CD review of True Water by John Wubbenhorst

Album: True Water

Artist: John Wubbenhorst

Total Time: 53:28

Listening to the flute is always elevating especially if the music is created with soothing and placid bend. True Water is full of fresh compositions featuring the soulful bansuri (North Indian bamboo flute) and percussion from Ken Anoff.

True Water by John Wubbenhorst

The album opens up with “Descending Grace”, where a mystical force seems to be coming down the listener. It is deep and requires a concentrated effort from the listener to enjoy it fully. Midway the track, the flute takes up its course as if signaling the point of contact–the benediction has reached its target.

The next track is literally breath-taking. Deep, soothing, emotive yet calm, and full of captivating beauty. The starting piece by flute is marvelous. “True Water’s Depth” is a stand-out in terms of its impact on the listener.

“Simply Happy” is a moody track taking the listener to a joyous ride. Once the depth has been conveyed and understood, the listener is able and allowed to be happy, simply and without any reason. Usually, such pieces are rendered by treble sounds of the flute or higher scale flutes, but John was able to create the music with a long flute as well.

The mood suddenly changes to jhinjhoti Raag. This Raag is usually played at late night but can be rendered at any other of the day also. The vocals in this piece really touching. “Bhupali Alap”, once again, preferably a night-raag is rendered in its alap form. Alap is a particular segment of Indian classical music where the artist develops the composition without any assistance from the rhythm. In fact, this is where the versatility of the artist is measured. A lovely piece indeed!

“Village Dance” moves slowly into rhythmic moves with flute combos and cymbals gonging. A very lilting piece providing ample time to improvise the slow dance movements for the listener.

Next piece is contextual–“Bardo, No. 109” is more sort of Buddhism oriented piece with vocals, drums and various types of percussion instruments. The flute comes after one minute of vocal introduction. A very unique piece indeed!

“Abhogi Alap”, another night-time raag is rendered in the alap form. It is very soothing and placid raag, pleasant to ears and inducing spiritual energy within. The piece is very nicely presented by John.

“Desert Darshan” is unique piece–it provides the scenic beauty of a desert with musical paint-strokes. Darshan means the appearance or vision of a desired object, person, or place to the beholder. The cymbals used in this piece are really good. The flute is really conveying. Some of your might notice that the drum beats are bit complex but this is how it happens when such music is created.

“Zarb Solo”, as clear from the name itself is a percussion piece featuring zarb, a djembe like instrument, is a Persian instrument and produce tapping music. Very beautifully played in this piece.

As the listener moved with the album, the night has passed in a beautiful manner. The time has come to conclude and it is early dawn. “Bhairavi” is just a perfect finish to this really beautiful collection of music. With joyous movements of drums and cymbals, the piece welcomes the morning and beginning of a new day.

If you have tuned yourself to Indian music, you can easily recognize the shades of Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia‘s music in John’s composition. It is indeed a blessing to be tutored by such a master. In fact, it is like a tribute to the guru from whom John the intricacies of North Indian Bamboo Flute.

I can easily recommend this album to anybody who likes to listen to genuine and soothing music. I am very happy that John shared his music with me and let me write about it.

Track Name Time
Descending Grace 04:54
True Water’s Depth 05:10
Simply Happy 05:16
Jhinjhoti Mood 06:19
Bhupali Alap 03:42
Village Dance 06:32
Bardo, No. 109 06:18
Abhogi Alap 05:18
Desert Darshan 05:57
Zarb Solo 02:16
Bhairavi 03:46

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