Seeing Inside 11:56
From the Sea 11:47
When you Speak 13:22
The Familiar 15:02
On Into the Ancient, Grammy-nominated recording artist Peter Phippen explores the gleaming mystical sonorities of ancient and modern flutes. Within a 12-track album of haunting new age world music, Phippen and co-producer / synthesist Ivar Lunde Jr. offer a captivating collage of the flutes’ translucent chimerical whisper and subtle electronic sound images. It’s a shimmering panorama illustrating the gauzy veil of perception that separates our present state from the airy world of the spirits.
“With these songs,” Phippen says, “I employ antique instruments as antennae to directly channel the ancient voices of mature seedlings and allow their wails and whispers of time immemorial to be known to those who listen. Each vestige of spirituality played demonstrates magical significance not only through the music captured on this album but through the tangible energy that courses through the bamboo or wood as it sits in one’s hands.”
Over the past three decades and 22 albums, Phippen’s experiential, natural folk style revealed a penchant for creative and artistic musical improvisation. He’s researched the history and performance technique of traditional flutes from around the world and throughout time.
“I have a deep interest in playing the old flutes and museum replicas,” Phippen reflects. “I am curious as to what notes were available and how these flutes may have been played in their time. The instruments on Into the Ancient are antiques dating back to the Edo period of Japan, or historically accurate replicas, meaning that the makers of my flute replicas took measurements from the original artifacts, but they did not change the instruments to conform with today’s tunings or playability. This makes the flutes sound more mysterious and unusual.”
As a recording artist, Phippen was the first non-Native American flutist signed to Canyon Records, which released his classic 2003 album Night Song. In 2010, his Woodnotes Wyld: Historic Flute Sounds From The Dr. Richard W. Payne Collection was nominated for a Grammy in the Best Native American Music Album category.
“On Into The Ancient, Grammy-nominated recording artist Peter Phippen mystically expresses the opalescent sonorities of the most archetypal flutes in his vast collection. This album highlights Phippen’s in-depth exploration of the old instruments: each flute saturated with a shadowy, gossamer voice. With Ivar Lunde’s shimmering panorama of sound and Phippen’s transcendent playing, these recordings mellifluously illustrate the gauzy veil of perception that separates the now from the airy world of the spirits. Phippen’s haunting flute timbres breezily float on the airstream causing the veil to billow, creating a thinning of the filmy curtain to reveal that which has been a mystery for millennia.” – Dr. Kathleen Joyce-Grendahl
Ivar Lunde Jr Bio
Ivar Lunde Jr is a 20th century experimental electronic and classical music composer educated at the Conservatory of Music in Oslo, Norway, and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. A prolific composer, he’s been awarded numerous prizes and commissions over the past 50 years with many works published and recorded in the United States and Norway. Active as a conductor, he’s worked with symphony and chamber orchestras in both Europe and the United States.
From Bandcamp fan PS
Part of the appeal of Phippen’s flute playing has always been a certain rawness balanced with sensitivity. Over the decades, Phippen’s style has become more refined with experience without losing this almost tangible earnestness. There is an impressive elegance and subtlety to this new album, with the occasional electronic enhancements thankfully kept to minimum—a refreshing change from the forced emotional swells that plague too many New Age albums. Favorite track: Northern Lights.
Flutes are one of the most ancient musical instruments, dating back to the Paleolithic. From then to now, they show an almost mystical ability to connect our breath and mind with those of Gaia and the universe. Peaceful and powerfully spiritual, Peter Phippen’s solo flute meditations will lift you to another world. -Dave Aftandilian
From New Age CD
“Utterly transfixing.” – Dyan Garris, New Age CD
What if we could transport ourselves to ancient times and beam ourselves back then to the present, carrying with us the awesome wisdom of the ancients? I imagine we would find ourselves in a whole new world. Here in this transportive and hauntingly beautiful flute album by Peter Phippen, that seems more than entirely possible.
For those that do not know, Peter was the first non-Native American flutist signed to Canyon Records, which released his classic album, Night Song, in 2003. His Woodnotes Wyld: Historic Flute Sounds From The Dr. Richard W. Payne Collection was nominated in 2010 for a Grammy® in the Best Native American Music Album category.
Here, on Into the Ancient, Peter, along with co-producer/ synthesist, Ivar Lunde Jr., have created 12 tracks of music, about 1 hour, that is a captivating combination of flutes, synth, and the extraordinarily interesting theremin. Many of the flutes Peter plays on the album are either antiques dating back to the Edo period of Japan (between the years of 1603 and 1867), or historically accurate replicas. Because the makers of Peter’s flute replicas did not change them to conform with today’s “tunings” or “playability,” but kept the original measurements, the replicas have a deeply mysterious sound that meshes perfectly with the antiques. The result is incredible.
Peter performs here on a variety of ancient and modern flutes, namely, the antique shakuhachi, contemporary bamboo flute, contemporary pueblo flute, and early wooden pueblo flute replicas. It is the synergy between the ancient and the contemporary instrumentation that gives this album its rich hues, profundities, and distinctly magical vibe. Every track is a deep immersion into the soul, both collective and individual.
The album opens with the very peaceful “Northern Lights,” which immediately puts one into a sacred space without further ado. Following is the completely tranquil, “Blue Skies Eternal.” Here – and throughout the album – we can truly feel the “ancients” whispering to us in every single note. This piece is so serene as to be effortlessly trance inducing.
“The Old Ways” is mysterious and meditative. Quiet and reverent, with a bit of drumming, this is also a sacred space of contemplation. Very nicely done.
The wonderfully captivating, “Spirit Guides,” is a favorite. This is just fabulous with its mystical and enchanting vibes. I can’t say enough good things about this piece, which is deeply meditative, connective, and totally otherworldly. A perfect length at 5:38, this is a “must have” for your relaxation or meditative playlist.
“Tears of Infinity” is a creative masterpiece with its scintillating synth and water sounds. The flute is again excellent and melodious, all the nuances together creating a rich and colorful palette that takes us even deeper “into the ancient.”
Here are some other noteworthy favorites on this album, although one should definitely get the whole thing for the entire multi-dimensional experience: “Timeless Sun” is a beautiful, peaceful flute piece you will find ultra-relaxing, and again, meditative. Vellum, for those that do not know, is a kind of translucent paper that often gets layered over other artwork. “Wolf Vellum” is a brilliant artistic piece in this way which reminds me a bit of the “call” and the “answer.” This is very pretty and quite calming to the spirit, as is the entire album.
The title track is captivating, mysterious, and also trance inducing. There’s a beautiful melody here as well as soft atmospheric synth. Love this. The closing track, “Beyond the Veil,” perfectly encapsulates the sheer beauty of this album and its deeply spiritual concepts.
Here, in every note and nuance, we can literally feel the voices of the ancients imparting their wisdom to us. And we are invited subtly and simply to raise our vibration. I think Peter and Ivar have outdone themselves here. This is an amazing and utterly transfixing album on so many levels. -Dyan Garris