Album: Natural Time
Artist: Steve Howe
2011 Warner Classics
CD: 2564665341

Band members:
Steve Howe: guitars
Paul K. Joyce: keys
Virgil Howe: keyboard solo (8)

Arrangements: Paul K. Joyce
Produced by Joyce/Howe
Engineered by Howe/Joyce/Greg Eppes
Mixed and mastered by Curtis Schwartz
Recorded at Langley, Devon; Treboul, Cornwall; and Dinemec, Gland, Switzerland

Classical ensemble recorded at British Grove Studios
Conductor: Joyce
Engineer: Toby Wood

Graphics: Jean-Luke Epstein; front cover photo: Bart Nagel

Instrument chart:
Fender Dual Professional Steel Guitar (1)
Kohno Model 10 Classical Guitar (2, 3, 6, 10, 12)
Gibson Banjo Guitar (4)
Gibson ES157D acoustic guitar (5)
Martin J12-65M 12 string acoustic guitar (5)
Steinberger 12 string electric guitar (7)
Gibson ES345TD electric guitar (8, 9)
Dobron Acoustic Steel Guitar (10)
Martin MC28 acoustic guitar (11)

1. Bachianas Brasileiras No. 5 (Aria) (3:58) [Heitor Villa-Lobos, arr. Howe/Joyce]
2. King's Ransom (4:31) [Howe/David Biglin]
3. Cantata No.140 (Wachet Auf) (3:58) [Johann Sebastian Bach, arr. Howe/Joyce]
4. Orange (2:44) [Howe]
5. Purification (3:52) [Joyce]
6. Rose (3:41) [Howe]
7. The Explorer (5:09) [Paul Sutin/Howe]
8. Kindred Spirits (5:10) [Virgil Howe]
9. Concerto Grosso in D Minor Op. 3, No. 11 (5:25) [Antonio Vivaldi, arr. Howe/Joyce/Sutin]
10. The 3rd of March (5:51) [Joyce]
11. Steam Age (3:13) [Howe]
12. Apollo (4:42) [Sutin/Howe]


The "Bachianas Brasileiras" were written between 1930 and 1945 by Heitor Villa-Lobos as a suite of 9 pieces, many in two parts, that seek to combine the music of his own country, Brazil, with the style of Bach. The "No. 5 Aria" is the best known and was originally for celli and vocals, although Villa-Lobos also did a guitar + vocals arrangement. The version here is "an individual arrangement of the main themes", according to the liner notes.

"King's Ransom" is described as having been written while Biglin and Howe were "working together on another project". This might be the aborted Howe/Annie Haslam collaboration, given Biglin has long worked with her.

Howe dedicates track (3) to Andrew Pryce Jackman. He first began working on a version of this piece with Jackman (perhaps for Natural Timbre?).

Howe has expressed some displeasure with Yes's Magnification, recorded with orchestra, but his first mentions of doing an orchestral album stem from not long after. The liner notes describe this track, saying "From Magnification to Simplification to Purification!"

(7) and (12) are based on two larger tracks (3 times as long) that Sutin presented to Howe; Joyce then "edited them down".

(8) is by son Virgil, who was also behind Yes Remixes, and is dedicated to Steve's two daughters, Georgia and Stephanie.

(9) was first suggested by Sutin and is the third Vivaldi piece Howe has played. (HP, 25 Nov 11)

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