An exceptional lineup of recording artists from Windham Hill records comes to Michigan Tech for one very special performance on Sunday, December 5 at 8 p.m. in Fisher 135. The fourteen-state, 22-city, all-star Windham Hill Winter Solstice tour began in November and ends in January, 2000, and is anchored by headliners David Arkenstone and his five piece combo (keyboards, percussion, bass and violin), and by pianist Liz Story, both established artists with the Windham Hill label. The performance also includes Celtic harpist Lisa Lynne and guitarist Sean Harkness, who both joined the Windham Hill roster during the last couple of years. Playing some solo pieces and some in concert with the other artists, all four instrumentalists will showcase tracks from the new Winter Solstice on Ice album. For tickets call the Performing Arts Ticket Center (487-3200, Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.) or stop by the Memorial Union Box Office (487-3200, Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.) or the SDC Central Ticket Office (487-2073, Monday-Friday, 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m.).
Although David Arkenstone's albums have all hit the top of the charts, it's only in recent years, with the help of technology, that he feels he's been truly able to develop his own sound. "I'm now able to hear a good portion of what I imagine-technology has produced some wonderful tools for making music," he says. Sometimes described as "cinematic new age rock," Arkenstones's music embraces many different influences, including world music and classical music as well as rock. In his two recent hits with Windham Hill-The Celtic book of Days and Citizen of the World-he blends the best elements of the acoustic and electronic worlds to weave what he calls "soundtracks for the mind."
In common with many "new age" musicians, Liz Story balks at being categorized and describes her style as "personal solo piano." Her latest Windham Hill hit, 17 Seconds to Anywhere, is an elegant collection of eleven short works that encompasses a myriad of intricate ideas. Previous hits Escape of the Circus Ponies, My Foolish Heart, Liz Story (performed with her husband, world renowned jazz bassist Joel DiBartolo), Conversations with God, and more have established her reputation as an artist well known for finely wrought beautiful melodies.
Lisa Lynne originally became acquainted with the harp at a Renaissance Faire in 1985. "I was completely smitten," she says. "The harp became the center of my world." After making several independent releases and recording five albums for the German label IC Digit, she signed with Windham Hill last year. Daughters of the Moon was her debut album, followed by her most recent release, Seasons of the Soul. Lynne wrote, arranged, and produced the entire album, and played five different stringed instruments in addition to her principal and favorite instrument, the Celtic harp.
Sean Harkness performed on a number of Windham Hill compilations before releasing Aloft, his first solo album. His original compositions are "about real-life situations . . . a special moment with a loved one, the feeling of awe at natural beauty, or the occasional need to be alone." Harkness is a talented and fluent player who draws from a wide range of musical idioms, from Caribbean to classical to Celtic, creating new sounds for his acoustic guitar.
The Winter Solstice concert is coordinated by the MTU University Cultural Enrichment Department (487-2844) and is made possible by funding from the MTU Committee for Campus Enrichment and the Michigan Tech Fund.