Still feeling relatively new to the Forum (1st anniversary coming up later this month) - there are still things I'm catching up on.
--Recently I was randomly browsing in a local used record store, and what suddenly pops out at me from the bins?--
"Gary Garritan - Heavenly Love Songs III"
And now I'm the very happy owner of that CD - with the exciting realization that the "III" on this beautiful album indicates I have more hunting to do, to find volumes I and II!
I hadn't thought of looking for CDs of Gary's before. I love how synchronistically perfect it was to discover this disc on that day, my head being full of Forum-related things when I was CD browsing.
If Gary's CDs are unfamiliar to you also, you owe it to yourself to seek them out so you too can revel in the masterful recordings he's laid down.
This collection features gorgeous arrangements of popular favorites such as "Somewhere Out There" "Scarborough Fair" "Somewhere" (from "West Side Story") and "The Theme from Ice Castles." There's even a beautiful song written by Gary, titled "Wondrous Love."
Gary's Harp is the featured instrument - impeccable and soulful playing, extremely ably backed by Frank Spitznagel on Keyboards, Ritambhara Tyson on Strings, Sand Dalton on Woodwinds, David Parish - Glute, and Jim Shaffer-Bauck on percussion. Alf Waghorn and Gary engineered the album.
The CD is from 1997, which can seem not so long ago, but to read Gary's acknowledgements on the liner notes puts in perspective how long ago it actually was in the terms of audio technology - He thanks Sound Forge and Cakewalk for their revolutionary software - programs which were new and perplexingly amazing at the time. They still are actually - but the point is, computer music technology wasn't so common 10 years ago.
A belated and Big round of applause for Gary and his troupe who put together a truly Heavenly album at the "Electronic Harp Studios, Orcas Island, Washington State."
Go find copies as Christmas presents to yourself and loved ones!