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Lawrence Blatt | The Color of Sunshine

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The Color of Sunshine

by Lawrence Blatt

Produced by William Ackerman, "The Color of Sunshine" debuted at Number 1 in May of 2009 on the NAR Top 100 New Age/Ambient/World Radio/Internet Airwaves Chart. The album is now playing on radio stations throughout the world.
Genre: Folk: Fingerstyle
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Look To the Sun
1:33 $0.99
2. The Color of Sunshine (feat. Jeff Oster)
4:13 $0.99
3. Gray Salt Marsh
4:32 $0.99
4. InFrared - The Abyss (feat. Noah Wilding)
3:17 $0.99
5. Alhambra - The Red (feat. Steve Schuch)
3:41 $0.99
6. Orange Blossom Honey
3:32 $0.99
7. Jaune - Yellow (feat. Steve Schuch)
5:08 $0.99
8. Green Corn And Spring
3:23 $0.99
9. Mar Azul (feat. Steve Schuch)
3:39 $0.99
10. Violet Blue (feat. Kori Linae Carothers )
3:56 $0.99
11. UV Radiations
4:26 $0.99
12. Black Rock Beach (feat. T-Bone Wolk)
2:28 $0.99
13. White Light
2:44 $0.99
14. Reach For the Rainbow (feat. Will Ackerman)
3:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Color of Sunshine:
Eclectic, Modern, Colorful Compositions for the Acoustic Guitar
All Compositions Written by Lawrence Blatt
Produced by William Ackerman, Grammy Winner and Founder of Windham Hill Records
Recorded at Imaginary Road Studies, Brattleboro, Vermont
Knob and Tube Studios, San Francisco, California
Digital Recording, Mixing and Mastering by Corin Nelsen (Imaginary Road) and
Digital Recording by Gary Mankin (Knob & Tube)
Original Artwork by Joan élan Davis

“Passion and intellect merge in Lawrence Blatt's compositions and performance. His musical instincts amaze me. He can move through a very broad landscape of musical influence and never seem imitative or insincere,” states Ackerman.


Electromagnetic radiation that can seen by our eyes is called light and is characterized as simultaneously existing as both particles (photons) and vibrating waves of energy. The amplitude of the light wave determines brightness while the wavelength determines the color.

In the year 1665, Francesco Maria Grimaldi conducted an experiment examining a beam of light entering a dark room through a small opening. Grimaldi was astonished by his findings as not only was the beam of light bigger than he expected, it also changed from a beam of white light to three rays of different colored light.

At about the same time, Isaac Newton allowed sunlight to pass through a glass prism and split the light beam into many different colors. Newton realized that white light separated into a predictable order that he called the “light spectrum” that was arranged in a specific sequence of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

In a similar fashion, sound is produced when the air around us vibrates and reaches our eardrum activating a neurological pathway that allows us to "hear". The wavelength and the speed of the vibrating air determine the pitch of the sound.

It is easy to see that color and sound are related in that they are both a function of vibrating waves. It is therefore not surprising that musical notes of different frequency evoke the metaphor of color, which in turn, has been linked to strong emotional feelings. Examples of this phenomenon include “The Blues”, music that evokes feelings of sadness and melancholy and “Red Hot” which is often used to describe Latin or Jazz music. Newton also saw a relationship between color and music and in his book “Opticks” he published a linkage between musical scales and the seven colors of the spectrum he called “The Musical Color Wheel”. It is interesting that a musical scale consists of seven notes ascending in wave frequency and the light spectrum consists of seven colors also ascending in wave frequency.

More than one hundred years after Newton, Johann Wolfgang Goethe, a German philosopher proposed a link between the visualization of color and mood. In his research, Goethe developed a color wheel linking psychological effects to the seven colors of the spectrum.

Given the natural relationship between color, sound and moods I began to think about using individual colors as inspiration for musical compositions. While on the island of Maui, I wrote the first song for this album entitled “Reach for the Rainbow” and over a period of about a year, I wrote the remaining songs that were all inspired by a different color and corresponding mood. Like Newton, I have arranged the songs in the order of the light spectrum so please try to listen to this album, at least once, in its entirety. I hope you enjoy my music…and the colors.


1. Look to the Sun, Time: 1:34: Guitar Tuning: DADGAD
EVD Custom Steel-String Guitar and Hand-bell: Lawrence Blatt

2. The Color of Sunshine, Time: 4:13: Guitar Tuning: DADGAD
Froggy Bottom Baritone Guitar, Piano and Hopi Drum: Lawrence Blatt
Flugelhorn: Jeff Oster
Klein M43 Guitar: William Ackerman
Gibson Ripper L9-S Bass: T-Bone Wolk
Various Percussion: Derrik Jordan

3. Gray Salt Marsh, Time: 4:33: Guitar Tuning: DADGAD
EVD Custom Steel-String Guitar: Lawrence Blatt
Gibson Ripper L9-S Bass: T-Bone Wolk

4. Infrared: The Abyss, Time: 3:18: Guitar Tuning: Standard
Furch Stanford Acoustic Guitar and Vocals: Lawrence Blatt
Various Percussion: Derrik Jordan
Vocals: Noah Wilding and William Ackerman

5. Alhambra (The Red), Time: 3:41: Guitar Tuning: CFCFCF
Furch Stanford Acoustic Guitar: Lawrence Blatt
Violin: Steve Schuch
Various Percussion: Derrik Jordan
Tingsha Bell: Corin Nelsen
Wind Chimes: William Ackerman

6. Orange Blossom Honey, Time: 3:32: Ukulele Tuning: Hawaiian Ukulele
Raymond Rapozo, Island Concert Koa Ukulele: Lawrence Blatt (solo)

7. Jaune (Yellow), Time: 5:09: Guitar Tuning: Standard
EVD Custom Steel-String Guitar, Baritone Guitar, Acoustic Bass and Percussion: Lawrence Blatt
Violin: Steve Schuch
Accordion: T-Bone Wolk
Drums: Patrick Gorman
Shaker: Derrik Jordan

8. Green Corn and Spring, Time: 3:23: Guitar Tuning: BEADF#B
Tacoma Thunderhawk Baritone Guitar: Lawrence Blatt (solo)

9. Mar Azul, Time: 3:39: Guitar Tuning: Standard
EVD Nylon-String Guitar, Gomez Charango and Handclaps: Lawrence Blatt
Violin: Steve Schuch
Accordion and Gibson Ripper L9-S Bass: T-Bone Wolk
Drums: Patrick Gorman
Handclaps: Derrik Jordan

10. Violet Blue, Time: 3:56: Charango Tuning: GCEAE
Gomez Charango, Acoustic Bass, EVD Nylon Guitar, Keyboard, and Handclaps: Lawrence Blatt
Piano: Kori Linae Carothers
Piano: Corin Nelsen
Cello: Renata Bratt
Handclaps: William Ackerman
Shaker: Derrik Jordan

11. UV Radiations, Time: 4:26: Guitar Tuning: DADGAD
Furch Stanford Acoustic Guitar: Lawrence Blatt
Gibson Ripper L9-S Bass: T-Bone Wolk
Various Percussion: Derrik Jordan

12. Black Rock Beach, Time: 2:28: Guitar Tuning: Hawaiian Taro Patch
Wingert Parlor Guitar, Acoustic Bass, And Various Percussion: Lawrence Blatt
Beat Box: Zack Blatt
Drums: Patrick Gorman
Martin D-18 (Slide Guitar): T-Bone Wolk

13. White Light Time: 2:45: Guitar Tuning: Drop-D
Furch Stanford Acoustic Guitar and Synthesizer: Lawrence Blatt

14. Reach For The Rainbow, Time: 3:11: Ukulele Tuning: DGBE
Kamaka Baritone Ukulele: Lawrence Blatt
Klein M43 Guitar: William Ackerman
Shaker, Hopi Drum: Derrik Jordan

Acknowledgements and other stuff

Thanks to Elyse, Zack and Zoe for allowing me the time away for recording sessions. Thanks to William Ackerman for producing this album and for pushing me further than I thought I could go. Thanks to Corin Nelsen for the “Corination” of my music. Thanks to Gary Mankin of Knob & Tube. Thanks to Joan élan Davis (www.joandavisart.com) for her beautiful painting that she allowed me to use as artwork for the cover of this album. A special thanks to all the wonderful artists who played on this album. There is a special bond between musicians who collaborate together on an original album. The artists who played on this album include: Renata Bratt (www.renatabratt.com), Patrick Gorman (www.myspace.com/patgormancom), Derrik Jordan (www.derrikjordan.com), Kori Linae Carothers (www.koritunes.com), Jeff Oster (www.jeffoster.com), Steve Schuch (www.nightheron.com), Noah Wilding, T-Bone Wolk (www.tbonewolk.com), Corin Nelsen (www. corinnelsen.com) and William Ackerman (www.williamackerman.com). If you would like to learn more about me please visit my website at www.lawrenceblatt.com or send me an email at lawrence@lawrenceblatt.com

Lawrence Blatt

© LMB Music 2009 All Rights Reserved



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
“The Color of Sunshine” is guitar wizard Lawrence Blatt’s third acoustic guitar album. “Out of the Woodwork” (2006) and “Fibonacci’s Dream” (2008) were extremely impressive self-produced solo guitar efforts, but this time Blatt traveled to Will Ackerman’s studio in Vermont to record and collaborate with Ackerman and some of the musicians who work with him. The production qualities in “The Color of Sunshine” are flawless and the sound is exquisite. Several of the fourteen tracks are solo acoustic guitar, and others include wordless vocals, flugelhorn, bass, violin, piano, percussion, and ukulele. Most of the additional instrumentation is subtle, giving Blatt plenty of room to work his finger-picking magic.

The concept for the album is that light/color and sound/pitch are functions of vibrating waves that are similar and related. Music and moods are often described using the metaphor of color. From Blatt: “Given this natural relationship, I used colors as the inspiration for different moods and emotions on an entire album. I composed one piece after another working sequentially through the colors represented in the light spectrum which include red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. I then ordered the music on the CD in the sequence imposed by the light spectrum.” What a fascinating idea and what a great album!

Blatt begins with “Look to the Sun,” a quiet, gentle prelude that sets the tone of the album. The title track follows with warm shades of sound that include Jeff Oster on horn, Ackerman on additional guitar, and Blatt on baritone guitar, piano, and Hopi drum - a rich but soft-spoken piece. “Gray Salt Marsh” is pure contentment, and features Blatt on steel string guitar and T-Bone Wolk on bass. “InFrared - The Abyss” joyfully picks up the tempo a few notches and features vocals by Noah Wilding, Ackerman, and Blatt behind the guitar and light percussion. I especially like “Alhambra (The Red),” which is slightly mysterious and eerie. Steve Schuch’s violin adds very effective atmospheric touches. I also really like “Orange Blossom Honey,” a ukulele piece that almost dances out of the CD player! My favorite track is “Jaune (Yellow),” which is slow and graceful with an air of mystery. The violin again adds all the right touches, setting this piece soaring, while the gentle percussion grounds it with a mildly exotic flavor. Great stuff! “Mar Azul” has a lively Spanish style. Rock rhythms and a country attitude make “Black Rock Beach” a lot of fun. It’s a toe-tapper, but won’t jar you out of the relaxing mood.

Lawrence Blatt was New Age Reporter’s 2007 “Best New Artist” for good reason, and “The Color Of Sunshine” should put him back on the top of the charts. Check it out!

Notes & Chords

The Color Of Sunshine
Lawrence Blatt
The Color of Sunshine

With only three albums to his credit, Lawrence Blatt has proven he is one of this generation’s top finger-picking acoustic guitarists. In addition, Blatt has a degree in microbiology, and he is always exploring science and mathematics. Last year on his album Fibonacci’s Dream, Blatt used concepts put forth by 13th Century mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci and Blatt related these ideas to musical theory in composing the music for that recording. On his new instrumental recording, The Color of Sunshine, Blatt combines his passions for music and science into a tribute to the colors of the spectrum and how color and light relate to music and moods.

But the bottom-line is that the music is melodic, well-played and fun-to-listen-to. In addition to playing standard six-string acoustic guitars with amazing dexterity, Blatt also plays baritone guitar, acoustic horizontal bass, two different Hawaiian ukuleles, and a small South American 10-string charango guitar which gives some of the tunes a different sound.

Blatt has studied under three very-good acoustic finger-style guitarists: Laurence Juber, Pierre Bensusan and Brian Gore. In addition, Lawrence says he was influenced by other pickers including Dave Wilcox, Leo Kottke, Michael Hedges, Ottmar Liebert and one I have never heard of, Harry Sacksioni from The Netherlands.

The title tune on The Color of Sunshine and the short album intro “Look to the Sun” somewhat share a musical theme with the piece “Under the Sun” from his first album and “A Little More Sunshine” from his second CD. According to Blatt, these compositions are part of an on-going “Sun Suite” spread out over three CDs so far. “Mar Azul,” as the Spanish title implies has a Latin feel and is very nice. “Orange Blossom Honey” is a fun ukulele duet, something you don’t hear very often. My favorites are the simpler arrangements with a full-bodied acoustic guitar sound mixed with some electric bass (“Gray Salt Marsh” and “UV Radiations”). All in all, a very strong effort from Lawrence Blatt that makes me look forward to what he does next.

John P. Olsen / NewAgeMusic.Nu

Colorful Spectrum of Sound
Contemporary New Age composing artist Lawrence Blatt, who emerged number 1 in the NAR Best New Artist and Independent Music Award finalist, paints a beautiful artist’s interpretation through a color spectrum metaphor. His album is inspired from a description of color relating to physicist Isaac Newton’s color circle titled Opticks. Newton had compared colors of the visible spectrum to musical notes centuries ago. Almost as if holding a brush and an artist’s palette of paint, Lawrence defines his own present day theory in a representation of the audible color spectrum in an adaptation of Newton’s principas through his own vivid musical compositions. Lawrence Blatt has his most recent album titled The Color of Sunshine, on the Blue Pie label 2009, displaying 14 songs as artistic strokes in a colorful exhibit of his music, visualized from his home in San Francisco California. Many music influences are represented including New Age Classical, Latin, Folk, and World, blending primary genres in this masterful rendition. Lawrence paints a beautiful artist’s interpretation through a color spectrum metaphor. Grammy Award winner Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records, lends his talented hand as producer of this vibrant album, also taking part during song recording sessions in guitar, vocal, and percussion roles. Holding a brush and artist’s palette of paint, Lawrence defines his own present day theory in a representation of the audible color spectrum. The Color of Sunshine can be defined as intricate acoustic guitar melodies fusing with orchestral instruments and numerous percussion roles, in a unique companionship, portraying a warm and pleasant atmosphere. Lawrence plays the guitars like a pro, easily certifying his abilities, having over 30 years of playing guitar. The song Mar Azul begins with a serene moderate paced beginning and quickly advances to a faster tempo where Latin and World emerge near the outer edges of the color spectrum. Inspiration for this song was drawn from the Pacific Ocean, where the shade of deep cobalt blue waters contrast beautifully with the lighter pastel blue sky. The rays of lighter tones shine brightly by guitar strumming full of abundant runs and bounding rhythms. The characteristic warm sounds of Charango guitar and accordion announce their presence, while violin soon converge in perfect harmony, capturing the dramatic ending. Violet Blue is a song that caught my attention from the very start, having a simple yet well defined ukulele tone melody full of emotion. The multiple classic instruments of South American Charango, acoustic, and nylon guitars, mix with piano and cello, lending to a heart felt melancholy touch to the piece. The rich sound of the exotic Charango captures the primary melody as each note lends itself to a memorable upbeat rhythm that includes light, perfectly times hand clapping that I found quite interesting and added the ideal touch to the overall effect of the theme. As it turned out, I ended up doing a little hand clapping of my own. The Color of Sunshine is a beautiful album put to an audible canvas. Full of interest and creativity by the many talents put on display in this exhibit it shows, and it shows well.


Un gran dominio de la composición y la armonía, unido a unos dedos sobrenaturales crean The Color of Sunshine, el tercer lanzamiento del magistral guitarrista fingerstyle Lawrence Blatt. Describen su música como algo relajante y reconfortante, pero yo voy más allá, The Color of Sunshine descubre un sinfín de buenas sensaciones para el oyente, no encontramos ni una sola pieza triste o fría en este álbum, todas son de una gran calidad compositiva, una técnica increíble y de una asombrosa belleza. Producido por William Ackerman y mezclado por Corin Nelsen, este último trabajo de Blatt no está formado por interpretaciones como solista, como ya venía haciendo años atrás, en este CD, Lawrence se rodea de grandes artistas que apoyan a su brillante guitarra. Estos músicos son: Renatta Bratt, Patrick Gorman, Derrik Jordan, Kori Linae Carothers, Jeff Oster, Steve Schuch, Noah Wilding, T-Bone Wolk.

"Look to the Sun" es el preludio de lo que será una sugestiva escucha. Breve pero llena de luz es esta composición a dos guitarras. Blatt ya muestra su destreza desde el comienzo. Fantástico comienzo. Me encanta!.

"The Color of Sunshine" es una pieza en la que Lawrence repite hasta la saciedad un arpegio de acordes, haciendo algunas variaciones en el cenit, pero quien realmente es la estrella es el cuerno inglés de Jeff Oster. El viento reproduce la melodía principal con ímpetu.

Una entrada tranquila de arpegio presenta "Gray Salt Marsh". Llegado al minuto, Blatt rompe la sintonía con un riff fuerte de acordes y vuelve al encantador arpegio del comienzo, pero aderezando las notas con unos armónicos sorprendentes. Técnicamente, esta composición se sale!.

"Infrared: the Abyss" es emotiva, pasional. Un rápido punteo es la hermosa voz de esta entrañable pieza. Un toque de percusión acompaña a Blatt marcándole el ritmo a su alegre guitarra hasta que surge la poderosa voz de Noah Wilding para erizar todos los vellos de la piel. Fascinante tema. Uno de mis preferidos!.

Con aires aflamencados se presenta "Alhambra (The Red)". Una pieza que desvela el misterio de una de la grandes maravillas del mundo. De carácter reservada, la pieza entona diferentes punteos que se ven acompañados por el penetrante sonido de unas cuerdas. Una música que guía al oyente entre los lugares más recónditos de esta majestuosa fortaleza. Me gusta!.

"Orange Blossom Honey" es una de mis piezas preferidas. Risueña y llena de vida, Lawrence interpreta esta humilde pieza solista con su ukelele. Realmente una hermosura de composición, de un brillo estupendo.

Un hit hat de percusión marca el tempo a Blatt en "Jaune (Yellow)", una composición perfecta como música ambiente por su delicado fluir, hasta que por unos instantes, Lawrence rompe ese círculo romántico con fuertes golpes de acordes, batería y un violín emocionante. Otra de mis preferidas!. Es increíble. Wow!!.

"Green Corn and Spring" es otro de los temas que prestan cariño y dulzura en cada una de sus notas. La melodía es pegadiza y encantadora, fácil de ser tarareada mucho tiempo después de ser escuchada. Fantástica y magistral!.

"Mar Azul" tiene carácter andaluz!. Una pieza donde el punteo y los acordes son puro flamenco, todo ello acompañado de un ritmo que invita al baile junto a un enérgico violín tocado por Steve Schuch. La fuerza de la música y la pericia del guitarrista dejan boquiabierto al oyente. Una guitarra que se desvincula de la guitarra fingerstyle y se acerca con mucha fuerza a la guitarra clásica y española. Fuerza!.

En "Violet Blue" se unen la guitarra de Blatt y el piano de Kori Linae Carothers. La pieza se va tornando emocionante y alentadora, uniéndose cada vez, más instrumentos que le ofrecen una gran energía y fuerza. Este es mi tema favorito de todo el álbum, aunque se hace difícil elegir!.

Derrik Jordan y T-Bone acompañan a Blatt en "UV Radiations". Una pista con un sutil ritmo en el que Lawrence puntea y rasguea su guitarra para dar vida a la seductora melodía que más tarde, se irá intensificando junto al fuerte ritmo de las percusiones.

"Black Rock Beach" podría ser el Unplugged de una magnífica canción de Rock. Las guitarras son soberbias y el dúo entre T-Bone y Lawrence es sensacional. Otra muestra de que a Blatt no se le resiste ningún género. Sin duda, Lawrence es único!.

"White Light" es otra de las grandes composiciones de The Color of Sunshine. En este solo de casi tres minutos, el guitarrista vuelca toda su pasión en la guitarra, creando una música conmovedora y cálida, mientras, de fondo se aprecia un arreglo de cuerdas muy sutiles. Qué belleza.

El último track de The Color of Sunshine es "Reach for the Rainbow". Nuevamente nos invade la emoción y el sentimiento gracias al ukelele más amable de todo el álbum. La melodía entonada en las cuerdas está dotada de una hermosura inefable, mientras unas suaves sonajas y la guitarra de acompañamiento de Ackerman le ofrecen una interesante expresión al tema.

The Color of Sunshine me ha dejado sin palabras. ¿Cómo es posible que prácticamente todas las piezas que componen este CD sean sorprendentes?. No cabe duda que Lawrence Blatt ha ayudado a acercar la guitarra fingerstyle al público gracias a sus complejas pero admiradas melodías, capaces de cambiar el carácter del oyente, concentrando alegría y color en los momentos más apagados del día. Invito a todos los amantes de la buena música a escuchar esta obra maestra, les aseguro que no os decepcionará en absoluto. Sencillamente increíble Maestro Blatt. Enhorabuena!!. The Color of Sunshine es un álbum muy altamente recomendable al que doy la más alta puntuación.