Minstrel Streams | New Horizon

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New Horizon

by Minstrel Streams

A beautiful blend of classical, folk, and world music - featuring flute, piano, and acoustic guitar. Recorded at Will Ackerman's Imaginary Road Studios, Windham County, Vermont.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Ancient Mariner
3:44 $0.99
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2. Come to the Waters
3:20 $0.99
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3. Dawn Rising
3:59 $0.99
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4. On a Distant Shore
3:14 $0.99
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5. Golden Treasures
4:22 $0.99
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6. Voices of the Wind
3:52 $0.99
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7. New Horizon
3:16 $0.99
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8. Passages
3:49 $0.99
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9. Celestial's Rainbow
2:52 $0.99
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10. Coming Home to You
4:45 $0.99
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11. Memories of Kyoto
2:36 $0.99
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12. Visions for Tomorrow
3:02 $0.99
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13. Simple Pleasures
4:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Minstrel Streams (Matt & Rebecca Stuart) ventured to Will Ackerman's Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, Vermont to record their latest CD. Musical magic happened in the mountains of southern Vermont.

This beautiful album features Matt Stuart playing a Steinway B Grand Piano and Taylor acoustic guitar; and Rebecca Stuart playing a Gemeinhardt flute and Native American flutes. They were also joined by many wonderful musicians such as:
Eugene Friesen (GRAMMY winning cellist); Jill Haley (English Horn); Paul Kochanski (string bass); Matt Heaton (Bodhran drum); Noah Wilding (vocals); and Tom Eaton (percussion and accordian).

This inspired CD covers a spectrum of styles...from the classically flavored "Ancient Mariner" and "Come to the Waters" to the Native American themed "Dawn Rising" and "Visions for Tomorrow." World music elements can be found in "Memories of Kyoto" and "Celestial's Rainbow" (Celtic and Spanish).

Special thanks to Tom Eaton for his excellent job of recording, mixing, and mastering; and Will Ackerman for enabling this project.

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Reviews


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Larry Rice

Best release yet for Minstrel Streams
I have listened to Matt & Rebecca Stuart for a few years now and I have to say this is their best work yet. Matt is solid on Piano and Guitar. Rebecca will make your soul fly with her masterful Flute. There are some moments when the Cello owns the musical landscape and provides a rich thread in the fabric of this enchanting music. Well done from start to finish. This is a keeper.
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Since they began playing together in 2008, the husband and wife musical duo known as Minstrel Streams has released four albums, including their latest, “New Horizon.” Matt Stuart (piano and guitar) and Rebecca Stuart (flutes) currently live in Santa Barbara, California where they play in a variety of venues and work on composing their music. While they have a small home studio there, for this release, they decided to take their music to the next level and recorded it at Imaginary Roads Studio, the well known facility of Grammy winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman. As is often the case with albums recorded at Imaginary Roads, a number of Will’s A-list studio musicians contributed their unique talents, including cellist Eugene Friesen, Jill Haley on English horn, string bassist Paul Kochanski, Matt Heaton on Bodhran drum, and vocalist Noah Wilding, as well as additional instrumentation and engineering by Tom Eaton.

Although the following comment holds true for the album in general, on a track called “Golden Treasures,” I couldn’t help noticing the remarkable sonic synergy between Matt and Rebecca as their parts flowed and intertwined together so perfectly. I’m sure that their loving energy as a couple spills over into their music, and this is a wonderful example. I also enjoyed the introduction of new elements as Rebecca played a wooden Native American flute over Matt’s acoustic guitar in the delightful “Voices of the Wind.” Another equally impressive track, and one of the most musically diverse on the album is “Celestial’s Rainbow,” which is described as “a spirited Celtic dance theme that alternates with a Spanish middle section.

I really enjoyed “New Horizon” by Minstrel Streams with its earthy blend of folk music, new age, classical, and world music flavors. While Matt and Rebecca bring in influences of various ethnicities and musical styles, these are integrated subtly into their own sound, which maintains a degree of continuity throughout the recording, so that there are not any sudden jumps into wildly divergent genres. The accompanying musicians are also blended subtly into the mix where they perfectly compliment but never distract from the sweet chemistry between Matt and Rebecca.

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

From MainlyPiano
Are you looking for some sweetly uplifting instrumental music that harkens back to a more innocent time? "New Horizon" by Minstrel Streams might be exactly what you seek. This is the fourth release from Minstrel Streams, a husband and wife duo made up of Matt Stuart on the Steinway grand piano and acoustic guitar and Rebecca Stuart on a variety of flutes. Recorded at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios, New Horizon includes the musical talents of Eugene Friesen on cello, Jill Haley on English horn, vocals by Noah Wilding, and others. All thirteen of the tracks are original compositions by Minstrel Streams and convey a sense of simplicity and warmth. While the melodies are gentle and uncomplicated, the performances are heartfelt and beautifully done.

"New Horizon" begins with “Ancient Mariner,” one of the more energetic pieces on the album. Cello, voice, and piano evoke a mysterious feeling that the flute dispels as it enters and creates a more optimistic atmosphere. This is one of my favorites. “Come To the Waters” has a more flowing style and again features the beauty of Friesen’s cello along with piano and flute. “Dawn Rising” is another favorite. Flute, guitar and cello make a delightfully earthy trio that is both peaceful and evocative. I also really like the haunting “Voices of the Wind,” a duet for guitar and Native American flute - very simple but emotionally very rich. “Passages” is the only piano solo on the album - a nice interlude between the ensemble pieces. “Celestial’s Rainbow” is a spirited flute and guitar piece that includes simple percussion and playful cheering in the background. Overflowing with love and longing, “Coming Home to You” is a sweet ballad and another favorite. The heart-tugging flute melody and gentle guitar rhythms in “Visions For Tomorrow” make this another stand-out that would be perfect for the closing credits of a movie. “Simple Pleasures” ends this lovely album with a light-hearted ensemble piece that includes most of the musicians who appeared on other tracks - charming and very satisfying.

"New Horizon" is the perfect antidote for the stresses and bad news we are bombarded with every day. Minstrel Streams endeavors to express the wonder and beauty of life and do an excellent job of it! Recommended!
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Gary Schwartz

Excellent
Another great album from Matt and Rebecca. The magic continues. The interplay between the instruments is exceptional. Top Notch for sure. Congrats.
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Gary Schwartz

Top notch
What a great release. The interaction between Matt and Rebecca is simply magical and beautiful.
The songwriting is full of wonderful
melodies intertwined with incredible harmonies.
Even though all their albums are wonderfully crafted, this one is Outstanding.
Gary Schwartz
Musician
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
The acoustic guitar and piano of Matt Stuart and flutes of Rebecca Stuart come together to form lyrical, melodic music that is fit for fairy tales (that's a good thing).

The songs all have a fanciful storybook quality to them. Just like the name of the band suggests, this is minstrel music with a modern twist.

Giving a contemporary bent to the duo's olde time sound are the talents of Eugene Friesen on cello, Jill Haley on English horn, Paul Kochanski on string bass, Matt Heaton on bodhran drum, Noah Wilding on vocals, and Tom Eaton on percussion and accordion.

If you're inclined toward modern Renaissance fare, this is worth your time and consideration.
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Laura Sullivan

Absolutely Beautiful!
This is one of my favorite releases of 2014. Heartfelt compositions with exquisite performances and instrumentation. This music will take you on a relaxing and blissful journey. Highly recommended!
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