Sand Castles Fragrant breezes from the warm Pacific once embraced the first ranchos in pre statehood Northern California.
On Christine Bonner’s debut CD, titled Sand Castles, those breezes whisper across the land once again– this time on the wings of Bonner’s harp and the contribution of several world class musicians.
Sand Castles by Christine Bonner features many of Christine’s original compositions. A tribute to the earlyCalifornianos and the Berryessa family of which she is a descendent, Sand Castles traces the ancestral journey of the Berryessa family from their native Spain to the ranchos of California. This unique and alluring mixture of acoustic string instruments and percussion carries the listener back to a time of palatial haciendas, gentle rolling hills, and wind swept trees.
Though most of the selections on Christine Bonner’s CD, Sand Castles, (1998, Rainbow Music Company) are instrumental, there is a haunting story behind the music. The recording is dedicated to the early Californianos, the Spaniards who arrived in Alta (upper) California prior to Feb. 2, 1848. Christine Bonner is a descendent of one of those famous families – the Berryessas. Tracks such as
|Farewell to Spain” and one dedicated to her grandmother, Veronica Berryessa, are evocative of the “roots” which she explored in her musical compositions.|
|A liner note on the CD, etched over a replica of a Mexican land grant map, refers listeners to Eftimeos Solonites’ book on the subject, Berreyesa- The Rape of the Mexican Land Grant, Rancho Canada de Capay. Solonites’ testimonial on the cover reads: “Christine Bonner, a direct descendant of Sisto Berreyesa, pays tribute to her ancestors and the illustrious past of the Berryessa Valley of Northern California.”The CD is produced and meticulously engineered by Christine’s husband, Rob Bonner, formerly with South Loomis Quickstep, who also lends his talents on bass and guitar. The masterful Joe Craven is featured as percussionist and flavors the dish with mandolin and violin. Other performers include Florie Brown on violin (formerly of Golden Bough); Yolanda Aranda, vocals; Enrique Coria, guitar (David Grisman Quintet); Gwenyth Bravo, cello; and Greg McLaughlin, flute and soprano saxophone. Adding further credence to the project, Sand Castles features brilliant guitar work by a local favorite, Ivan Najera.|