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The Return of Desire: Improvisations

David Darling, cello and
Eve Kodiak, piano

2008 Darling Kodiak Music


Check out Eve's YouTube Video of performances.


Contemporary sound based on a foundation of classical and world music. Spontaneous cello and piano duet creates a gentle, meditative atmosphere, for subtle and complex listening that opens the heart.

We did not know what we were going to play ... we began with no chord changes, no melodies, no assumptions.” — Eve Kodiak

After the first day, we took a drive and listened to what we had recorded, and every take seemed perfect. It was a miracle.” — David Darling

The Return of Desire: Improvisations is a testament to what two musicians can do when they truly listen. Ten of the fourteen tracks were recorded in a three-day creative spurt, with David and Eve playing simultaneously in separate rooms, linked by headphones. Speach was kept to a minimum: “Early morning birds” ... “Ostinato on A” One improvisation would flow into another, and often there were no verbal directions at all.

The CD explores the emotional texture of relationship: beginning with the quiet, spacious Intimations and moving into the heart-expanding Imagining You, diving into Grieving and coming up for air with Breathing Cycles and dancing into Entering the Now. More than a collection of separate pieces, the CD is a whole work, blending a variety of influences, from Debussy-like impressionism to Persian-like melodies, from Copland-like folk tunes to more than a hint of jazz.


I recently heard a CD of two talented performers which drove home to me — yet again — the power of collaborative creativity. It wasn’t a rock & roll partnership I was hearing (which is what I usually prattle about) but more of an impressionistic aural blend of two classically trained musicians in full improvisational glory. But whatever the idiom, the outcome was a confirmation that surrendering one’s ego to a collaborative project can be a win to the third power. (This has applications to the business world, of course, where individuals of every stripe need to put their heads together to create new products, services, marketing strategies, business models, etc.— a theme I will return to in the future.)

The CD I’m referring to is “The Return of Desire: Improvisations” performed by Eve Kodiak on piano and David Darling on cello. Eve is a respected kinesiologist, cranial-sacral therapist, and author as well as a classical pianist and composer. David is a cellist and composer (once nominated for a Grammy) who has performed or recorded with the Paul Winter Consort, Bobby McFerrin, Spyro Gyra, and the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. Eve and David together weave their instrumental magic on this suite of original pieces.

— John O' Leary

Sampler of Selected Tracks


  1. Intimations
  2. Imagining You
  3. Grieving
  4. Breathing Cycles
  5. Entering the Now
  6. Reminiscense
  7. Blue-Green Berceuse
  8. Bridge Across the Waters
  9. Mystery
  10. Meeting of Eyes
  11. Who are You? Who am I? Who are We?
  12. Approach
  13. Opening Hearts
  14. Cycles of Desire

Return of Desire: Improvisations
  Listen at ...

» www.DarlingKodiakMusic.com
» CD Baby
» Rhapsody
» E-Music
» iTunes (works only if you have
                    iTunes installed


"David Darling has long been a favorite of mine, but this is for my money his best yet, thanks to the seamless rapport between him and Eve Kodiak, whom I have previously known only as a sensitive interpreter of the classical piano repertoire. Her improvisational skills are a revelation, and this collaboration goes a long way toward transcending the New Age genre in which Darling's CDs have tended to be classified. Let's have more from these two gifted artists."

— Henry Seale, writer/musician, Albuquerque, NM

"When first-rate musicians gather to create music that is unstructured and free, first-rate music arises - brilliant, expressive and deep! We are blessed to have such soulful artists in our midst."

— Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin
co-artistic director, Dinosaur Annex Music Ensemble, a leading presenter of new music since 1975

“The Return of Desire” is a stunning CD by Eve Kodiak on piano and David Darling on Cello, and an hour of simply beautiful music. I enjoy it week after week even while I reading or writing or talking on the phone. And, of course, doing nothing but listening to the two instruments interact with one another is a truly glorious experience.  It is a rare and unusual piece of music that I can only recommend with one hundred percent enthusiasm."

— Dr. Allen Austill
Dean Emeritus and former Chancellor,
New School University, New York City, New York.

"It is hard to believe that this compelling music is improvised, and yet, listening to it repeatedly, as I have done, makes you feel, yes, this is not music labored over, revised, vetted, but music springing direct from the soul and musical sensibility of the two musicians, cellist Darling, and pianist, Kodiak. And like spontaneous verbal expressions of love, grief, joy, regret, longing, are never said exactly the same way again. This what makes the music so immediate. You are there with the musicians at the moment oreation. You are on the musical journey with them, and though the route has not been planned, once accomplished it has the enivitability of all fine art. Listen to this music stretched out on a couch, a hammock, the floor, opening yourself to its riches. I hope you will find them as I did, precious, restorative, affirming."

— Barbara Garland Polikoff
author, winner of the Carl Sandburg Award for her novel "Life's a funny Proposition, Horatio"

"The first thing I do every morning is roll over and push the button on the CD player to hear "The Return of Desire." I listen to it twice a day, morning and evening.  It is the most healing thing I do."

— Ora Bullit, writer, yoga instructor

"My massage clients love it. Every time I play it for someone new, they say, ‘What's that?’"

— Roslyn Reed, LMT faculty member,
The North Eastern Institute for Whole Health

"When I first heard the Return of Desire I was amazed, "What is that?" I usually don't like very much classical music, but I couldn't resist listening to this. I looked on the CD cover to see what it was about, and it said it was improvised. have always thought improvisation is just something fun to do, but this CD was almost completely improv, and at first it sounded completely structured. But then, after I listened to it for a while, I started to hear that this music was not written down or memorized, but music from the moment. I have never heard anything like it. It is completely unique."

— Damiel Faxon, age 13

  Ver. 4.24
  Updated: August 30, 2016 3:00 PM
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