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Eclectic composer/cellist David Darling incorporates jazz, classical, country, pop, and new age music into his playing and compositions. Starting as a child, Darling displayed facility with many different instruments and styles of music; he began with piano at age four, moved to cello six years later, and played string bass in his high school band (while also serving as bandleader). After finishing his studies in classical cello at Indiana State College in 1965, Darling stayed on as an instructor for four more years.
In the '70s, Darling divided his time between working in Nashville, working as a studio musician with country artists including Johnny Cash, and touring the world with the Paul Winter Consort as a soloist, composer, and singer until 1978. 1979 saw his solo debut as well as the beginning of his collaboration with Ralph Towner, with whom Darling founded the chamber jazz group Gallery.
After Gallery ended in the mid-'80s, Darling went on to work with artists as diverse as Glen Moore, John Clark, Spyro Gyra, and Bobby McFerrin. During those years, he also collaborated with ECM producer Manfred Eicher in a series of dark, introspective works. The '90s found Darling continuing to challenge musical boundaries. His score for the 1992 Wim Wenders movie Until the End of the World drew great acclaim, as did his solo recordings of that decade, including 1993's The Tao of Cello and Dark Wood, which feature Darling's renowned improvisational skills. At the turn of the century, Darling did two albums for Relaxation Music's Musical Massage series: Musical Massage: In Tune and Musical Massage: Balance. He also recorded Cello Blue for Hearts of Space in 2001.