Where There Is LightFINALIST - "Best Ambient Album" - OWMR Music Awards FINALIST - "Best Ambient Album" - ZMR Awards
Steinway performing artist Catherine Marie Charlton and renowned guitarist & producer Carl Weingarten have joined to produce a new work of intimate nocturnal compositions with their premiere release WHERE THERE IS LIGHT, on Spotted Peccary Music. This electro-acoustic foray into the world of spatial ambient music sensitively merges distinct musical paths of these established, prolific artists culminating in an experience where guitar, electronic manipulations and acoustic piano share a series of late night melodic conversations.
Despite any differences the two have experienced on their extensive journeys in contemporary instrumental music, Weingarten and Charlton share a common passion for spaciousness in music – heard in Weingarten’s trademark atmospheric sound and Charlton’s recordings of extended ambient solo piano improvisations.
Charlton has focused on acoustic music, centering on her skills with the improvisational form, and exploring the sonorities of the piano through European jazz and classical crossover new age music. Weingarten, best known for his use of the slide guitar and Dobro, has recorded numerous solo and collaborative instrumental albums in rock, jazz, ambient and world music settings. Together they have blended their well-honed techniques into a powerfully subtle, transcendent expression of ambient that is part acoustic, part processed guitar, reminiscent of Michael Brook and Brian Eno’s ambient works, such as his celebrated Music for Airports.
The organic approach to their exploration into the ambient form is very much a source for their inspiration. “There are few instruments as distinctive and organic as an acoustic piano,” Weingarten points out. “It would have been easy just to play guitar fills, but I wanted something different. After all, the whole point of collaboration is not for two artists to combine the familiar, but instead to create work that’s completely fresh to both artists.”
While most of his sounds were produced with electric guitar, Weingarten wanted a more live acoustic feel for his contribution to the project. “I miked everything, even the guitar amp, to avoid purely synthetic sounds. The piano is a breathing instrument, so all the sounds, even the electronic tones, had to resonate within the same acoustic space. My favorite moments are when guitar and piano are playing in unison, and together, sound like one instrument.” Charlton adds: “Knowing that I was leaving room for Carl’s beautiful cradles of sounds allowed me to enter expansive, meditative states while playing. It was nourishing for me to allow these pieces to flow in the nighttime stillness during a time of my life I was surrounded by daytime stresses of mothering young children and endless to-do’s for my own solo music projects.” This conversation that these two veteran artists bring to the project cements the very fundamental concepts of ambient music, and the essence of WHERE THERE IS LIGHT.