Wise Dreams and Fables of the Sky
Album Notes and Artwork
Get the "Wise Dreams" album here:
Wise Dreams and Fables of the Sky is Ultra World X-Tet's third and latest release. Give it a listen and you'll discover beautiful melodies, innovative compositions, compelling improvisations, and contagious grooves. The artistry of the group is unleashed with full force.
Co-produced by Gary Schwantes and Jerry Stucker (Headhunters), the album begins with the bluesy feel of Southern Comfort and the driving celebratory groove of Golden Snake Dance. Those tracks set the stage for the drama and mystery of Wise Dreams and Fables of the Sky (tracks 03-06, inspired by The Odyssey). From beginning to end, the album will take you on a funky, mythical musical adventure.
Record Label: Giespro
Ultra World X-Tet is based in San Francisco, where the group's performances have delighted audiences and garnered rave reviews.Their sound has been described as "psychedelic world jazz," "world fusion," "world class" and other colorful labels. Whatever you want to call it, this unique San Francisco sound with a world music flavor will transport you and fire your imagination.
DownBeat Editors' Pick
Ultra World X-Tet’s ‘Wise Dreams And Fables of The Sky’ is a DownBeat Editors' Pick. Read what DownBeat has to say about the album. http://downbeat.com/reviews/detail/wise-dreams-and-fables-of-the-sky
“To put it plainly, Ultra World X-Tet is an extraordinary world class ensemble.” Examiner.com
"I was particularly impressed by the chemistry between Schwantes on tenor and Wong on her Western-tuned guzheng..." San Francisco Classical Voice
"These formerly exotic elements can become quite familiar and entertaining when they’re so successfully and imaginatively integrated…impressive…" San Francisco Classical Voice
View Album Art and Notes
Download Album Art and Notes
Doug Ebert: bass
Surya Prakasha: drumset, percussion
Gary Schwantes: saxophones, bamboo flutes, composer
Winnie Wong: guzheng (Chinese zither)
Yangqin Zhao: yangqin (Chinese hammered dulcimer)
Produced by Gary Schwantes and Jerry Stucker
Mixed and Mastered by Jerry Stucker at JS Productions
Recorded live in concert at Old First Church, San Francisco CA
Recorded by Gavin Jones of Duvateen Sound
Cover Design by Winnie Wong
1. Southern Comfort (5:01)
2. Golden Snake Dance (5:26)
Wise Dreams and Fables of the Sky
3. As Above, So Below (6:13)
4. The Tempest and Circe's Magic Island (5:25)
5. Prophecies of Hades (5:04)
6. Call of the Sirens (6:53)
The composition Wise Dreams and Fables of the Sky (tracks 03-06) is inspired by books nine through twelve of The Odyssey by Homer. The piece will take you on a wild hallucinatory journey where you'll experience the impact of this classic story structure in a new way.
All compositions by Gary Schwantes, Muddy Pig Music / BMI
except Golden Snake Dance, trad. arranged by Gary Schwantes.
© ℗ 2019 Giespro All Rights Reserved GSP 3390
Wise Dreams and Fables of the Sky: The Story
As Above, So Below
The gods watch from Olympus as Odysseus and his crew pillage, plunder and roam the seas. Zeus sends a storm as punishment. The crew drifts off course encountering the Land of the Lotus Eaters and other strange adversaries. Odysseus incurs the wrath of Poseidon by blinding his son (the giant one-eyed Cyclops) in order to escape a grisly fate. As the crew sails away, we hear the Cyclops wailing in the distance.
The Tempest and Circe's Magic Island
Aeolus gives the gift of wind to Odysseus, but the wind turns into a tempest. The crew seeks shelter in an unknown harbor where they’re attacked by the man-eating Laestrygonians. Most of the crew is killed. Odysseus and the survivors make their way to the witch goddess Circe’s island where they experience her powerful magic.
Prophecies of Hades
Per Circe’s instructions, the crew sets sail for Ocean’s End and Hades
where they seek wisdom from the souls of the dead. A blood sacrifice is made. Departed souls are attracted to the pit of blood, slowly at first, then gaining momentum and numbers. Odysseus listens as the saxophone
delivers the prophecies of Tiresias which enable him to plot a new course home to Ithaca.
Call of the Sirens
The crew encounters the vortex Charybdis, the Sirens, the monster Scylla, and the Isle of Helios. A forbidden feast is enjoyed but leads to a shipwreck with Odysseus as the lone survivor. Afloat on the broken timbers of his ship, he eventually reaches the goddess Calypso’s island. Calypso attempts to keep him as her immortal husband, but the gods intervene, allowing him to return to Ithaca and reclaim his kingdom.