Search - Will Ackerman :: Hearing Voices

Hearing Voices
Will Ackerman
Hearing Voices
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1

The founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman has stretched his sound occasionally with different instrumentation, but Hearing Voices is an entirely new approach. Picking up on his uncredited production of Samite's St...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Will Ackerman
Title: Hearing Voices
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Windham Hill Records
Release Date: 10/9/2001
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
Styles: Meditation, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 019341160823

The founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman has stretched his sound occasionally with different instrumentation, but Hearing Voices is an entirely new approach. Picking up on his uncredited production of Samite's Stars to Share album, Ackerman enlists a group of singers that includes Samite, Happy Rhodes, Curtis King, and Heather Rankin to intone his quiet meditations, sometimes with English lyrics, other times with Native tongues and imaginary dialects. As a result, Hearing Voices has a hymnlike quality on tracks like "Somewhere in All This Green" and "Fear Not Mary." Rankin gets to do some ecstatic Gaelic chanting on "Walk with Me," which also features Ackerman's only electric guitar lead on record. Ackerman tosses in a couple of wistful acoustic guitar solos, but it's the vocal tunes that continue to haunt on this quietly daring departure. --John Diliberto

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CD Reviews

The Road Less Traveled
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 11/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It is an affirmation of my over all opinion of Will Ackerman's work that, after something of an artistic hiatus, he can branch from instrumental music to song writing, and manage to capture a Grammy nomination with his efforts. I only recently realized that Ackerman is recording again, after a period of 10 years that saw only one new album. Now that I've listened to Hearing Voices, I can report that it is surprisingly compelling, while being quite a bit different than what I expected.Why unexpected? From what I have seen of Ackerman's work I anticipated that the music would have strong folk overtones, similar to what he does as a soloist, and even in an ensemble. What I found is that, while he continues to use melody over a rhythmic chordal architecture, he has reduced the amount of arpegiation that marked his work and turned his focus to the intermingling of thematic voices. The catalog of languages that the performers use is extensive - Luganda, Gaelic, Arabic, Hebrew, Italian, Hindi, Sanscrit, English, and even invented. Obviously the intent isn't to produce an 'international' album, but to emphasize the importance of the sounds of the words aside from lyrics.The result, however, is quite a bit different thant that of other musicians who have investigated this form (such as Vas and Wim Mertons). The selection presented is self-consistent - they play against each other smoothly, and it is very easy to approach this album as a work in its entirety rather than just a collection of works. As usual, Ackerman demonstrates his ability to get musicions to work together to create something that is more than a brilliant solo performance. That, coupled with the usual perfection we expect from Windham Hill productions, makes this one of the must have albums for those of use who like soft jazz and new age work."
Different, but still classic Will Ackerman
James Warren Suiter Jr. | Issaquah, WA United States | 10/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Being a fan of Will Ackerman's music since the early 80's, I have come to know each of his recordings intimately. His latest release "Hearing voices" brings a new light to his signature guitar playing in that you now hear ambient singing throughout 12 of the 15 songs on the CD. I am so used to hearing Ackerman's guitar work on its own that it took a while to get used to the singing. But the singing is so beautiful on its own that after a while the two seem to go together perfectly. As far as Will Ackerman's guitar work on the songs, all I can say is that it is as wonderful and beautiful as ever. "Classic" Will Ackerman is the best way for me to describe it. It reminded me much of the best of his earlier recordings from "Childhood and memory", "Passage", and "Confiring with the moon". I believe that any fan of Will Ackerman's music and the music of the many artists of Windham Hill in general are going to love this new recording."
Ethereal voices blending with soulful guitar
Neal C. Reynolds | Indianapolis, Indiana | 06/08/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Unlike most of the reviewers hear, I am new to William Ackerman's music, and this doubtlessly helped me appreciate this album because I didn't have anything to compare it with. This is uplifting music, suitable for meditation, going to sleep by, or just sitting and imaging. The non-English lyrics serve to let the music and the sound speak for itself. The voice of the guitar is quite distinguishable here, and is not drowned out or even diminished by the voices. There is a blending.Nor is the music monotonous. Some is strictly Idyllic, but some has more of an upbeat. This isn't to say that it's envigorating, but it is deep and ultimately satisfying.There are those who prefer Ackerman without voices, or only his own. But for those who enjoy an Enya type quality with expert guitar blending in, this is for you."