Robert Linton | Beyond the Clearing

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New Age: Solo Instrumental Easy Listening: Adult contemporary Moods: Instrumental
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Beyond the Clearing

by Robert Linton

Robert Linton performs reflective instrumental music, his songs exude such tranquil beauty and peaceful solace that they work their way into your soul without you even realizing it.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Aside the River Bend
5:52 $0.99
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2. Gathering over the Surface
6:29 $0.99
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3. Lingering Rustle
5:27 $0.99
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4. Shadowing the Hillside
5:24 $0.99
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5. A Distant Storm
5:05 $0.99
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6. Beyond the Clearing
6:07 $0.99
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7. Stretching Across the Horizon
6:46 $0.99
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8. Amid the Stillness
5:32 $0.99
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9. Beneath the Cloudless Sky
5:47 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
While the acoustic guitar instrumental field will never be as populous as the piano genre, it is still increasing in volume of recordings. However, there are a mere handful of artists who exist at the upper echelon of the genre and one of them is undoubtedly Robert Linton. After only three recordings (previous releases were Whisperings At Nightfall and Throughout the Autumn Light) Linton has become one of my personal favorite artists (and not just as far as acoustic guitar music goes). Beyond the Clearing solidifies his standing with me and should do the same with all fans of his type of music.

Linton is both a gifted musician and a wonderful composer who infuses deep, honest emotion into every song without resorting to being pointlessly flashy or showcasing his technical ability with pointless solos. Instead, he relishes the opportunity to play with other talented artistic souls (on this album, he is joined by Heidi Breyer on piano, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Jill Haley on English horn, Jeff Pearce on ebow, Sara Mionovich on violin, Kitty Thompson and Stephen Katz on cello, and Adam Miller on guitar). You may notice the absence of electronic keyboards and also drums or percussion. These two missing pieces, if you will, indicate how subdued and subtle these nine tracks are. I have previously described Linton’s music as autumnal, being perfectly suited for that time of year when leaves turn and fall, the air becomes crisp, and the skies tend to grey clouds more often than bright sunlight. It is this setting which would be perfect in which to listen to Beyond the Clearing, i.e. taking a drive through a rural part of the country, e.g. the rolling hills and quaint farmland in southwestern Wisconsin’s driftless area.

What Linton has mastered with his music is making it somber without necessarily infusing it with melancholy or mournful elements. It is simple, uncomplicated music, but rich with nuance; it is slow-paced but not somnambulist-like. That said, I suppose one could put this on at bedtime and use the gentle melodies to ease oneself into sleep; but for me, this is music to delve into deeply and let it carry me on an inward journey of reflection or remembrance. I could potentially also see it as the perfect accompaniment to reading late at night, although again, these songs deserve to be paid attention to in order to fully experience their emotive impact and to appreciate all the care and attention to detail that went into making them (listen to Breyer’s soft and minimal piano playing on “Gathering Over the Surface” for an example of what I am referring to, or Oster’s muted flugelhorn on “Lingering Rustle,” or for that matter, any of many carefully executed accompaniments from the guest artists).

On the technical side of things, as if it needs pointing out, Corin Nelsen has worked his usual magic with production, mixing and mastering. His contribution to how superb the album sounds cannot be overstated.

There’s not much more to say except that Robert Linton’s Beyond the Clearing is not just an exceptional recording, but is a true gift to all acoustic instrumental music lovers from a musician who in a short amount of time has achieved a pinnacle of artistry that most will only aspire to.

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Beyond the Clearing" is the fifth album from acoustic guitarist Robert Linton, following his critically-acclaimed 2011 release, "Throughout the Autumn Light." Much like the earlier album, "Beyond the Clearing" is a collection of nine original pieces composed as duets for guitar and other instruments (piano, violin, flugelhorn, cello, English horn, a second guitar, and EBow guitar). The album features an impressive group of artists that includes Heidi Breyer, Jeff Oster, Jeff Pearce, and Jill Haley and was mixed and mastered by Corin Nelsen, one of the best in the biz. Linton’s finger-style nylon-string guitar playing is lyrical, melodic, and very relaxing. The quiet tone of the entire album makes it perfect for soothing background music, but give your ears a treat and listen it with full attention to savor the subtle nuances and gentle beauty of each piece. It is interesting to note that in 2012, "Throughout the Autumn Light" and "Whisperings at Nightfall" were added to the music library of The C.A.R.E. Channel, a program of Healing Healthcare Systems that is played in more than 700 leading hospitals around the country.

"Beyond the Clearing" begins with “Aside the River Bend,” a duet for guitar and violin (Sara Milonovich). Its peaceful, visual quality evokes images of a lazy river meandering through a quiet forest or rural setting - a lovely start! “Gathering Over the Surface” features one of my favorite pianists, Heidi Breyer, who adds tonal color and grace without calling much attention to herself - a gorgeous piece! “Lingering Rustle” is a duet with Jeff Oster on flugelhorn. Although the combination of instruments seems a little odd, the piece is warm and dreamy and works seamlessly. “Shadowing the Hillside,” a duet for guitar and cello (Kitty Thompson), is a favorite. Poignant and wistful, it suggests images in soft shades of gray. English horn virtuoso Jill Haley joins Linton on “Stretching Across the Horizon,” a piece that eloquently defines blissful tranquility without using a single word - a soothing mind massage and another favorite. “Beneath the Cloudless Sky” features another one of my favorite musicians, Jeff Pearce, playing EBow guitar. (The EBow is a hand-held electronic bow that replaces the pick, allowing the guitarist to mimic strings, horns, and woodwinds - Pearce is a master.) Ethereal and ambient, it’s a beautiful way to close this impressive album.

If you are looking for a great musical escape from the stresses of everyday life, "Beyond the Clearing" is an excellent choice! Recommended!
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
“Beyond The Clearing” provides a most peaceful and relaxing listening experience. The sound of Robert’s fingerstyle nylon string acoustic guitar exudes a softness and warmth that is different from the brighter tone of a steel string guitar. His compositions are visually and emotionally evocative and exhibit enough diversity to keep it interesting, while maintaining the overall ambiance of the album.

The album opens with a track called “Aside the River Bend.” Robert’s mellow guitar, accompanied by violin creates the mood and sets the stage for the overall ambiance of the album. On the next track, “Gathering Over the Surface,” Robert is joined by one of my favorite pianists, Heidi Breyer. Her contribution is both supportive and understated, allowing Robert’s guitar to be the primary voice. I particularly liked his chord progression on this piece and the dreamy atmosphere it creates. Another of my favorite artists, Jeff Oster, is heard on track 3, “Lingering Rustle,” adding his trademark ambient horn playing which drifts peacefully over Robert’s pastoral melody.

While all of the songs on he album are exquisite, one that especially appealed to me as a guitarist was “A Distant Storm.” This track featured Robert in a duet with fellow acoustic guitarist Adam Miller, whose graceful lead lines intertwined so beautifully with Robert’s melody on this impressionistic composition. The piece also exhibited a perfect blend of sound and space. Long time Will Ackerman collaborator and studio musician Jill Haley adds her haunting English horn parts to the expansive “Stretching Across the Horizon.” I also greatly enjoyed the final track with ambient guitarist Jeff Pearce on ethereal electric guitar.

Among the standout aspects of this album, as I’ve been mentioning, are Robert’s musical interactions with the various accompanists. I liked the way he chose just one musician to play with for each song. Each duet has its own unique characteristics, while maintaining the general tone and consistency of the album. I appreciate the subtlety and understatement in Robert’s songs, which are like pastel portraits in sound. Robert has the artistic acuity to convey a particular mood in a way that envelops the listener and draws them into his space for the duration of the recording. His guitar playing is sensitive, deft, and evocative, providing a gentle journey you'll want to embark upon often. In fact, if you are looking for the perfect soundtrack for a mellow Sunday morning, you couldn't do much better than this.

To read a full-length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: MichaelDiamondMusic.com
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Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com
With clear mind and pure soul|
You feel an endless joy and love

What can be said about this music? It brings joy from the first moments and fills the heart with tranquility and purity. You feel your anxieties and troubles easily fading away and you eagerly want to start an exciting journey to a beautiful land hidden behind the veil of fog and heavy rains. And you can begin this unexpected trip to the unknown and this path will lead you to yourself…

The music of Robert Linton is full of imagination. It plunges you into a wonderful and interesting movie. And the artist‘s guitar playing has one more very important feature. There is understanding of the essence of human being in the compositions of Robert Linton. They invite the listener to feel your inner thoughts, to realize the true center of your existence which is pure love and boundless joy. You also can feel the real source of your creation and release the most intimate desires. And your spirit will be filled with infinite creativity again...

I have not heard such a clear and pure musical message for a long time. Besides, these compositions are unique from the first and till the last second. Robert Linton has his own musical language which is very expressive and at the same time refined.

“Beyond the Clearing” is the third release of the gifted artist. Many outstanding musicians participated in this project such as Sara Milonovich on violin, Heidi Breyer on piano, Kitty Thompson on cello, Adam Miller on guitar, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Jill Haley on English Horn, Stephen Katz on cello and Jeff Pearce on EBow guitar creating very special meditative environment for Robert’s brilliant guitar solo. I am sure the album “Beyond the Clearing” will be among the most powerful and recognized releases of this year. And the long and very good future awaits it too.

This music brings the best which exists in our world. It is very integral and real. The main message of this music is that your true essence is love…
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