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Christmas Light
What Is Christmas Light?
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It started out as a small project...

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It started out as a small project - Christmas music from our studio for friends and family to enjoy. It became the largest project we ever did. Steve Holt and Inner Music worked nearly a full year on the production of Christmas Light, a landmark recording of some of the most renowned carols with new arrangements. Gorgeous grand piano, majestic synths - acoustic and electronic instruments - heavenly music with fresh arrangements - this is what Christmas Light is about.

Almost every track represents a different musical genre with different orchestration. Arrangements vary from large ensembles with full orchestral accompaniment to pop/country rock, jazz, and folk. More than anything, this music will speak to you; it comes straight from the heart.

WHAT THE CRITICS SAY
 
Reviewer: Carol Swanson, ChristmasReviews.com  
 
Christmas Light is an instrumental CD that provides something for everybody. Canadian Steve Holt has enjoyed much acclaim for his jazz artistry, and he demonstrates that talent here. The CD, however, goes well beyond traditional jazz concepts. The artist injects a broad range of musical genres, peppering the CD with moments of pop, country, rock, folk, new age and, of course, jazz. In addition to putting together the varied arrangements, Steve plays all of the instruments himself, including synthesizers, piano, and percussion. It's an appealing package. When I first picked up this CD, I must confess that I had some doubts. After all, the cover features an individual who appears to be in deep meditation, and I feared that the music might lack personality or even be sleep-inducing. As it turns out, I should not have worried. From the first cut to the last, Christmas Light brings life to standard holiday offerings through innovative arrangements, and it always keeps you guessing regarding what style will present itself next. For example, The Little Drummer Boy opens the CD with a relatively straightforward drumbeat and melody line, then transforms into jazzy synthesized improvisation. The tones of Coventry Carol are much more serious and staid; still, the music moves through creative cycles within those confines. Since I adore jazz piano, I found We Three Kings to be a special treat; its rich and warm jazz treatment had me tapping my toes. Some songs are certainly more low-key than others; O Come All Ye Faithful is a high-energy affair, whereas God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen is darker and more subdued, although it still reflects fascinating twists and turns in the underlying melody line. Folk music stylings are abundantly apparent in What Child Is This, and the treatment is gorgeous. Christmas Light closes with a lovely, pristine and relatively unadorned version of Silent Night-a fitting close to a fine set. Because the CD embodies so many varied styles, it is difficult to pin down the approach at any given moment. This makes the Themes & Variations part of the title particularly appropriate. Steve Holt's innovations enhance the strengths of these holiday numbers, never obscuring the natural beauty of the selections. So kick back, relax, and enjoy the many faces of Christmas Light.