Search - Linda Waterfall :: In the Presence of the Light

In the Presence of the Light
Linda Waterfall
In the Presence of the Light
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (12) - Disc #1


CD Details

All Artists: Linda Waterfall
Title: In the Presence of the Light
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Liquid City
Release Date: 6/23/1998
Genres: Folk, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, Singer-Songwriters
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 600953000425

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CD Reviews

Synthesis of Folk Music and Wisdom with an Eastern Outlook
Carl E. Gunther | West Hollywood, CA USA | 11/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Ever since I heard this artist's song "Love Out of Nowhere" (from her preceding Flying Time album) her music has been an important part of my life. She is a masterful (I mean simply the best that I have heard) acoustic guitar player, and an even better singer and composer. Better still, her virtuosity is never exhibited for its own sake, but always in the service of an artistic vision that ranges far beyond this place and time and yet never ceases to be personal and totally from the heart.This album is the second of two completely revolutionary albums that blend U.S. folk, blues and pop with Eastern philosophical and musical influences. While Linda Waterfall has released six albums prior to these two, with many excellent songs, these two albums represent such a flowering of her talent that for me the main importance of those earlier works is that they have led to these two (so far) extraordinary creations. This is truly an artist at the very peak of her creative abilities, and you feel that with every word and with every note.The breakthrough album was Flying Time, which explored the universe's incomprehensible powers of creation with gratitude and wonder, both directly and also in its manifestations within a mother's love, the differences between men and women that create the tension that makes relationships live, individual freedom, the importance of the ephemeral in our finite existence, the integrity of Nature ("Tree," written and sung in collaboration with a class of 5th graders), the artist's struggle to touch and express universal qualities ("Climbing to the High Country," my favorite song of all time), praise of the forces of destruction that make creation possible, and the constant loss of and regaining of balance that allows growth to occur.Some of the songs on "In the Presence of the Light" continue to develop those themes. This is particularly true of the title track, an astonishing feat of guitar and vocal blending (the instrument and the voice play off one another as if the artist contained two separate identities living in constant and perfect appreciation of one another). While this interplay is occurring, the lyric paints a picture of human potential suffering and repressed but nonetheless ever-connected to a greater power: Bargains of power and transactions of envy
Human promise wasting in prisons and factories
Body unraveling and energy failing
Still the branch is twisting, still the leaves are lifting
To the Light"Reception" deals on a more personal level with tapping in to that same universal consciousness. The clouds are drawing together
There is power at hand, an open place to stand
Potential reaching from above and below
With a spark, the current flows
Reach up and make it flow Clearing a path for reception...This song features the artist's keyboard skills, which are only exceeded by her abilities as a guitarist.On her Web site ( Waterfall mentions a recent struggle with cancer, from which she is now recovering, and to me (I'm only guessing) that seems to have created the kind of intense engagement with the beauty of this world that a mortal threat can sometimes bring. Particularly notable in that regard is "Cool Touch," in which a trio of unbelievably sweet voices (Linda and two of her friends) harmonize in as irresistable an expression of pure joy as I've ever heard on a recording. I like the love sky
So blue, so tender
The beauty of this world makes me surrender
I like soft rainfall
I like to watch the people
When their sweet sleep makes them look like angels I got a cool touch
I really do joylife so much
I like to take a happy breath of air"Mango Mouth" expresses a similar love for the sweetness of the here and now. "Waiting for Your Luck to Change" to me is the most poignant and direct expression of this confrontation with illness, and once again while acknowledging the down side of the situation it remains heartbreakingly positive and life-affirming while looking with both grieving and acceptance at the possibility that death is waiting (as it always is). You've done your best
Someone else will have to do the rest now, rest now
You gave it your heart and soul
Some things you can't control Waiting for your luck to change
Sometimes that's all you can do
Find a way to laugh today
Waiting for your luck to change
You know your luck is bound to changeThe last four songs move in a radically different direction - setting poems from Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass to music. They are beautiful, but in a completely different way from the other eight songs. According to the liner notes, they were commissioned by the Seattle Arts Commission and completed around the time of the artist's illness. By the time of this album the artist had recovered and was able to perform them herself, which she does on these tracks. I think that by including such diverse material she was showing a lot of faith in her audience, and I only hope that we can be worthy of that trust!If you like folk music, brilliant songwriting, performance and arranging, and have even the slightest inclination toward finding a spiritual path then I hope you will listen to this music, because it was created for you."