A wonder-filled musical journey of contemporary instrumental music sure to delight and inspire both those listeners who are familiar with the illustrated book by Terryl Whitlatch (Simon & Schuster / 2004) and those who are not. The soundtrack is a richly exotic production full of wonderfully, organic backdrops and musical themes portraying this beautiful story.
Jeff Johnson: Keyboard & vocal
Brian Dunning: Flutes, whistles & pan pipes
John Fitzpatrick: Violin
Jozef Lupták: Cello
Janet Chvatal: Vocals
Tim Ellis: Guitars & balalaika
Phil Baker: Bass
Gregg Williams: Percussion
Barry McGovern: Voice of the storyteller
"In that moment Katook, a simple lemur from Kattakuk, was the only one standing in front of all that is sun and star and day and moon and night. He felt a presence move toward him out of the darkness."
– From "The Katurran Odyssey"
I remember the first time Terryl Whitlatch told me about Katurrah where a lemur named Katook lived on an island called, Bo-hibba. This imaginary world with it’s many cultures and characters - all animals - was fully realized in her fertile and creative mind. Her completed illustrations for the story she showed me that day were amazing and entirely inspiring for a composer who has often found his inspiration in story and books.
I also greatly identified with Katook’s journey for I recognized it as a journey that turns into a pilgrimage. Anyone who has come to view their own experience in this way will find themselves completely captivated and inspired by this book, as I was. It is that particular quality of Terryl’s story that I have attempted to weave into this music. It’s a great honor for myself along with all of the other musicians who are featured on this recording to have been part of “The Katurran Odyssey.” – Jeff Johnson
Music Reviews –
Jeff Johnson and Brian Dunning have been setting fantasy novels and Celtic myths to music since they got together on the Songs From Albion discs more than a decade ago. Their latest CD finds them creating a score for Terryl Whitlatch's illustrated book, The Katurran Odyssey.
Whitlatch has been working at Lucas films for years, designing creatures for Star Wars films, among other things. But Johnson and Dunning don't opt for a prog-rock opus or light and breezy New Age landscape. Instead, they orchestrate a richly textured panorama with Johnson's inventive keyboard textures and melodic touch along with the airy themes of Dunning's flute.
Tracks like "Behind the Water Wall" conjure up an air of mystery and portent with Janet Chatval's ghost fairy vocals and Johnson's ostinato piano of portent. Fiddler John Fitzpatrick scratches out a troll-like dance on "Shifting Sands" over thudding percussion hits and Johnson's wafting synthesizer atmospheres. Dunning's staccato ripsaw flute provides an unusual rhythm for "Following the Butterflies."
The Katurran Odyssey is a bit less obvious in its influences than previous CDs, which often relied on Middle Eastern and Celtic themes. Instead, Johnson and Dunning have opted for a more impressionistic sound that conjures in its own world.
– John Diliberto / Echoes
Kick back, relax and get yourself prepared for a journey into Celtic storytelling & musical excellence that is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Johnson & Dunning arrange some of the most beautiful & inspiring music I've heard... unless your soul is already deadened by sauce or smack, you will find yourself as deeply captivated as I was!
– Dick Metcalf / Improvijazzation Nation
released September 1, 2004
Produced, recorded & mixed by Jeff Johnson at The Ark, Camano Island, WA
Additional recording at:
Jacordi Studio, Clane, County Kildare, Ireland
Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning, engineers
The Trench, Portland, OR, USA
Jeff Johnson & Gregg Williams, engineers
Grouse Lodge, Rosemount, County Westmeath, Ireland
Jeff Johnson, engineer
The Kung Fu Bakery Annex, Portland, OR, USA
Jeff Johnson, engineer
Additional sounds by Spectrasonics
Waterwall effect by Ark Mobile
Technical support: David Moore
Madagascar effect by Douglas Quin from the CD, “Madagascar - The Fagile Land” by Wild Sanctuary Recordings. Licensed by Harry Fox Agency.
℗ 2004 Ark Records, Inc. / ArkMusic
Music by Jeff Johnson & Brian Dunning with John Fitzpatrick, Jozef Lupták, Janet Chvatal, Phil Baker & Tim Ellis
©2004 Sola Scriptura Songs (BMI)
Administered by www.musicservices.org
(Song titles used with permission)
Cover art by Terryl Whitlatch © 2004
Design by Jake Lebovic / Imaginosis
Dedicated to Keith & Cindy Lampi.
"The Katurran Odyssey" is also available on iTunes.