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Water Sign - The Story Behind

FINAL FULL DESCRIPTIONS, LINER NOTES, CREDITS AND SESSIONS

Thoughts on the Water Sign Album

Most of my life, I have lived near bodies of water. Small lakes, the Great Lakes, streams, canals, the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and now the Mediterranean Sea.

I grew up in Seattle, which has quite a reputation for its rainfall and I was born under the astrological sign of Cancer, which is of course known as one of the water signs.

I've written songs with titles like Rain Forest, Behind The Waterfall, Desert Rain, Water from the Moon, Norwegian Rain and here, the six pieces from the Water Sign Suite: Wonder Wave, Rain Dancer Returns, As Rivers Flow, The Water Bearer, Moonlight Lake, and Neptune Dancing.

Living now on the island of Cyprus, the sun plays a role in my musical life as a source of inspiration. But water and the flow of life speaks to me at the deepest level. I am truly all about flow.

So with that in mind, I offer the WATER SIGN album...inspired by the sun, the moon, family, romantic love and of course water.

 

OVERVIEW ON THE WATER SIGN SUITE

A six part musical work and musical centerpiece of the album

Water can be gentle and calming, also powerful and exciting in its presence. Life challenging and life affirming.

From the power and magnificence of the sea, to the restless river and the sometimes destructive and emotional nature of flood waters, to the rains return by the sky gods and a lake's romantic reflections of moonlight.

I have tried to reflect emotionally and musically in these six pieces, some of water's many qualities.

 

WATER SIGN CD SEQUENCE

1. My Aphrodite
2. Sol Dance
3. Ponte del Amante
4. Angels Falling

THE WATER SIGN SUITE
5. Wonder Wave
6. Rain Dancer Returns
7. As Rivers Flow
8. The Water Bearer
9. Moonlight Lake
10. Neptune Dancing

11. If I Could Write a Million Songs
12. Helen Anais
13. My Little Moonbeams
14. Lover's Waltz


FULL SONG DESCRIPTION AND CREDITS

MY APHRODITE
Who else, but my amazing life partner and collaborator, would this song be composed for. A song for my goddess of love and beauty...my muse, MY APHRODITE, Kristin Amarie

SOL DANCE
There is a double meaning in this title. Living in Cyprus, where the sun shines most of the year, naming this composition Sun Dance would have been a fitting title. Even the more lighthearted name Soul Dance would have worked for this piece. With that in mind, SOL DANCE nicely covers the bases.

PONTE DELL' AMANTE - Lovers' Bridge
Two lovers meet across the water from each other. Their only desire is to cross
over the bridge and fall into each other's arms. PONTE DELL' AMANTE may just conjure up such a notion as you listen. When I began composing this piece, Kristin could hear I was struggling with the chorus section. When I stopped playing, she turned to me, and as if crossing over musical waters, she sang a beautiful melody which became the chorus of the song. She also "saw" the image of the two lovers on the bridge and then came up with the very romantic Italian title.

ANGELS FALLING
The term "fallen angels" is a well-worn phrase, so with a slight twist here, we have something a bit different. Most of us aspire to be good humans and make the right decisions for ourselves and loved ones. This, of course, does not always work out for the best. So this song is really for all of us trying to live the good life, but in reality from time to time, we are all just ...ANGELS FALLING.

THE WATER SIGN SUITE
...in six parts

WONDER WAVE, part 1
We begin with the pianistic sound of rushing water, a wave created by a torrent of notes. This is followed by a theme sounding like calm, strong waters just waiting for the next wave to come in. This musical form cycles back to the beginning and is then followed by two different melodic sections until the music again sweeps us up, and leaves us on the shore, waiting for the next musical wave to wash over us.

RAIN DANCER RETURNS, part 2
The unexpected rain storm with its deluge of rushing water; rivers overflowing their banks and amazingly fast moving streams and waterfalls; these are all images found on the Southwestern-themed video album, Sacred Earth (aka Living Temples) which inspired the composing of the original version of this song. Now it lives again in a newly recorded solo piano rendition. Here on the normally sunnny island of Cyprus, where I currently reside with my family, heavy rains can also pay us an unexpected visit. And in those moments,THE RAIN DANCER again is alive and well!

AS RIVERS FLOW, part 3
Like the ebb and flow of energy that defines the river, this piece is always in motion. The primary and essential replenisher of the great oceans and seas, the river is the collector of the heaven's rains and in spring, the mountain's melting ice and snow.And like her sister the sea, the river, be it mighty or humble, is a restless soul.

THE WATER BEARER, part 4
The drama of intense emotions brings a power that can create sweeping life changes. Like the destructive nature of flood waters, the water bearer will rise above and facilitate things that once seemed unchangeable. Being the symbol for the Zodiac sign Aquarius, it may seem like a contradiction, as Aquarius is an air, not a water sign. However the Aquarian water bearer carries the emotionality of others without being influenced by them. Sending a signal that waters are beginnnig to rise, is played out here in the opening four chords, which also are heard again at the end the piece. Like emotions below the surface, building in intensity and power, eventually breaking through earthly barriers and washing over everything in its path, the water bearer is hard at work!

MOONLIGHT LAKE, part 5
As I prepared to begin recording the WATER SIGN album, this final piece of the suite "appeared." The entire suite had been completed, or so I thought, months earlier. This last piece was truly a lovely surprise! The flowing nature of the composition summoned up reflections of moonlight on calm lake waters I'd either seen or envisioned. The actual lake and its title, as far as I know, just sprang from my imagination. However, I believe the light of the moon, reflected on still waters, is truly one of nature's most romantic gifts.

NEPTUNE DANCING, part 6 finale
To begin, we rode the crest of the WONDER WAVE. And in coming to the close of THE WATER SIGN SUITE, we have now traveled full circle. Listen and you just might be able to imagine the ultimate god of the seas and fresh water, as he emerges from the depths. Dancing on the waves and laughing at the moon! As this final piece comes to a close, Roman's high seas ruler slips beneath the waves and bids us a watery farewell, but Neptune's dance...goes on and on!

IF I COULD WRITE A MILLION SONGS...
Since meeting my wife, Kristin Amarie, my passion for writing not only music, but lyrics and poetry as well, has exploded! This title was actually the first line of a lyric that came to mind as this tune took shape. Someday the full lyric may show up as well...you never know:-)

HELEN ANAÏS
Our young children grow up so quickly, but music is one way we can help preserve the memories of their childhood long after those innocent days have faded away. This piece is in honor of my precious twin girls, Estella Helen and Lia Anais. My late mother Helen, is also honored here.

MY LITTLE MOONBEAMS
Having our twin baby girls at my stage in life has been a joy and challenge that I never could have imagined. They are always on, taking center stage! Two bright lights that shine day and night. MY LITTLE MOONBEAMS indeed!

LOVERS' WALTZ
Romance seems to go hand in hand with the waltz. It's lilting rhythm, moving you side to side. Romance, be it real or a fantasy, the waltz is always willing to be its soundtrack.

 

WATER SIGN... CREDITS AND RECORDING SESSIONS

Produced by David Lanz
Co- produced by Kristin Amarie Lanz and Nicolas Ntimas
All music composed by David Lanz and Kristin Amarie Lanz

Recorded, mixed and mastered in Cyprus by Nicolas Ntimas at Lanz Sapphire Home Studios and Nicolas Ntimas Production Studios August-October 2020

Recorded using Cubase with the Apollo Twin Universal Audio modual and a pair  of Shure KSM32 microphones. 

Engineering assistance: George Domitsides

Performed on a Shigeru Kawai SK7 grand piano.

Piano tech: Harris Georgallis

David Lanz is a Shigeru Kawai Artist


Recording Sessions:

August 20: The first of six recording session at the Lanz Sapphire Home Studios. Nicolas Ntimas engineering. Songs recorded: My Aphrodite, Ponte dell' Amante, Helen Anaïs

August 21: Second Sapphire session. Songs recorded: Wonder Wave, Raindancer Returns

August 25: Third Sapphire session. Songs recorded: Moonlight Lake, As Rivers Flow, La Fontana (for a 2021 Myndstream label release.)

August 26: Recording session number four. Songs recorded: Angels Falling, The Water Bearer, Sol Dance, Neptune Dancing

August 31: Fifth session. Songs recorded: My Little Moonbeams, I Could Write a Million Songs, Lovers' Waltz

September 6: Final piano session: Retakes with click track. Wonder Wave, Angels Falling, Sol Dance (not used), Ponte dell' Amante, Neptune Dancing

September 2: Editing session number one. Sapphire studio B. Nicolas Ntimas
engineering.

October 6: Editing session number two (final)

October 7-15: Final mixing/mastering  by Nicolas Ntimas with George Domitsides.
Nicolas Ntimas Production Studios. Nicosia, Cyprus