Ptarmigan (with a small p) was formed in Vancouver B.C. in 1970 by Michael Bieling, James Lithgow and Glen Dias. Soon after the band’s formation Monte Nordstrom and Shawn Mullins were added to the line-up. The band performed in coffee houses and small venues around the Vancouver Island and Victoria areas and attracted the attention of world renowned American flautist Paul Horn who had just moved to B.C.
Glen Dias: Vocals, Recorders & Percussion
Monte Nordstrom: Vocals & Twelve String Guitar
Kat Hendrikse: Drums
Dave Field: Acoustic Bass
Richard Mayer: Electric Bass (The Island)
Peter Wheeler: Hand Drums
Paul Horn: Percussion
In 1971 the original line up fragmented reducing ptarmigan to the duo of Nordstrom and Dias. In 1972 the duo went to Ontario where they played some local clubs in Ottawa and Toronto making some impressive connections in the music industry , then headed back to Vancouver where they again met up with Paul Horn. Horn was so impressed by the duo’s music, he signed them to a publishing and recording contract.
Ptarmigan went into Canbase (Mushroom) Studios in Vancouver during the fall of 1972 and recorded some basic tracks that would eventually become the ptarmigan album. After the tracks were recorded it took Paul Horn nearly a year to sell the project to a label and in 1974 , Columbia Records of Canada released the self titled ptarmigan album.
The music on the album combined elements of jazz, folk and progressive rock.
Based around a flute, percussion and guitar interplay, the songs experience eastern influences, various moods, time changes and are rather simply structured yet complex in nature. Based around themes of nature and musical landscapes today the music could be classified as new age or environmental.
When the album was originally released in 1974 it did not sell well at all because of its non-commercial sound but over the years it has become a collectors item especially for progressive rock fans.
This is the first legitimate reissue of the Columbia album entirely done by band member Monte Nordstrom on his own GrooveDigger label. This limited edition, remastered version of the album features the original artwork along with four bonus tracks and a detailed booklet that contains band photos, as well as an in depth essay on the band and the recording of the album.
his folk/jazz Westcoast acoustic recording predates New Age and Worldbeat by a decade. Eerie & introspective. Originally on Columbia of Canada. Now a Prog/cult item. In 1970, Monte Nordstrom was invited by singer/recorder player, Glen Dias to join the Vancouver Island ensemble, 'Ptarmigan'. The following year, Dias & Nordstrom toured Canada writing & performing new music on the coffeehouse circuit between Victoria's Queequeg, Winnipeg's Ting Tea Room & Ottawa's le Hibou. The highlight of this tour was in Ottawa when the duo spent two weeks opening for the legendary guitarist, Lenny Breau. Performing two shows per night for two weeks & socializing with Lenny was a highly influential experience for Monte. In 1972-73, international jazz master, Paul Horn produced the music of Ptarmigan at Mushroom Studio in Vancouver. Columbia Records released the Ptarmigan LP in early 1974. The launch of the Ptarmigan release was at The Egress nightclub in Vancouver, where Nordstrom & Dias spent a week opening for the Paul Horn Quintet. The duo last performed together in 1978 at the Midsummer Affair festival. Ptarmigan was a very unusual & noncommercial music that was ahead of its time. The ethereal ambience of Nordstrom & Dias' compositions continue to impress a wide spectrum of people. A bootleg European release on vinyl in the 80s created a cult following in the Progressive rock genre. In response to this continuing interest, the authorized Ptarmigan CD is re-issued through this website.
Produced by Paul Horn for VIP Ltd. (Vancouver Island Productions)Recording Engineer: Keith Stein. Mixed by Paul Horn & Keith Stein Cover Art & Photo: Glen Dias. Ptarmigan Logo: James NorquayAll songs composed by: Glen Dias & Monte NordstromPublished by Samadhi Music, BMI; Northstream Music/SOCAN & Bear Bones Music/SOCANRecorded at Canbase (Mushroom) Studios, Vancouver, Canada Musicians: Glen Dias: Vocals, Recorders & Percussion Monte Nordstrom: Vocals & Twelve String Guitar Kat Hendrikse: Drums Dave Field: Acoustic Bass Richard Mayer: Electric Bass (The Island)Peter Wheeler: Hand Drums Paul Horn: Percussion
This Re-Issue is dedicated to David Aston
1: rise (:24)
3: (pt 1) intro (1:58)
4: (pt 2) preamble (:37)
5: (pt 3) main theme (6:29) Vancouver
6: (pt 1) reflections (2:54)
7: (pt 2) the city (2:39) Night of the Gulls
8: (pt 1) on the water (:51)
9: (pt 2) on the wind (3:10) A Hymn to the Ocean & A Great Northern Lake
10: (pt1) ocean song (6:17) - mp3 - 1271.kb
11: (pt 2) afternoon rain (:48)
12: - Coquihalla (9:43)
"Midsummer Affair" (1978; from GDR44 "Silhouette of Our Insanity")
13: Chimborazo (Nordstrom) (7:00) Monte Nordstrom: Vocal, Guitar; Glen Dias: Shaker
14: Chimborazo - studio tag (1:38) Michael Bieling: Congas; Raymond Bruvold: Bass; Dave Rowse: Sax; Barry Dayman: Flute/Mandolin; Jim Shain: Guitar/PhoTron
13: Engineered by Greg Pauker
14: Engineered by Ed deBree;
Produced by Monte Nordstrom
Re-mastered at Media Magic, Victoria, BC by Mark Franklin & Monte Nordstrom.
Thanks to Paul Horn!Graphics, Layout & Digital Photo
Edits by Barry Newman: www.cvnet.net/cosmic
Booklet Art Direction, Text, Titles & Design by Monte Nordstrom 1999 Groovedigger Records, Box 196 Crofton, BC, CANADA, V0R 1R0Website: http://www.montenordstrom.com/
Ptarmigan - The Island - 1969
Ptarmigan - Go Dancing - 1969