Search - William Ackerman :: Past Light

Past Light
William Ackerman
Past Light
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1

Guitarist William Ackerman was still writing the book on the new age genre when this album came to light in the '80s, back when he operated the Windham Hill record label. You can hear many of the distinct, far-flung elemen...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: William Ackerman
Title: Past Light
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
Release Date: 4/1/2008
Genres: Jazz, New Age, Pop
Styles: Meditation, Instrumental, Adult Contemporary, Adult Alternative
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 886972401522

Guitarist William Ackerman was still writing the book on the new age genre when this album came to light in the '80s, back when he operated the Windham Hill record label. You can hear many of the distinct, far-flung elements of the meditative, often-derided music mingling here in a somewhat pre-commercial state: classical, funk, folk, and more. Ackerman's guitar playing is often light as air, but his technique suggests a formidable aesthetic at work, rendering softness with expert, crafty precision. The slurpy electric bass on the opening track, "Visiting," doesn't do the rest of the album justice, especially the intricate, Tangerine Dream-style minimalism of "Synopsis." Of additional interest: the track titled "Garden," a fairly straightforward Utopian nod to "Greensleeves," features Ackerman's neighbors, the San Francisco-based Kronos Quartet. Kronos cellist Joan Jeanrenaud also guests on "Three Observations of the Ocean," a duet. --Marc Weidenbaum

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CD Reviews

Making Connections
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 09/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is Ackerman's fifth album, and his style has steadily matured from the simplicity of a pure solo acoustic guitar to a complex sound full of acoustic and electronic resonances and a penchant for intimate ensemble playing.

Gone forever are the John Fahey and Robbie Basho influences. Or, rather, they have become completely assimilated in the artistry which will mark much of Ackerman' s productions - a heady combination of experiment, jazz, and, yes, 'new age' as well.

This new habit of going beyond solo performance has both good and bad points. The good is that Ackerman is no more compromising in his choice of partners than he is over the quality of his own musicianship. The combinations, which include musicians like Michael Hedges (Night Slip), Joan Jeanrenaud and other members of the Chronos Quartet (Garden and Three Observations of the Ocean), and Chuck Greenberg (Visiting) amount to wonderful music.

What one misses, though, is the delightful work Ackerman can do as a soloist. For this you will now have to turn to his older albums. It is always hard for a fan to realize that making do with the same old formulae can never satisfy creative musicians. Ackerman is one of those who are always looking for new transitions, not as gimmicks, but as a means of self-expression. For us, as listeners, we have the reassurance that great music awaits us whenever we listen.
Ackerman - what he does...
J. D. Morris | Berwyn Heights, MD USA | 06/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"William Ackerman is a delightful solo guitarist and a charming live performer, but I think he's at his best bringing out the talents of others. This album is a perfect example. Here Ackerman weaves rich and driving tapestries behind and around the "leads" of his co-performers. Shadowfax's Chuck Greenberg ads his soaring lyricon to Visiting to make it one of the highlights of the genre - I don't care what the Amazon reviewer says - and the album is worth it for this cut alone. But this cut isn't alone and the rest will engage you with a variety of different instruments and styles - all elevated and unified by Ackerman's artistry."
From the Heart of a True Artist
ManOfPrecision | Lowers Bucks County, Pennsylvania | 10/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What can be nicer than fusing every magnum opus onto one cd? Will Ackerman made his way into my view of music through the Echoes radio program on 88.5. Even then, his music was unparalleled to other guitarists. Every couple of nights, his music would come on and I'd know it first hand. His skills with the guitar opened me to a new world of music which to this day has grown stronger and made me more willing to explore new areas in music."