Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Paul Winter has recorded his music in some very unconventional places. Among them, the Grand Canyon, Russia, and historic opera houses in Spain. His passion for wildlife preservation has led to recordings inspired by the sounds of whales, harp seals and wolves.
On his latest album "Journey With The Sun," Winter returns to familiar territory, the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City for a musical celebration of the winter and summer solstices.
According to Paul Winter, "The two great celestial milestones of the year, occurring in December and June, are perhaps humanity's most ancient ritual observations." For the past 20 years, Winter has chosen to celebrate these celestial milestones in the world's largest gothic cathedral. Oblivious to the rush of humanity outside its doors, Paul Winter and his Earth Band play on.
"Yabu," written by Winter and drummer Mickey Hart, features Micky Hart's RAMU, a computer-linked percussion instrument combining the mbira, xylophone and sand drum.
Paul Winter's "Journey With The Sun" marks his third solstice album. Last year, he won his fourth career Grammy Award for "Celtic Solstice," a tribute to the summer solstice featuring Irish and American musicians. One of them was Irish Uilleann piper Davy Spillane.
Songs like "First Oasis" from "Journey With The Sun" showcase Paul Winter's Earth Band. For this album, his Earth Band features Romanian flutist Damian Draghici and Armenian singer and percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan. Resonating within the walls of New York's Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the voice of Arto Tuncboyaciyan on "Oror Bubrik".
In December, Paul Winter performed his 21st annual winter solstice concert at the Cathedral. This month, The Paul Winter Consort will appear in upstate New York, Texas and Arizona. Winter's new album "Journey With The Sun" recently earned a Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album.
"Journey With The Sun," on Paul Winter's Living Music label, features "Land of The Pipers."