“Distant Horseman” is the fifth album from composer and keyboardist Timothy Wenzel. A former research scientist with a chemistry background, Timothy's music is inspired by his fascination with both the musings of life and the physical world around him. He is joined on this album on all but two of the twelve compositions by violinist Josie Quick, who is also a member of the groups Perpetual Motion, The Coyote Poets of the Universe and the Frontera String Quartet.
“A Bend in the River” opens the album like a morning sunrise first appearing on the horizon, conveyed by an optimistic piano melody and Josie’s violin, which are set to a soft drum machine. Following next is the title track, “Distant Horseman”, one of the album’s highlights; it bears the distinctive Celtic flavor that’s often present in Timothy’s music, combined with a Renaissance flare. Further enhanced by violin and acoustic guitar, they lend brief pause to an elegant piano interlude, conveying the feeling of dancing and twirling about in a pastoral meadow. The magical “A Night So Cold” is easily my favorite piece, characterized by cascading piano high-notes that surround accompanying violin, painting an image of a star-studded sky on a cold winter’s night. “Forgiven” is also especially noteworthy for its symphonic interplay of instruments, in which piano, flute and violin give way to thunderous drums at one point. Concluding the album is “Luminous Wake, Starlit Sea”, where choral voices towards the end of the piece impart a supernal quality, as our distant horseman quietly rides off into the night.
Brushed with many classical and symphonic overtones, “Distant Horseman” is perhaps Timothy Wenzel’s most impressive album to date. Although the compositions mostly adhere to a similar, signature template, every track is a delight on its own. Visually and sensationally, the music feels attuned to the cycle of the four seasons and a temperate climate. Drawing upon themes of nature, dreams, stories and films, “Distant Horseman” will appeal to fans of contemporary instrumental music that’s laced with Renaissance and Celtic nuances. ~Candice Michelle
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