January 13, 2017

Contemporary: Instrumental New Age Review: Art Patience-The Recognition

Release Date: January 20, 2017
Label: Heart Dance Records


It takes patience and art to make music. The man with the name that combines those two elements, Art Patience, used that formula to create his own unique blend of instrumental music. He accomplishes using the least likely instrument for this style of music.

The debut of this talented man is titled The Recognition. This is not your typical instrumental contemporary new age release. In fact, this music goes beyond anything I would have thought possible for the genre. It is progressive and forward thinking, proving once again that any artist willing to follow their heart can come out the other side of that with a successful work of art.

The harp or harmonica as we know it, is not a lead instrument in the new age genre and rarely has been in any genre for that matter, which makes this release that much more incredible. It is a breath of fresh air with its own spin on relaxation and transporting the listener to another realm.
I do not know about any other listeners but my preference is that music, any music, needs to touch my soul and remove me from inside my head and halt the constant stream of thoughts. It needs to happen quickly so I can go to a place where I get in touch with a higher power and my soul. A deep-seated belief that music can heal and remove any pain both physical and emotional is a thought process that has been a part of my life for many years now. Part of this therapeutic progression is listening intently and relaying what messages it delivers to me and subsequently to any potential listeners. In other words, to encapsulate everything I just said coincides with the title of this album, The Recognition. The equation being how it comes back to you offering a great experience that can be revealing and enlightening at the same time.

What is so wonderful currently is that artists provide all kinds of media for you to enjoy prior to you committing to buying their music to support them and their endeavors. We are living in a renaissance of creation in film and music. It is indeed a great time to be alive regardless of the things happening all over the world. One day there will be peace and unity and the born healers that are leading the way are those that make music like Art Patience.

I know this may sound complex and deep in a sense, it all is, but keep in mind that the process is very simple, hit play and let the music do the rest. This music carries a longing, a certain tenderness and at time sadness. It seeks to find the light within us all. I always thought the harmonica had a quality to it that told a story or was a good accompaniment to a storyline. The combination of the harmonica, guitars, swirling and gyrating ambient sounds from the keyboards and or computer generated mixes make for a modern blend of intrigue and wonder.

All tracks are great but with “Safe Journeys” I found the most interesting qualities bubbling to the surface. It had a mysteriousness about it but it beckoned to me to explore all the layers unfolding in the song and I thought of a train that never stops running on an endless track. It then finally reaches its destination of joy, a happy place, once the song concludes.

“Spirit of the Woods” connects you with mother earth in the most appealing way. Sounds of nature abound with water running down a stream and birds are tweeting. Art serenades the grandest mother of all, our earth and its creatures. The birds sound like they are smiling as they sing. This music will make you beam inside, and as you hold that thought, the feeling of a warm summer day comes to mind and how good that feels from head to toe.

The Recognition is a great achievement and amazing debut that will open the door to many other artists seeking to experiment with new sounds and instruments that will fall into the new age and contemporary instrumental realm of existence. When I first saw this music when it was delivered and saw Art playing harmonica, I had to question if it was indeed new age. Well believe me it is in every sense of the word.

This one is a real pearl so do not miss it.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 13, 2017

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
1. Compassion
2. The Wishing Well
3. Memorial Day   
4. Flight of the Butterfly
5. The Treehouse
6. Spirit of the Woods
7. Safe Journeys
8. Winds Of Change
9. The Recognition


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January 9, 2017

New Age-Classical-Electronica Review: Anaya Music With Live Symphony Orchestra-Eternity

Release Date: August 19, 2016
Label: Anaya Music
Anaya Music and the latest release titled Eternity is all about collaboration. Anaya Music is Anaya, Tania Mara Botelho, Steve Salani and members of the Prague Symphony Orchestra. 

I am one of the first to admit you cannot match the experience of being at a concert as to sitting and listening to CD. There are instances in my listening experiences inside the confines of my home that have elevated my spirit and given me positive energy and hope. Eternity turns out to be one of those instances. The parts from the orchestra are live however, so we get the best of both worlds. This is where technology and live off the floor music collide to explode into sights and sounds that will stir your soul.

What I found interesting was how the use of technology made this project come together. Over the oceans these artists added their parts and eventually it became a whole. With the help of many talented people and the sum of its parts scattered about the globe coming together through the advances of communication and modern recording, this became a musical entity. It truly is amazing how all of that works. It is even more of a celebration when it all meets to make the most beautiful and picturesque sounds and colors arriving through your speakers. 

Anaya ends the liner notes by saying “Our best instrument is the universal harmony of being.” That one thought and the vibrations it creates is the perfect lead in to this cinematic recording. The soundscapes shaped and molded are things of beauty and grace that can take your spirit to a higher plain. I do believe that is the intent of music like this. Enlightened spirits leading others down the path of light and love…it works well if you allow the music to transport you as the pressures of the world melt away.

The entire listening experience was so enjoyable and uplifting that I felt disappointed that it ended and it seemed to end much too soon.  From where I sit that is the highest compliment I can pay to any artist.

Eternity is a blessing to all that will hear it so make sure you give it a few spins and find what I found inside the music.

4.5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 9, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
1. Dharma
2. New Skies
3. Cosmos
4. For Love
5. Love's River
6. Gaia
7. Once in Time
 

January 5, 2017

Instrumental Classical-New Age Review: Summer Swee-Singh & the Crazy 88-Self Titled

Release Date: June 21, 2016
Label: Independent

Summer Swee-Singh is veteran performer that presents a polished sound in each track on her latest self-titled release Summer Swee-Singh & the Crazy 88.

Her sound resonates with a self-assurance and gracefulness that instantly attracts you and vitalizes your senses, or revitalizes, whatever your need may be. For me it usually is the batteries that need to be recharged in most cases. It always is a good time to listen to music like this for that reason alone.

Summer reminds me of a proud and confident solo pianist that takes the stage and holds the audience in complete silence and awe until she stops playing. It is only then when the audience releases its energy with a loud roar of approval. The music is simplistic and it holds you spellbound like a religious ceremony, the people come to the church of music to pay tribute to the one who is the object of their affection. That may sound just a bit over top however it is only an analogy, a thought or parallel if you will.

Some of the tracks are heavily influenced by classical that develop into new age and others have bits of rolling piano that sound more like a movie soundtrack injected with elements of jazz such as “Apples and Tea.” Then there are stunning and colorful compositions like “Berkeley.” Anyone who knows music can figure out from whence the title of that track came. 

For my ears and overall experience the way this music was recorded, its eclectic and simplistic style, all fit together like a puzzle you know by heart. All the pieces just fall right into place. Everything you are hearing was meant for you the very moment you are hearing it. It made me feel that way. It is all as pure as a hot spring or freshy fallen snow at the highest peak of a mountain. It is musical perfection in progress, I would not change a thing.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 5, 2017
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Hello, My Name Is Summer
02. Berkeley
03. JFN
04. Samina
05. Selina & Dil
06. Mikael (For Irina & Sarkis)
07. Alexandra y Servando
08. Seabird (For Brittaney)
09. Apples and Tea
10. 27


December 21, 2016

Instrumental New Age/Piano Review: Kathryn Kaye-Reflections in a Flowing Stream

Release Date: December 31, 2016
Label: Overland Mountain Music

Kathryn Kaye is continuously creating and recording music. It must be my concept of time but it feels like I just complete a review and then another release awaits my attention once again. That is all good for sure, it is probably the fact that time just escapes me so much faster than when I was a young man. With all that considered I need music to keep the energy of youth inside me and thus it is expressed outwardly to the people around me in a positive way.

While listening, it becomes easy to wax philosophically once I get into the flow of some good instrumental music, especially with talented artist like Ms. Kaye.
Kathryn is a few weeks away from releasing another masterful creation of piano tracks titled Reflections in a Flowing Stream. Once again we see a recording artist making the important connection to our surroundings, more specifically to nature. The sheer beauty of shimmering water gives us the reflections of life and our own image looking back at us. The river serves as the perfect mirror particularly one that looks so calm like on the cover of this CD. It looks like a natural shiny glass window that implores you to consider it as your own way of expressing your deepest thoughts and feelings. Like a sounding board that does not speak back but only observes, the water initiates and completes a process. It calls to your soul and inner spirit.

I do not think you could possibly go wrong with such a group of talent assembled in one studio. Besides Kathryn’s talented fingers at work you get Will Ackerman (guitar) and Tom Eaton (bass, accordion) at the helm producing, engineering and recording and Tony Levin (bass), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Jill Haley (English Horn), Eugene Friesen (cello), Jeff Haynes (percussion) and Charlie Bisharat (violin) adding their talents to the mix. It is like an all-star cast that usually comes together at the Imaginary Road Studios. Most of the artists I work with record there and every time a new recording is released it is of the highest quality without exception. Reflections in a Flowing Stream is another one to add to the list.

Kathryn’s piano is very much like a flowing stream. Her music reflects the listener’s personality and mood; it brings it to the surface encouraging a good look at a window to the truth. It is absorbed then bounces off you with positive vibrations and touches everyone within listening distance. Every track offers a different aspect of nature that we each recognize, enjoy and ultimately relate to in our own way. 

Deeply moving and expressive, the piano and every instrument that joins in makes each track a complete experience that can be enjoyed more than once. I would think each time you hear it you may find something different you did not notice before, perhaps a subtle nuance that either makes you feel happy, sad, melancholy or at peace with an internal calmness that can only be achieved by listening and letting the tones and atmospheres of the music take you to each special place the track titles suggests.

Kathryn, you have done it again; Reflections in a Flowing Stream is beauty and perfection all in one package topped off with a big red bow for the Holidays and a great way to start the new year.

5/5 Stars

Tracks:
01. A Lark in the Last Night of Day
02. As Seasons Change )
03. Procession of Moon and Stars
04. The Stillness Before Dawn

05. No Reason Not to Dance
06. Winter’s Deepest Sleep 07.  As Summer Fades to Fall 

08. April Rain
09. A Shower of Summer Nights 

10. Reflected in a Flowing Stream 
11. Arctic Night 
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 21, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

December 16, 2016

Instrumental New Age/Meditation Review: Byron Metcalf-Inner Rhythm Meditations

Release Date: September 30, 2016 
Label: Sounds True

For thousands of years people have been using drums and other acoustic instruments to create sounds and rhythms. There were many reasons to create these sounds other than for the pure enjoyment of generating different sounds. They would gather to summon spirits, gods, the dead and go into a trance-like state or vision quest.

Enlightened spiritual individuals like Byron Metcalf take those ancient traditions and use today’s technology to create a canvas to paint a musical picture upon. He brings you into his world with his latest release Inner Rhythm Meditations. The subtitle of the release is “Music for expansive awareness & inspired movement.” All those words certainly put everything into focus, and then when you listen, it all comes to life as you enter an entirely different space or reality, if you will. You get to make the choice how you want to enjoy this music, it is a gift and tool to use for what you request and it’s all positive, or as they say “it’s all good.”

Byron uses several instruments to put together six tracks of considerable length. Peter Phippen and his incredible flutes add to the mix and overall ambiance throughout this release, and the multi-talented Metcalf plays a variety of percussive instruments. He takes the old and new to make meditation easier for anyone seeking to reach that state. Easy rhythms and relaxing sounds will melt your stress away like ice on a warm spring day. Erik Wolllo also brings a multitude of talent to the table, playing all sorts of electric guitars, bass and keyboards.

Every track represents a doorway to your soul. The keys to this kingdom is to unlock each door and walk through to see what you can find. Are you thirsty for inner knowledge? Do you seek wisdom from a higher self? Or are you seeking sanctuary and relief to obtain a calm and peacefulness so that you can re-energize? The answers lie within, and the only way to that path of discovery is through the music that is represented on Inner Rhythm Meditations.
 
We always have the answers; it is our built-in mechanism and ability to either block out the truth or let it in and accept it. I have found this to be true more and more as my life tick tocks away like a clock that never needs rewinding or another battery. To be honest, it’s my mind that has a hard time shutting off.  I need to calm my mind before my body will follow. Music like this is a magnificent healer, it brings us closer to our meaning here and what we truly belief is our own path to real freedom, physically and spiritually.

I think the music of Inner Rhythm Meditations is like a continuing story, your story, and how you write it. It only ends when the music stops, but you can begin again right from the start upon next listen. Simple as that seems, there is more to it than meets the eye or spirit. I cannot break this down into favorite tracks, I find that impossible to do with music like this. Although it is six tracks, it is one story, one journey for you in the music; just hit play. Each one is a space in time and long enough to hold you to explore different textures, tones, ambiances and colors. This demands your focus because there is no one pulling you away with vocals and words to ponder upon. 

Breathe deep, relax and take the magic carpet ride of percussion and its heartbeat to your own special place with Inner Rhythm Meditations. You will get there, be patient and listen, it does work.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Tracks:
1. Garden of the Peaceful Warrior
2. As Clouds Dance
3. Patterns of Awarenes
4. A Perfect Place
5. The Awakened Heart
6. Presence of Longing
 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 16, 2016

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


December 11, 2016

Contemporary/New Age/ Instrumental-Jazz Review: Shambhu-Soothe

Release Date: February 1, 2017
Label: Acoustic Shine

Shambhu has a new recording arriving on the first day of 2017 titled Soothe.  For this listener, I think it is a great way to kick off the beginning of another day of life that quickly turns into another in the books.

Soothe most certainly lives up to the title. Shambhu takes parts of jazz, new age and contemporary music and stirs the pot until it is simmering with the most wonderful aroma. He creates a mood of calm that is initiated then sustained throughout the recording.

Soothe features many instruments including electric and acoustic guitars, acoustic primarily, percussion, English horn and soprano sax, keyboards, the incredibly talented Michael Manring on bass and a host of other very talented contributors that make this album everything it could possibly be.

The more I listen to a fully realized recording like this it makes me think that mentioning some key tracks is the wrong road to take. Looking at this album as one continuous thought flow and creative process is the best way to enjoy it. If you are writing a review or just kicking back for a listen, I feel it needs to be processed as such (but as I do most of the time will mention a few “key” tracks).

The acoustic guitar is the focus on Soothe then everything else that joins in just lifts that instrument to new levels and that includes some lovely vocals provided by Kristin Hoffmann.  “Gaia Sweet Divine” is a blend of new age or spiritually oriented music wrapped as a special gift for those who are centered and connected with some higher power other than themselves. If you want to hear something that aligns your soul (or chakras which is one in the same in my world) with the heavens above this track would be it. 

The title track brings the recording to an apex of satisfaction with more positive energy that flows like a river through your ears to your inner being with ease and purpose. The entire recording felt that way to me. 

The jazz elements are very important to the fabric that weaves the cloth of this album together. It is like the quiet storm meets its spiritual brother and they merge and explode into a burst of light and energy and take you away. It is the ideal way to let music consume you and Soothe you.

5/5 Angels for the Holidays and Your New Year!

Key Tracks: Gaia Sweet Divine, Soothe

Tracks: 
1. Knowingness
2. Time Travel   
3. Days Like Falling Stars
4. Devotion Tears
5. Prelude 2   
6. Through New Eyes
7. Gaia Sweet Divine 05:08   
8. Soothe   
9. Walking Through a Dream

 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 11, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

November 28, 2016

New Age/World Review: Micki Free-The Native American Flute as Therapy

Release Date: October 28, 2016
Label: Mysterium Music
Music created by those who have mastered the Native American Flute are in command of something very special. The Native American Flute as Therapy by Micki Free is clear about what you are getting right from the start. This is a guided meditation by the artist Micki Free with the sounds of the flute, running streams, and a guide to another state of consciousness, including a short explanation of each track telling exactly what certain elements can accomplish.

For instance, the track “Lavender Kiss,” goes through a short dissertation on the uses of Lavender and what it can treat, depression and anxiousness to mention a few. I found the entire presentation as one of the most original and different I have had the pleasure to enjoy and experience. “Lavender Kiss” is not a typical track however; the flute is consistently soothing and leading the way, while the other instrumentation is an acoustic guitar and organ. It is like modern rock interspersed with the flute. Two worlds intersect nicely to allow a crossover audience to consider listening.  I personally appreciated the track quite a bit. The title track serves as one of the keys to unlocking the gifts in this music as well.

Based on my past experiences listening to any new age or world music, I would have to say that this unique. That is not a word I use lightly or very often when discussing music that I listen to. I thought the sound of running water was a bonus to the sounds of the flute. That is one sound that always soothes us. It is from where we came and eventually return. Your spirit will connect with this music quite quickly if you allow it to happen. For me, it was a natural transition.

I listen to a lot of music every year in the new age and world genre and The Native American Flute as Therapy by Micki Free will be an experience you will not forget and certainly will have a reason to revisit.

The package comes with 2 CDs, a video DVD, an extensive behind-the-scenes booklet, and a generous helping of music and meditations.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Lavender Kiss, The Native American Flute As Therapy

Tracks:
 01. White Candle Light
02. The Healing Bath
03. Lavender Kiss
04. The Native American Flute As Therapy
05. Positive Energy
06. Feet & Toes
07. Essential Oils
08. Jasmine Rain
09. Sacred Sage
10. Heart Release (Peregrine Lane)
11. Down By The River
12. BONUS MIX: Heartbeat Meditation Yoga Mix
 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
November 28, 2016
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews