Distant Horseman – Timothy Wenzel – Life, Living and the Universe
So if you are looking for a nice, quiet relaxing album, I have one for you – Distant Horseman the latest release from New Age Artist Timothy Wenzel. The album was released back in February and it has been in my music rotation since then. I also think that it has also been at the top of the Zone Music Reporter Charts for all those months. The album features the musical artistry of Wenzel coupled with the beautiful violin of Josie Quick.
One of the ways that I always put granddaughter Zoe to sleep when she was a baby was to rock her on my shoulder. When I did this I would turn on the Soundscapes channel on Comcast. Soundscapes plays New Age music. On one of the days when I was rocking her a track from Timothy Wenzel came on and I really liked it. Zoe did to, but she went to sleep and I went to Spotify to find the album. Since this would have been early 2015, the track was most likely from Timothy’s album Summon the Wind. I wrote about the album in March of 2015. You can read about the album and Timothy here.
About Timothy Wenzel
Timothy Wenzel was born and raised in South Haven, Michigan. His mother played piano and encouraged him to play. He started plunking the keys at the age of three and began taking lessons at the age of five. Initially Wenzel was into classical music at first and then those rock bands hit and he was influenced like many by the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Stones, Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues. As he got older he began to appreciate new age music and liking George Winston and the whole roster of artists on Windham ‘Hill and Narada labels.
Music is Wenzel’s second full-time career, Initially, he was research scientist for Union Carbide and Dow Chemical. He has PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry from Cornell University. During his career he was issued about 50 U.S. Patents. Wenzel sees a correlation between his two main passions – science and music. He says.
“Music and Science have always been my two main passions. I see a correlation between them. Scientific research 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.”
Wenzel’s primary instrument is the piano. He is also a master of the synthesist and augments the piano parts with a wide variety of instrumental sounds including: violin, cello, flute, woodwinds, harp, guitars, bass, drums and percussion.Additionally, he uses wordless vocalizing of men’s and women’s choirs. And he does it all so well!
Distant Horseman – the cover
I enjoy album covers and the cover of Distant Horseman intrigues me. There is a human figure on a horse in the desert of an alien looking desert planet. It is actually an album I would listen to based on the cover, figuring that the artist is going to take me to far away places and tell me something about man’s place in th universe. From Wenzel…
“I wanted the album cover graphic that would make people think. The cover illustration was created specifically for this album by the Brazilian artist Edson Moraes, an Internet acquaintance who has provided me with art in the past for my website and videos
Distant Horseman – the music
Wenzel says this about the music on Distant Horseman.
“the music on the album was conceptualized with metaphors and allegories in mind. For example the “Distant Horseman” could stand for an alien life form, or any of life’s challenges. It’s about the unknown , the unknowable. If and when the horseman arrives, it is all about how we face it., whether we can leave our fear behind, and meet it with integrity The way we approach it is what is important. All you can do is prepare yourself the best you can, and go forward….”
” This album is about transformation, but also a seasonal journey as a metaphor for an entire life.It covers coming together and breaking apart., falling in love and looking back over our lives, having exciting hopes for the future and realizing at some point it will come to an end. There is music about dancing and being caught up in the moment, but I also wrote about heavier themes such as forgiveness and not being able to know the future. but primarily it s a positive journey of surviving becoming stronger because of hardships, and then breaking through and finding bliss.”
The Songs of Distant Horseman
Distant Horseman opens with probably my favorite track “Bend in the River” (“we never know what is around the bend, but we go forward anyway”) The title track is next “Distant Horseman” and continues those thoughts of the unknown. (“we don’t know if the horseman is a threat or not, friend or foe, but we must be ready”) .
I must admit that most of the time I am just along for the music and don’t really consider what the composer is really trying to convey with his music. So as I read the above and some of Wenzel’s comments about his thoughts as he composed the pieces I know that I have to go back and listen to the tracks again with his thoughts in mind. After I do I will post a more detailed discussion of the tracks, A Distant Horseman Part II.
All I know is that I like the music and after listening to Distant Horseman, I am in a happy camper. So check it out!!
While you are at it, you can also check out Wenzel’s previous albums, A Coalescence of Dreams, Mountains Take Wings, River Serene, and Summon the Wind. All of his albums climb to the top of the Zone Music Reporters Top 100 monthly airplay chart!
At the beginning of this post, so many words ago. I said that one of the things that I liked about the album was the violin of Josie Quick. I need to find more of her music. KI have discovered that she is a member of the progressive groups Perpetual Motion, The Coyote Poets of the Universe and the Frntnera String Quartet. She also is a teacher at the Shallow Hill Music Association in Colorado. So I am off to check out their music!!
Links for the Exploration of the Music of Timothy Wenzel
Here’s the title track from Distant Horseman …….