Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai | Ritual

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New Age: Energy Healing World: Native American Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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by Peter Kater & R. Carlos Nakai

Grammy nominated RITUAL invokes a rich and soulful exploration of Self within a musical landscape created through deep listening, presence and love.In their first recording together in over 10 years Peter Kater and R.Carlos Nakai stand again united.
Genre: New Age: Energy Healing
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Meeting At Twilight
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
6:57 album only
2. Standing as One
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
8:26 album only
3. Invoking the Elements
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
7:08 album only
4. Offering
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
6:54 album only
5. Space Within
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
12:34 album only
6. Envisioning
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
9:11 album only
7. Dream Dances
Peter Katerr & R. Carlos Nakai
11:14 album only


Album Notes
Legendary musical artists R.Carlos Nakai ( Native American Flute , Eagle bone whistle, chanting ) and Peter
Kater (piano) reunite for their first collaboration in over ten years and are joined by much-acclaimed reed player Paul McCandless (soprano sax, oboe, and English horn) along with talented cellist Jaques Morelenbaum and vocalist Trisha Bowden on the superb release , Grammy nominated, Ritual. A wholly improvised recording, Kater states (in the liner notes) "It is an offering and invitation for us all to meet in this place of pure beingness that transcends time, duality and concept. It is an expression of the totality and gift of each moment and the awareness that the experience of this journey is its own reward." Ritual is a thing of beauty, flowing from one track to the other, anchored by Nakai's haunting, lilting flute and Kater's superbly nuanced piano, but also featuring some major contributions from McCandless whose expert reed work is on display multiple times throughout the album. Many songs have a drifting, meditative feel to them, almost dream-like at times, while now and then drama surfaces, such as during the middle of the opening track "Meeting At Twilight" when Nakai, Kater, and McCandless gather together and pirouette musically round each other with celebratory joyfulness. Sometimes, the music takes on a somber hue, for example on "Standing As One," wherein Kater and cellist Morelenbaum exchange lead lines, accompanied now and then by Nakai and vocalist Bowden. What is apparent throughout Ritual is the sense of simpatico that all the players have for one another as each one exhibits an instinctive feel for when to step into the spotlight and when to recede into the shadows. Despite this being an improvised recording, there is no perfunctory noodling or overtly-flashy soloing. In fact, if the liner notes didn’t state that this was improvised, as opposed to composed music, you'd be hard pressed to tell. The only "clue" may be in how the unforced fluidity of the melodies comes across as almost organic in nature. While there are, as mentioned earlier, some brief excursions into drama or passion, the majority of Ritual is low-key, contemplative, and even the occasional forays into higher energy territory do not disrupt the overall reflective, serene mood of the recording. However, do not dismiss this as a simple, "relaxation" recording (although there is nothing wrong with that description in and of itself). There is something deeper going on here, a melding of intelligence with heart, a musical hybrid that speaks to both the listener's mind and the listener's soul. The album is superbly engineered and mixed by Kater with a great mastering job by David Glasser, and, as if the sublime music wasn't enough inducement, the CD is contained within some truly gorgeous artwork. Ritual will almost certainly land on many critics' Top 10 lists for 2014.

Bill Binkelman
Zone Music Reporter



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Although they have recorded at least eleven albums together over the past twenty or so years, "Ritual" is the first release in more than a decade from pianist/composer Peter Kater and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai. On several of the seven tracks, the duo is joined by legendary reedsman Paul McCandless, cellist Jaques Morelenbaum, and/or vocalist Trisha Bowden. All of the music on the album was improvised and Kater states in the liner notes that “It is an offering and invitation for us all to meet in this place of pure beingness that transcends time, duality and concept. It is an expression of the totality and gift of each moment and the awareness that the experience of this journey is its own reward.” I have always found it fascinating that Native American flutes can work so beautifully with an instrument as different as the piano. Of course, both artists are beyond being masters of their respective instruments and are very much in synch creatively, but I still find it amazing that the much simpler flutes can hold their own with the very complex grand piano. This music is a coming-together of musical cultures that share and celebrate their differences as well as their similarities and unite as one. I have always given Peter Kater a ton of credit for being so open to such a wide range of musical expression, and even after fifty-plus recordings, he is still going strong! R. Carlos Nakai also does quite a bit of chanting on the album and I wish there was a translation of his chants so we could better understand the source of his passion and inspiration.

"Ritual" begins with “Meeting At Twilight,” a beautiful trio for piano, Native American flute, and English horn. Beginning with a brief flute solo, Kater then enters with a dark rhythmic pattern in the bass of the piano. McCandless’ English horn plays a gorgeous counterpart to the flute in a piece that is sometimes mysterious and sometimes more lively and upbeat - a great opening that sets the tone for the album as a whole. “Standing As One” starts out with a mournful cello and piano duet - very smooth and haunting. Once the flute and Bowden’s lovely voice have made the ensemble a quartet, the piece becomes an emotional powerhouse. “Invoking the Elements” returns to the trio of Kater/Nakai/McCandless and is impossible to classify into a specific genre because jazz and blues add subtle flavors to make this a tasty stylistic stew, if you will. I really love this one - fairly soft-spoken and subtle, but so expressive! “Space Within” is a 12 1/2-minute improvisation that is smooth and gentle and includes Nakai’s poetic chanting. “Dream Dances” is another lengthy improv that this time includes the whole group. At a bit over eleven minutes, the piece has plenty of time to evolve and move in a variety of directions, bringing the album to a satisfying close.

Longtime fans of the Kater/Nakai collaborations will be very happy with this new installment. Newcomers will find this a great place to start. Check it out!

Michael Diamond (

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Reprising their rich history of recording together, pianist Peter Kater and Native American flute virtuoso R. Carlos Nakai have once again joined forces on their first joint release in over a decade. Entitled Ritual, the album also features accompaniment by Paul Winter Consort alumni, Paul McCandless on soprano sax, English horn, and oboe, Jaques Morelenbaum on cello, who is best known for performing with Sting, and the ethereal vocals of Trisha Bowden who also served as this album’s executive producer, as well as recording with Peter on his last two Grammy-nominated albums, Light Body and Illumination. Judging from the music on Ritual, the long years of separation have done nothing to diminish the chemistry between this gifted duo.

The first sounds heard on the first track, “Meeting at Twilight,” are those of R. Carlos Nakai’s flute. Right from the start, I was taken by his mastery of the instrument, his use of vibrato, and the spirit behind his playing. As Peter joins in on piano and Paul McCandless on reed instruments, the song is alternately mellow and soaring, taking the listener on their journey of musical communion. The sonorous sound of Jaques’ cello adds a deeply soulful texture that blends beautifully with Peter's piano on the intro of “Standing As One,” as it does throughout the album. Adding to the atmosphere are the wordless ambient vocals of Trisha Bowden, who is becoming well known for these beautiful ethereal textures she graces Peter Kater’s recordings with. The ensemble playing on the appropriately titled “Dream Dances,” is magnificent and offered some of my favorite moments on the album. As a long time fan of Paul McCandless, I appreciated his many tasteful contributions to this recording.

Listening to Ritual, one of the things I focused on was the stylistic diversity and virtuosity of Peter’s piano work. Being the foundation instrument in this grouping he did a stellar job of providing the musical terrain for the other musicians to walk upon. R. Carlos Nakai is an undisputed master of the Native flute and any project he graces with it is uplifted by it. In addition to his purely musical gifts, he brings a spiritual presence that is illuminating. The interplay between Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai on Ritual is pure magic.

To read a full length review of this CD, as well as others, please visit:

P Burton

Migration to Ritual ...... a wonderful progression
If you love The iconic MIGRATION by Peter Kater and R.Carlos Nakai , You will love RITUAL even MORE !

Rotcod Zzaj

Zzaj Productions
Peter Kater & R.Carlos Nakai – RITUAL: Peter’s creative piano and R. Carlos’ beautiful woodwind work are a marriage made in musical heaven – no doubt at all! It’s been over 10 years since they collaborated together, but it’s clear they (still) stand on the foundation of sacred music that reaches right out and touches your soul with all shades of emotion difficult to convey except through music. Compositions like “Standing As One” are solid proof that they understand how to open the listener up to the possibilities that exist all ’round our souls. My personal favorite of the seven pieces offered up was “Offering“; if you’re not in a state of reverence after this one – you never shall be. I give this album a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) of 4.98. Get more information about their work together at the DISCOGS page outlining their work. Rotcod Zzaj

Raj Manoharan (

The RajMan Review
When keyboardist Peter Kater and Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai bring their talents together, magic happens, the kind that results in a Grammy nomination for Best New Age Album.

The record features seven mystical originals composed by the two artists. Adding layers of nuance to the proceedings are Paul McCandless of Oregon fame on oboe and saxophone, Trisha Bowden on vocals, and Jaques Morelenbaum on cello.

The unique sounds created by Kater and Nakai and their guests result in a listening experience unlike any other.