Composer/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Janet Dunbar's Spirit Journey
takes you on a trip to the imagined world of the Ancient Earth Mother,
a time and place of cooperation, healing, and inspiration. Janet sings intriguing
melodies, and performs flights of guitar and synthesizer improvisation passionately.
The poetry, which is recited by its creators, April Eiler and Jacqueline Thurston,
entrances, while the music itself spans the gamut from highly meditative
environmental collages to new jazz compositions and world music inspired
dance cuts. The composer interweaves an array of musical traditions in an
electroacoustic tapestry of timbral contrast which suits the poetry quite
well. The striking originality of Janet's compositions is also partially
due to her use of computer music and recording techniques. Though the songs
are very accessible, they are interesting and appealing enough to stand
up to multiple listenings. Everywhere the obvious effect of the music
is to calm, comfort, and recharge the soul.
Leni Austine, PanGaia Magazine, Summer, 2000
"an aural landscape that is sacred space, that goes far deeper into the
magical self than a typical relaxation tape..."
Allen K. Payne, March-April, 2000
"Spirit Journey is most original and unique."
Cover Story, Shari Kaplan, Features Editor, Saratoga News, Dec. 1, 1999
"...runs the gamut from meditative environmental sound
collages to world music inspired melodies to sounds that
defy common adjectives.."
Chris Chafe, composer, celletto inventor and
Director of CCRMA, Stanford University
"Dunbar...draws together several stylistic influences in a way
that is uniquely her own... One outstanding gift...
is her text-setting intuition..."
Susan Davis Holmes, critically-acclaimed American singer in Germany
"Janet has a really beautiful voice -- with a nice round sound and
pretty vibrato... The music is modern, but very accessible and atmospheric.""
From the Composer, Janet Dunbar
"In Spirit Journey, the use of algorithmic composition, electronic instruments
and audio special effects is united with more human elements: world folk melodic
motives, sounds of nature, rhythm, poetry, singing and improvisation."
April Eiler, internationally recognized poet and performer
"I love the way Janet works; she's unquestionably true to her own
vision and her own ear."
About the Artist
Janet Dunbar began singing and playing piano, guitar and flute at an early age back
in her hometown of Tenafly, New Jersey. Her interest in composing developed out of
many years of improvising in pop, folk and jazz bands, playing in classical
ensembles in New Jersey, and while working in Durham, North Carolina and
earning a bachelors degree at Duke University. After moving to Berkeley,
California, Janet came under the influence of the various musical styles
from all over the world that come together in that community. Earning a
living teaching music at Fiat Music Company in Pinole, California, she
went back to school for a masters in music at San Jose State University
where she studied instrumental music, voice, composition and electronic
music. In 1994, on a full scholarship and teaching stipend, the composer
began working on a doctorate at the world renowned Center for Computer
Research in Music and Acoustics (fondly known as CCRMA - pronounced KARMA)
at Stanford. There she immersed herself in computer music and recording arts.
Such noted CCRMA personalities as celletto inventor and film composer
Chris Chafe, FM synthesis originator John Chowning, and audio engineer
Jay Kadis influenced her creative work. In order to finish the doctorate
in composition and computer music from Stanford in 1998, Janet spent
many hours in the recording studio and at the computer experimenting
with audio software digital signal processing plug-ins and algorithmic
composition computing environments. An Audio Engineering Society (AES)
member, she has been able to apply her unique technical and artistic gifts
in a way which invigorates the mind and nourishes the soul.