January 20, 2018

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018
Label: Anaya Music

Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.

Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.

Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest
ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.

I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting musical imprint left on your being.

If instrumental classical music with a definitive new age influence is something you desire, then your ship has come in. You just need to get ready to sail away with it. The combination of all the fine orchestra musicians with electronic sounds and synthesizers blended for textures, colors and moods is excellent. It is all very soothing and natural in relation to stimulus I respond to (and hopefully the perspective listeners). Whether it is emotional or aural senses, this music can and will move you in some way. 

Anaya is like a female Yanni of sorts.  I can imagine this woman on stage surrounded by an orchestra and several keyboards to present her musical talents. Based on the information I have gleaned, Anaya is a very spiritually driven individual that desires to bring love and positive vibrations through her music. By all accounts she has been a great success. I certainly have felt blessed to have the opportunity to hear this music before it is released and then give some input as to what my experiences have been.

This project is a great success in my assessment in regards to quality, emotion and focus. I found all three of those qualities abundant on this release. So, Anaya Music gets an A+ (or 5/5 stars) for this excellent effort. It is pleasure to be a part of the growth and continual expressions of musical artists year after year. I look at it as another gift from a very talented individual.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 20, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
1. Laman Song
2. Breath
3. Gate
4. Over the Clouds
5. Because of you
6. Aonki Mov I
7. Aonki Mov II
8. Exstase II
9. Just for you
10. A Path to the Infinite 

January 17, 2018

Ambient Instrumental Review: Nathan Speir-Romantic Electrons

Release Date: January 11, 2018
Label: Neptic Music

If you have not heard of Nathan Speir by now it is time to listen. The creative wizard just released his 10th solo release titled Romantic Electrons.

As advertised on the artist website, Romantic Electrons is filled with some ambient, chill and downbeat sounds. These tracks are interesting and entertaining at the same time. It does require a lot of creativity for one person to put together music like this and I can appreciate the time and effort that goes into it. The fact that I have always been intrigued by synthesizers and computer-generated sounds and those textures and vibes did not hurt my attitude giving this disc a spin. It opened the door to my mind and feelings. I could not ask for more.

On the inner sleeve of the CD cover Speir asks the question “Why do metaphors exist?”

met·a·phor 

Synonyms: figure of speech · image · trope · analogy · comparison · symbol · word painting/picture

Definition: A thing regarded as representative or symbolic of something else, especially something abstract.

So, is this music symbolic of electrons that are bent and twisted and turned to create the sounds of music that you are hearing, or is there romance involved with these electrons? I think for my own interpretation it would be the artist romancing those electrons to do what he wishes; thus, you have 11 tracks of some very atmospheric and intriguing sounds to hear. 

You can ask yourself all these questions after the one question the artist poses or just listen and enjoy, not thinking about anything. Once again, for my pleasure I like to do both. I asked myself that question, why do we need metaphors and why can’t we just accept what is and not try and put labels on anything? This can apply to anything and everything that is abstract, but again are these electronic sounds abstract or devoid of anything you can touch, feel, or get an emotional response from? The CD is an inanimate object until it starts spinning (and it comes to life) and you can hold in your hand. You cannot do that with sound, you process it the way you see fit, cerebrally and or emotionally. I am not trying to provide a thesis here, I am merely reacting to the question asked. It really made me think!

In the end, what we have here is some very cool music that can be listened at any time day or night. It does have moods, textures and colors. I cannot ever deny that vibrations which come from any kind of music have an effect on me, positive or negative. In this instance Romantic Electrons was a positive experience for my senses and it made me look at the whole picture. This is something I endeavor to do with all the music I hear. Each individual listener has the freedom to do with it what they desire, which makes it all more enticing to explore!

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikManHannaleck
Jan 17, 18, 7:06
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

01. Charged on the Drizzle
02. Analog Transit
03. Admittance
04. Waveguide
05. Floating Ground
06. Late Blossom
07. Lost Proton
08. Propagation
09. Relaxation Oscillation
10. S.I.P.
11. Telegraphy

 

January 14, 2018

Contemporary Instrumental/Classical Review: Vicente Avella-Rising

Release Date: April 4, 2018
Label: Pandora’s Boombox Records

There are two facts about music that I am absolutely sure about. Without classical music there would be no other genres and all rock music is blues based (good music). 

So, for several years now I have been listening to all sorts of instrumental music with a new age and classical flavor. This exposure has given me a much stronger appreciation of classical music. I have always enjoyed new age back to the days when Will Ackerman’s Windham Hill label was breaking new artists.

So far, this year has been amazing. I have heard several brilliant releases already and those that are very emotionally moving and cinematic. That is where the upcoming Vicente Avella release Rising falls.

Piano is the main instrument that everything builds on. Vicente is very focused and precise with his presentation. The piano leads beautifully in every track. The tracks that have a real impact are several however I believe the title track and “Relentless” befit their titles. That is the most interesting element of instrumental like this, it does not lull you to sleep, it invigorates you, helps you to center and reflect. It is like you are the canvas and the music will then transform into the artist that paints your portrait. It is designed for each individual listener. I realize this is a point I have made several times in my reviews but I feel it so strongly. Especially when I feel so energized and inspired by the music I hear and Rising is no exception to this rule.

This is an extremely prolific release that should garner a lot of attention in the entertainment community. It seems as though the film industry has a lot of great music they can contract to use in their productions and Rising would be a superb choice.

For Vicente Avella Rising is a marvelous accomplishment and he should be very proud to release it. It is a shame there is such a wait for its debut in April. Just keep in mind that time really does fly by if you have a busy life, then before you know it Rising will be in your hands.

There is not one thing I would change about this recording so I cannot see how it could possibly be any better. Musical perfection is difficult to attain but I would have to say this is as close to perfection as it gets from a musical standpoint. Make sure you do not pass up this recording if you enjoy instrumental music with a contemporary classical new age flair and excitement.

5/5 Stars


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 14, 2018
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Yours
02. For Always
03. Rising
04. Daybreak
05. Relentless
06. Everything
07. I’m OK
08. Turning Point
09. Looking Up At The Sky
10. Beyond
11. Turning Off The Noise



January 10, 2018

New Age/Contemporary Instrumental Review: Terry Lee Nichols and Rebekah Eden-We Have Only Come To Dream

Release Date: January 1, 2018
Label: Soundscape Productions

We Have Only Come To Dream is a stunning release from Terry Lee Nichols and Rebekah Eden. The collaboration is literally a match made in heaven. Once you hear this recording you will think you just arrived at the pearly gates. The premise of the album is not about the heavens above but how we have come to treasure the land below.

This cinematic journey is a tribute to our National Parks in the U.S. and the early explorers of the Americas. The music contained here is the most colorful and moving journey one listener could experience in one sitting. The orchestration, sounds of nature like water in stream, birds singing and horses and wagons moving along a trail, are all part of this presentation. You even hear the sounds of the piano from an early Western saloon and a patron asking for a “stiff one.” 

The poetry of Phillip Spevak is included in the informative and entertaining CD booklet. This gives the music more life and a feeling of the times that are emulated in each song. This is all top of the line instrumental music just perfect for the big screen. I can think of some of the Western films I watched with my father as a child and the music that would accompany it. Those sweet carefree memories were relived in this music. My love of nature and the need to protect it also was enhanced by listening.

We Have Only Come To Dream is the complete package - history, a storyline, and the most lush and gorgeous music you could possibly imagine. From the opener “Phantasmagorical Voyage,” which is so powerful and picturesque, to the relaxing tempo changing curtain closer “Canyon Sunset,” this a very impressive release.  

We Have Only Come To Dream is destined to receive awards this year for the music and production values that are A+ from start to finish. And what a way to kick off the new year for Terry and Rebekah, they could not have been more concise and impactful than this amazing group of tracks. I would expect this recording to be considered into the Library of Congress or the Smithsonian Institute at some point, and hopefully as soon as possible as it deserves inclusion into one of our American Institutions.

If there is one album to make sure you get this year it is We Have Only Come To Dream. Anyone that enjoys instrumental music that immerses you in a soundscape and the atmospheres of days long past, this is the recording to listen to!

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 10, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

January 6, 2018

New Age Instrumental Review: Neil Tatar-After The Rain

Release Date: January 19, 2018
Label: Independent

After The Rain is the upcoming release of Neil Tatar. And it comes as advertised on the cover-it is Peaceful, Reflective Instrumental Music.

What does a person do After The Rain? I am not sure but I know what I do during the rain, I watch it and appreciate it. It is the sustenance of life. The title of this recording can mean many things. In life situations for instance, After The Rain comes a little sunshine? Whatever your interpretation is it can fit to this music.

After The Rain features Neil sharing his equal talents on both guitar and piano, and the usual procession of stars in Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Roads Studios. Tony Levin (NS & Electric Bass), Jeff Oster (Flugelhorn), Jill Haley (English Horn) and Tom Eaton (Piano and Keyboards), who also mixes and masters the recordings at the studio, are some of the talented artists that are present to make this recording a work of art. I have had the distinct pleasure of covering all of the solo works of every one of those folks as well. It is a treasured gift and I feel honored to do so.

After, before, or during the rain, it is all a natural force of nature, and whether it is the climate or life situations, this music can put everything into perspective for the listener. The 10 tracks that are offered on this recording are as tranquil as the water that appears on the cover of the CD. It immediately sets your mind and soul at ease. Water is from whence we and all living things came. We need to cherish it, respect it and protect it.

Perhaps it is no coincidence that Neil Tatar is a longtime student of Tai Chi, for the songs – while varying in style - feel instilled with meaningfulness. Many thoughts came to mind for me while listening to After The Rain. It always feels right for me to share my thoughts on the music I am hearing. It moves me in the most prolific ways, and I know I am listening for a reason. The talent that comes together on this album is incredible, and the end result is an album you will want to hear frequently for the many values it holds and the lessons it can teach you. All you have to do is listen, then the heart and mind will follow in step to make it all come together. At least that is how it works for me and I hope it does the same for you. 

This is fantastic music, it is like the masterpiece painting that you have been looking for. One listen of After The Rain will bring that expectation to life.

5/5 Stars


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

January 6, 2018


Founder of:









Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 
01. Gentle Steps
02. Sunsets
03. Reflections
04. When I Was Young
05. Rush Pond
06. Nightwalk
07. Freedom
08. Welcome Home
09. After the Rain
10. Sidewalk Jam
 

January 3, 2018

New Age Meditation Review: Michael Brant Demaria-AMA

Release Date: January 1, 2018
Label: Ontos Music

People ring in the new year in different ways all over the world. With the arrival of the first day of 2018 Michael Brant Demaria is releasing AMA. This is universal music for the masses to start the year off right. Where I sit on this day in the frigid Northeast, we are experiencing subzero temperatures. I am not letting the physical part of my existence dampen my spirits or resolve. I prefer to let the music take me away and give me a different perspective.

AMA is a beautifully mixed collaboration of sound, textures and spirituality.

Michael spent three years with his mother while she was fighting cancer. As with many, it took her away and she passed into the next realm of existence. There are many beliefs and interpretations of what that new existence could be.  The one we know for sure in this journey is that music can be used for many different things. For the artist in this instance, what he recreated for the listener is his interpretation of the time he spent with his Mother prior to her passing.
All the sounds that come together on AMA include indigenous percussion and flutes along with piano and many other atmospheric layers to enhance the core instrument being used.   

I found AMA a very relaxing and reflective journey. This is a wonderful tribute to Michael’s mother Jacqueline. Through his music I am sure his Mother’s journey was very special. He was able to give her some comfort and send her on the next journey into the realm of the spirit.  For this fortunate artist, a unique and unforgettable experience allowed him to keep her spirit and memory alive for the days he has left on this earth - all through the tracks presented on this recording.

Music is clearly a tool to help all the beings on our plane to traverse different layers of existence in spirit and physical dimensions. The essence of the music on AMA speaks well to that. The artistry and contributions made by Michael over the years are precious and for this listener, it initiates peace and gratitude for life and my surroundings. Through another’s discomfort, pain and or acceptance, something beautiful and eternal is created, another life and music that heals. There is so much more here besides a casual and relaxed listen, this is about life and death and being reborn. It is about the cycles we all go through as we get older. And more specifically, about becoming ready to come to terms with another life that lies ahead. AMA brings the light of hope and the promise of a new day.

5/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 3, 2018
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Ama
02. Night Voyage
03. Stella Maris
04. Lost
05. Beyond The Veil
06. Between The Worlds
07. Mysteria
08. Renascence
09. Shimmering Light

10. Arrival

December 23, 2017

New Age Instrumental Review: Matt Marshak – Year’s End

Review by Val Vaccaro for Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck 
http://www.newagemusicreviews.net/

Release Date: December 12, 2016
Independent Label:  Nuance Music Group
Website

If you find yourself waxing sentimental and in self-reflection at the end of the year, and seek solace in the comfort of soothing music, you’re not the only one.

Matt Marshak’s Year’s End CD is a solo acoustic guitar New Age album with 14 new original songs inspired by his philosophical perspective on life and the change of seasons.  Marshak’s Year’s End CD offers beautiful, relaxing, instrumental acoustic guitar melodies with the healing power to lift your spirits at any time of year - to provide refuge from a hectic holiday season, or simple solace from the busy demands and ordeals of everyday life.

As proof of the restorative nature of Marshak’s Year’s End music, it has recently been licensed to Healing Healthcare Systems’ C.A.R.E. music channel to hospitals across America for relaxation, healing, and recovery of patients and their families and to provide a pleasant atmosphere for hospital staff.   That is a good example of ‘music therapy’ for the mind, body and soul.  Marshak’s Year’s End CD is also on the Top 100 Radio Airplay chart for Zonemusicreporter.com (formerly NewAgeReporter.com).

During a recent snowy winter evening in the New York, Marshak said (on his Facebook “Live” video to friends and fans from around world), “This time of year I get sentimental, more introspective. There’s something about the wintry weather and (playing) acoustic guitar that makes me more creative…the writing process often starts for me on the acoustic guitar.”

According to Marshak, “the introspective music on Year’s End is a big contrast from what I’ve done (before).”  Marshak’s Year’s End CD can appeal to both New Age listeners, and to smooth jazz fans alike.   Since 2003, Matt Marshak has recorded 9 smooth jazz instrumental CDs, with his music topping Billboard and other jazz charts. Marshak performs at jazz venues and music festivals in the U.S. and around the world.

On the Year’s End album, Matt Marshak skillfully plays two acoustic guitars- a Larrivee Parlor P-05 guitar and a Taylor S12 grand concert guitar - sometimes sounding like an Indian sitar.  Marshak draws upon numerous sources of inspiration for this CD. The pretty instrumental melodies on Marshak’sYear’s End CD are easy-to-listen-to tunes featuring an eclectic mix of influences from new age, pop, country, jazz, folk, medieval, and classical music, reminiscent (without the vocals) of the genre-bending music of Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, acoustic guitar riffs from Led Zeppelin, the warm sounds of James Taylor, and a variety of movie soundtracks.  Marshak recently said after playing his “Thanksgiving Day” song that: “I’ve always been a big fan of James Taylor… he was a big influence on me… his chords, his movements (on songs) like “Carolina on My Mind.”

The music on Matt Marshak’s Year’s End album also has some melodic elements similar to other New Age music such as Jim Brickman’s Sooth CDs, but without vocals, nature sounds, or a typical new age production.  The acoustic guitar songs on Marshak’s Year’s End CD are self-sufficient – they are aural soundscapes which paint their own poetic pictures.

Listeners may also want to check out videos of songs from Year’s End on YouTube. For example, there is a video is of Matt Marshak’s “Baby’s First Snowfall” with some nice photos posted by The SmoothJazzLoft. Another video features Matt Marshak playing acoustic guitar on the song “Rest My Child” - Matt Marshak (Live).

Overall, Marshak’s Year’s End CD can gracefully bring the gift of calm, with its aural soundscapes to enhance your life for any time of year.  Matt Marshak’s Year’s End CD is available on various websites including CDBaby.com.

5/5 Stars

CD Review by Val Vaccaro

December 17, 2017

 

Tracks:
01. Peace and Joy
02. Thanksgiving Day        

03. Walk in the Forest        
04. Great People       
05. Winter's Day        
06. The Light of Spring     
07. Leave Your Worries       
08. Deep Within     
09. Rest My Child       
10. This Old Barn        
11. Echo       
12. Harvest Song    
 14. Baby's First Snowfall