Craig Urquhart | Streamwalker

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New Age: Healing New Age: Nature Moods: Type: Instrumental
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by Craig Urquhart

Beautiful, compelling solo piano music, expressing a response to the beauty of nature in a way that is both poetic and fresh.
Genre: New Age: Healing
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Morning Eagle
4:04 $0.99
2. The Astronomer
6:26 $0.99
3. Silver Stream
5:17 $0.99
4. The Awakening
2:00 $0.99
5. Jazzed
3:11 $0.99
6. Remembrance
4:23 $0.99
7. Interlude
3:10 $0.99
8. Reverie
6:10 $0.99
9. Flow On
5:35 $0.99
10. Ghost Canyon
5:19 $0.99
11. Thanksgiving
8:24 $0.99
12. Impromptu
5:24 $0.99
13. Streamwalker
4:59 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Composer/pianist Craig Urquhart continues to create beautiful, compelling solo piano music, finding rich musical language to express profound spiritual connections between his soul and the world around him. Although Urquhart composes with clarity and balance, his creative process doesn't overwhelm an innate ability to sound fresh and improvised. He has a contemporary voice while drawing upon the inspiration of the great keyboard masters. Streamwalker, his latest album, finds another lovely extension of this unique vision.

On his popular 2000 release Evocation, the classically trained musician drew upon his inspiration to address important environmental concerns. The album received international airplay, was named one of the best albums of the year by Solo Piano Publications, and earned Urquhart feature articles in Piano Today magazine, New Age Voice, and Gibson/Baldwin Player Magazine.

Streamwalker, released by HeartEarthMusic, is his fifth album. Urquhart reaches a new emotional depth in his artistry by exploring, via his own inner journey, the human soul's response to the beauty of nature. The melody for the song that became the album's graceful and serene title track came to Urquhart one day in the spring, while he was literally balancing on the rocks in a winding stream in woods behind a friend's house in Rhode Island. He chose to bookend this set of 13 compositions with the optimism of Streamwalker and the similarly spirited opener, "Morning Eagle," to reflect our ability to appreciate that life is indeed a gift. Looking further upstream, Urquhart devotes much of this music to our collective desire to remain reflective yet optimistic.

The striking CD cover shot shows a close up of Craig's right hand gently touching the stream, entering the world in which we interact with our environment. "Streamwalker is about the impact of nature on me as an artist and human being, and the many moods it inspires," he comments.

"Stepping on those stones in the middle of the stream, lost in the depth of the woods and the rays of the sun's light, I found the motif for the whole album" he adds. "The name of the recording could mean a literal stream of water, or a stream of light. All these images remind me that nature is what gives us music: its rhythm, its color and its forms. Nature captures the imagination, and I simply respond to it. Touching nature is the closest I come to touching my own spiritual center and the meaning of my existence. That is why I love the piano - it is a very organic instrument."

Listening to Streamwalker can inspire the kind of spiritual awakening Urquhart experienced while writing and recording these songs. The gentle caress of "Morning Eagle" was inspired by a breathtaking experience he had watching eagles in flight while canoeing in the Boundary Waters between Minnesota and Canada. "The eagle represents power and grace, and the song is more about the bird than about me," he says. "The Astronomer" is a deep and soulful meditation on the awe Urquhart often feels looking up at the night sky, "where you can get lost in the infinite before you come back to reality." The Astronomer's imagination is stimulated by the vastness of the universe. Urquhart returns to the shimmer of sparkling water with "Silver Spring," which carries an overall sense of sweetness and innocence. "The Awakening" was composed as a birthday present for his friend Leonard Bernstein.

Urquhart evokes an improvisational spirit on the playful, rambunctious "Jazzed," which runs in various tempos, tickles the avant-garde and stirs the mood of the collection. True to its title, the meditative "Remembrance" begins with a warm memory of times past, and finishes in an assertion of commitment. "Interlude" has the pastoral feel of a walk at twilight, enjoying the changing light of dusk. "Reverie" is an entrance to the world of dreamtime, that magical state that brings a vision where all living things are connected in peace. The composer then follows the ever-changing stream of water and of life to declare it's time once again to "Flow On."

Urquhart wrote the haunting "Ghost Canyon" just days after 9/11, observing the empty urban "canyons" of lower Manhattan that was once so full of optimism and humanity. But it is followed by the expansive "Thanksgiving," a joyful image of gratitude and of good friends coming together in celebration.

Urquhart pays tribute to Chopin and Schubert in his thoughtful, classically influenced "Impromptu." The closing title track, "Streamwalker," has a captivating sense of wonderment and leads you on a journey of optimism and hope.

He has four previous solo piano CDs: Evocation; Songs Without Words; The Dream of the Ancient Ones; and Epitaphs and Portraits.

After receiving a Master's in Composition from the University of Michigan, Urquhart came to New York, where he taught piano, acted as musical coach to actor Tom Hulce for the Academy Award winning film Amadeus, and served as musical assistant to Leonard Bernstein until the Maestro's death in 1990.

Urquhart is also a well-known composer of American classical art songs, including musical settings of poems by Emily Dickinson and Walt Whitman. His songs have been performed and recorded by Thomas Hampson, Michael Slattery, Lauren Wagner, and other artists. He has played concerts throughout the United States, including the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, and was invited to perform at the United Nations for Earth Day and AIDS Awareness Day. He was recently presented by the Indiana University Foundation, Klavierhaus in New York City, and in Wellfleet, Mass. He has also performed in Paris, Francs; Berlin, Germany and a six-city sold out concert tour of Japan.

"The reason I have always loved making music is that it has a healing quality which helps all of us reflect and find the courage to move forward," he says. "The music I write has a poetic sensibility and an intimacy which has touched many people over the years, and I enjoy experiencing the wonderful exchange of energy when I perform it live. This is my motivation. The joy is always having something to share and being able to do that with my music. If my compositions are about anything, it's that, in spite of appearances sometimes, life is profoundly beautiful."



to write a review

Larry Allen

Another soul exploring masterpiece
I have just in the last month discovered the music of Craig and what a discovery it was. I have never been moved more by music then I have while listening to him play. I can feel each note he plays and his use of the entire keyboard at times sends chills up and down my spine. I how have all 5 of his CDs and find each to be a masterpiece. Do yourself a favor and give his music a listen and you will become an instant fan.

Love piano

Great performance, great music
Good sounding relaxing music played just great!

Mark Adams Taylor

As gifts for loved ones who most need to CHILL, I boughts extras!
Perpetual middles, casting aside the glitzyness of beginnings and endings, Streamwalker takes me to the place all drama aspires: temporary suspension of disbelief. This CD requires nothing in order for the listener to fall in love with it, except Hope & Faith & Grace. As gifts for loved ones who most need to CHILL, I boughts extras!

Victoria Looseleaf

once again delivers the compositional goods...straight to the soul.
The piano may have only 88 keys, but composer-pianist Craig Urquhart, in his latest CD, “Streamwalker,” manages to conjure as many moods, if not more: From contemplative and lyrically soothing, to emotionally evocative, the suite of 13 songs is colored with joy, hope, and unimaginable beauty. Urquhart, whose pianistic sensibilities combine the glories of Chopin with the profundity of Beethoven and Bach, once again delivers the compositional goods...straight to the soul.

Richard Mauro, Sacred World Music

Eloquently angelic
Craig Urquhart was once described by a listener as
'eloquently angelic.' I have to agree. His music
reaches through the invisible walls that may surround
our moments/days and hearts with an immeasurable sense
of peace and beauty. It's truly a pleasure listening
to him play. -- Richard Mauro, Sacred World Music

Kathy Parsons

Best album yet!
“Streamwalker” is a beautiful collection of original piano solos by Craig Urquhart that range from gently melodic to more abstract and ambient to jazz. A classically-trained pianist who worked as Leonard Bernstein’s personal assistant for the last five years of the legendary composer/conductor’s life, Urquhart’s music sounds deceptively simple. However the complex harmonies and rhythms as well as Urquhart’s emotional and nuanced playing style allow the listener to discover new facets with each listen. Urquhart leaves a lot of open spaces between the notes and phrases, preferring subtlety and expression over showy pianistics, making this CD a very satisfying experience on a variety of levels.

All of the tracks on “Streamwalker” has its own charm, but I do have some favorites. The CD opens with“Morning Eagle,” a sublimely peaceful piece that was inspired by watching eagles flying overhead while on a canoe trip. It is easy to picture these powerful birds effortlessly gliding through the skies, riding the wind currents. “The Astronomer” is a quietly passionate piece reflecting the awe of losing oneself while looking at the vastness of the night sky. The open feeling of this piece and the deeply emotional expression make this a real standout. “The Awakening” is a piece Urquhart composed as a birthday gift for Leonard Bernstein, and is a bit more classical. Urquhart usually includes one bluesy or jazzy piece on his albums, and “Jazzed” is that selection on this album. Showing a different side of his playing and composing, these pieces tend to be a bit whimsical and fun, lightening the mood considerably. “Interlude” is several shades darker and more reflective - gently melodic and very evocative. “Reverie” is a special favorite, depicting the entrance to the world of dreamtime, the magical state where all living things are connected in peace; this is serenity set to music. Urquhart wrote the haunting “Ghost Canyon” just days after 9/11, observing the empty urban “canyons” of lower Manhattan that were once so full of optimism and humanity. “Impromptu” is a gorgeous, thoughtful nod to Chopin and Schubert that is warmly optimistic and hopeful, and played with a touch as gentle as a caress. The title track closes the CD with a light mood and a sense of wonder. What a great album!

“Streamwalker” is very highly recommended!

CD Baby

As spring pushes forward, the buds on the trees nudging back winter's cold fingers, bring with you, into this new season, this sanctuary of respite and calm as all begins to persistently stir again. Beautifully painting an aural landscape of quiet meadows, clear and dark evenings, still, dewy mornings and all things we imagine to bring ourselves a grounded peace, Craig Urquhart has immaculately captured this musical sigh, this meditative haven of total harmony in this clearing, cleansing new age piano collection.

CD Baby

CD Baby Front Page Pick!
As spring pushes forward, the buds on the trees nudging back winter's cold fingers, bring with you, into this new season, this sanctuary of respite and calm as all begins to persistently stir again. Beautifully painting an aural landscape of quiet meadows, clear and dark evenings, still, dewy mornings and all things we imagine to bring ourselves a grounded peace, Craig Urquhart has immaculately captured this musical sigh, this meditative haven of total harmony in
this clearing, cleansing new age piano collection.

Richard Mills

Too beautiful for words
I have so far only heard the MP3 preview of this CD (it's on order and on its way to me as I write), but even that was enough to totally transfix me with the music's beauty - five stars is simply not enough to describe how much this music has moved me. I was captivated on first listen by the music's almost childlike simplicity, only to discover hidden depths and yet more wistful beauty on each successive listen. It is wonderful to hear someone composing and playing music of such beauty and sincerity today. Only a rare genius could compose music with the "accessibility" of the very best of New Age with the depth and grace of the Classical masters, and Craig Urquhart is such a man, and more.

Bill Binkelman, Wind & Wire

An uncommon grace
Streamwalker is a satisfying and captivating album of soft melodic solo piano music, never becoming too commercial or slick sounding, but also avoiding the usual blandness that creeps into a lot of new age piano music. Some selections are adventurous tone poem offerings (such as the ambitious "Thanksgiving"), and others are as comforting as a walk with a close friend ("Flow On").
On this latest recording, pianist Craig Urquhart paints in muted colors and shades that evoke reflection, nostalgia, and the more subdued introspective emotions. The result is a beautiful and engaging solo piano recording, one that I enjoyed from the first listen and that grew on me with every playing. Highly Recommended.
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