Reviews of the music of Scott August

Read reviews and listener comments about
Distant Spirits, Sacred Dreams and New Fire.

Distant Spirits
Sacred Dreams
New Fire
Ancient Light
Lost Canyons

Distant Spirits

"On Distant Spirits, August utilizes his lifetime fascination with the American Southwest...to create a delicious musical soundscape. August, a superbly gifted multi-instrumentalist performs all the music on Distant Spirits. Beautiful cedar flute is featured or included on eight of the ten tracks. Soft guitars, quiet piano, pulsing world-beat percussion, indigenous instruments from around the world, and the sounds of the Southwest are expertly woven together by August. "Emergence", the first track, opens with the sounds of thunder and and birdcalls, an exotic introduction to August's entrancing flute work. Distant Spirits provides an excellent accompaniment for meditation or yoga, and it is transporting music for simple relaxation and quiet listening. Fans of the Southwest sound should get a kick out of this gorgeous album."
-New Age Retailer Magazine.

"Distant Spirits is one of the freshest and best sounding Native Heart recordings that I've heard. The sound quality and compositions are excellent. …this is an exceptional recording."
-Darrell Koerner, Four Winds Trading Company, Lafayette, CO

"Fans of earthy Native American flute music ala R. Carlos Nakai or Douglas Spotted Eagle have a new name to add to that list of performers &endash; Scott August. This trek through the canyon of the American southwest marks the debut of the stellar multi-instrumentalist. …August's tranquil… melodies providing a breathtaking glimpse of the ancient Southwest spiritlands."
-Music Design, In Review

"Distant Spirits" is an excellent CD and August's playing is excellent throughout."
-Robert Doyle, President Canyon Records, Phoenix, AZ

"Fans of R. Carlos Nakai and Steve Roach will surely appreciate this journey of cedar flute, guitar and percussion with electronic textures. Scott August beautifully melds the sounds of the Desert Southwest..."
-Pat Murphy, "Air Music": KXLU Los Angeles

"August does a masterful job of setting a mood and transporting the listener to a place we become familiar with even if we have never been there. The American Southwest is a magical and mysterious place and August captures the ambiance of this place perfectly. [Sacred Dreams] is an outstanding CD..."
-Voice of the Wind: Journal of The International Native American Flute Association

"August takes his collection of Native flutes and deploys them over digital atmospheres of the desert southwest with recordings from Canyon de Chelly and environments of the imagination."
-John Diliberto, "Echoes" Syndicated Radio Program

"August continues to explore the vividly hued vistas of the Native Southwest with his second [CD] Sacred Dreams. The subtle sounds of lonely flutes, earthy percussion, kalimba and voice call to mind the panoramic landscapes of the region... nature sounds [add] a living, breathing feel. If you enjoy...Native flute music [Sacred Dreams] is sure to please."
-Music Design-In Review

"Sacred Dreams is the perfect CD to listen to when you want to be reminded that life consist of more than just the mundane. Scott August has created a soundscape that allows the mind to travel to it's own sacred places...be they on the rim of a canyon or in the heart of an old memory. With each listen I am continually amazed at where I end up. From the first note, right through to the last, August has created music that echoes the heart of life's journey. For anyone who wants to reconnect, who wishes to catch flight on an echoing memory, who understands the journeys we all take--"Sacred Dreams" is music that will transport and transform you."
-Tracy, Harrington Park, NJ

"Once again, August has been able to transport the listener to places unknown and only imagined. Mystical voices, and the sounds of beautiful haunting flutes form a tapistry of textures in sound that have given this work of art, a soul all of it's own. Am must have for quiet moments, reflection and meditation."
-Tish, Phoenix, AZ

"When people enter our store, and "Distant Spirits" is playing, they instantly ask who is the artist and do we have the CD for sale."
-Dan DeClark & Robert Wainio, Legends of Time, Oswosso, MI

"Distant Spirits is truly a mainstream recording that integrates the use of the contemporary Native American styled flute with other world instruments into a tapestry of a very enjoyable musical journey for the listener."...the mood of the recording is one of a journey of relaxation, and meditation while at the same time stimulating one's inner soul... There is a wide variety of melodies, tempos, rhythms, dynamics, and textures designed to evoke emotions out of the listener…"
-Voice of the Wind:
-Journal of The International Native American Flute Association

"…August beautifully creates an evocative…haunting…terrific album."
-Concepts Magazine

"This is very tranquil and meditative music, and if you allow it to, it can transport you to somewhere safe and beautiful."
-David R. Callison, Albuquerque, NM

"Close your eyes and allow yourself to drift to the land of Distant Spirits. Listen to the gentle, soft sounds of the wind, the streams, the night call of the coyotes. The blending of guitar, flute and drum are relaxing and soothing. If you enjoy Native American meditations or simply enjoy the warm sound of their music, this will be a nice addition to your musical medicine bag."
-Awakenings Magazine

"August has a special gift to capture the essence of the southwest. Dare to close your eyes and be whisked away by a myriad of sounds that take you through canyons and valleys that dazzle the imagination while the soul is transported to it's Creator. This collection of music has become one of my favorites and I look forward to future projects by this talented artist."
-Tish, Phoenix, AZ

"…probably the most beautiful [music] that I have ever heard. It truly takes me to a place I have never been with its spiritual and natural beauty."
-Barbara, CT

"Distant Spirits has become one of my favorites to reach for when in the space for some relaxing music. One problem though, Jeff [Calavan, flute maker] has confiscated it and taken it to his work shop. It has become one of his favorite work shop CD'S."
-JoAnn Calavan, The Oregon Flute Store

I like [Distant Spirits]. Nice combinations of flute, percussion and eclectic instruments.
-Odell Borg, High Spirits Flutes, AZ

"Scott August's Distant Spirits captured my heart the very first moment I heard this music. Distant Spirits transports me to another time and place. I love to start my day listening to 'Distant Spirits'."
-Kathy Luther, Stonehenge Rocks and Rituals, Minneapolis MN

"...Distant Spirits has a unique flavor. Well done..."
-Ken Light, Flute Maker, Amon Olorin flutes

"It's a pleasure to work with fine music like August's."
-Steve Davis, Associate Producer, "Hearts Of Space"

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Sacred Dreams

"August does a masterful job of setting a mood and transporting the listener to a place we become familiar with even if we have never been there. The American Southwest is a magical and mysterious place and August captures the ambience of this place perfectly. [Sacred Dreams] is an outstanding CD..."
-Voice of the Wind:
Journal of The International Native American Flute Association

"August continues to explore the vividly hued vistas of the Native Southwest with his second [CD] Sacred Dreams. The subtle sounds of lonely flutes, earthy percussion, kalimba and voice call to mind the panoramic landscapes of the region... nature sounds [add] a living, breathing feel. If you enjoy...Native flute music [Sacred Dreams] is sure to please."
-Music Design-In Review

"Sacred Dreams' is the perfect CD to listen to when you want to be reminded that life consits of more than just the mundane. Scott August has created a soundscape that allows the mind to travel to it's own sacred places...be they on the rim of a canyon or in the heart of an old memory. With each listen I am continually amazed at where I end up. From the first note, right through to the last, August has created music that echoes the heart of life's journey.
For anyone who wants to reconnect, who wishes to catch flight on an echoing memory, who understands the journeys we all take--"Sacred Dreams" is music that will transport and transform you."
-Tracy, Sedona, AZ

"[Sacred Dreams] is a wonderful CD."
-Wendy Fellers, Swallowtail Gallery

"I love the CD's, the reviews were not exaggerating, they are great, your music, composition, & playing terrific."
-Barbara Turner, Sierra Madre, CA

Thank you for the new CD. Another job well done!
-Robert Doyle, Canyon Records

"Scott we love your CD, we play when we go to bed and it gives us a wonderful intro to our dreams."
-Yolanthe, Los Angeles

"Once again, Scott has been able to transport the listener to places unknown and only imagined. Mystical voices, and the sounds of beautiful haunting flutes form a trapistry of textures in sound that have given this work of art, a soul all it's own. A must have for quiet moments, reflection and meditation. "
-Tish, Phoenix, AZ

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New Fire

"This is August's best work to date. This is saying a great deal when considering the high level of his previous works that have garnered so much acclaim. ...all lovers of Native Flute music will find New Fire enthralling from the opening measure to the final flute flourish. ...engaging, rhythmic, and often mystical moments that captivate and mesmerize the listener. August has a style that is all his own that continues to evolve and grow over time. He has certainly become one of the finest composers for the Native flute on the scene today.
August's prior offerings have been well received garnishing him two NAMMY nominations, one for Distant Spirits his debut offering and a win this year in the Native Heart category for Sacred Dreams. He continues to produce outstanding works inspired by the grandeur of the American South West. August has a smooth, clean, and polished style using Native American flutes and world instruments to produce a unique and soothing sound.
-Voice of the Wind:
Journal of The International Native American Flute Association

"Inspired composing [by] multi-instrumentalist Scott August. __...a colorful collage of elements from both Native American tradition (flute, drums) and beyond (African kalimba, Latin American instrumentation, piano, synthesizers). The music is drenched with Southwestern ambiance, captivating the listener with images of lonely canyons, desert landscapes and seemingly endless horizons. The Native flute...provides a haunting, tranquil voice in the midst of a sea of flowing synthesizer atmosphere and low-tempo drum beats.
-Music Design-In Review

"New Fire represents Scott August's best work to date.  With an ear for compelling melodies and rhythms he has produced an original work.  August continues to amaze, and New Fire is sure to be one of the best Native Heart recordings of 2005."
-Darrell Koerner, Four Winds Trading Company

I got [New Fire]...and I love it!!! I think it is your best work to date. I have been listening to it every day. I like the upbeat nature of this CD! Good job!"
-Dan, Modesto, CA

"My family and I absolutely love New Fire. It is simply exquisite! I thought it would be hard to top Scotts other two cds - Sacred Deams & Distant Spirit.. It would be difficult for me to say which one I like best but this new one is wonderful! This CD is another magnificent work of art by Scott August. Anyone who loves native american flute music will love New Fire"
Julia, Omaha, NE

"New Fire is magical! It is for those moments when you want music that both uplifts and balances you at the same time. As a teacher of spirituality and meditation, I use August's music because it resonates so deeply, that it speaks right to the core of your being. When you're feeling frazzled, take blissful refuge in this gorgeously rendered music rich with subtleties that will call you to listen again and again. New Fire is a gem."
Jacquie, Mission Viejo, CA

"Thank you for NEW FIRE, we love it!!! Truly well done, and congratulations on the award for Sacred Dreams! From the moment I brought your [other] two CD's...we have loved them!! They are among our favorites."
-Barbara Turner, Sierra Madre

"The CDs arrived on Friday so I had the pleasure of listening to New Fire a number of times over the weekend. I am delighted with your new CD! I have enjoyed listening to it and will continue to do so. Distant Spirits (and now New Fire) has been my favorite CD to listen to while I journal, and I happen to do a lot of journaling. Thank you again for sharing your passion and I am so excited for you that you are enjoying acclaim for your work, as well as appreciation by your listeners "
-Annette, Bonsall, CA

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Ancient Light

"With his 'Ancient Light' DVD, Scott August has given us the fullest expression of his exquisite creative powers to date. Treating the sacred and spirit-drenched landscapes of the American Southwest with the respect and reverence they evoke and deserve, August seamlessly blends his award-winning Native American-inspired music with outstanding images from his personal pilgrimages throughout the region. A multi-media travelogue of one man's ongoing love affair with the heart of the Grand Circle.
A beautiful, inspiring, timeless work of art and essential viewing for all who've been touched by the Ancient Light of these sacred lands. Highest recommendation!"
-Darrell Koerner, Chelsea Green Publishing, Boulder, CO

"I was captivated! The photos were outstanding. I sat there mesmerized and did not take my eyes off of the TV screen throughout the entire DVD. Having spent over 50 years in Arizona, I have come to really appreciate our Southwest. August's photos have truely captured what it is all about. The combination of August's music and photos has set the bar. Job well done.
-Keith Stanford, CherryCows Flutes, Tucson, AZ

"As a professional nature photographer, the images that Scott has captured with a point and shoot camera are magnificent. His artistic sense of composition and sensitivity to light shows me that the same creativity that flows through his flute also flows through his camera"
-Tom Vezo, Wildlife & Nature Photography, AZ

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Lost Canyons

"August has always been a cut or two above most native flute players...he's taken it a step further on Lost Canyons. He layers guitars, keyboards and all kinds of percussion into his compositions, moving from world fusion to airy ambiences.
August sets [the Native flute] in a vibrant global landscape...and lets it drift into ambient space. Lost Canyons is a place you won't mind losing your map. It's our December CD of the Month on Echoes"
-John Diliberto, Echoes Radio

It alarms me that an artist of Scott August's caliber managed to release five recordings (his sixth is coming very soon) and I have only now heard his music. Guess I'm not such an icon in the industry after all, am I? I named this to my best of 2007 list, but it's even better than that. I'd place it in my top ten for Native-influenced fusion music, period. Yeah, high praise, but after playing this album at least ten times prior to writing this review, I'm sure it belongs there.

August plays way too many specific instruments to recount here, but among them are flutes (primarily the Anasazi flute which this recording seems to pay tribute to), piano, percussion, guitars, ethnic instruments such as the kalimba gamelan, and "textures" which I take to mean the application of synthesizers in assorted permutations. In this last aspect, August should give lessons to others as his dexterous superb blending of synths adds just the right amount to any song on which it's featured. Never too over the top yet also not so subtle as to make the listener question whether anything has been added at all. He's also an amazing percussionist across the full spectrum of the drums and other instruments which he uses on the CD.

Variety is the catch word here, as Lost Canyons contains everything from the plaintive beauty of the opening "Morning Star" (Anasazi flute, alabaster chimes and textures, the latter two coming into play later in the song) to the lively "Raven Dance" which intermixes percussion from just about every continent with guitar, piano and Tiger Maple flute. And those are just the first two songs on the album!

Not often is a Native flute player so adept at other instruments that he/she can even craft great music without using his/her principle instrument, but August does that on that ambient-esque "Desert Skies" (atmospheric guitar, gamelan, kalimba, Thunder drum and textures). "Where Spirits Dwell" marries tribal beats with Balinese gamelan and the cross-culture fusion is a celebration of the way music bridges disparate cultures. "Swallows & Nighthawks" is the only solo flute song on the CD (although three others feature Anasazi flute with synth textures the only accompaniment), another distinguishing aspect of Lost Canyons from many other releases in this sub-genre (Native flute and Native-influenced fusion).

I could go on describing the other eight selections in detail but my word limit means I have to keep it short. So, I'll just hit on a few more highlights, such as the eight-and-a-half minute title track (meant to convey the viewing of long lost desert native people's dwellings, perhaps along the lines of Arizona's Montezuma's Castle, which I had the pleasure of viewing several months ago). The song showcases August's prodigious talent at balancing all his instruments (in this case, Anasazi flute, kalimba, udu, tabla, guitars, piano, rainstick) fusing them into not just a cohesive musical statement but a unique artistic expression in a subgenre where it's not always easy to stand out. Showing that he can dial up the energy and infuse some more modern touches into his fusion music, "Chasing the Sun" bounces along with kinetic energy, propelled by no less than seven different types of drum/percussion instruments and ambient-like electric guitar flourishes. The two closing tracks, "Twilight Canyon" and "Evening Star" are great conclusions to the album, the former featuring Curly Redwood Bass flute, piano, guitar, textures and "incidental crickets" and the latter only the soothing sounds of Anasazi flute and subtle synthesizer brushings, conveying the fading of daylight in the desert as stars pop out in an orange-then-violet and finally pitch black night sky. It's a perfect ending to the rare perfect recording. No criticisms from me whatsoever on this one. I only wish I had heard of Scott August sooner. Fantastic album - buy it!

Rating: Excellent

-Bill Binkelman, New Age Reporter

Another masterpiece for this genre of music, Scott delivers one of the most soothing and inspiring CD's I've heard in quite sometime. Take a trip to the southwestern U.S. and venture through nature and the spirits of the tribes that dominated the area for thousands of years, the Pueblos, Navaho, Hopi and many others.

Scott August, is one of only a handful of musicians to master the Anasazi rim blown flute. He incorporates many other rare instruments on this CD truly designating the beauty as world music. This 12 track instrumental collection features "Morning Star", "Swallows and Nighthawks", "Lost Canyons" and "Evening Star". A beautiful piece of work. Five Stars"
-Cashbox Magzine

"Lost Canyons is captivating, engaging and exhilarating. It nourishes your spirit and is a balm for the soul. ...brilliantly conceived."
-Voice of the Wind magazine

"Wow! Just when you think Scott August can't make a better recording, he releases "Lost Canyons" - his best work to date. Deeply sublime, deep ambient, atmospheric world music of the highest order. Grounded by Scott's exquisite performances on the Anasazi flute, this CD is outstanding! Scott August is a compositional genius. "Lost Canyons" belongs in any world and native american music lover's collection, and has to be one of the best world music recordings of the year.... Buy the CD, take the journey and discover the amazing artistry of Scott August"
-Darrell Koerner, Chelsea Green Publishing, Boulder, CO

"Lost Canyons demonstrates Scott August's multi-instumental talents as well as his artistic flute stylings.  "Morning Star's"  inspired solo flute, transports one to a high place looking down over vast canyon expanse at sunrise, a magical experience.  Raven's Dance showcases Scott's ability to blend complex textures utilizing western instruments which he plays flawlessly.  His best work yet, listen and let your spirit soar."
-DJ Thorton, KSBR

"The new CD [Lost Canyons] is fabulous, especially the strong opening flute solo that so resonates with me and my love of the rivers and canyons of the Southwest."
-P Smith, Santa Fe, NM

"This latest recording by Scott August follows in his tradition of deftly joining Native American themes with a unique world instrument tonal texture to give his music a panache rarely found in any other recording artists. He deserves all the accolades he has received. I believe that this newest CD will also become another honor winner."
-M Jackson, CA

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