David Nevue | Open Sky

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Open Sky

by David Nevue

A celebration of those "wide awake moments" when you feel truly alive, almost as if you were somehow standing a little closer to heaven.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Open Sky
3:46 $0.99
2. The Sound of Sunshine
4:03 $0.99
3. Dragonflies
3:34 $0.99
4. Butterfly Dance
3:31 $0.99
5. For the Beauty of the Earth
4:53 $0.99
6. Forgotten Places
4:11 $0.99
7. Undertow
2:16 $0.99
8. Scarborough Fair
3:50 $0.99
9. Summer Rain
4:27 $0.99
10. Distant Thunder
3:28 $0.99
11. Twister
5:16 $0.99
12. The Water Is Wide
3:17 $0.99
13. Dark Afternoon
4:23 $0.99
14. Echo Canyon
3:15 $0.99
15. Stargazing
3:28 $0.99
16. Eclipse
5:49 $0.99
17. Morning Has Broken
3:37 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
From the Liner Notes...

I have always been rather prolific when it comes to writing music. No matter where I am in life or how busy I am, I can't seem to stop the flow of new material that comes bursting from my soul. So even though I spent most of my creative time between 2005 and 2009 arranging and recording hymns and praise songs for my "Adoration" and "Revelation" album projects, I continued to compose my own original music on the side. By 2010, I had a stockpile of original works that I was anxious to record and release.

Songs from that "stockpile" finally started to see the light of day in 2011 when I announced "A Delicate Joy," a cheerful album of light, bright music. That album featured all the "sweet, peaceful, happily-ever-after" style tunes that I had composed (but not released) up to that point. Once that was finished, I was left with a dozen songs that didn't fit into the Delicate Joy concept... songs that were more driving, edgy, experimental and even melancholy. It's those remaining compositions (plus a few new ones) that now make up this album, "Open Sky."

"Open Sky" begins with the title track, which to me feels a little like the "Wild, Wild West." It's a song about freedom, exploration and the exhilaration that comes from seeing and experiencing new things. I picture myself out on the open road, driving with the windows down, enjoying "The Sound of Sunshine" and the amazing landscape around me. It is a celebration of those "wide awake moments" when you feel truly alive, almost as if you were somehow standing a little closer to heaven.

"Dragonflies" and "Butterfly Dance" are basically musical paintings. Two flying creatures, two very different moods. When our family visited the Badlands in South Dakota, dragonflies flitted about everywhere, zipping to and fro. "Dragonflies" is an attempt to capture that cadence. As for "Butterfly Dance," during a visit to Yellowstone, I watched a butterfly dance its way around a dozen boiling, steaming mud pits. That picturesque moment stayed with me. Butterflies are such carefree creatures.

"For the Beauty of the Earth" is a hymn arrangement and the first of four "cover songs" on the album. The tune just struck me one day and I started exploring it on the piano. It seemed appropriate to include. "Forgotten Places" takes me back a few years to when I took my family on a self-guided tour of abandoned churches and ghost towns in Eastern Oregon. There's something quite sobering about visiting places that have faded away into history. As you walk among the empty, broken buildings, you can almost feel the weight of time.

"Undertow" was composed in 1987 and was originally part of a soundtrack I wrote (on synthesizer) for a theater production of C.S. Lewis' book, "The Screwtape Letters." I've always liked the energy of the piece, and decided it was high time to reinvent it for solo piano.

I first performed "Scarborough Fair" as an improvisation with two other pianists at a concert in Albuquerque, NM. I liked what I came up with so much, I just had to keep working on it. It's really fun to play! As for "Summer Rain," it reminds me of my time living in Colorado, and those summer afternoon storms that would quickly appear, pour down rain and lightning, and then disappear all in the space of about an hour.

"Distant Thunder" is an improvisation left over from my Revelation recording sessions. I've only ever played the “song” once and that was purely by accident. I just happened to be recording when the "accident" happened. When my wife heard the tune, she commented that she could hear distant thunder in the piece. I thought that was the perfect image for it.

"Twister" is a real challenge to perform. You can't fake your way through the song or play it half-heartedly. It only works if you go for it! One of my happiest achievements with this album was to finally get a recording of Twister that I was mostly satisfied with. Swirling and intense, it's a real finger-twister!

"The Water is Wide" is my take on the traditional English melody. I've always liked the tune. Haunting, dreamy and pensive.

"Dark Afternoon" was composed in the late 1990's. The tune was originally called Nails as it represents Jesus' dark afternoon on the cross. The composition was part of a musical Passion Play that I performed on a few occasions for Easter and Lent. An early recording of this song was released in 2002 on a short-run CD called Foreshadows. Only a few copies of that CD were ever made, so if you happen to own one, treasure it. It's very rare.

"Echo Canyon" is the newest piece on this collection, written just a week before I went into the studio to record this album. I was noodling around on the piano and my son walked in and said "I really like that... what is it?" I told him I was just messing around. Five minutes later my daughter walked in and said the exact same thing. At that point, I decided to try recording the song. The key to this composition working at all are the dynamics. They add a sense of mystery, power and purpose. To me, it feels like walking in a very ancient, remote place. Thus, the title.

"Stargazing" takes me back to a late night road trip across the Utah desert with my family. The night sky was as clear as I'd ever seen it, so I pulled off the highway onto a secluded road and woke up the kids. We all got out of the car and marveled at the starry, starry sky.

I started writing "Eclipse" around 2006. I was showing the chord progression to my friend (and fellow pianist) Joe Bongiorno when he joined me at the piano and began improvising a melody over the top of what I was playing. That melody stuck with me... and changed the tune forever. It left me with two variations of the song; my "original" version and a "four hand" version (as played with Joe.) In the end, I combined the two versions, arranging the piece so that it could be played with just two hands (otherwise, how could I ever play it?) This hybrid is the result.

Finally, I was asked to play "Morning Has Broken" for a wedding and worked up this rendition. While I've never been partial to this particular song, I sure enjoy playing this arrangement. It's got a little edge to it. A fitting finale for the album, I think.

That sums it up. I really hope you enjoy this collection. It's been a long, long labor of love.

- David Nevue, April 2013.



to write a review

Mark Rindom Moore

Great work!
David Nevue has led the new age piano movement, and this album is one of his best, and very worth it. All his albums are excellent, way above the norm.

Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
For a pianist, having your music compared to the likes of George Winston, David Lanz, or Jim Brickman, can be a lot to live up to. For David Nevue, however, that accolade is not without merit. I’ve known of his music for years and have had the pleasure of writing about his previous release, “A Delicate Joy.” Now, in 2013, David has recently released his “Open Sky” album, which he sees as one of his most diverse yet, including thirteen original compositions plus arrangements of "Scarborough Fair," "The Water is Wide," "For the Beauty of the Earth" and "Morning Has Broken.” The first song on the album is the title track, which has a wonderful sense of lightheartedness and openness that drew me right in from the start. I liked the way David’s left hand anchored the song with a repeating pattern while the right hand deftly explored the melodic terrain. This was an excellent choice for an opening track.

I loved the lightness and luminosity of a song called “The Sound of Sunshine,” which David refers to as “a celebration of those "wide awake moments" when you feel truly alive, almost as if you were somehow standing a little closer to heaven.” Its not surprising that there is an air of spirituality that comes through in David’s music, being the person of deep and abiding faith that he is. While David sometimes reveals his abilities with brilliant and intricate compositions, his talent is also reflected in songs like “Butterfly Dance,” whose brilliance lies in its simplicity and understatement. Another track, which I liked very much, was “Distant Thunder.” What stood out to me about this one was the way that David emphasized the space between the notes and phrases, as much as the notes themselves, evoking the distance referenced in the song’s title. In the expanding galaxy of solo piano artists, the combination of technique, feeling, and vision that David Nevue brings to his music illuminates him as one of the shining stars of the genre.

To read a full-length review of this CD, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com
Through sounds of the music
Feel Universe vibrations

What is the music of David Nevue like? I can compare it with the soaring butterfly that is fluttering from one flower to another because his piano melodies are filled with such a beauty and freedom. Each of the tunes of “Open Sky” easily flows into another, forming an integral play of joy and creativity. And at the same time each tune is very particular with its own mood and character.

The album “Open Sky” is David’s 14th release and, as usual, it has his own voice. This project contains seventeen tracks: thirteen original compositions and four arrangements of traditional tunes, but all of them are played from the bottom of the artist’s soul.

“Open Sky” has one more very important feature. Its music is very inspiring. When you listen to this album, you feel as if you are walking along a long road, where the wide fields stretch around, and you can see the tops of high mountains in the distance, and the fresh wind blowing in your face…

The music of David Nevue contains a lot of improvisation. It stirs you completely and you won’t be able to come away while it sounds. It brings an inner confidence that you can achieve your dreams. It awakes your mind and motivates you to act.

So, listen to this album and have more freedom in order to change your life for the better…

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Open Sky" is the much-anticipated fourteenth solo piano album from David Nevue, and I truly believe this is his best work to date. The seventeen tracks on this album were composed over a fairly long period of time and show a more dynamic and darker side of Nevue's composing style. His 2011 A Delicate Joy was a collection of light, joyful music and Open Sky goes into an entirely different direction. Not all of the pieces are dark or somber, though, so the album has an emotional balance. Four tracks are original cover arrangements and the other thirteen are original compositions. The CD also has an impressive booklet that includes extensive liner notes about the inspiration for each piece as well as photos by Nevue and his wife, Julie - a beautiful package! Some of the music on this album is more experimental than music Nevue has released in the past, and some of it has a more spontaneous, improvised feeling. Recorded at Joe Bongiorno's Piano Haven Studio, the piano sound is perfect - warm, rich, and soulful.

"Open Sky" begins with the title track, a piece about freedom, exploration, and the exhilaration that comes from seeing and experiencing new things. The rhythmic energy of this piece gives it a sense of movement and of having fun. I love Nevue's description of "The Sound of Sunshine": "a celebration of those `wide awake moments' when you feel truly alive, almost as if you were somehow standing a little closer to heaven." "Butterfly Dance" was inspired while watching a butterfly "dance" its way around the steaming mud pits in Yellowstone - very light and free. The classic hymn "For The Beauty of the Earth" is given a make-over that renders it fresh and revitalized. "Forgotten Places" came from a family exploration of abandoned churches and ghost towns in Eastern Oregon. Feelings of loss and nostalgia for what went before make this a haunting and stirring piece - a favorite. I also love the lively, but somewhat ominous "Undertow." Nevue's melancholy take on "Scarborough Fair" is my favorite arrangement of this song since Simon and Garfunkle's classic recording. "Distant Thunder" is quite different from anything Nevue has released to date. An improvisation from an earlier recording session, the piece is ambient and atmospheric rather than melodic and makes an excellent lead-in to what could become Nevue's new signature piece, "Twister." Dark and mysterious with an infectious, swirling left hand rhythm, I can't wait for the sheet music for this one! I get a little tired of "The Water Is Wide," but Nevue's simple, heartfelt take on the beautiful melody has made me appreciate it again. "Dark Afternoon" is my favorite track. Composed as part of a Passion Play, it represents Jesus' dark afternoon on the cross. Slow and spare, the notes sound easy enough, but the emotional impact is essential - gorgeous! "Echo Canyon" is dark and mysterious in a different way. The rhythmic left hand sets a tone that conveys a sense of majesty. "Eclipse" is a soulful and introspective piece inspired in part by an improvised duet with Joe Bongiorno - this one makes my fingers itch, too. Great stuff! Open Sky closes with Nevue's sweet and gentle arrangement of "Morning Has Broken."

Wow, what a great album! I give it my highest recommendation!

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
Each of the CDs by pianist David Nevue that I have reviewed has been solid, but this, his fourteenth release, is his best by far.

In his press release, Nevue says that his goal with this album was to create music that transcends the standard piano music genre. Nevue has accomplished this goal in spades.

Overall, the music on the disc doesn't sound like typical solo piano music. Without knowing Nevue's exact process, it sounds to me like he composed the music simply as music and used the piano to realize his compositions. The result is music that is haunting and evocative, a perfect soundtrack for nocturnal sojourns. I can see Nevue composing orchestral music or otherwise that doesn't have keyboards or synthesizers as the focus, if at all.

All of the seventeen tracks are exceptional, but three truly stand out – interpretations of the Simon & Garfunkel classic “Scarborough Fair” and the English hymn “Morning Has Broken” made popular by Cat Stevens, and the striking original “Summer Rain.”

This is not simply piano music. It's music pure and simple, and good music at that.