Shirakawa Stands and Cairns This is the first CD release by acoustic guitarist Darby Stands and multi wind player Jeff Cairns. The nine original pieces on this album delve into the paths both players have traveled, weaving sonorous tapestries with subtle threads drawn from their varied musical experiences. Darby Stands brings his unique stylings to this CD from his experiences in a variety of ethnic sources. His exposure to American Folk and Bluegrass guitar, as well as his study in sitar, gamelan and koto unite east and west in beautiful defining a style that can only be called his own. Jeff Cairns' multi wind contributions come from his early study of Scottish bagpipes merging into his love for the rhythms found in progressive rock, jazz/rock fusion and jazz and expanding into the musical traditions of India, Africa and Asia. This combined with his 18 year study and involvement with the Japanese shakuhachi again weds east and west with narrative melodies and provocative improvisations. The Songs Shirakawa: the title song is a melodic interpretation of the various impressions derived from the river that runs through the middle of Kumamoto, Japan (the place of residence of both Stands and Cairns at the time of recording.) At times positive and hopeful, depicting the historic condition of the river, and at other times lamenting and melancholy, singing the present condition of the river, the tight rhythm section offered by Yamaoka (drums), Hirayama (percussion) and Tajiri (bass) accented by the lilting vocalizing of Teran Yelle give the guitar of Stands and the shakuhachi of Cairns the perfect groundwork to make Shirakawa a memorable statement that speaks to the heart. Backwards Motion: this song extols the virtues of waiting and contemplating on common ground. Characterized by an up tempo melody with an introspective improvisational middle section. Fuyu no kumo (winter clouds): this is a tightly woven rhythmic statement made by guitar and shakuhachi leaning heavily towards the traditional stylings inherent to the vertically blown flute of Japan. Feathers of Guilt: a song inspired by the folly of the Greek boy who attempted to fly to the sun on wax wings. Piper's Dream: this song tells of the yearning for another life in another world revealed in a vision within a dream within an old familiar tune that rests on the lips of an old piper. Train Without Questions: the fluid, introspective melody of the bansuri flute underpinned by a driving, slow rock rhythm tell the story of moving unencumbered by the fear of the unknown. Snowing: a contradiction of style and intention. Hanabashi (flower bridge): this is the mythic bridge that carries one from the realm of the everyday to that of dreams, visions, analogies and metaphors. You Called: this song depicts to joys felt by the contact of two people of the same heart. Shirakawa promises to entice, lull and inspire you as it courses through the nine landscapes found along it's banks. Please enjoy the meanderings of this river.