August 1, 2015

New Age/Meditation Review: Paradiso & Rasamayi-Celestial Resonance

Genre: New Age/Meditation
Release Date: June 16, 2015
Label: 5th Element

New Age music artists Paradiso and Rasamayi have devoted their musical careers to developing sound for the purpose of energy enhancement and healing. Their newest album Celestial Resonance does just that. Using world music, sounds of nature and a multitude of instruments, their sound weaves into a seamless blend to spur the listener’s relaxation.

“Love’s Repose” was like being in a cathedral. Open and airy, but filled with much thought and emotion, this song is truly beautiful. Ambient music paves the way for breathless female vocals and the buzzing texture of world music sounds. This is the world as defined by a celestial being. Not just one religion, but many. We are all people. A pebble dropped into the ocean of the living. Deep and wide. Poignant and full of longing. With expert artistry, this piece reaches out to the dormant parts in all of us that fall into human traps of disregard for others suffering and instead teaches us to instead reach for joy. The sound of water cleanses us whole and leads us to a new beginning.

“The Growing Light” brings bells and the promise of newness. A heavenly awakening with the crispness of early morning and the wet kiss of dew in the pale sunlight. Chimes whisper on the breeze, tinkling their delight at the hum of voices just out of range. The ambient occurrence of a presence watching with benevolent joy. We are awakening to what we will become. Joy. Love. Bright and shiny with newness and positive thoughts. Each gong of the bell proclaims a rebirth and a promise of a brighter path ahead.

“Infinite Resonance” is water and essence of the sea. The tides come and go and with it the circle of life. Fluid world music joins the ocean sounds and they are both joined by chanting vocalizations that reminded me of angels singing to the dawn. A woodwind instrument calls out the morning’s majesty as the holy light of the infinite shines down upon us all. The music swirls in a sometimes brooding resonance that speaks to the patterns of life. You must know dark to recognize the light. To live through the trials to see the victories. To love and be loved. For this is life. This is awakening.

This album is a tapestry of world music, New Age and nature sounds all wrapped up in a neat little package. It incorporates vocals and instruments of all kinds paired with ambient sounds. Each track presents a story. A path to peace and healing. Some with a buzzing resonance and others without. Those were my favorite. This album is a good choice if you want something to get you away from the world for a little while. So grab yourself some green tea and settle in for a relaxing listen. You may find yourself hitting the play button again on this one.  

4.5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Love’s Repose, The Growing Light, Infinite Resonance

Tracks:
01. Genesis
02. Childlike Faith
03. Love's Repose
04. Across the Threshold
05. The Journey Through
06. Celestial Temple
07. Liberation
08. The Growing Light
09. Spirit Embodied
10. Light Ascendant
11. Infinite Resonance

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
August 1, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Review





July 30, 2015

New Age Instrumental/Neo Classical Review: Kerani-Equilibrium

Release Date: May 18, 2015
Label: Indie

Kerani was influenced and inspired by some of my favorite artists such as Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Electric Light Orchestra and Mike Oldfield. It came as no surprise that I immediately identified with her music. 

Equilibrium is dedicated to women and their role in this world and how the artist wants to see a fundamental change, a balance shift or equilibrium transfer to equality between men and women. Turning back the clock to the way things were when the human race began is going to be quite a task but there is hope. Perhaps if we all get on the same frequency with the help of music like Kerani creates we once again can unite so all human beings walk on equal ground.

Kerani played piano and synthesizers on the recording, handled all the female vocal parts, and also arranged, orchestrated and produced. Artist such as this have my admiration and respect and they always have. Then when a work of art is created...something that touches your soul, then it all becomes special.

The elemental force that inspires the creation of this music is a thing of beauty and then translated and discovered within each track. The title track which was featured on our Rate The Tracks site is a fine way to open the curtain to this wondrous music. There is new age, classical and world all mixed together on this strong release. 

“O, Aeterne Deus” is a medieval chant by Hildegard Von Bingen. I found this track to be quite beautiful and moving. It is most definitely a slice of heaven on earth and serves the purpose of the original intent to heal.

There is so much about this recording to enjoy. I do not think it is a prerequisite to be a fan of new age music to find something to integrate into your life with this music. I did not hear one track that I did not absolutely love. This music transforms me, it’s magical, and all of my worries and stress just evaporate like a drop of water in the hot sun. 

“Ladys Grace” is significant because of the title however the music is elegant and moving and it envelops you in its movement and spirituality. All of the right instruments are utilized to make this one of the most outstanding tracks on the album. 

I think the goal was reached on this project and the message Kerani is delivering will be received. This is a lovely representation of new age and classical music that should not be missed.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Equilibrium, O, Aeterne Deus, Ladys Grace

Tracks:
 

1. Equilibrium
2. Fragrant Mountain
3. Anchoress
4. Bouddica, Heart On Fire
5. Hypatia's Universe
6. O, Aeterne Deus
7. Lady's Grace
8. Avane
9. The Wyse Wytch

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
July 30, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



July 13, 2015

New Age Solo Instrumental Review: Kori Linae Carothers-Fire In The Rainstorm

Release Date: May 15, 2015
Label: Indie

Kori Linae Carothers is an award winning artist and has worked with the legendary greats at the Windham Hill recording label. A composer since the age of fourteen, Kori has mastered her disability of being deaf in one ear and turned a weakness into strength. She is an acclaimed keyboard player and pianist with four albums and hopefully more to come. Her album Fire in the Rainstorm is a testament to the joy of everyday. From the hidden beauty in the little things that surrounds us to the burn of a riotous sunrise to the cool splendor of the stars that grace the night skies the music sweeps you away on a journey of audible bliss.

The album begins with “The Day” and the tender shoots of life that reach their leafy arms to the sky in search of the bountiful light of the sun. Each delicate keyboard stroke paints a visual picture of the newness of life and the first breath of morning. Every day is a wonder with much to behold if only we open our eyes to the possibilities.

“The Kindly Beast” reminds me of the story of Beauty and the Beast. The thought provoking piano composition creates a story in my mind of a bookish young woman transported to a beast’s castle only to find the heart of a lamb resides inside the façade of a lion. Tender is the heart that loves and perseveres when life becomes difficult. This also brought to mind the battles the artist faced as a young girl and the extreme inner strength she used to overcome what could have taken her dream of music away. Instead, like any great thing of value, it comes with work and dedication…but most of all, love.

“Winter’s End” is another piece that brought images of nature and romance. The swirling piano strokes evoke a theater of ice and snow, the crystals graceful and magnificent as they fall. Young lovers cascade across icy ponds, hearts full of joy but a little sadness as they know the winter is coming to an end. As with the tale spun with music, their love will go on with fond memories of winter’s kiss and the chill of snow as it drifts down for perhaps the last time.

Kori Linae Carothers is a talented composer and independent artist. She has worked with many greats in the industry, including the legendary Will Ackerman from the Windham Hill label. Kori is the epitome of showing what hard work and dedication can bring. Fire in the Rainstorm is a fluid album filled with natural beauty and wonderment by an artist I will be watching for again. If you want a respite from the day with some gorgeous piano composition, I highly recommend it.

5/5 Stars
Key Tracks: The Day, The Kindly Beast, Winter’s End

Tracks: 
01. A Day Like No Other 04:09
02. NuNu's Sunrise 02:49
03. Meadow 03:53
04. Tidal Rift 04:20
05. Fire in the Rainstorm 02:58
06. Time Passages 04:10
07. The Day 04:22
08. Winters End 02:31
09. Liberty 04:05
10. The Kindly Beast 03:18
11. Whispers of the Heart 03:13
12. When the Trees Fell 03:52

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
July, 8, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

June 30, 2015

New Age Instrumental Review: Heidi Breyer-Letters From Far Away

Release Date: 2015
Label: Indie

Heidi Breyer’s first encounter with music happened when she was a mere two years old. There, dancing in a paper flower skirt, she and harmony became one. In her newest two CD set, Letters From Far Away you can still see the little girl dancing and smile. In this unique compilation, Heidi has taken two sets of songs and breathed both instrumental and piano solo sound into them. Each set of pieces has its own flavor depending on the mood of the listener. An award winning artist for many of her past works; this is Heidi’s first solo album.

The first piece on the album is “All the Good Things.” Both the instrumental and piano solo versions hold a light that shines deep into the soul of the artist. Music and beauty are one with each unwinding note. The instrumental version holds elegant multi-instrumentation that adds a splash of color I found especially appealing. The sorrowful sighs of string instruments take the listener by the hand and lead them out onto the dance floor to sink into the essence of the music.

“Letters from Far Away” made me think of hidden trunks and discoveries of love affairs long past. Of finding things out about loved ones and realizing they too had lives before us. Both versions of this piece are poignant, with the solo piano version all the more stark for lack of busy instruments in the background. 

“Small Café” was reminiscent of sidewalk cafes where a walk was an adventure and the journey all the more important for the destination at hand. The solo piano version has a peculiar audio thunk at the onset, but it did not detract from my enjoyment of the album. In fact, I have been playing it nonstop since I received it. Think Paris and sipping a coffee or perhaps a walk to an ice cream shop where the seating is outdoors. The physical world and music meet, forever intwined.

Heidi Breyer has given us much to think about in this dual CD experience. In the solo version of Letters From Far Away you get a crisp listen to piano solos with no distraction. This lineup is more stark and clean and provides an excellent stage to set the scene for your mind’s eye. The instrumental portion is the glittering highlight that takes the extra step and illuminates the world. It is the cursive in writing, the curl in your hair and the sweetness as the hot chocolate (or as this is summer- cold mocha) goes down.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: All the Good Things, Letters From Far Away, Small Cafe

Tracks: 
01. All the Good Things (Solo)
02. Small Cafe (Solo)
03. 1960 (Solo)
04. First Impressions (Solo)   
05. Old Photograph (Solo)
06. Touchstone (Solo)
07. Letters from Far Away (Solo)
08. Welton (Solo)
09. Scarborough Fair (Solo)
10. No Man Is an Island (Solo)
11. Starry Pond (Solo)
12. All the Good Things (Instrumental)
13. Small Cafe (Instrumental)
14. 1960 (Instrumental)
15. First Impressions (Instrumental)
16. Old Photograph (Instrumental)
17. Touchstone (Instrumental)
18. Letters from Far Away (Instrumental)
19. Welton (Instrumental)
20. Scarborough Fair (Instrumental)
21. No Man Is an Island (Instrumental)
22. Starry Pond (Instrumental)
 
DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
June 14, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



June 28, 2015

New Age Review: Tina Malia-Bridge to Vallabha

Release Date: July 15, 2015
Label: Indie
Tina Malia is an artist rich in voice and spiritual essence. Her first album Shores of Avalon was critically acclaimed. Her other self-produced albums include Jaya Bhagavan, The Silent Awakening, The Lost Frontier and her newest album Bridge to Vallabha.

As a child both of Malia’s parents encouraged her musical growth. She has become an accomplished singer, songwriter, instrumentalist and sound engineer focusing on the healing energies of folk, world music, dream pop and sacred sounds. In Bridge to Vallabha Malia incorporates sacred chants in Sanskrit, Hebrew, Gurmukhi and English.  Instruments included in the album are nylon string guitar, Rhodes piano, charangon, vibraphone, lap steel guitar and cello.

I first heard Malia when she released Shores of Avalon nearly fifteen years ago. Her musical style and clear voice resonated with me on a deep level and the album is one I continue to play to this day. Her newest work is less in the Celtic/Goddess realm and more universally spiritual. While I can’t understand most of what she sings in this album, the chanting is a healing force just the same.

“Om Sarve” is the first song on the album. It is a blend of world music and melodic resonance that captures the imagination. Lilting vocals and strumming notes caress the ear into sublime bliss. Oceans of sound flow over you and the day retreats just a bit, letting you wallow in the tidal pool of Malia’s angelic voice. 

“Ek Ong Kar” begins with the textured sounds of the jungle. Chirping insects, birds and the croaking of frogs intersperse with percussive elements and chanting. The repetitive nature of the piece reminds me of sitting across from a friend as a child playing patty cake and trying not to be the one who misses the hand. A joyful song, it resonates with youth and vitality.

“Long Time Sun” is performed in English. Sweet and languid, Malia’s voice sweeps along guiding the listener toward a path of peace and tranquility. This song, more than any of the others reminds me of why I fell in love with this artist so many years ago. She has a purity of sound and a creative spirit. The vocals are interspersed with piano and the twang of a lap steel guitar.

Tina Malia is an artist with a rich background. She uses elements of pop, folk, world music, new age and sacred chanting to craft an audible landscape to enchant the listener across boundaries of language and time. Her voice is crystalline and with the textured instrumentation of her work Bridge to Vallabha is an album not to be missed.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Om Sarve, Ek Ong Kar, Long Time Sun

Tracks:
 


01.Om Sarve
02.Ima Adama
03.Sita Ram
04.Shivo Hum
05.Kol Galgal
06.Ek Ong Kar
07.Yoweino
08.Om Namo Narmadev
09.Oushadhim
10.Long Time Sun
11.Karpura Gauram

DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
June 25, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews