David Erskine | Sierra Passage

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Gustav Holst Robert Schumann

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Sierra Passage website

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United States - California - SF

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Classical: Piano solo Classical: Programmatic music Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Sierra Passage

by David Erskine

Original solo piano music passionately played, describing an imaginary voyage through the mountains, inspired by Holst\'s \"The Planets\".
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Foothills
5:11 $0.99
2. In the Realm of the Mountain
5:10 $0.99
3. Reflections From An Alpine Pool
5:07 $0.99
4. Snowbound
6:33 $0.99
5. Sequoia Cathedral
13:58 $0.99
6. River Borne of Mountain's Tears
2:49 $0.99
7. The Summit!
11:31 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Inspired by Holst\'s program music \"The Planets\", this original acoustic solo piano music describes an imaginary voyage through the mountains in 7 movements. This contemporary classical music is vivid and thoughtful, evocative with impressionistic textures. Accompanying the CD is a beautifully printed 6x9 inch booklet containing drawings and poems, also created by the composer\'s own hand, paired with each piano movement that illustrate the arc of the journey (a total of 9 drawings). The CD is mounted on inside back cover of booklet.

This synergic combination of music, poems and drawings constitute a unique and evocative expression of art. Early copies of the CD are autographed by the composer/artist.

Previews of the drawings can be seen at David Erskine\'s website.

The music, drawings and poems were composed in 1985, and released in 1986 on tape cassette. Now in 2008 the author has released the music for the first time in CD format, with the drawings more beautifully reproduced in booklet form than was possible in 1986.

Brief descriptions of the seven movements
1. Foothills.
Drone of the engine as we drive through the rolling hills, hearts full of anticipation.

2. In the Realm of the Mountain
Beholding the majesty of the mountains-- interludes of the life that lives amongst it.

3. Reflections from an Alpine Pool
A quiet piece beginning with sunrise, a walk around a placid pool, ending in the splash of a tossed rock.

4. Snowbound
Rhythmic cadence of cross-country skiing through the forest freshly shrouded in white.

5. Sequoia Cathedral
A long piece describing in erie tones the timeless giants with interludes of fire and storm.

6. River Borne of Mountain\'s Tears
A short exhuberant piece painting the cascade of water in spritely rythmic chords.

7. The Summit!
The joy of victory over (life\'s) challenges, combined with reflection over the journey just made, is celebrated.

-- Reviews --

Pianist Erskine really works the keyboard, calling on nearly every note lurking there for his portrait of the mountains he loves. His impressive technique raises this tape miles above the pretty city-piano of Windham Hill, scaling the heights with rope and pitons and no safety net. This is athletic edge-of-endurance music for solo grand piano from someone who obviously loves challenges.
- Electronic Musician/March 1987

Dear David, I played all of the first side of \"Sierra Passage\" on my show last night and received a favorable response. The telephone calls were very encouraging. I will be playing it often on the show. The composition and instrumentation are excellent and the mixing and production also are top quiality. Great program guide, very impressive. This dramatic music evokes a lot of imagery in the listerner. Some of the best original music I have heard in quite a while. In the future, if you could stay in contact with me about future releases and musical activities, I will be pleased to present your music to our listeners.
--Ben Kettlewell, 1987, producer WOMR-FM, Provincetown, MA

I'm so excited, I love the Sierra Passage. I just opened it up, got it out of the mail, oh my gosh it's awesome! Bravo bravo bravo, we've got to get together to celebrate this beautiful work of art. It's incredible. ..... Congratulations on that beautiful body of work that you've done. Oh my gosh, that's just amazing, absolutely amazing.
-Kristi C.

I stayed in tonight from Tango dancing, wanting to just relax, and listened instead to your piano creations as I read your poems and examined your sketches.  Having been in the Sierras many times myself, I was brought back to those experiences via your sounds, sights, and words.
I especially enjoyed the music and the words for “Sequoia Cathedral” – I’ve seen those trees, and you well captured their awesome significance, both in size and age.  The triumphal passages in “The Summit!” were great, evoking that great feeling of physically being on top of such grandeur while beholding the amazing landscapes stretching below in all directions.
Sierra Passage is a great piece of work!  I was impressed with your creative expression in so many mediums – they blended together to create a deep experience.
-Jeff K.

We are in awe of this beautiful and very moving tribute you have created to the magnificent Sierras. Your poetry was very descriptive and moving and your drawings are great-- not exactly Renour but perfect with your poems. We read and enjoyed the poems and your descriptions of the music before we played the CD so it was much more meaningful. You constantly amaze us Dave. You always seem to be such a normal person, but with such extra ordinary gifts and talent. Your tribute to theSierras touched us very deeply.
-- Marlene and Ike B.

Before responding, I have listened to the album many times to familiarize myself with the pieces.  My favorite is the first one; its got such a dramatic feeling!   I can appreciate and relate to that energy, and as always, your playing is excellent!  The poems and drawings add a real personal view of what it is you see in beauty.
-Michael K.

I am very glad to have this new version of the drawings, poems and of course the CD. I played it that very night that it came in the mail. I've been enjoying looking again at your drawings. In some ways they are very familiar, from an older copy I had of the Sierra Passage. But the print in this new booklet seems sharper, and anyway due to my efforts at artistic expression in recent years I seem to have more appreciation for the details you convey so well in your pictures. I really love the one of the foothills, it captures their look so accurately. And for some reason, the cross-country skiing one also really strikes me, how rich you've managed to make it, without it being over-worked.
-Amy D.

I really enjoyed your concert the other night.  You play so beautifully, and I loved the way you introduced each piece.  There were a couple of pieces where it sounded like you were strumming a harp; I loved it!
What I tried to tell you in the email that didn't go through, was how much I enjoyed listening to Sierra Passage.  What a great package!  It was a cloudy day when I listened to the cd.  While the music was playing, I was reading the poem for each piece and looking at the accompanying illustration.  It all fit together so perfectly.  I felt as if I could hear the words of the poem coming through the music.  It was so beautiful.  And I loved it so much, that I repeated the process a few minutes after I finished playing the cd the first time. Thank you for your music, words, and art!  You are a man of many talents!
 -Rosemarie D. 3/27/10



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