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Beyond, Beyond Summer

A Deeper Look into Scott August's Album

Beyond Summer is my seventh album. It features Native American flutes, Pueblo/Anasazi style flutes and Chinese Xiao flutes, along with guitars, pianos, lots of percussion and ambient atmospheres. There are a variety of moods and emotions on the album, ranging from upbeat to very dreamy. Several of the songs were recorded "live" in my studio while being captured on video. These songs were arranged to allow me to play a multitude of instruments, setting up loops and layering the parts in real time, allowing people to see a compressed example of how I work. These videos can be found on the video page.
Spirit of the Canyon
The opening track is Spirit of the Canyon and while it was the first tune that I wrote for the album, it was the last to be recorded. After a dark, moody intro, the drums are very "driving" along with running lines from kalimbas, marimbas and an Oud, which is a mid-Eastern fretless lute. The main tune is upbeat, interweaves with short tunes played on a guitar. This is a fun song to perform with its spirited melody.
Flute: Native American style flute in G
Empty Highways
Empty Highways is a "live to video" song. It starts with me looping a hammered dulcimer then adding drums, a bass and an atmospheric pad before I actually pick up a flute to play the melody. The guitar solo was also played live. The title is a reference to the many hours I spend on the road, traveling from gig to gig. An Empty Highway means no traffic but it also hints at the fact that I make these trips alone. As of now, the video to Empty Highways remains un-edited.
Flute: Native American style flute in G
High Desert Dreams
A meditation on the open lands of the Colorado Plateau with its dreamy warm days and far vistas. The song features a recreation of an ancient Pueblo flute that dates from 650 A.D. It has a low, warm tone, and is accompanied by Pan drums and guitars, both acoustic and pedal steel. The percussion underneath pulses and drives the tune forward.
Flute: Pueblo/Anasazi style flute in Bb
Beyond Summer
This song was the first "live to video" song I recorded and posted. It layers an assortment of drums, African kalimbas, a bass and floating pads before the flute and piano come in. The song was recorded at the end of summer, and although the days were still warm and long, there was a hint of autumn in the air. I wanted to capture those long summer days full of memories and dreams.
Flute: Native American style flute in A
A Day with You
The first song on the album featuring a Chinese Xiao flute. The xiao is an end-blown flute with a clear, rich, yet silky tone. The secondary tune is played on an acoustic guitar and piano, while soft percussion pulses underneath. The overall mood of the song is dreamy and reflective. Moments of rhythmic drive contrasting with ambient dreamscapes. A song of memories and dreams.
Flute: Xiao flute in C/F
Buffalo Dance
Another "live to video" looping song on the album. The song features three different Native American style flutes, a bass NAF, a mid range NAF and a high soaring NAF. The driving beat, along with the looping bass flute inspired the title of this tune.
Flute: Native American style flutes (Three) in F#
Chaco Mystery
This song was recorded live during a performance in Tucson, AZ and was also captured on video. The title refers to Chaco Canyon, an ancient place of large buildings, called “Great Houses”. These contained exotic cultural items of prestige and power, highly valued in the ancestral Pueblo world. I had just visited the canyon before I visited Tucson and its mystery was still lingering in my mind as I performed this song.
Flute: Pueblo/Anasazi style flute in Bb
Valley of Gold
This is a song about the beauty in the world and how it is disappearing before our eyes. The Valley of Gold is a real place. Once it was the home of giant saguaro cactus, coyotes, jack rabbits, quail and other natural desert dwellers. Now it is all subdivision and asphalt.
Flute: Native American style flute in F#
Journey to Kashgar
Kashgar was a major town along the Silk Road. The exotic deserts of western China appears before us like a mirage as the rhythm drifts in and out, pushing forward and then opening up into ambient spaces.
Flute: Xiao flute in C/F
Temple at Dawn
This track started out as a way for me to improvise over a loosely constructed track, allowing me to set the pace in the moment during the performance. Over time I gravitated toward the structure the song is now in. The mood is meant to be reflective as we greet the day visiting an ancient temple.
Flute: Xiao flute in C/F
Shadow of Time
Composed during a cold, dark, snowy day, this song is, for me the most introspective track on the album. Since it's creation it has come to mean something more about the joy and pain of life. How time is relentless, and what happens when we step out of time, into its shadow?
Piano, guitars and textures
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