(Dr.) Eric Thor Karlstrom has had a passion for playing and writing music since he was 13. So far, he has recorded eight CDs and tapes of his songs on piano, guitar, banjo, and vocals. He has also directed and produced one full-length film on DVD entitled "An Awakening Journey: Songs and Voices from the Earth". The 18 original piano songs on this CD 'The River," are utilized in the "Awakening Journey" film (sold at filmbaby). Hence, the film and this CD, "The River", make an excellent complimentary set. Eric currently teaches physical geography at California State University, Stanislaus in Turlock, California. But his first loves have always included music and nature. These elements are uniquely combined in this CD and in his film: 'An Awakening Journey". As a singer and banjo/guitar player, Eric has made quite a few recordings with various bluegrass and folk groups. And he has also spent considerable energy conducting research that has been published in various national and international earth science journals. (Some of his satirical impressions of higher education can also be heard on his 'University Daze' CD). However, truth be told, some of Eric's best creative talents and inspiration may have gone into these piano compositions featured in "The River." To Karlstrom, the piano beckons most and best because it is capable of expressing such a tremendous range and depth of sounds and emotions. Having taught himself to play by ear, he brings a natural fluidity and unique folk-classical-pop sensibility to the instrument and achieves a style which is his alone. These original piano pieces were composed between about 1981 and 1997 and originally did not have names. Later, during the process of combining the piano pieces with some of his best adventure and climbing slides from around the world, Karlstrom retro-fit nature-theme titles to the songs. This CD was recorded at The University of Wyoming Concert Hall on a 10-foot, $90,000 Bosendorfer piano. What power it had! And what a pleasure it was to play it!