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Bill Douglas' Jewel Lake is probably best described as a mainstream new age electro-acoustic album, with Bill on electronic keyboards, piano, and bassoon, accompanied by oboe, flute, voice, and ethnic percussion.
Bill Douglas came to my attention through his ongoing 20-year-plus collaboration with clarinet superstar and Yale classmate Richard Stoltzman. Bill has played keyboards and bassoon on all of Stoltzman's RCA hits - Begin Sweet World, New York Counterpoint, and Innervoices - and written over 50% of the original music on the albums.
I've always felt that the ability to write melodies is one of the real benchmarks in music, regardless of style. As you'll hear throughout this album, Bill Douglas is naturally endowed with the gift of creating absolutely gorgeous, unforgettable melodies.
Not quite as obvious is his background in pop - his first band did Elvis covers in Canada in the '50s - his years as a classical bassoonist in the Toronto Symphony, his work as a jazz improviser, his stint as an avant garde composer at Cal Arts, or his "Rock Etudes" -- creative rhythm studies used by music educators around the world, not to mention his hilarious, over-the-edge concertizing with the BOULDER BASSOON BAND. What we have here is a truly eclectic musician.
For his Hearts of Space debut, we concentrated on Bill's melodic, space-creating ballads, but that didn't prevent him from including "Highland" and "Killarny," a couple of wonderfully joyous Irish folk dances (he says its his Scotch-Irish ancestry coming through), a darkly exotic Spanish/Moorish piece ("Karuna"), and an exquisitely beautiful song featuring soprano JANE GRIMES, based on an ancient Gaelic blessing ("Deep Peace").
Overall, Jewel Lake is probably best described as a mainstream new age electro-acoustic album, both in terms of emotional content and variety of source material.
Instrumentation is Bill on electronic keyboards, piano, and bassoon, plus fine performances on oboe, flute, voice, and ethnic percussion by several Boulder area musicians. It was a total pleasure to produce, and I'm confident that listeners are going to love it.