Conni St.Pierre
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Conni St.Pierre

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The best kept secret in music

Press


"Very few artists can successfully navigate the straits that separate the ambient and new age music landscapes. After hearing this CD, I’d have to put Conni St. Pierre into that small group of musicians. The concluding album of her”Legends” trilogy, Beyond the Sky: Legends of the starry night, melds the delicate “pretty” side of new age music with the sparse, non-structured aspects of ambient music, yielding an alloy that successfully fuses the two disparate genres into a whole that should appeal to open-minded listeners in both camps.

Performing on assorted flutes and keyboards, St. Pierre crafts a sound that is both haunting and soothing. Her use of bell tones, in particular, is astoundingly evocative. I listened to this album a number of times at dusk as I walked my dog, Onyx, and the feeling of symmetry with the fading light was eerie yet rewarding. For example, “Message in a Dream” juxtaposes her flute work with sparse synth strings and warm rich bells, sometimes played as solo notes, other times as broken chords or note combinations. The effect is mesmerizing - the flute hovers in the air, as if suspended, while the bell tones seem to twinkle like sonic fireflies. I know this makes her music sound overtly new agey; and, admittedly, since flute (alto, wooden, and shakuhachi) plays a big part in her sound, there is a certain new age element to the music. However, it’s no more “pure” new age than are the recordings of Coyote Oldman. “Daughter of the Winds,” (where Conni is accompanied by a wood thrush, since she recorded the song outside), definitely carries that same mystical ambience that Michael Graham Allen and Barry Stramp convey in their recordings.

What struck me strongest about Beyond the sky is how skillfully St. Pierre applies her various synthesizers and keyboards. “Eternal Valley” (the piece after “Daughter...”) offers up flute and somber dronish style keyboards. The song is almost dark in nature; certainly, this is not your garden-variety “new age” music. Another commonly used keyboard effect by the artist is one that seems to combine harp-like notes that reverberate like bell tones. These sounds are similar to those that were common in new age music in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s (on recordings such as Philip Elcano’s RainDance), but St. Pierre puts her unique stamp on the track by giving it a more free- wheeling, almost proggish feel. In fact, more than once while listening to this album, I was reminded of the song “Moonchild” from King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King. Some tracks on Beyond the sky carry that same sense of spaciousness and improvisational feel, yet here the sound is less free-form and more accessible (the notes are played with less silence between them).

From an ambient standpoint, there is little use denying that a song like “Over Night’s Sea” is a distant relative of Budd’s and Eno’s The Pearl, albeit a cousin who is somewhat cheerier and less somber. Although, St. Pierre is not all sweetness and light. “Darkness Before Creation” opens with reverberating drone-tones and lower register flute notes and feels like a pre-dawn shadowy piece.

I admired how, ultimately, unconventional this recording is. Instead of playing it safe and following a more clear-cut new age blueprint (featuring major key tonalities and structured melodies), St. Pierre walked off into relatively uncharted waters. Bell tone keyboards sometimes sound almost like jazz minimalism (and, in fact, if the synths were sampling a Fender Rhodes instead of bells, you’d draw that comparison even faster). It’s the overall warmth of the artist’s compositions that won me over completely. Her flute playing is a model of efficiency melded with muted passion. I can’t remember the last album I played that was so effortless to enjoy - the music is soothing, yet not numbing or boring. The songs are not at all repetitious, yet a distinct continuity exists throughout the thirteen tracks.

I have both of the previous recordings (parts one and two) of the Legends trilogy but have not sampled them yet. However, if Beyond the sky is any indication, I expect to be equally enthralled with them. I sincerely urge ambient fans who enjoy the flute as an instrument to give this album a listen; and, of course, new age music lovers should consider my review as solid an endoresement of a recording as is possible. Unless you abhor flute music, I can’t imagine you not falling in love with Conni St. Pierre’s unique and beautiful tone poems. Here is a recording that resonates at a deep level. The liner notes relate a mystical tale (relayed via the song titles) and, for once, the music and the “tale” go hand in hand. This is no schmaltz or cookie-cutter new age music. It is inspired and genuine and I cannot rave enough about it. I love this album, pure and simple"

- Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire - Bill Binkelman


The last few weeks, at the end of a long day at work but before I start any evening activities, I begin to unwind with one of these three cds from Conni St.Pierre. The un-worded melodies blend keyboard, alto flute, Japanese shakuhachi and native flutes into a mystical, airy journey to nature and beyond.

Althought they work as a trilogy, each cd has a unique edge to it. "Beneath the Waves: Legends of Lost Cities" sounds like a journey across seas, into the depths of the ocean and up into the lost lands of Atlantis. "Between the Branches: Legends of the Wild" increases its pace, bringing images of a running deer, a cool stream, or perhaps birds flying through tall trees. "Beyond the Sky: Legends of the Starry Night" has a mysterious, exotic tone reminiscent of a night camping out under the stars. Each cd is calming and clarifying. A perfect collection of music to soothe you after a long day. - RL - Vision Magazine


Beyond the Sky: Legends of the Starry Night is a terrific album for massage therapists to use in their practices. Slow, free-flowing, and dreamy, Conni St. Pierre’s flutes and keyboard instantly soothe listeners, lulling them into relaxed states. Part of a trilogy of albums by St. Pierre - the other titles are Between the Branches: Legends of the Wild and Beneath the Waves: Legends of Lost Cities - Beyond the Sky was created to provide isteners with rest and rejuvenation.
The highlights of the album are St. Pierre’s flute versatility and dexterity. Her skills on alto, shakuhachi, American Indian, and drone flutes are on display here. And St. Pierre’s keyboard melodies provide a gentle background or a comforting point on which to meditate. Market Beyond the Sky both to those in healing professions and to customers seeking to center themselves. - New Age Retailer


Review : Beyond The Sky
Beyond The Sky : Legends Of The Starry Night
Ordernumber : SE20021
Conni St. Pierre : Beyond The Sky : Legends Of The Starry Night
The latest album in the trilogy of Conni St Pierre. The best album of the three. A good mix between ambient and new age. Assorted flutes combined with keyboards and bells, makes the music smooth, rich and simple. You can dream and relax at the same time. One of the best tracks is track number 2 "Message In A Dream". Where the combination of those three instruments is great. Some instruments are created by the keyboard like the harp. Although that some tracks are hearing the same, it are all unique tracks. Because of the style mix, the whole CD is more a tryout than some music played safe in one style. The nice thing is the variation. Some tracks aren't sweet anymore, but overwhelmed the listener with some darker melodies. If you like New Age, Flute or want to try something new, this set is a great choice for buying. Personally, I have troubles to categorize this album under pure electronic music, you have to be very open minded, but it was nice listening. The reason is that I have troubles is that the flute is overwhelming the rest and makes it hanging over to the New Age side.
Rating: Extremely Good

Review : Beneath The Waves
Beneath The Waves : Legends Of Lost Cities
Ordernumber : SE10198
Conni St. Pierre : Beneath The Waves : Legends Of Lost Cities
The first of three CD’s by Conni St Pierre. Maybe not so well known, but she creates some beautiful music in a mix of ambient and new age. It’s a smooth album on which you can relax, work in piece. Dreaming of the waves, the figures and legends of the waves. A combination of flute, keyboards and chimes makes this more ambient. Personally I find this album a little too soft, to sweet. It makes you a little sleepy (thus you can listen too this music when trying to sleep).
Rating: Good

Review : Between The Branches
Between The Branches : Legends Of The Lost Wild
Ordernumber : Smacheasy 007000
Conni St. Pierre : Between The Branches : Legends Of The Lost Wild
The second album of this trilogy. In the same style, but better. So again flutes and keyboards combinations. A fully smoothly album, relaxing new age - ambient mix. My favorite tracks are "summer forest", "Setting Moon", "Morning Dew". Sometimes it's like that Conni still is looking for the correct melody lines. At this moment I will categorize this album under the ambient genre. But the more you listen to this album, the more you find differences in between so the classification of Ambient isn't fully truly. Still it's a beautiful album, but you have to be open minded for other instruments. It also contains some japanese influences and even frogs. As end conclusion, I can say it's a relaxing album
Rating: Good
- Electron Magazine


Conni St.Pierre is no stranger to the world of ambience. She's been on board since 1981, and continues to construct great underrated ambient recordings. As a classically trained piano, flute and vocalist (although this is an instrumental album,) she utilizes all of her skills to perform a quiety, yet outdoors-like experience. The listener is engulfed in Conni's mood-setting performance, and left there to decide where to journey to next.

This album was created mainly for her interest in myths and legends. The press release states that while she was recording this album she found a reference to the "Lost City of Is" in a book she read. With her connection to a scholar from the internet, she began to uncover many of the lost city legends while creating this album.

This is music for relaxing, studying (yes, I said studying), or to fall asleep to. The latter will only make you miss out on the experience Conni has to offer. - The Blue Divide


Between the Branches: Legends of the Wild, by Conni St.Pierre, is as peaceful as a mountain stream and captures the soulful quiet of nature on all 15 of the very studied tracks. A lovely poem inside the cd jacket notes that "the flute was once a green living thing/drinking in the rainwater," but transformed, the "wand" now receives its wind and water from the one working the instrument. The playing is superb, and the imagery of the titles helps give shape for the listener's mind to grasp the wordless poetry and cascading sound. "Loon Songs" is stark and solitary with the musings of the artist and less instrumentation....Between the Branches: Legends of the Wild is very peaceful music generated by people who understand the balance of life, and it is an exhilarating listening experience. -- Joe Viglione - All Music Guide


Conni St.Pierre
"Beyond the Sky:Legends of the starry night"

Self-reflection and quiet meditation are very positive actions for the human mind; it is nearly essential for us to think in concentration. Music can assist a mind on its way to find relaxation, especially in a tranquil atmosphere. Conni St.Pierre's latest release, "Beyond the Sky: Legends of the Starry Night" can act as a basis for reaching a comfortable reality with the variety of instruments that give a very influential and beautiful sound.

Aside from the sheer talent and innovative mind of Conni St.Pierre, this distinct sound is composed of very unique instruments. The instruments that appear on the cd, played predominantly by Conni St.Pierre, are an alto flue, shakuhachi, Native American and drone flutes, and keyboards. The drone flute and the shakuhachi are stand-out instruments on teh cd due to their novel sound. They both provide for the very mellow mood that makes the music so wonderfully relaxing.

Conni St.Pierre's "Beyond the Sky: Legends of the Starry Night" is pure artwork through sounds. Listening will give you the pleasure of relaxation and an escape from any state of mind that you are not happy with. The instrumentality and foreign notes and talent make for something more than ear-pleasing. -- Mike Thompson - Good Times Magazine


Conni St. Pierre’s last album, “Beyond the Sky: Legends of the Starry Night,” blew me away with its blend of soulful flute and classic new age keyboard/synth reverberating bell tones. On her latest recording, “Flower
Spirits,” St. Pierre concentrates a bit more on flute and some piano as well, but a little less on her synths and keyboards, however the results are still quite pleasing. She is also joined on this CD by Pat Malia playing con-
gas, Pueblo drum, Buffalo drum and percussion (St. Pierre herself plays assorted flutes, keyboards, gypsy harp, chimes and percussion). While this
album doesn’t send me into ecstatic babbling like her last one did, it is nonetheless a solid and enjoyable recording and certainly should appeal to lovers of new age music who favor a
mixture of electronic and acoustic instrumentals. All the songs’ titles have to do with flowers, which only follows after all. “Snow on Lilacs”
opens the CD sounding very similar to her last release, as reverberating bell tones and flute mix with subtle muted drums/percussion. The mood is pensive but never overbearing or
pretentious. “Water Lillies” marks the first appearance of piano, played in an introspective/ reflective style (bearing more than a passing resemblance to George Winston, to my ears).
Here, the flute plays “second fiddle,” so to speak, but still imparts a delicious haunting aspect to the song. “Heart of the Rose” brings the synth bell-tones back into the mix (wonderful!) as
well as lively percussion, albeit muted in the mix. By this point in the album (the third track) you’re either going to like this CD or not, as nothing appreciably different happens from here on out (and that is not a criticism, just a statement of detail). Personally, I think St. Pierre is an
undiscovered gem of an artist. I sincerely enjoy her music, and Flower Spirits is no exception. “Yellow Violets” dances and flits amidst synth bells and flute, while the hand percussion on
“Chrysanthemums and Hummingbirds” injects some fairy-like liveliness into the mix. Dramatic
synth strings on “Sunflowers at Sunset” are counter-pointed by a strong Native-influence to the flute and muted drumming. “Trillium” allows those delightful bell tones to dominate, shimmering and reverberating amidst a backdrop of gypsy harp, while “Night-blooming Jasmine” brings sparse moody piano to the forefront once more. Based on how little I see written about her on the Internet, Conni St. Pierre may be one of the more unheralded and under-appreciated artists in new age music recording today. Her music
is uniformly excellent and exemplifies the healing and mystical qualities of the genre, in my opinion. Her employment of acoustic and electronic instruments is expertly balanced and the technical quality of “Flower Spirits” is excellent (production and engineering are spot-on). From a purely personal level, I preferred the more dominant electronic elements on her previous album, but “Flower Spirits” is nonetheless a rewarding and evocative CD and it’s nice to hear that an artist is not content to rest on her laurels and repeat herself. It’s a no-brainer for me to recommend the CD to fans of flute-based new age music CDs who enjoy some synths
and percussion in the mix as well.
- New Age Reporter


Impressionist ambient new age flute and keyboard meditations. Flower Spirits features a variety of flute sounds with an improvisational, meandering quality, tranquil hovering melodies that bring the spirit of the great outdoors right into your head on a scented pillow. Gentle pianos, chimes and bell-tone synths form undulating beds of sonic blossom that generally act as a backdrops, occasionally billowing up to steal the attention. Buffalo drum, pueblo drum and other subtle or muted percussion elements laid down by hand propel some pieces along in easy patterns, soft, padding deep within the mix.

Introspective and dreamy - Conni St Pierre creates visions of leafy glades and dappled meadows where the vastness of the sky meets the intricacy and slow motion of blooming flora. Very relaxing and natural in loose structure, this is music that could fill your ears carrying you off into inspired reverie, or could equally just tint your environment as subtle background music bringing its calming effects unnoticed.

Ten tracks dedicated to different aspects of wild blossom - a carefully crafted arrangement that seems effortlessly artless and natural. Following after the Legends trilogy, this CD is to be the first of a series inspired by the natural world - delicate themes on fluted breezes guaranteed to soften the atmosphere and perfume the senses. Flower Spirits is released on Conni's own Smash Easy label and was produced and mastered at her own studio surrounded by a private wildlife refuge. The artwork is her own.

This is music that will aid relaxation and periods of contemplation. Flower Spirits will appeal mainly to new age listeners that lean on the ambient side where melodies are understated with emphasis on mood and colour. - Morpheus Music


Le coup de cœur, un disque très méditatif, une succession d’instrumentaux inspirés par l’esprit qui règne sur la nature sauvage. Conni St Pierre fait partie de cette nouvelle scène ‘ambient’ un soupçon bizarroïde. Armée de sa flûte et de son harpe, elle dévoile une musique surprenante, planante et mystique. Les percussions de Pat Malia insufflent un rythme de vie. On est presque sur le toit du monde en parfait équilibre avec la nature. - Backstage Radio News - Belgium


Discography

"SlamDoc" Music composer for independent documentary film by Mark Freeman, 2006

"Flower Spirits" - cd, smasheasy 2006 - on many New Age radio playlists internationally

"Beyond the Sky: Legends of the Starry Night" - cd, smasheasy 2003, named the #1 New Age Instrumental of 2003 by Wind and Wire

"Between the Branches: Legends of the Wild" - cd, smasheasy 2000

"Beneath the Waves: Legends of Lost Cities" - cd, smasheasy 1998

"Tree-Sit: The Art of Resistance" - film music, Earth Films 1998

"Manifest" - Forest Floor (improvisational ensemble) - cd, smasheasy 1996

"Scrawls from the Unconscious" - Forest Floor - cd, smasheasy 1994

"Frontierworld" - Sky Frontier - cd, smasheasy 1992

"Sky Frontier" - Sky Frontier - cd, smasheasy 1988

"Macbeth," "Romeo & Juliet" - Boston Shakespeare Company - music and sound 1978

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Conni St.Pierre is founder of smasheasy® and Tourmaline Media, and composer of The Legends Trilogy, the critically acclaimed ambient/new age music series. Whether she's playing melodic alto flute lines, or hauntingly ambient keyboard resonances — with the sparseness of Zen shakuhachi, or time travelling with medieval-influenced Celtic harp— St.Pierre creates a musical landscape and shares an inner vision that is fresh and inspired — calm, and graceful. St.Pierre's music offers a perfected blend of new age, ambient, and traditional music that has brought her fans around the world, and critical acclaim. With songs from her 3rd album reaching as high as #2 on European and US dowload charts, the release of her new fourth album, "Flower Spirits," has been much anticipated. It mirrors her deep love of nature in the songs which evoke the inner essences of flowers through her wordless, musical poetry.

Conni's music is widely used for yoga, meditation, t'ai chi, reiki, massage, and other healing arts, and she has composed music for guided yoga and relaxation releases. As a member of improvisational ensemble, Forest Floor, her music was part of the soundtrack of an award-winning independent forest documentary film. She is currently composing soundtracks for several independent film and DVD projects, and is seeking additional film and soundtrack work.

St.Pierre also works as partner and manager of The Outlook studio, which she and her husband, producer/engineer Ted St.Pierre, founded in 1980. The St.Pierre's have worked tirelessly to achieve their goals: being in a place that they love, surrounded by their private wildlife refuge; and making music that is now available to a worldwide audience through the smasheasy® label.

CDs and links to more music on-line available on request!