Real Music Corporate LogoVisionary new age music for nourishing and rejuvenating body, mind and spirit

Real Music Corporate LogoVisionary new age music for nourishing and rejuvenating body, mind and spirit

Element Series: Etheria

Element Series: Etheria by Peter Kater

Consistent with Peter’s great body of work, Etheria is both exquisitely delicate and majestically inspiring, as though one were able to sonically tiptoe among the heavens and experience a magic box of wonder. Suitable for relaxing or meditative pursuits, or just the sheer pleasure of listening.

Eleven-time Grammy nominee/multi-platinum selling Pianist/Composer Peter Kater has been a leading innovator of contemporary instrumental music for over three decades. Grammy nominations include Elements Series: Fire.

Watch the video for “Heaven’s Window”


2. Celestial Light 8:59
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3. Rising Sun 8:20
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4. Violet Waves 8:46
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5. Awakening Stars 9:18
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6. Waxing Moon 7:51
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7. Luminescence 7:44
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Press Acclaim

RJ Lannan

In 2009 I happily reviewed the first four albums of ten-time Grammy Nominated pianist and composer Peter Kater's Element Series, Air, Earth, Fire and Water and now, five years later, the quintessential finale, Etheria. The seven track recording not only lives up to its name as a collection of otherworldly atmospheric experiences, but also goes beyond the corporeal, allowing the mind to be free and open to daydream. More importantly, it allows the spirit a means of escape, a commodity more precious than gold. Kater has been composing and performing high attitude piano music for over three decades. He has been nominated for more awards that can be mentioned, produced at least a hundred scores for every size screen, and he has successfully collaborated with such luminaries as R. Carlos Nakai, Snatam Kaur, Douglas Blue Feather, and Paul McCandless.
“Heaven's Window” opens the work with a delicate chant of Agnus Dei, Lamb of God by an angelic chorus around a drifting melody with subtle soprano sax by Richard Hardy, the only other instrumentalist on the album. Peter's echoing piano score floats in, empirically weightless, as if I was embracing the point of a star in my mind’s eye. Like the piano’s notes, everything is quite clear.
The mood is slow, yet deliberate on “Celestial Light.” The dreamy piano notes formed a bridge that I could access as I headed for the light. The music encouraged a heaven of my own making, but as a mortal, I knew I had to return.
A strong piano lead begins the tune “Rising Sun.” From my mountain vantage point, I often get to see the sunrise, but Peter’s music makes it quite an enhanced experience. The music is so powerful I can almost feel the ascension of light in the eastern sky and the warmth engulfing me, the light a promise of the new day, the heat a fulfillment.
“Violet Waves” one of the more complex pieces on the CD. It has a strong chorale layer combined with the tenor sax and a prominent piano arrangement that drives the tune. This one is more up-tempo than the others are, but it still manages to get me to follow it at a leisurely pace. With this kind of music, I am more than willing.
“Awakening Stars” is another song with wandering properties, diaphanous, but with a million points of light to aim for. The cold light is a beacon in my travels. Each star represents a single thought and as the music drifts along, I get to ask a question, and find an answer.
The music of “Waxing Moon” is the soundtrack to an event that reminds that we are on a moving body and that we as a planet have an effect on the cosmos and, in this case, visa versa. Like a lunar tide, Hardy's sax has a pulling effect on the music, while Peter's piano pushes back, striking a sense of poise or equilibrium.
With a sound of a Singing bowl, “Luminescence” is the most pellucid piece on the album. The beginning piano melody played “largo,” is uplifting in every sense of the word. The main body comes into play and the piece takes on a substantial feel, solid, yet still transparent. With all the themes on this album, the one of light seems to be in the forefront, but this kind of music reminds me that light takes many forms and originates not only in the heavens, but also from within.
You will finds no better meditative music that Peter Kater’s Etheria. It is quiet, calming, yet simultaneously thought provoking. I have watched Peter play in concert and he is the master of improvisation, where the music is spontaneous, yet fulfilling. On Etheria, the themes seem to develop a bit more, the elements more transcendental, and the mood continuous. Obviously to me, once I heard and enjoyed this music, I knew that Peter has discovered the elusive fifth element and his series is complete.

Kathy Parsons

Etheria is the new fifth volume of The Elements Series that Peter Kater recorded on the Real Music label back in 2005. I loved those albums, which were titled Air, Earth, Water, and Fire, so it came as a very pleasant surprise that there was a fifth installment created almost ten years later. Kater’s piano and synthesizers are accompanied on some of the seven tracks by Richard Hardy on bamboo flutes, and soprano and tenor saxophones. For the huge body of music that Kater has released over the past 30 or so years, it is truly amazing that he has been able to go in so many different musical directions and still maintain such a consistently high quality of work — Etheria is no exception. The music on this album ranges from ambient and, well, ethereal, to approaching a haunting jazz style. Tracks range from more than 7 1/2 minutes to about 9 1/2, so the album flows organically and evolves at a leisurely pace. The album was created to represent the vast environment containing both our planet and its elements — etheria — and the music is suitable for meditation, relaxation, and/or pure listening enjoyment.
Etheria opens with “Heaven’s Window,” performed on piano and sax with atmospheric sounds and an angelic choir. Slow, peaceful, and very calming, it’s a beautiful beginning. “Celestial Light” is also very “heavenly” with piano, atmospheric sounds, and wordless vocals. More ambient than melodic, the sound soothes like a gentle breeze on a warm day. “Rising Sun” begins with an anthemic, church-like feeling with the choral voices chanting.  The reverb is such that it sounds almost like it was recorded in a big cathedral. In the second movement, bamboo flute enters, casting an air of mystery. As this section develops, the choir re-enters, merging spirits and continuing as one. Breathtaking! I love “Violet Waves,” a peaceful bit of heaven for piano, flute, sax, light percussion, gentle background voices, and some beautiful keyboard enhancements. Sometimes tranquil and sometimes soaring, this is my favorite track. “Awakening Stars” goes much darker (duh!) with twinkling bells representing the sparkling stars and haunting keyboard sounds depicting the vast, black sky; bamboo flute and piano flow together seamlessly to create feelings of calm restfulness and beauty. “Waxing Moon” begins in a very ambient style, but the sax enters and takes this piece to a more jazz-like place similar to music you sometimes hear in film noir. Intense and even a little scary at times, this piece stands out as quite different from the other six tracks. I really like the piece itself, but it isn’t what I would call “ethereal.”  “Luminescence” returns to extreme peacefulness and an ambient, floating quality that soothes and gently uplifts as it brings this very effective album to a close.
Etheria was worth the wait for the fifth element of the series and fits right in with the other four. Recommended!

Michael Foster

Peter Kater continues with his successful Elements Series that have covered the four physical elements namely Earth, Air, Fire, and Water, and with the release of his latest album, he covers another element that is not quite as physical as his previous elements albums. His new release for Real Music is entitled Etheria and after a few listens to this peaceful gem that Kater has created, I too agree that listeners will immediately feel the other worldly nature of the music that he has composed for this release. I am assuming that the name Etheria is derived from the word ethereal which as Webster’s defines it means light, airy, delicate or even heavenly, and I think those words give you some idea as to what you will find when you play this album.
All the music was composed, arranged, engineered, mixed and produced by Peter Kater, so in terms of who is responsible for the wonderful music that you hear on this release, it is very obvious. Kater also plays the piano, Native American flute, bell chimes, and synthesizers while also handling the sequencing.  The only other person who is listed as lending a hand on this release is Richard Hardy who plays the bamboo flutes and soprano and tenor saxophones. It is very evident that Kater knew exactly what he wanted as he assembled this album and his musical sensibilities shine through on each and every track.
The feelings evoked by the music run the gamut, from an enveloping sense of tranquility that is very conducive to a meditative state of being, to music that leaves the listener in a state of mind that can be defined as warm and dreamy. Kater’s playing is heartfelt and confident on Etheria as each and every song on this release speaks volumes about his skill as a composer and as a musician.  The album features seven compositions that run just shy of an hour, but that is more than enough time for Peter to inspire the listener from the first note of “Heaven’s Window” to the last refrain of “Luminescence.”
I am assuming that since I did not see a credit for a choir or for voices, that what I hear doing vocals on a couple of songs are synthesized “voices” that sound very much like a heavenly choir. The fact that I wasn’t quite sure without checking the liner notes should give you some indication as to how well they were done. One of my favorite songs on this album was the last one which is called “Luminescence,” and it finished out my excursion with Etheria by allowing me to drift off to a serene composition that features Kater on the keyboard along with some electronic programming that lives up to the description of ethereal.  It is only fitting because the first song is my other favorite.  It is called “Celestial Light” and it too offers the listener a fragile, delicate piece of music to immediately clear out the distractions of your day so that you might more fully enter into the music that is directly ahead on this intimate album that Kater has created.
The recording quality is per usual of a very high quality, and Kater’s touch is visible from beginning to end. The flutes and even the saxophones, which I was not sure of, seem to blend into the music without overpowering the delicate compositions that are evident on this release. Kater has once again shown that he continues to build on this reputation from his previous releases, and Etheria stands as a testament to his skills as a musician and a composer.  Kater’s music has always impressed me and as I expected Etheria does not disappoint. Definitely recommended by Ambient Visions.

Michael Debbage

Back in 2005 Peter Kater created the Element Series via four separate individual discs simply entitled Air, Earth, Fire and Water. Close to a decade later Kater decided to add to the Elements Series and return to the spatial and ambient themes and revisit the mellow magic courtesy of his latest release Etheria.

With seven total tracks wandering around seven to nine minutes long all composed by Kater he musically collaborates once again with Richard Hardy featured on bamboo flutes, soprano and tenor saxophones. Though not quite as ambient as label mate Liquid Mind the spatial element is present but with just enough melody and structure to keep matters interest.

The wanderlust of pianist Kater always keeps you alert as you can always expect the unexpected from this Grammy Award winning pianist. With highly convincing material in the smooth jazz, Native Indian, and classical genres, the Elements Series reflects an artist just as capable in the ambient arena. Etheria only adds to this credence.

Bette Timm

From the delicate to the dynamic, Peter Kater brilliantly evokes atmospheres, emotions and textures through music. Following his portrayal of earth, fire, water, and air in his Elements Series, he’s now released the fifth CD of the series: Etheria. This new release depicts ether, the most subtle of all the elements. From soft, heartfelt piano, to full-blown orchestration that features flute, saxophone and synthesized sounds, Kater opens a door for us to imagine and hear this elusive thing we call ether.

Chris Spector

When properly harvested, creativity and imagination can be unlocked to the nth degree with marvelous results. Since there are only four elements in western culture, the Real Music’s Elements Series came to its logical conclusion after the fourth entry. While the label and the artist pieced out what to do next, the light bulb moments came in the question, what if there was a fifth element? And? Now, in Kater’s ears, the heavens are the fifth element. Why not? The cat that owns a lot of real estate in the piano/new age sector has already proven he can do no wrong in the “what is” corridor. Now he’s ruling the “what if” corridor, as well. A set that spiritually takes new age back to its “space is the place” years, Kater brings it forward with spiritual overtones and smart ideas that makes for great stressed out adult listening. A sterling audio tour of the outer cosmos, set your phasers to ooooommmmmmm and plug into the original sounds. Well done.

James McQuiston

“Heaven’s Window” is the first track on Peter Kater’s Etheria and is a bold track that extends to nearly the eight minute mark. A microcosm of the styles, approaches, and influences that are near and dear to Kater’s heart are presented here. The track is able to easily ensnare listeners with the wide array of sounds and distinct movements that are presented at the onset. Where many pop tracks fade out at about the three or four minute mark, Kater is able to go and continually make it over the seven and a half minute mark with each of the tracks on Etheria. The sheer amount of thought that goes into the creation of any singular effort on this album means that listeners will be able to continually spin the disc and hear different compositions and interplays between the distinct yet cohesive elements that are contained within.

It is not only that Kater hammers home his unitary vision for this new album, but that each of the constituent tracks on this release contribute something unique and something that provides another chapter to this enchanting and fulfilling narrative. Tracks like “Rising Sun” or “Violet Waves” do much to expand the repertoire of Kater ensuring that listeners will not know exactly where he will go on later album tracks. The album succeeds, and the fact that it remains strong from beginning to end, the tracks that are present on the second half of Etheria are as strong as those that began the album. “Waxing Moon” and “Luminescence” are the final two arrangements that are provided listeners on the CD; taken together the fifteen minutes of music provide a calm, contemplative, and intricate last quarter hour.

Top Tracks:  “Rising Sun,” “Awakening Stars”
Rating:  8.6 / 10