera. I was lucky; within days, I was on the phone with leading composers of the time (John Corigliano, Lee Hoiby) and was soon working for them as a music copyist. How good a music copyist I was could be debated, but the exposure to living, working composers was inspirational. Then, in a great act of hubris, I left some of my compositions, along with a cryptic note, at the Dakota Building for the man who was my musical life, Leonard Bernstein. Little did I know I would meet the Maestro in a few months, discuss my music and after years of my teaching music at the Harlem School of The Arts I would become his assistant. The years of our working together were a wonderland of famous people, outstanding musicians, and the sharing of compositions, often written to each other.

Upon the death of my mentor and friend, I remained attached to his legacy, but I also suffered from a deep sadness that propelled me gently back to my music, which he had so wonderfully supported.

My music by this time had returned to its simple origins. I began to produce collections of piano works that I performed and recorded. These works represent the most inner me: the person I really am. Bernstein told me this, but it took years for this simple lesson to sink in.

For a long time I was reluctant to share my music with any but my closest and dearest friends. It is very personal, and does not follow the trends that are regarded as “serious music” -- though the music is very serious. But after years of sharing carefully and reaching out to an increasingly appreciative world of listeners, I know that it is time to share my music with the rest of the world.

Many people have many things to say about my music, but the words I hear most often are healing... peaceful... transcendental... introspective... and that my music is in touch with the powers of nature. With our world in such turmoil, we look inside for our inner strength to guide us. I feel compelled to share my music with the world. There will be critics, but those who respond positively will be joining together to create an ever-widening circle of harmony.



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Calm Seas" is the ninth album by pianist/composer Craig Urquhart and contains thirteen original piano solos that are warm, gentle and introspective. With a cursory listen, the music (like all of Urquhart’s music) sounds very simple, but while there might not be an overabundance of black dots on the pages, I defy anyone to duplicate the soulful, honest, and heartfelt expression Urquhart pours into every note and chord. That’s where the magic lies, and that’s why this music is not best-suited for background ambiance. It works fine in that role, but - and this is a very big BUT - Urquhart expresses so much in his music that when you really listen, you come away feeling that you have gotten to know him rather well - and have perhaps also seen a new facet of your own soul. I have reviewed all of Urquhart’s albums over the years, and it is always a very special experience to be reminded of the power of quiet beauty and simplicity. I have always loved his "Streamwalker" album, but "Calm Seas" is starting to eclipse that one as my favorite. Urquhart splits his time between Germany and New York City, and the gorgeous cover artwork is of either a sunrise or sunset over the waters of Heiligendamm, Germany - a perfect example of “calm seas.” I should mention that there is a companion sheet music book available.

The album begins with the title track, a gently rhythmic ebb and flow that sets the tone for the rest of the album. “North Star” is a favorite. The left hand broken chords create a tranquil base for the poignant melody - so beautiful! “Waltz” is a graceful minor-key dance with a somewhat mysterious flavor. “Wellfleet Winter” is another favorite. With almost eight minutes to tell its story, serene images of the stillness and sparkle of a snow-covered landscape arise from Urquhart’s delicate touch on the piano keys. “Green Mountain” is a bit livelier but is just as peaceful. This one sounds much like the rebirth that is spring and evokes images of that lush green that only appears with new growth. “Night Thoughts” begins in the deep bass of the piano - dark and a little bit ominous. Much like the random thoughts that can occur during a sleepless night, some of the passages are lighter and some are very dark - an effective and haunting piece! “Fair Wind” is much lighter, like a delicate spring breeze. “Day Dreaming” is as calm and peaceful as, well, a daydream, making it easy to imagine lying on a grassy hillside or in a meadow of wildflowers, soaking up the warm sunshine and drifting off to wherever your mind takes you. “Grace” and “Blue Skies” continue the daydream in their own ways, bringing this wonderful album to a blissful close and leaving the listener refreshed and comforted. Thank you, Craig Urquhart!

"Calm Seas" will most likely be one of my favorite albums of the year - such a breath of fresh air amid all the turbulence of recent months. Very highly recommended!

Tina van Leuven

Calm Seas - Soul Food for Turbulent Times
Calm Seas is soul food for turbulent times. No matter how much craziness is going on in the world or how stressful life can be at times, every time I listen to the beautiful songs on this album I feel myself being guided on a journey deep to the centre of my being where peace, love and harmony reign.
Some of the songs feel deeply relaxing, others are uplifting and yet others I can only describe as hauntingly beautiful. Craig Urquhart is not only a very gifted composer and musician who creates the most beautiful music, with the songs on Calm Seas he offers every one of his listeners an experience of reconnecting with their own True North Star, that guiding light within which knows what is uplifting and joyful and essence and is always guiding you to what truly resonates. How fitting that North Star is the title of one of the songs.
Craig Urquhart's music isn't 'simply' beautiful music, this is an experience for all your senses to enjoy. Gift yourself the experience by listening with your eyes closed and allowing the healing sounds to nourish your body, mind and soul. You'll be glad you did!

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky /
Craig Urquhart has his own very expressive style of playing the piano. His manner of performing is gentle and soft. At the same time his playing is accurate and strong. Music of the artist is filled with peace and tenderness. It brings you clearness of the mind and positive emotions. Besides, the music of Craig Urquhart has a meditative approach and penetrates very deeply into the listener’s soul. Therefore, it enchants the audience from the first seconds.
“Calm Seas” is already the tenth release of the artist. Craig Urquhart continues to develop his sophisticated technique and makes a generous gift for us all. One can easy plunge into the endless sea of sincere experiences and to feel the innermost desires of your heart. I have to add here that the music of Craig Urquhart is very intimate. The artist appeals personally to each listener because each individual is important to him.
Listening to “Calm Seas” arouses a pure joy because Craig Urquhart isn’t afraid to hold an honest conversation with listeners. When this music sounds you can recollect your most dear and important memories of the past. It will purify you and carry into the present moment. But this moment will have another quality. You will feel the tranquility inside your own essence and the silence within your mind.
“Calm Seas” is truly an outstanding release of the gifted artist. It will be perfect not only for rest and relaxation, but for your everyday life because this music gives you strength to live and bravely look into the future. And you are sure that life will bring you only the best in this amazing and wonderful world.