Over the last 25 years THE RIVER has become a classic album and continues to one of our most well-loved instrumental titles. It is a recording of exquisite beauty, a delicate balance of space and texture where the stillness is as intrinsic to the journey as the flow of music. Natural sound recordings of a Dartmoor river, with birdsongs gathered along its banks, form the fluid bed over which flutes, bells, gongs and keyboard compositions play. This is a deep meditation within a secret world; a sanctuary of peace and healing rest; music with which to drift and dream.
This very special anniversary edition of THE RIVER features a remastered version of the original album, emphasizing the clarity and spaciousness of the sounds without changing the essential nature. The album also includes an additional track to the original recording, a unique live recording from 2000 of Nigel Shaw performing at the Heian Jingu Shrine during the Cherry Blossom Festival in Kyoto, Japan. The concert was performed inside a very ancient wooden shrine decorated with Shinto holy paintings, playing across a starlit lake to many thousands of unseen people listening from underneath the blossoming trees. This recording also features Hiroki Okano, renowned Japanese ambient musician, playing koto and percussion.
THE RIVER was the very first album that I recorded on Dartmoor in 1992. Now when I listen to this album I hear the excitement of new beginnings; the wonder of taking first steps on a journey without having a clear sight of the end. I hear the beautiful sounds of this land that run, clear and flowing, through my own veins. I hear the ancient river song as it would have sounded to the ears of our oldest ancestors. I hear the music of hope and unity that strongly connects all the waters of the world. But most of all I hear home.
Nigel Shaw 2017
TRACKS: Upstream, Downstream, Forest, Moor plus live performance at the Cherry Blossom Festival, Kyoto
Album length: 62 minutes
Also available as a CD. See Music CD page