(CNN) --Thirteen musicians from nearly
10 countries. Over 30 instruments. One
album: "Cosmopoly," by harpist Andreas
Vollenweider and an international cast.
It may sound like a behemoth of a project, but Vollenweider's latest album is
relatively small when compared to many of his recent orchestral compositions.
"Cosmopoly" also marks his return to the new age music, for which he won a
Grammy with 1986's "Down to the Moon."
"On this album, I really wanted to make a strong
point, and invite people from different places of
the world to meet in the world of music," the
Swiss musician told WorldBeat.
Galician bagpiper Carlos Nunez, Armenian duduk
player Djivan Gasparyan and Carly Simon, the
North American singer-songwriter who also
composed and wrote lyrics for the album, were
among the global crew that came together to
record the album and perform at New York City's
"Andreas invited me to play in a very new way
for me," Nunez said. "This way was
improvisation. We never do improvisation with Celtic instruments. We always
play a tune, something very straight from the tradition. With him I feel a little bit
Vollenweider does have a startling effect
on music, Simon agreed. "When I
collaborate with him, it enlivens a
different part of me," she said. "I get to
be the 'Andreas/Carly' vision, which is
very different than the 'Carly' vision."
What is the "Andreas" vision, which
Simon called "a very honest,
close-to-his-soul statement of himself?"
"A wonderful medium," Vollenweider
answered. "To touch people, to
communicate something that is beyond words. That is the reason why music
was always necessary every culture."
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