Raphael Groten | Journey Home

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Folk: Fingerstyle Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Journey Home

by Raphael Groten

Debut album of original solo acoustic guitar produced by Will Ackerman. A global to mystical symphony of sound, warmth and light.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Sweetness
3:06 $0.99
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2. Black River
4:21 $0.99
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3. Waves
3:30 $0.99
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4. Journey Home: Awakening
3:31 $0.99
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5. Journey Home: Breath
3:27 $0.99
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6. Journey Home: Echoes
3:29 $0.99
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7. Journey Home: Arrival
3:05 $0.99
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8. Ebb & Flow
2:14 $0.99
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9. Grandpa's Hands
3:58 $0.99
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10. Rest
2:23 $0.99
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11. Elder
1:55 $0.99
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12. Truth
5:01 $0.99
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13. Be
3:33 $0.99
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14. Sweetness Reprise
1:55 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Raphael Groten’s music is an exercise in grace and ease. He’s not out to impress you and he’s not in a hurry. His music beguiles. He creates spaces into which one falls fully and gratefully. Raphael paints pictures of peace and contemplation and creates musical worlds that one longs to visit.”

Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Journey Home" is the debut recording by solo acoustic guitarist Raphael Groten. Produced by Will Ackerman and recorded at Imaginary Road Studio on Ackerman’s own guitars, this gentle album was created as an offering to those who wish to “Journey Home” within. In Ackerman’s words: “Raphael Groten’s music is an exercise in grace and ease. He’s not out to impress you and he’s not in a hurry. His music beguiles. He creates spaces into which one falls fully and gratefully. Raphael paints pictures of peace and contemplation and creates musical worlds that one longs to visit.” I couldn’t have said it better! The fourteen tracks are spacious and heartfelt, soothing the mind and spirit with each stroke of the guitar strings. Beautifully engineered and mastered by Tom Eaton, the guitar sound is clear and clean, but never harsh. A guitarist for more than thirty years, Groten’s debut is impressive and masterful with the elegance and simplicity of a musician who is at one with his music. This is a wonderful album for relaxation and renewal, and also works well as background music in a quiet setting.

"Journey Home" begins with “Sweetness,” a lovely piece that says as much with the spaces between the notes as it does with the notes themselves. Relaxed and soft-spoken, it sets the mood for the album, which is consistently quiet and easy-going. “Black River” is also very smooth and calm with freely-changing tempos and a dreamy feel. “Journey Home Awakening” is sometimes melodic, but is mostly on the ambient side with graceful open spaces between many of the musical thoughts. If possible, “Journey Home Breath” is even more open, expressing musical thoughts freely and spontaneously - almost conversationally. “Journey Home Echoes” is one of the most subtle tracks of the album, perhaps expressing how a guitar whispers. “Journey Home Arrival’ has the feeling of completion and resolution yet retains the quiet charm of the previous tracks. “Grandpa’s Hands,” while remaining in the quiet mode, tells a story that overflows with love and reflection. More melodic than the other tracks, it also has occasional “percussive” effects played on the body of the guitar. The gently-flowing “Be” spills over with warmth and encouragement, and is a bit livelier than most of the other tracks - a favorite. The album closes with a shorter reprise of the opening “Sweetness.”

"Journey Home" is a wonderful introduction to Raphael Groten and his music! Recommended!
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Scott Whitney

Intricate, Intimate, Inviting
Raphael's guitar sings to you. It says, 'have a seat' It says, 'hear me out.' It says, 'everything will be ok.' I enjoy listening to this album when I have to do my (creative) work. It allows me to be focused, calm and often inspired. Every note seems to have purpose. Even the quiet gaps between notes feel like deliberate white space, as you wait for the next note to arrive. I strongly recommend Raphael's album. Kudos also goes to Will Ackerman, his producer, for helping to arrange such a beautifully spare body of music.
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Steve Sheppard

One World Music Radio
The time of day was perfect for this album; the sun had started to set and another warm late autumn day was nearly done, a few errant storm clouds drifted north towards the mountain to the refrains of Raphael Groten’s latest release Journey Home, to be exact Sweetness, track one.
Black River was equally as impressive, a strum away from pure heaven. As a guitarist myself I really appreciate albums like this.
A strum and were riding on Waves. Those of course could be waves of sound, as well as waves crashing up upon a winter shore, but the performance on this piece was delightful and could fit any laid back moment of easy listening.
Journey Home Awakening is a flowing track that pulls back to almost re-establish itself, Groten’s magic hands once more create something so very easy and peace filled.
Journey Home Breath is a very gentle and calming composition that almost seems to breathe itself before creating a compelling melody.
Journey Home Echoes is a piece of guitar based brilliance, the depth of the composition is slightly more pronounced, the skill that is used here emphasises Raphael Groten’s sublime skill on the guitar.
Journey Home Arrival brings us back home after a long journey on the road, perhaps even a journey of self-discovery.
Ebb and Flow has an upbeat melody which does exactly what it says on the can as Groten brings both light and dark into the mix, as he almost duels with himself on this blissful, but stylish track.
Grandpa’s Hands is a slow and respectful track of great skill and accomplishment, one can almost hear the concentration on this arrangement, a track that uses subtle points of power and poise and the attention to detail here is quite breath-taking.
Rest for some reason seemed familiar and I wondered if it would be possible to put lyrics to this song.
Elder is simply lovely, my mind’s eye created my own personal heaven whilst listening to this very track; it seems to just glide with a certain graceful ambience.
Truth is up next, Raphael Groten seems to literally make his instrument talk to us through this piece; we seem to wend our way musically through a heartfelt story. Here is a composition with a tempo all of its own and a melody that raises the energy and moves us on once more.
The penultimate track off the album is called Be. Sometimes it’s nice to just be, to take our foot off the pedal and just enjoy the natural flow of life.
So as we arrive at the last destination of Journey Home by Raphael Groten, we are gifted one more opportunity to listen to some superb guitar playing, what a delightful way to end an album as well, with Sweetness Reprise.
I found solace in this album, I feel uplifted, I feel relaxed and calmed in the knowledge that I have just listened to one of the best guitar based album that I have heard in long time.
Raphael Groten is a guitarist of supreme quality and fans of this genre should snap it up as fast as they can, but if you appreciate really good music, then allow Raphael Groten create this safe harbour for you within his. This album is simply delightful and has been a total pleasure for me to listen to and write about.
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Although Raphael Groten has been playing guitar for 30 years, Journey Home is his debut solo recording on the instrument. But as the saying goes: “Good things are worth waiting for,” and Raphael has made up for lost time by delivering this finely crafted album that highlights his six-string talents. If listening to this recording brings up memories of the iconic Windham Hill sound, it is more than a coincidence. Journey Home was actually produced by the GRAMMY winning producer and founder of Windham Hill Records, Mr. Will Ackerman himself, at his renowned Imaginary Road Studios.

One of the most outstanding characteristics of Raphael’s sound is his spaciousness, allowing the music room to breathe between notes and phrases. In fact, the maestro Ackerman perfectly characterizes in this way: “Raphael Groten’s music is an exercise in grace and ease. He’s not out to impress you and he’s not in a hurry. Raphael paints pictures of peace and contemplation and creates musical worlds that one longs to visit.”

The album opens with “Sweetness,” which has a dreamy quality that puts you in the perfect relaxed state of mind to enjoy “Journey Home.” Tracks 4 through 7 are part of the album’s title suite, which Raphael describes as: “a microcosm of my work; each part carrying the listener to a different place.” “Ebb & Flow,” is also slightly more up-tempo and features some nice classic folk-style fingerpicking that reminded me a bit of guitarists like John Fahey or Leo Kottke.

There are many times and spaces where this would be the perfect soundtrack: early morning, late night, for relaxing, receiving a massage, doing yoga, etc. Again, I must reiterate about the spaciousness of these compositions. New age music pioneer Steven Halpern often speaks about the space between notes being as important and as much a part of the music as the notes themselves. Raphael seems intuitively aware of this in the way his notes and phrases are punctuated by silence. “Journey Home” is one of the most serene acoustic guitar albums I’ve ever heard.

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