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Journey to Yellowstone
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  • A portion of the proceeds from JOURNEY TO YELLOWSTONE will be donated to park preservation.
  • Personnel: Nicholas Gunn (flute, piano, synthesizer, percussion).
  • Audio Mixer: Nicholas Gunn.
  • Photographer: Ron Niebrugger.
  • After his eastward expansion for 2002's Through the Great Smokey Mountains, Nicholas Gunn returned to the West and the sheltered grandeur and geothermal wonders of Yellowstone. The latest installment in his multi-album celebration of America's national parks, the album features Gunn's usual mix of surging synthesizers and tasteful flute. His Native American influence creeps into "Rebirth," but the song's upbeat drum processing seems awkwardly robotic next to the organic flute and thunderous background effects. Gunn is more successful with "Seeking Serenity," where plaintive piano is joined by a Celtic-tinged flute that carries the melody on foggy morning air. As the song continues, the echo on the flute increases; it's a nice effect, suggesting the call of a bird somewhere up in the tree canopy. Gunn has always had a flair for atmospherics, for finding new ways to evoke emotion with instruments and styles that have grown somewhat common in the contemporary instrumental genre. Journey to Yellowstone's midsection proves this yet again, as the multi-instrumentalist delves into the thermal mists and exotic landscapes of the park's interior with a mixture of synth, ambient nature effects, and snatches of vocal melody. Best might be "Verbena Haven," where the echoes of falling water in a cavern form a rhythm for a frail flute duet. Journey to Yellowstone's lush instrumentation is augmented by an extensive photo tour of the park. ~ Johnny Loftus
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