" 'Summon the Wind' is a masterpiece and highlights the many skills of this gifted composer, arranger, and instrumentalist." - Michael Diamond
I ended my review of Timothy Wenzel’s previous album River Serene by saying: “I’ll certainly look forward to hearing more of his sonic alchemy in the future.” And with the release of his new recording Summon The Wind that future is here. I’ve been a fan of Timothy’s imaginative and visually evocative music for a while, and my enthusiasm is only bolstered by his latest creative effort. Although the title is Summon The Wind, it could have been called “Summon The 2nd Wind.” As he shares: “Almost all the songs have been written since the release of the last album, River Serene. I was so exhausted after doing my own mixing and then working with Corin Nelsen (Grammy winning engineer) to master the songs on River Serene that I thought maybe the life had been sucked out of me. Not so. After a two-week break I started writing songs again with new found passion.”
Known for his thematic approach to creating an album, this one is no exception, and there is quite a lot behind the album’s title. In his words: “How humankind relates to wind is symbolic to life itself. We have no absolute control over wind. It comes and goes as it pleases, and there is little we can do when we face tornados and hurricanes. But we have learned to use wind starting thousands of years ago with sailing vessels and kite-flying, then on to windmills for pumping water or making electricity, and flying machines that create their own air currents. Throughout history there have always been those with a mystical wish to control wind, perhaps with sorcery, to ‘summon the wind’ or ‘still the wind,’ and those elusive concepts became the titles of the first and last compositions on the CD, and the over-riding theme of the album.”
Timothy creates his conceptual music on synthesizers and piano, which he has been playing since childhood. My feature article on his previous album contains a great deal of info about his musical background, so rather than reiterate it here, those who may be interested can reference it at the River Serene link above. One thing I touched on there was Timothy’s professional career as a scientist. Interestingly, as I recently learned, he has now retired from that work to devote himself full time to music. As different as these two fields may seem, for Timothy, they have more in common than meets the eye: “I see a correlation between them. Scientific exploration is full of creativity and is very much like writing a song. In both cases you start with an idea and then explore the possibilities of where it can lead,” or in this case, where the wind blows. So let’s catch the breeze and see where it leads on the tracks of Timothy Wenzel’s fourth and latest release.
The title of the first song, “Still The Wind,” is particularly meaningful to me. I had a realization recently that our mind or our thoughts can be like leaves in the wind, and that one of the goals of meditation is to quiet the mind, or in essence, to still the wind. Timothy’s composition is a gentle, yet richly orchestrated mid-tempo tune that evolves through various sections, including a quiet interlude in the middle. While the majority of his sounds come from synthesizers and keyboards, they cover a wide range including violin, cello, flute, harp, bells, guitars, bass, drums and percussion as well as the wordless vocalizing of men’s and women’s choirs. The next tune entitled “Elven Dance,” evokes the world of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings with it’s lively Celtic-tinged sound, which Timothy has been known for on some of his previous recordings. The mood changes with the arrival of the next song, “Peace to My Lady.” Timothy describes it as: “A song of longing, of wistful dreaming, by a young man far from home. It is not a song of remorse, but of hope.”
Although the songs on the album are primarily instrumental, the titles often have stories behind them, with the music being an interpretation of those themes. Timothy waxes philosophic on a piece entitled “All That Might Have Been.” In his words: “What if you had smiled back at that beautiful girl so many years ago? And said hello? What if a handsome boy said hello to you, but you were too shy to respond? What if you could know… All That Might Have Been?” I’m sure that most of us have had those kinds of thoughts from time to time and can relate – I know that I can. Musically, the song carries over a bit of the wistful, dreamy feel of the preceding track, perfect for ruminating on “what if?” “Mariner’s Lament” is an emotionally evocative composition with an undercurrent of sadness, and a prayer for all those lost at sea over the years. A nice touch was the female choir sound that conjured images in my mind of the singing of the Sirens in mythology.
From the deep sea to deep within the earth, a song called “Crystal Man” was inspired by poor workers digging for diamonds in Africa. The track opens with Timothy’s lush piano melody, which is soon joined by the soulful sound of violin. As it evolves the sound of percussion, pizzicato strings, and more fill in the arrangement, providing an excellent example of Timothy’s talent for composing and his ability to build on a composition as it evolves. “The Photograph” is one of the two songs on the album that feature a special guest musician – in this case it is the soaring electric guitar of Michael Rud from Denmark. I appreciated the energizing lift it provided and it certainly achieved Timothy’s goal to have some more emotive instrumentation in parts of the song. The other track that includes a special guest is “Tesla’s Dream” which features the drumming of Lenny Levash. This was one of my favorite compositions, not only because it pays tribute to one of the great unsung hero’s of science, but for the variation in it which ranges from laid back to epic.
I also enjoyed the more up-tempo track, “Whirlwind,” which Timothy describes as, “a lighthearted song – sort of an intermezzo at just the right time to clear the palate for the remaining songs.” From that point three songs remain leading up to the finale, which is the title track. In Timothy’s words: “This was the longest song I have ever written (nearly seven and a half minutes). I worked on the final part of this song for several days to achieve the kind of climactic ending I wanted.” This composition is a masterpiece and highlights the many skills of this gifted composer, arranger, and instrumentalist.
The latest release from Timothy Wenzel takes the listener on a sonic journey. This feeling is further enhanced by the amount of time and attention to detail he spent on creating the sequence of the songs for the album. The energy evolves through musical peaks and valleys as well as reflecting a profound emotional spectrum. Also, on a technical level, I appreciate how every instrument is perfectly placed in the arrangement. Another distinctive feature is that on Timothy’s website, he provides notes on each song accompanied by a beautiful piece of artwork, some of which are seen here with this article. Timothy is truly a storyteller with an ability to conjure images in the mind of the listener. His songs are fanciful in a way that will resonate with a wide range of music lovers. This is substantiated by the fact that his albums regularly receive airplay on hundreds of radio stations and channels around the world, and are often found in the Top 10 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 monthly airplay chart. Fans of artists such as Yanni and David Arkenstone may also find a lot to like in the imaginative instrumental music of Timothy Wenzel.
Keyboardist TIMOTHY WENZEL knows all the key ingredients for a great new age music album -- strong melodies, interesting arrangements, a variety of instruments, relaxing sounds and drama. His newest album, SUMMON THE WIND, contains twelve highly-enjoyable contemporary instrumental original compositions -- near-perfect new age recordings. Take a listen online somewhere and see if you agree that these are classy and classic new age music selections.
Piano seems to be his weapon of choice, but he also will go into battle flailing a flute, violin, harp, acoustic guitar or full drum kit (and a dozen other instruments that crop up less frequently). There also are some tasty sampled strings and wordless vocals on several tunes as well. Occasionally you will hear hints of traditional music from the olden days of England, Ireland and Scotland that gently blow through like a Celtic breeze off the moors.
This is sweet stuff with captivating melodies and exquisite instrumentation, perfect for daytime relaxation or nighttime love. Classic.
A 21st century CD masterpiece of New Age, ambient and World Beat flavored instrumental sounds, Summon The Wind is a fine introduction to the music of multi-instrumentalist Timothy Wenzel. Wenzel uses the wind as a metaphor to describe the changes in our lives adding ‘We speak of the wind of change, or politically a new wind is blowing, or new ideas blew in. On a personal level, sometimes it feels like our minds, our lives, are a whirlwind, and we need to still that wind by stilling our mind, either though meditation or listening to gentle music.’ The main instrument on Wenzel’s 21st century instrumental music classic is the piano and he fills out that sound with a variety of synthesized sounds that echo the sounds of violins, cellos, bass, drums and the wordless sound of human vocal choirs. A couple of guests add in guitars and drums on a couple tracks but mostly the CD is a fantastic album of haunting melodies and dreamy arrangements that evokes a perfect sense of peacefulness and relaxation. Interestingly, early in his life, Wenzel was greatly inspired by progressive rock bands like Jethro Tull and The Moody Blues and you can hear the influences of master prog-rock keyboard innovators such as the great Mike Pinder throughout Wenzel’s keyboard work. In fact, Wenzel carries the tradition of classic progressive rock into the realm of 21st century New Age symphonic music with rare precision and sonic expertise. New Age rock fans looking for state of the art instrumental music should give a listen to Timothy Wenzel’s Summon The Wind.
Timothy Wenzel is at it again, creating alchemy from notes of music, ideas of the mind, the love of the wind, the earth and the storm, melding all these aspects together to bring together joy, love and relaxation in timeless harmony.
Once again he has managed to capture the essence of the outdoors; the primal elements of our earth and his fascination with the weather, blending them into an album which shifts and changes tempos seamlessly , each track being inspired by differing elements, with some almost a carryover from his previous albums.
As you listen and dissolve into the music a familiarity comes to the music on several of the tracks that could almost be considered as a thread of life, which allows the influences from his previous two albums to emerge in a different genre. This could be classed as his very subtle signature.
The earth influences have been captured in sound: Crystal Man is inspired by the men of Africa who dig in the hot, dry dessert in search of diamonds, but then moving on to ‘Whirlwind’ a little later which is inspired by the mystic of the shaman who could “summon the wind” or ‘still the wind’, or so they believed.
‘Elven Dance’, early in the album captures the mischievousness of these tiny little creatures as they go about their daily work. It does not have a lot to do with wind though it adds the underlying aspect of magic to the moods, something we all need to have a little of in our lives.
As a pianist his work focuses on this primary element but this album has been enhanced with the addition of harp, violin, cello and drums, a dash of percussion and guitar to add the slightly haunting dimension to the various tracks. Several of the pieces have also been blended with male and female vocalisation to create yet another element or layer to the music.
‘Edge of the World’ reminds us men have always gone to sea in search of the unknown. Moving on, ‘Mariners Lament’ acknowledges that while men have always enjoyed the sea in its many forms, it is not always a benevolent, claiming many lives.
What you choose to read into the music is up to you as, with all music, you will find something different each time you listen.
His final piece ‘Summon the Wind’ it is haunting, relaxing, refreshing and catchy, once again showcasing the talent of this leading new age composer as he takes the elements of our ordinary, everyday lives and weaves them into something magical, laced with love.
|As Timothy Wenzel continues to pursue his musical passions, he is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the top keyboardists in the new age genre. This album, Summon the Wind, is his fourth and it continues Wenzel’s tradition of creating excellent contemporary instrumental ensemble music that is right in the pocket of what new age music listeners want. Yes, the music is generally gentle and relaxing (although there are light drums mixed throughout), but it also offers lovely melodies and full-bodied, well-crafted arrangements. The music mostly features piano and synthesizer shadings, but also quite a few flutes and violins (sometimes sounding a bit like Celtic fiddles). There also are the scattered sounds of harp, guitars, bass, drums and percussion as well as bells, and the wordless vocalizing of choirs (male and female voices utilized). Electric guitarist Michael Rud from Denmark makes a special guest appearance on one tune. As the album title (and several tune titles) suggests, the music explores the general theme of “wind,” both in actuality and metaphorically. Wenzel’s music also explores love, dreaming, exploration, inventions, the earth and nature. The compositions cover a wide spectrum, sounding like a European waltz from centuries past at one point and then like a forceful progressive-rock band a few minutes later. One moment there is the feeling of a visit to a cathedral and the next you are sailing away to the edge of the world. This is a high-quality, recommended recording for all new age music lovers.|
AWAKEN FROM YOUR DREAMS TO THE SENSATIONAL SOUNDS OF SYNTHESIST TIMOTHY WENZEL
Listening to Timothy Wenzel’s music is like just starting to awaken from a dream that you really don’t want to leave because it is warm and pleasant and comforting. This is an apt analogy because on each of Wenzel’s four albums, he has touched on the concept of dreams and used either the concept, or perhaps his actual dreams, as inspiration for some of the tunes. For example, on his latest album, Summon the Wind, Wenzel includes the track “Tesla’s Dream,” a dynamic piece with electric piano and lots of drums (it makes sense that Wenzel would tip his hat to the famous electrical engineer Nikola Tesla because before pursuing music fulltime Wenzel was a leading chemical engineer himself with dozens and dozens of patents). On this album Wenzel also presents the sort of dreamy sounding tune “Awaken” which takes his dreaming episodes to the next step obviously.
But dreaming is only part of what Wenzel and his music are all about. This latest recording also is influenced by the wind (as a force of nature and a metaphor for all the winds that blow through our lives). Wenzel is a small-boat sailing enthusiast, but also pays tribute to old-time world-exploration sailing vessels with the pieces “Mariner’s Lament” and “Edge of the World.” In addition, Wenzel bookends the CD with two opposing wind-themed tracks -- “Still the Wind” and “Summon the Wind” -- which sums up our human relationship to wind (wanting it to go away when it is too powerful or bothersome, and wishing it would rise when we need it for sailing, windmills, kite-flying or whatever).
But moving more directly to the music (past the inspirations), what you get are tunes with a group sound anchored by piano and not-too-loud drumming, with sparse sections juxtaposed with lush, deep-mix passages. The other instrumentation includes a harp here and there, a few acoustic guitars, quite a few flute solos, some fiddle/violin/strings, a bit of percussion, bells and some mixed-back into the background wordless vocals.
In summary, this is beautiful music, similar to Wenzel’s preceding three releases, and, if you like new age music, you will find this is as good as anything else out there. It has the unique combination of working perfectly as relaxing background music, but can be openly engaged with your listening mind as well (with quality results). Definitely worth taking out for a test drive (or for those sailors out there, take it out for a test sail).
American born artist Timothy Wenzel, who also holds a is Ph.D. in chemistry, radically changed direction in life recently by embarking on a pursuit of his other passion: music. His debut album, “Mountains Take Wing” was selected as a Best New Age Album of 2012 by New Age Music World. His second album, “A Coalescence of Dreams” (October 2012) received widespread airplay and acclaim, climbing to #6 in the International New Age Charts (Zone Music Reporter) in 2013. His third album, River Serene, also jumped into the top 10 at ZMR. It was mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Corin Nelsen and was released November 23, 2013 on the Coyote Floe label. And as Timothy continues to pursue his musical passions, he is quickly gaining a reputation as one of the top keyboardists in the new age genre.
This album, “Summon the Wind,” is his fourth and explores the general theme of “wind,” as well as the themes of love, dreaming, exploration, inventions, and the earth and nature. It also continues Timothy’s tradition of creating excellent contemporary instrumental ensemble music that is innovative, thoroughly developed, sophisticated, and well produced. Again Mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Corin Nelsen, the music displays a variety of instrumentation, including keyboards, synthesizers, violins, cellos, flutes, harps, bells, guitars, bass, and percussion, as well as wordless male and female voices. Electric guitarist Michael Rud from Denmark makes a special guest appearance on one tune.
The music on “Summon The Wind” is varied, complex, melodic, well-crafted, innovative, visual, and at times emotional and gentle, but also with a quiet power behind the compositions. Mariner’s Lament,” “Still The Wind,” and “All That Might Have Been” are emotionally evocative compositions with an undercurrent of sadness. “Crystal Man” was inspired by poor workers digging for diamonds in Africa and features lush piano accompanied by soulful violins. “Elven Dance” and “Tesla’s dream” are more upbeat and lively with an obvious Celtic music influence. While the music does make a bit more use of light electronics than what we usually prefer, the use of electronics is not overly done, with those elements typically serving more to accent the main instrumental theme, and not carry it. Ranging from lively to serene, the album takes the listener on a contemporary instrumental music journey rich with emotional peaks and valleys yielding a powerfully rewarding and memorable sonic experience.
Online translation from Russian
In the past few years the name of the composer Timothy Wenzel has always been heard because he released his albums with enviable regularity, and most importantly, because these albums were very, very good. You could easily (although pompously) say that in the genre of "New Age" appeared a "new star." Confirming this status, Timothy released his new album Summon the Wind, inviting his listeners into the next global phase and exciting the imagination to take them on a newly-generated journey. To do this, he turns to the wind, the symbol of true freedom, the only element that does not tolerate any restrictions. It can change with rapid impulse and be carried out to the other end of the earth and reach its edges, or it may remain offering a gentle coolness and leading us to leisurely conversations. At its call, from time immemorial, frustrated people left their homes and followed the wind, someone in search of adventure, someone dreaming of a better life, and who is haunted by the pervasive power of the wind, they perhaps wanted to be like the wind and stretch their arms and even soar above the ground, to find true freedom. Summon the Wind, when compared against the background of previous Wenzel releases, where the emphasis was often placed on the keyboards and synthesizer, shows this one written with a bias more toward an acoustic sound -- piano, acoustic guitar, violin, wordless vocalize, inspirational orchestration in the spirit of epic soundtracks, and a solo appearance by an expressive electric guitar. Reminiscent of the best times of art-rock, which came from the Eighties of the last century, that sound permeates Summon the Wind. Using all of this, Timothy weaves delicate patterns of light and beautiful melodies, each of which stores one bit of wind, just a whiff of which can take us away from the routine and open the door to a world of fantasy. Biased in the styles of Celtic and medieval music, with its fabulousness, like a whisper of elves motives, this composer is heir to the minstrels, the modern successor of the traditions from the castle halls to the open fields, from the fortune tellers and dreamers who make the world more interesting with the power of their words and their thoughts. Those minstrels, who are often travelers, order up the Wind. Timothy’s path leads back through the history of dreamers, some closer to our time who certainly left a very significant footprint. For example, he devotes one of his works to Nikola Tesla, the man whose imagination has changed the world. This is a masterful album with a unique and very positive mood, a light sound (which has been heard a lot in the work of this composer), ultimately revealing the full range of his talents.
Timothy Wenzel has become a leading new age keyboardist over the past few years with his albums consistently climbing high on the monthly international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 airplay chart. Now he has returned with a new recording, SUMMON THE WIND, which is already in your hands. The album contains a dozen mesmerizing tunes featuring piano, synthesizer, violin, cello, flute, harp, guitars, bass, drums and percussion as well as bells, and the wordless vocalizing of men’s and women’s choirs. This is new age music in the classic mode, a full rich constantly-entertaining ensemble sound.
If you liked any of Wenzel’s previous recordings -- MOUNTAINS TAKE WING, A COALESCENCE OF DREAMS or RIVER SERENE -- then you should definitely pick this new one up. If you have not yet turned on to Wenzel’s lovely new age music, then do yourself a favor and seek out some samples online and see if they fill your void. He really writes and performs good stuff, quite a bit above the average.
Have you seen any of those online videos of those European flyers wearing suits with webbing under the arms so they glide or soar or fly like they had wings? They jump off mountains and go really fast in a long downward glide with the cliffs inches from their shoulders. Just the videos are a wild ride. Maybe they should be wearing headphones and be listening to this Wenzel album for the ultimate glide-path musical experience, as long as they don’t zone out and stop watching where they are going (it is a very dangerous sport).
Over the last week or so the latest release Timothy Wenzel Summon the Wind has been in my music listening rotation. I spotted the album on the Zone Music Reported Chart for January where it was at number 6 on the chart. I had previously listened to Wenzel’s 2012 release A Coalescence of Dreams and his 2013 release River Serene and enjoyed both of the albums.According to Wenzel’s website, Wenzel “writes and plays highly engaging electro-acoustic Contemporary Instrumental/New Age/Celtic music.” From his biography……
His debut album, “Mountains Take Wing” was selected as a Best New Age Album of 2012 by New Age Music World. His second album, “A Coalescence of Dreams” (October 2012) received widespread airplay and acclaim, climbing to #6 in the International New Age Charts (Zone Music Reporter) in 2013. His third album, River Serene, also jumped into the top 10 at ZMR. It was mastered by Grammy Award winning engineer Corin Nelsen and was released November 23, 2013 on the Coyote Floe label. His fourth album, Summon the Wind, was released November 20, 2014 and was also mastered by Corin Nelsen. Timothy is a former Ph.D. chemist who radically changed direction in life by pursuing his other passion: music. He is also a weather geek, photographer and struggling sailboat racer. – Read More
Summon th Wind has been listened to several times, when I have been reading, the other morning it was playing while I did yoga and a short meditation. This evening it was again playing while I was reading and seemed to help make the pages fly by. One of the things that i like about progressive rock and to some extent New Age music is the concept album. The fact that the album is not just a collection of songs but that all the songs fit together to create a feel or tell a story, Summon the Wind as the title and the album’s cover art implies is about the wind. In the album notes Timothy Wenzel writes….
…I have been fascinated by the wind since I was a young child, climbing into the highest branches of the trees so that I might be at the mercy of its unpredictable and thrilling gusts. Storms both frighten and fascinate me. Later in life I learned to sail and thereby entered into a new dynamic with the wind.
But I really did not intend to create a theme album about the wind. It happened quite organically, albeit assisted by my near obsession with wind and weather…Read More.
On Summon the Wind Wenzel creates different moods with different lead instruments. On one track it may be th piano and on another it may be a guitar that flow through the accompanying instruments, which at times are voices.
A question that I often as myself, as I listen to many New Age and jazz albums is: Where do the titles of the songs come from? Other than a wheel of fortune like wheel that has names of songs on it! In the album notes Wenzel also addresses this question….
I have often been asked how I name a song or select its theme. That happens in two ways. Either I viscerally feel the meaning of the song as it develops or I actually hear lyrics. That is not to say I hear voices but rather the melody forms word combinations that resonate so strongly with my feelings that the title and meaning become obvious. The song simply names itself. – Read More
Bottom Line: Summon the Wind is a beautiful sonic experience. I certainly can see myself turning to Timothy Wenzel’s music as soundtracks for a variety of activities including reading and meditation and maybe even calming babies!!
New Age keyboardist Timothy Wenzel presents Summon the Wind, an original, instrumental album inspired by the flowing primal forces of nature. A transcendental experience that encourages one to ponder the mysteries of the surrounding world, Summon the Wind sweeps the listener away in a breathtaking, wondrous journey.
TIMOTHY WENZEL/Summon the Wind: All the hail the power of ‘keep it simple, stupid' as it works well in new age piano music just like it does in everything else. Wenzel's sounds aren't based in razzle dazzle, just solid, sound principles of involving the listener in something comforting and flowing that let's them get into the flow and ride along. With an impressionistic ear turned toward the power of the wind, Wenzel does a killer job of captivating the listener letting him set sail all within the space of his headphones. Tasty stuff that hits all the right notes.