Johannes Rath plays a tinkered hybrid of guitar, harp and multiple kalimbas used in conjunction with an array of digital effects. With it he creates music that invites rather than demands your attention, providing the listener with ample time and space to enter in slowly, like easing into mineral hot springs.
His new album From Heart to Sky begins in this spirit with the track “Zuvuya”, a gently undulating ambient groove evocative of tidal currents at dusk – sensual, fluid, and mysterious.
The soundscape coalesces during the second track on the album, the Spanish-influenced “Himalaya”. Although the dominant tone shifts from ambient to melodic as clear harmonic structures appear, the music continues to flow openly and breathe deeply.
The tracks that follow are sometimes more atmospheric and other times more melodic, but a common thread uniting From Heart to Sky is the strong musicality present in every composition. A couple of other standout tracks are “Flight of the Garuda”, a soaring theatrical piece reminiscent of Tibetan flute player Nawang Khechog, and “Crickets of Ubud” featuring delay-saturated guitar phrases that seem to bloom like flowers from a hypnotic bed laid down by an Indian tambura.
All in all, Johannes Rath proves adept at composing beautiful, melodic and textural soundscapes that invite the listener to immerse themselves completely and enjoy exploring the vivid emotional currents within.
Check out Johannes playing his unique creation, the Guitalimba, in the video below: