Personnel: William Ackerman, Michael Hedges (guitar); Darol Anger, Jamii Szamadzinski (violin); Joan Jeanrenaud (cello); Kronos Quartet (strings); Russel Walder (oboe, English horn); Ira Stein (piano); Mark Isham (synthesizer); Chuck Greenberg (lyricon); Michael Manring (fretless bass).
Recorded at Mobius Music, San Frncisco, California between 1979 and 1983.
This is part of Windham Hill Records' Essential Windham Hill series.
Probably the best of William Ackerman's non-solo albums, 1983's PAST LIGHT is a fascinating album which sets Ackerman's inimitable guitar technique--rooted in folk and blues but with a distinctively clean, melodic edge--in a variety of sympathetic settings. From duets with fellow guitarist Michael Hedges to pieces supported by Mark Isham's synthesizer and Ira Stein's Bill Evans-like piano to a surprisingly effective track pairing Ackerman with the Kronos Quartet, the ten compositions on PAST LIGHT are an assured and substantial lot.
This music belies the easy tag of new age, a term Ackerman is said to despise, because it has a melodic strength and beauty of form not often associated with that sometimes vague and insubstantial genre. If you've never listened to a Windham Hill album, this may be the place to start.