Divinity, Creativity and Healing Converge in Ann Licater’s Musical Vision
World Flutist Ann Licater’s Doorway to a Dream hits #3 on Zone Music Reporter’s Top 100 Radio Airplay Charts. The album is a richly dimensional follow-up to Licater’s award-nominated solo debut Following the Call; she launched the album with a performance at INATS (Int’l. New Age Trade Show) 2010.
Licater’s artistic growth becomes apparent when comparing the simple beauty of Following the Call with the lush journey offered by Doorway to a Dream. From the first mysterious notes of the title track “Doorway to a Dream” to the final piece ─ aptly titled “Floating” ─ listeners experience a complete journey with Licater’s flute music consciously crafted to benefit body, mind and soul. The artist’s sophomore album features impressive guest artists and worldly exotic instrumental collaborations without abandoning the ethereal flute solos that gently whispered her arrival on the recorded music scene three years ago.
The critical acclaim of Licater’s first album was encouraging, most notably her Best Native American Album nomination by Zone Music Reporter (formerly New Age Reporter). The next few years passed quickly, as doors opened to exciting collaborations and larger stages, and Licater played to audiences of all sizes. These included the World Flute Festival at New York’s Carnegie Hall; collaborating with an orchestral composer as a featured soloist with the San Jose Chamber Orchestra; and various live performances with San Francisco Bay Area musicians to both compose and improvise pieces for World flutes with flugelhorn, synthesizer, world percussion, electric guitar and fretless electric bass. All the while, Licater continued her ongoing solo flute concerts and her facilitation of the “Flute for the Soul” workshops for Kaiser Permanente and the Center for Spiritual Living in San Jose, CA. By the end of 2009, it had been three years since Licater was in the studio on her own project, and she knew it was time to produce a new album. Again, it would include multiple roles as performer, executive producer, composer, and arranger.
“I see creativity as a divine journey,” Licater says, explaining “All of my experiences really helped to shape what would become the 14 tracks on this current recording. Connecting and performing with other musicians in the San Francisco Bay Area opened up new ideas on how I could incorporate Native American and world flutes with other musical styles and genres. My goal was to let that shine through on this album.”
The new album’s tracks are combined in a perfect order to reveal human stories of love and regret, joy and celebration, expanded mind and lucid dreaming. The pieces are pure expressions unmediated by language, yet the feelings evoked are universal. Licater used flutes from around the world on this recording including Native American, Native American-style, Anasazi, Zapotec, Chinese Xiao, and silver alto flutes. Licater’s beautiful tone emanating from these wood, silver and clay flutes is pure emotion on the solo tracks, while effortlessly blending with the eclectic, unusual pairings of modern and indigenous instruments also from around the world. These include a Middle Eastern tar and African udu; Edo period Japanese shakuhachi; Coral electric sitar; flugelhorn; acoustic guitar; grand piano; electronic keyboards; synthesizers; Akai EWI (Electric Wind Instrument) and electronic piano.
The highly talented guest artists on the album include Jose' Neto (Coral electric sitar), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Peter Phippen (Edo period shakuhachi), Shambhu (guitar), David DiLullo (world percussion), Troy Arnett (keyboards/piano), and William Hoshal (Awai EWI/keyboards). Four producers ─ Licater, Phippen, Hoshal and Stephen Hart ─ shaped the evolving album at separate stages over the span of a year. The initial tracking and mixing was done in October 2009 and March 2010 at the renowned Fantasy Studios in Berkeley, CA; final recordings were done at Mix Room in San Rafael, CA, with Hart at the helm.
Silver flute fans may find it interesting that Licater also returned to her classical flute roots on this project, by delving into the sonic qualities of the silver alto flute and its mysterious and melodic tone. She began playing with breathing techniques and fingering patterns as if this western instrument were an indigenous flute, as heard on the tracks “Shades of Light” (track 2), “Into the Heart” (track 3), “Earth to Sky” (track 9), and “Healing Hearts” (track 13).
Licater’s “dream” project is receiving positive attention, with early rotation on John Diliberto’s Echoes radio show distributed by Public Radio International, and on various terrestrial and internet radio stations. Her music will also be heard on international healer, writer, and lecturer Denise Linn’s Soul Coaching™ radio broadcast, a weekly show airing on www.HayHouseRadio.com.
Music reviewer Raj Manoharan of Rajman Reviews writes, “Doorway to a Dream is a great showcase for Licater’s talents, both as a skilled flutist and as a brilliant, wide-ranging composer. Her compositions and arrangements elevate this work from being a mere display of flute-playing ability to something more deep, riveting, and profound.”
Licater finds that one of the most meaningful expressions of Native American and World flute music can be experienced beyond the concert hall. She is creator and facilitator of “Flute for the Soul” workshops, in which participants explore how contemporary replicas of ancient wood and clay flutes can be used as tools for personal discovery, spiritual practice and relaxation. By journaling, meditating and reflecting on an issue while listening to the ancient sounds of Native American and World flute music, she believes it is possible to tap into one’s intuition to discover more about oneself and one’s journey.
Licater is delighted that several wellness and health education centers of one of the nation’s largest health providers offers her CDs for sale to employees and members, plays her music in the workplace, and has engaged her as an ongoing wellness workshop facilitator and performer.
MiMi A. Belser, M.Ed., Manager of the Mind-Body Wellness Center, Dept. of Health Education of Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Clara Medical Center says, “Doorway to a Dream is a luminous and nourishing journey. The delicate balance of the instruments allows the ‘flow’ of mind, body and spirit. We play it continuously at the Mind-Body Wellness Center, it provides a calming, and gentle energy for our members and our staff.”
“Doorway to a Dream is best listened to in its entirety for the ultimate sonic and multi-dimensional aural experience,” Licater says. “The last track ‘Floating’ connects perfectly to the opening title track ‘Doorway to a Dream’ so that listeners who want to press ‘repeat’ and extend the album can remain in the dream story while meditating, journaling or creating.”
A full promotional team is on board to promote Doorway to a Dream, and Licater is busy with media interviews and appearances. Ed Bonk’s LAZZ Promotions manages radio outreach; Bette Timm promotes to new age retail stores; The B Company’s Beth Hilton handles communications. Retail distributors include Music Design, New Leaf and DeVorss & Co., but fans can also purchase the album in physical or digital format online at Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes.
About the Artist
Ann Licater is an international recording artist, “Flute for the Soul” workshop facilitator, and world flutist from the San Francisco Bay area. Her discography includes Doorway to a Dream (2010), Following the Call (2007), and a digital release of “Amazing Grace” in duet with Jeff Oster (2009). For information on how to connect with Ann, or where to buy her albums, please visit her Cul de Sac Mystic Productions at www.annlicater.com.