The Book


“The natural environment sustains the life of all beings in the world. However, nearly everywhere these days, it is undergoing extensive degeneration. Therefore, it is more important than ever that we all make whatever effort we can to ensure the conservation and protection of the planet, its air, its land and its water.”

“Our inner environment determines our attitude towards the earth's natural environment, our relationship with it, and our impact on it. The beautiful photographs and inspiring words in this book, Water Music, will remind readers of the crucial importance of water in all our lives. Only when enough people cultivate an inner environment that respects all forms of life, reflects a sincere concern for justice and equality, a genuine compassion for all beings, and projects all of this onto the outer environment, will the world's water and other natural resources be safe for the future.”

— His Holiness the Dalai Lama


“In Water Music, Marjorie Ryerson and the many contributing musicians have brought insightful perspectives to the beauty, power and fragility of water. By using the book to support water programs in the developing world, they have also found a special tribute to humanity's most precious resource.”

— U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy


“It's a shame we even need this book. But instead of celebrating water, our most vital and our most glorious treasure, we've mostly turned our backs on it, noticing only that split second in its life when it's between faucet and drain. In this volume, Marjorie Ryerson and her musician collaborators remind us why the boom of surf and the gurgle of a stream are among the sweetest sounds in the planet's vast vocabulary.”

— Bill McKibben
Author of The End of Nature, Deep Economy, and many other books and articles about the environment


"Ryerson's photographs are breathtaking in their quality and variety, reflecting her fascination with capturing images of water in the United States, Canada and Europe over the last seven years. In some photographs, water looks like swirls of chocolate; in others, it is dappled with black and white spots like a Holstein or patterned like marbled end paper in a book. One photograph shows floodwaters in a Florida cypress forest reflecting eerie stripes of light: blue, lilac, orange, pale green. Another captures rain falling like streaks of white.”

The Rutland Herald/Times Argus


"....on water, music, the reveries of light and wind at play on the surfaces of our hearts and souls. This is a book to keep nearby. Should the room grow too small, the air too dry - push off, navigate whatever stretch most meets your needs and listen. What life along the banks! What an intimate glimpse of some of our finest musicians and one of America's most unassuming and talented photojournalists! Go now!"

Dr. Linda Opyr, Long Island, New York


"The stunning photography that is the heart of this work reminds us of the inspiring Oneness of Earth, Water and Music. That Ms. Ryerson had the vision to recognize Music as the spiritual and artistic extension of this natural unity is a gift to the reader and viewer of this remarkable book. Sixty-six world-renowned musicians, including Kenny Loggins, Randy Newman, Garrick Ohlsson, Dave Brubeck and Taj Mahal, contribute text that draws a direct line between the Muse and the constancy, beauty and timelessness of Water. In his profound essay/poem, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts beautifully captures the framework of the book: "I respect the water. Because it's been here forever-feeding nature, quenching thirst, healing the land, nurturing the flowers. And it will be here long after we are gone, demanding and receiving respect. Singing the sweet song of eternal life..." Ms. Ryerson displays an uncommon organizational and aesthetic genius, not to mention a singular commitment to the cause of sustainable water sources, contributing the royalties for this project to the United Nations Foundation. But it is her photography that is the soul of this work. Witness the misty mirror image landscape on page 151, opposite the story by cellist Tilla Henkins. I rest my case."

musician Dan Denerstein, New City, New York


"Marjorie Ryerson has orchestrated a symphony of color and meaning on every page of her book Water Music. Her fusion of prose, poetry, music from others with her own photography makes the book a full sensual, nearly audible, experience even though it is in fact a printed piece. For all those who know that water is truly one of the most sacred parts of our existence, this book celebrates that concept and reminds us of how varied and beautiful this life-giving gift is. With proceeds going to a United Nations fund to support clean water for families and to preserve natural water environments, your purchase of this book is not only a pleasure for your own senses, but a courageous effort to protect a resource that too many of us, at our peril, take for granted."

— Eleanor K. Sommer, Gainesville, FL