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Joanne Lazzaro | Under the Stars

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World: Native American New Age: Relaxation Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Under the Stars

by Joanne Lazzaro

An evocative collection of improvised solo Native American flute music, recorded live on location at the historic Mount Wilson Observatory, inside the 100-inch telescope dome.
Genre: World: Native American
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Evening Star Song
4:56 $0.99
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2. Sky Chief
5:16 $0.99
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3. Medicine Wheel
4:31 $0.99
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4. Moon Dances With New Star
3:04 $0.99
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5. Giant Cactus-Gathering Hook
5:47 $0.99
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6. Path of the Departed Souls
6:19 $0.99
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7. Bear Who Wanted a Mango
5:14 $0.99
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8. Rabbit Tracks
3:22 $0.99
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9. Spirits of the Long-Eyes
4:30 $0.99
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10. Amazing Grace - Trail of Tears
5:57 $0.99
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11. Zuni Sunrise (Extended Version)
8:04 $0.99
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12. Lark Who Sang His Song to the Sun Every Morning
4:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
2015 Global Music Awards - Silver Medal Winner for Outstanding Achievement, Native American Flute

"...a magical journey provided by a very talented flautist. If you want to feel like you are Under The Stars I highly recommend listening to this album." MusikMan - New Age Music Reviews 5/5 star rating

"...a beautiful album to capture our hearts, and leave us in a state of musical rapture." Steve Sheppard, One World Music

"The CD is beyond beautiful...." Marie Michaels, Music Beyond Words

"Under The Stars represents a fascinating interaction between artist and environment. Listeners who enjoy the classic Paul Horn recording as well as the music of artists like R. Carlos Nakai, Coyote Oldman, and Mary Youngblood will find a lot to like in this enchanting album that combines the earthiness of the Native flute and the vastness of the infinite sky." Michael Diamond, Music and Media Focus.

Joanne Lazzaro brings a unique new voice to world flute music, drawing on her background in classical flute and extensive experience with the Native American flute. Best known for her ability to create extended improvisations on both her original tunes and well-known songs, the debut solo album "Under the Stars" and its companion EP, "Under the Stars, too!" capture a three-hour live recording session as an immersive, first-person experience. Each track is a single "take" and has minimal editing, using the natural acoustics of the 100-inch telescope dome at the historic Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California.

The musical themes are inspired by the night sky and star lore as told by Native Americans. She uses a variety of flutes in different keys and modes to create a story line that begins at sunset with "Evening Star Song" and ends at sunrise with "Lark Who Sang His Song to the Sun Every Morning". She plays an Anasazi-style flute on "Spirits of the Long-Eyes" where the eerie, whistling overtones are accentuated by the acoustics of the dome. The extended version of "Amazing Grace - Trail of Tears" honors the Cherokee nation, and features a double flute for a unique harmony improvisation.

Album Credits-

Special thanks to the Mount Wilson Observatory and the Art Institute of California – Inland Empire. This project would not have been possible without their generous support.

Hugs and kisses to MWO’s Tom Meneghini, Ken Evans and Nik Arkimovich for managing the logistics and for their invaluable assistance during the recording session.

Undying gratitude to the on-location recording crew from Art Institute - you guys rock!
Producer: Philip Mantione
Lead Recording & Mix Engineer: Ian Vargo
Assistant Audio Engineers: Alex Cho and Brad Delorenzo

Mastering: Wayne Peet at Newzone Studio, Los Angeles
Cover photo: Jasper Johal ©mmxv

All tracks recorded live on location, with no added studio effects. All music composed by Joanne Lazzaro, except track # 10 Amazing Grace, and track # 11 Zuni Sunrise, which are improvised arrangements of traditional songs.

Virtually every culture on earth tells legends inspired by the moon, stars and planets. Many surmised, as we now know to be true, that our planet and everything on it, was at one time in the heart of a star. This album of solo Native American flute improvisations was created for everyone who has ever gazed into the night sky, and dreamed …

1) Evening Star Song (Venus)
This is the first song I created, on my very first Native American flute. On camping trips, I would take out this flute in the early evening, just before sunset, and play for the setting sun. The Karok of northern California, an evening star song is sung to recall a lover or loved one who has gone away. Flute made by Larry Spieler (Chris Ti Coom) 5- hole Lakota style in cherry, key of A minor.

2) Sky Chief
This multi-season constellation is described by the Zuni and has no counterpart in Greek or European astronomy. The “Chief of the Night” is so large that only parts of the figure can been seen in any given season – he rules the entire sky. Flute made by Brent Haines (Woodsounds) 6- hole concert style in walnut, bass flute in C minor.

3) Medicine Wheel (historical relic)
A medicine wheel is a circular arrangement of rocks, shaped like a wheel with spokes - the one located in Big Horn, Wyoming is the most well-known. They were used to mark events such as the solstice and equinox, and to track the seasonal positions of stars. You’ll hear some dissonant effects as the dome reinforces the high Ds played against high Cs. Flute made by Marvin Yazzie 6- hole style in birch, key of high C minor.

4) Moon Dances with New Star (M1- Crab Nebula)
The supernova of 1054 AD, which later became the Crab Nebula, was visible as a daytime object for approximately three weeks. The event is believed to be represented in the petroglyphs of southwestern tribes found in New Mexico and Arizona, which show a moon and star with rays, unusually close together. I chose a dramatic, ceremonial style for this brief courtship between the moon and the new star. Flute made by Ed Hrebec (Spirit of the Woods) custom 6- hole concert tuned drone flute in claro walnut, key of G minor.

5) Giant Cactus-Gathering Hook (Big Dipper)
This easily–recognized constellation appears in the lore of the Seri and the Tohono O’odham tribes as the Giant Cactus-Gathering Hook. The flutter-tonging effect represents the cactus. Listen for a brief bump in the melody – a surprise reaction to backing into a cactus. Flute made by Brent Haines (Woodsounds) 6- hole concert style in Thai rosewood, key of F# minor.

6) Path of the Departed Souls (Milky Way)
Various tribes including the Shasta, Ojibway and Menominee, believe that the Milky Way represents a trail taken by the souls of those who have passed on. I chose a wandering, unsettled melody to describe the mysterious journey. Flute made by Brent Haines (Woodsounds) 6- hole concert style in Thai rosewood, key of F# minor.

7) Bear Who Wanted a Mango (Cygnus)
The bear plays an important role in the lore of many tribes, however this tune was inspired by a local Mount Wilson bear. The observatory galley had recently been broken into by a California brown bear who tore out an air conditioner and in broke in through a window in order to snatch a ripening mango from the kitchen counter, leaving a wake of casual destruction. Flute made by Brent Haines (Woodsounds) 6- hole concert style in walnut, bass flute in C minor. When I first picked up this flute, I immediately heard a song about a bear.

8) Rabbit Tracks (tail of Scorpius)
The appearance of rabbit tracks in the snow heralds the coming of spring. During the evening, I noticed the dome had a pronounced response to the pitch of D, so I made the melody sparse (hopping like a rabbit) in order to allow the dome acoustics to play a greater part. This song has the longest fade out, because the high Ds hung in the air longer than any other note. Flute made by Ed Hrebec (Spirit of the Woods) custom 6- hole concert tuned, in claro walnut, key of high D minor.

9) Spirits of the Long-Eyes (Kitt Peak National Observatory)
I chose the unique scale of the Anasazi flute to represent the negotiations between the Tohono O’odham people and the team of astronomers appointed by the National Science Foundation who desired to build an observatory on the mountain called “Ioligam”. The eerie whistling in the background is the result of the natural sound of the flute, combined with the acoustical effects of the observatory dome. Prayer Rock (Anasazi-style) cedar flute made by Michael Graham Allen (Coyote Oldman), key of low A.

10) Amazing Grace – Trail of Tears
This hymn was sung by the Cherokee as they were forced to march from their ancestral lands to a reservation as a result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The harshness of the march and cruel conditions led it to be called the Trail of Tears. I chose the double flute to represent opposing forces. I set the 2nd flute’s drone to the song’s tonic (B major) but moved my right hand down to the drone for the improvisation section, in order to create new harmonies by choosing alternative notes. You’ll also hear sum and difference frequencies, which make it sound like a choir of flutes is playing. Listening in headphones, you may also hear the distant barking of the observatory dog, G.W. Richey. Double flute made by Brent Haines (Woodsounds) 6- hole concert style in cedar, key of F# minor.

11) Zuni Sunrise – Extended Version (traditional Zuni song)
This traditional song, known by many tribes, is one of my favorite traditional tunes. For this recording, I found that the unvarnished cedar performed exceptionally well under cold, damp conditions, resulting in a longer improvisation. Flute made by Michael Graham Allen (Coyote Oldman) 5- hole style in cedar, key of E minor.

12) Lark Who Sang His Song to the Sun Every Morning
I chose a bird-like tune to represent both the Navajo constellation (which has no Greek or European counterpart) and the singing of birds at sunrise. The tune however, is inspired by a mockingbird who sat in a tree outside our bedroom window, and would sing enthusiastically to the streetlights each night starting around midnight. Flute made by Ed Hrebec (Spirit of the Woods) 6- hole concert tuned in claro walnut, key of A minor.

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Reviews


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Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky
You must be free
This is the essence of this world
Why is the sound of the Native American flute so very special? What in particular can be contained in the easy and primeval melodies of this ancient musical instrument? It lifts up your spirit and arouses your most dear recollections. It goes deep to your hidden desires of the past and brings you strength to release them and to sense the beauty of the inner and outward world as well.
The album “Under the Stars” is a debut release of promising flutist Joanne Lazzaro. It was recorded in the 100-inch Hooker telescope dome at Mount Wilson Observatory (Pasadena, California) and the album follows in the path of Paul Horn’s famous 1969 album «Inside The Taj Mahal». And it is no accident that the longing for the distant shining stars and unknown worlds is felt in the piercing sound of the artist’s flute. It calls you to start an exciting and dangerous journey to the unknown. But you’ll return back different than you were before. The Universe will fill you its secret knowledge, and it will give wisdom to see all the things in this world how they are in reality.
What are the most important features of the album “Under the Stars”? This music is a live improvisation and it is filled with true and vivid senses and emotional experiences. And one more very important feature is inherent in these bewitching melodies of the artist’s flute. The compositions of Joanne Lazzaro have timeless qualities, they call you to be brave enough and to feel a freedom inside your own essence. This world and you in it have to be free from suppressions of hurtful people who adapted to live at the expense of others. The music appeals you to open your eyes and to see shining stars on the boundless sky and to realize that you are born to be happy in this world.
Yearning for loved ones is also contained in this wonderful music. It is filled with love and divine beauty. The classical training is felt in the refined playing of Joanne Lazzaro, but the artist goes deeper and without doubt has her own unique style.
“Under the Stars” is a very bright and memorable debut. I am sure you’ll want to listen to this incredible album over and over again. Joanne Lazzaro skillfully uses a variety of flutes in different keys and models, telling the listeners the unusual musical stories.
Lift up your eyes up, feel the voice of the skies. Stars urge you to feel your inner essence that is born to be free and that has always been free in the unfair world. And all the stars will be with you on your endless and exciting path…
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james from Lane ONE

Loved IT !
Super Sick ' the observatory really gave it unique texture 2 , great job … this Album Delivers ! yeeeeeeeeee
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Nik Arkimovich

Soulful...
Okay, so I am Biased... The album is dedicated to me and I think it's great!
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john winter

Transcendent
Listening to this I am suddenly beside a still mountain lake, with the moon reflected in the water. Incredibly haunting, ethereal, and relaxing, and played with so much feeling - superb!
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Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

If you want to feel like you are Under The Stars I highly recommend listening to
The flute must be one of the hardest instruments to master. I have a deep respect for any musician however there are certain instruments that seem more difficult to produce an entire album with. I definitely think the flute is one of those that qualify.

Joanne Lazzaro took on the task of mastering this mystical instrument and created a fine album titled Under The Stars.

“Path of the Departed Souls” was my introduction to Joanne’s music and it was featured on the Rate The Tracks site. There is something simplistic and beautiful about this music. The flute is the only instrument being played so you cannot help but focus on that. The difficulty for this type of recording is to pull in the listener and keep them interested. For my ears it worked as every track has a different tone and ambiance to keep it interesting. Although I enjoy rock music I am drawn to this kind of music more all of the time for its healing qualities. I find that I can get more focus on thoughts and feelings that are dismissed during the course of a busy and sometimes frenetic day.

There is a lot of great music to enjoy on this album and each track is an individual offering from the artist for you to use as you see fit. “Zuni Sunrise (extended version)” is as mesmerizing and relaxing as one track can possibly be. It has a mysterious element to it and reminded me of a time far away, perhaps ancient China. Like watching a movie as the scenes flicker by, you conjure all kinds of thoughts and images. This is what music of this sort is supposed to do and I think the artist accomplishes this consistently throughout the run of this recording.

I love the way Joanne closed out the album making her flute sing like a bird, literally. In the appropriately titled “Lark Who Sang His Song to the Sun Every Morning” she demonstrates the capabilities and power of her instrument by emulating a bird saying good morning to the sun. What a perfect way to close the curtain on a magical journey provided by a very talented flautist. If you want to feel like you are Under The Stars I highly recommend listening to this album.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Path of the Departed Souls, Zuni Sunrise (extended version), Lark Who Sang His Song to the Sun Every Morning
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
October 18, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Inspired by Paul Horn’s iconic “Inside” album recorded in the Taj Mahal, flutist Joanne Lazzaro decided to do a solo flute recording in a unique and sonically resonant setting: the 100-inch telescope dome at the historic Mount Wilson Observatory in the San Gabriel Mountains outside of Los Angeles. Being an avid astronomy buff, the observatory was the perfect place for Joanne to record. Playing a musical instrument in such an immense and highly resonant structure as this is not as simple ad just picking up your flute and pressing “record.” The building itself and the echo within is very much a factor in how the music is played. It was interesting to hear how the many different flutes Joanne played sounded in the acoustic environment.

The opening track is appropriately entitled “Evening Star Song.” As the lovely Native American flute melody drifted from my speakers, it occurred to me that listening on headphones might capture more of the ambiance. Once I made the switch I did indeed have more of a sense of being there, especially listening with eyes closed. The natural reverberation of this huge dome with the notes wafting out into the space was a perfect match for the purpose which the building is intended; to explore the vastness of the universe.

The wistful strains on “Path of the Departed Souls,” fits perfectly with the legend that inspired it. As Joanne explains: “Various tribes including the Shasta, Ojibway and Menominee, believe that the Milky Way represents a trail taken by the souls of those who have passed on. In addition to Joanne’s original improvised performances, the album also includes two “cover” tunes. The first being her version of the iconic “Amazing Grace – Trail of Tears. The other cover song is “Zuni Sunrise (Extended Version) which is a traditional tribal song that, at over 8 minutes in length, is the longest piece on the CD.

This album, which was recorded live on location in one take per track, and no studio effects or overdubbing has been described by listeners as “haunting,” “ethereal,” and “moving,” and I would most certainly agree. “Under The Stars” represents a fascinating interaction between artist and environment. Listeners who enjoy the classic Paul Horn recording as well as the music of artists like R. Carlos Nakai, Coyote Oldman, and Mary Youngblood will find a lot to like in this enchanting album that combines the earthiness of the Native flute and the vastness of the infinite sky.

To read a full length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com
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