About Dan Gibson's Solitudes
Solitudes, the very first music line of Somerset Entertainment, was launched in 1981 by company founder Dan Gibson. Dan's ardent appreciation of nature, coupled with his many talents in the film-making and sound collection arenas, is what began the Solitudes story.
Sadly, on March 18, 2006, Dan Gibson passed away in his Toronto home. To his credit, and among several other noteworthy accomplishments, Dan left behind a beautiful legacy of nature sounds, libraried forever within the Solitudes music label. 25 years after the first nature sound-only program was launched, Solitudes now enjoys world-wide recognition as the premium music label featuring quality sound programs dedicated to showcasing the natural world. All of this success is because of the passion of Dan Gibson. He will be dearly missed by all whom he touched, but he will certainly not be forgotten.
The present-day Solitudes music line features both soothing music blended seamlessly with nature sounds as well as nature sound-only albums. All aimed at exploring wildlife and discovering destinations, the Solitudes label mainly features original, instrumental compositions with albums themed for relaxation, health & wellness, nostalgia and with musical styles ranging from new-age to classical to Celtic and other world influences. Equally important to the Solitudes music label is the series of nature sound-only titles. Programs range from a collection of bird or frog sounds, to entire "sound journeys" such as the beginning and end of a gentle, yet powerful thunderstorm.
The Solitudes music line releases approximately 12 high-quality recordings per year and continues to lead the way in the relaxation, new-age and nature sound music categories. Solitudes titles are currently available at leading independent specialty and gift retailers and at the Solitudes secure online store.
Inspired by Nature: Solitudes® founder Dan Gibson
Dan Gibson first fell in love with wildlife and the wilderness during his summers at Camp Ahmek in Ontario, Canada. Along with camp director Taylor Statten, Naturalist Stuart Thompson instilled in young Dan a profound appreciation for nature and a yearning to discover more.
In 1946, Dan founded his own company (Dan Gibson Productions Ltd.) and began his career in the production of nature films and TV series. Without stock libraries from which to source background sounds, Dan was left with the task of capturing nature's sounds himself. His groundbreaking work in synchronizing sounds with visual content succeeded in transporting the viewer into the wilderness. This later earned him two Canadian Film Awards (now called Genies) for best movie soundtracks. After nearly 40 years in the film production business, Dan decided to embark on a whole new career. At the age of 59, when most people are considering retirement, Dan launched his brave new venture: Solitudes.
While producing films in the late 1960's and early 1970s, Dan found time to release a few records featuring the sounds of nature. The LPs did not initially attract widespread interest, but by the late 1970's, sales were growing handsomely, fuelled by rising sales in California and the emerging green movement across North America.
In 1981 Dan founded the Solitudes line, named after his favorite song by Duke Ellington, "In My Solitude". Dan also continued to broaden and enrich his library of recordings. In every season and in every type of weather, he listened to and recorded nature's voices - from moonlit, northern forests to sun-baked deserts in the southwest, from crashing Pacific coasts to snake-infested swamps in Florida.
Upon returning from these expeditions, Dan sculpted geographically accurate listening experiences that represented a dynamic journey. He also endeavored to create imaginative programs for his listeners. Dan wanted Solitudes albums to tell stories and lead the listener from one locale to another. As a result, these albums can be heard over and over again - a true testament to the artistic skill of the producer.
In 1986, Gordon Gibson joined his father at Solitudes. After releasing 12 titles featuring only nature sounds, a new Solitudes album combining nature sounds with music was released. Gordon believed that a carefully arranged musical score could enhance and complement the natural sounds and create an even more inspiring listening experience. After considerable discussion, Dan agreed on the condition that the music harmonize, rather than compete with his nature sounds.
Throughout the 1990's awareness of the Solitudes line grew rapidly and distribution developed worldwide. More recently, Solitudes has acquired a diverse appeal. Beyond the basic appreciation of nature, customers have identified the therapeutic value of the albums and have begun to use it for stress relief, sleeping assistance and meditation. Today, it is used in hospitals, prisons and schools. Other labels have witnessed Solitudes' success and attempted to emulate the product. In a meaningful way, Dan Gibson was the pioneer of this growing industry.
In April 1994, Dan was named to the Order of Canada by the Governor General of Canada. The distinguished civilian honor was presented to Dan for his work in "filming and recording nature and for his role in creating public awareness of conservation, wildlife and our natural heritage."
Another honor was bestowed upon Dan at the Canadian Juno Awards in 1997 when he was presented with the Walt Grealis Lifetime Achievement Award. This honor celebrated Dan's lifetime of work in the music and recording industry.
Dan continued to live by the ideas and principles he promoted in each of his films, TV specials and albums up until his recent passing on March 18, 2006. He continued to support and inspire support for many environmental causes, and, as recent Director of the Friends of Algonquin, he helped raise money for the educational interpretive program of his beloved Algonquin Provincial Park. Even in a bay near his cottage, Dan and friends constructed and maintain a floating nest to protect a loon family from the threat of fluctuating water levels. As an educator, activist and artist, Dan Gibson succeeded in promoting public awareness for the beauty and preservation of our wildlife and natural environment. We trust your enjoyment of Solitudes is enriched by understanding the history and dedication of the man who created it.