June 17, 2016

New Age Fusion Review: Monica Logani-Secret Garden

Release Date: April 22, 2016
Label: Independent

Monica Logani began her journey into music as a seven year old child. Off and on over the years her wanderings continued, but the music bug bit hard when a friend gave her an abandoned Weber piano. From there she went on to study and Secret Garden is the compilation of her five year journey. At times New Age, rock, world music and classical, this album reaches across genre borders and creates an emotive journey that speaks of a mother's love for her children, day to day experiences and the people that have made a difference in her life. The album was mastered by the Grammy award winning Corin Nelson.

"The Gardener" is the first track on the album and is a bittersweet glimpse into the life of a man dear to Logani's heart. Her personal gardener was a man who loved his craft and the flowers he tended. Each whimsical note depicts both beauty and sadness. With edges of rock and classical strains, we can envision a brightly colored garden, rich with life and love. When the gardener passed away, it left a hole in the artist's life but gone is not forgotten if you keep the person alive in your heart. Flowers bloom and life goes on. In each delicate note beauty unfolds.

"Bali Bells" begins with a piano movement and blends with electronic elements of Indonesian and Indian origin with classical influences. Fluid and organic the three genres blend together to create a seamless composition of life, love and happiness. Children dancing in a brightly colored garden, the happy smiles bringing life and love even during the bumpy times, family are where the heart is.

"Between Two Worlds" has a world music sound that captured my attention immediately. The sitar morphs into a tender piano sequence that speaks of introspection. Caught between two forces, Western and Eastern or perhaps two lovers, the conflict and bursts of hope are effervescent in every note. The moody nature of the piece calls to me as a writer and I can't help but listen to it over and over again.

Monica Logani's debut album Secret Garden is a shining example of the fusion of many different styles of music. They are blended together to craft a sound all her own that is both emotive and uplifting. New Age, rock, world music and classical all blend together for a sound that any connoisseur of music will appreciate. Logani is going on my watch list and I expect to see even more great things in the years to come.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Gardener, Bali Bells, Between Two Worlds

Tracks:

01. The Gardener
02. Anthem
03. Autumn Sky
04. Amber Rust
05. Starboard
06. Carousel
07. Butterfly
08. Bali Bells
09. Nonlinear Love
10. Second Hand
11. Journey's End
12. Between Two Worlds


 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
June 17, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

June 14, 2016

Instrumental World-New Age Review: Ann Licater-Beyond The Waves

Release Date: April 8, 2016
Label: Cul De Sac Mystic Productions

Ann Licater is an award-winning recording artist, world flutist, producer and composer who has released four albums prior to her latest effort Beyond The Waves. She features wood, clay and silver flutes in her music, and has also created and facilitates “Flute for the Soul” workshops, where she plays Native American and world flutes as tools for personal discovery. What you get is flute for the soul, and food for the soul all in one package.

The flute is a mystical instrument in many cultures. The sound is beautiful and alluring. It connects you to a spiritual place; one that is weaved into mother earth. I found Ann to be an exceptional flautist and the mixture of other instruments in the tracks give it a more worldly sound with a definite new age touch of class that makes it so appealing to the mind, body and spirit.

From “Rhythm of the Stars” to “Ocean Lullaby” one track seamlessly flows into the next. Guitars, pianos, tinkling bells, vocalizations and more add to the overall ambiance and musical culture delivered to your ears by a collection of extraordinary artists. At times it felt like I was walking on a path to the ancient Mayan temples, mesmerized by the beautiful sound and letting it lead me there. Great music enables you to envision many things and while listening to this recording it was an easy transition to see what my spirit wanted me to see.

Every track is a gorgeous symphony of earthy tones and spirituality. It all serves a higher purpose if you allow the music to sweep you away into another dimension. I found it quite easy and natural to do so and it was a matter of a few seconds before I was immersed in all of the wonderful sound and atmosphere. Normally, I focus on at least three tracks to give folks a good taste of what to expect however I think my previous words puts it all into proper perspective. 

This is a masterful recording of varied forms and textures of flute music. Beyond The Waves is must have if you are looking to meditate, relax or need to go on a journey of self-discovery to find an answer that lies within. This music is your passport there and one that never expires.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL
 
Tracks:
01. Rhythm of the Stars
02. Halcyon Morning
03. Blossoms Falling
04. Beyond the Waves
05. Island Garden
06. Sailing on Moonlight
07. Sunrise Blessing
08. Dreaming in Time
09. Echoes in the Mist
10. Shimmering Waters
11. Ocean Lullaby  

       
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder of:
June 14, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

June 7, 2016

New Age Instrumental Review: Lynn Tredeau-A New Dream

Release Date: April 15, 2016
Label: Independent

Lynn Tredeau began her love affair with music at the young age of six when her parents got her her first piano. By the age of sixteen she was a master of Classical music. A New Dream is her third album and showcases thirteen original solo piano compositions that give you an up close and personal window into the soul of the artist. Each song is performed with a depth of emotion both evocative and illuminating.

"The Deepest Part of the Lake" begins in an almost hesitant and reverent way as if the listener were looking out over the water and reflecting on the dark fathoms below. Tender and reminiscent of times long past, the piece makes me wonder at the memories invoked. A long ago fishing trip with a loved one? A treasured boat ride or perhaps just a quiet interlude on the side of a lake watching fireworks burst across the darkness of a summer sky. Each keystroke tugs on emotions and the human element within.

"Lunch with Vincent" is an enjoyable piece that makes me at once think of Vincent Anthony "Vince" Guaraldi, the composer of the Peanuts musical scores. Playful and frolicking, the piece could also very well be an audible visit to an art museum on a lunch break to visit the thought provoking art work of Vincent Van Gogh. Either way, the solo piano in this piece is captivating and speaks of creativity of the arts no matter the Vincent in question.

The last song on the album is "Shadow of Your Absence." This piece resonated with me particularly, echoing the loss of a loved one. Tender and careful, each note touches on the more delicate aspects of our suffering. The love, the loss and yes, even the laughter. We are fragile beings, but we do leave behind a pebble in the great ocean of life. It ripples out with our actions and when we love, the currents go on forever. 

Lynn Tredeau is an award winning artist and her third album has put her on my watch list. This blend of Classical and New Age music is seamlessly done from playful pixies to somber melodies of love and loss. The art of sharing emotion through music has to be one of this artist's greatest talents and I look forward with great longing to her next project.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: The Deepest Part of the Lake, Lunch with Vincent, Shadow of Your Absence
 
Tracks:

01. Awaken
02. Deepest Part of the Lake
03. Living in a Dream
04. Courageous
05. Lunch with Vincent
06. Pixie Dance
07. Winter Thaw
08. Seasons Change
09. Land of Enchantas
10. A Quiet Memory
11. Ocean of Tears
12. Innocence
13. Shadow of Your Absence


 
DanaWright, Sr. Staff Writer
June 7, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

May 19, 2016

New Age Review: Seay-In The Garden

Release Date: June 1, 2016
Label: Tuscan Sun Music

Seay (pronounced say) brings her love for music and the environment to the recording studio with In The Garden. With her voice and a host of talent contributing to the effort such as Wouter Kellerman, Rickey Kej, Jerry Watts and several others, this is a lush tribute to our planet.

Earthy tones and sounds dominate as Seay adds her deeply expressive vocals. The mix of earthy drums with keys and strings make for the fullest expression that one can imagine. The very first track sets the precedence and message right away with “Beautiful Earth.” While most of the music I have the opportunity to review is instrumental, and I have a preference for that actually, this recording made me forget about that and I fell right into it with joy. The one thing that made it easier for me is what the premise of the album is. This is about mother earth all the beauty and miracles she gives us every day. And most importantly how sacred the earth is and how we should cherish and protect our life giving planet.

“Oceanus” is reminder of from whence we came. We are bodies made of 75% water and all life begins in the ocean. The sounds of ocean life is present and the music is layered with keyboards and delicate sounds of stringed instruments then textured to perfection with Seay’s fertile vocals. The tide is strong while voice and music combine to pull you into another world far below the land where you live. A new appreciation can be found envisioning this journey and yet another reminder of how important it is to keep our oceans clean and teaming with life so that we may continue to live in sync with the incoming and outgoing tides of the powerful bodies of water that surround our lands. The end of the track Seay says “Thank you Ocean,” and you can hear the sound of whales speaking to each other. It is thing of beauty that you will not forget.
Many new age artists are using the vehicle of music to make a strong statement in support of the environment. It is the most impactful and touching way to deliver a message and more likely than not people will listen. It encompasses not only a message but music that attracts the mind, body and spirit in the most delightful way. Our planet and all life are sacred.

“We Are One” most definitively puts everything in the right place. The idea of all life as an integral part of mother earth is a fact and we must respect that. One beating heart and rhythm that works together, it is the daily miracle that we take for granted and music such as this brings that thought into proper light and importance. We are indeed one entity living together bound to each other for our very existence.

I did not know what to expect with this music but had a very nice introduction to the artist. She was kind, thoughtful and so respectful of my position in life. I am sure that Seay would be a pleasure to meet and discuss her music and the environment. How it all ties together would be different for each individual but we all cannot deny the common denominator, life and the earth fit together like a hand in glove.

In The Garden is a triumph for the artist and being alive on this great planet. The message is clear, concise, and delivered with so much elegance and distinction that you simply cannot ignore it.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Beautiful Earth, Oceanus, We Are One

Tracks:
01. Beautiful Earth
02. Dream
03. Oceanus
04. In the Garden
05. We Are One
06. Hearts Afire
07. Anima Mundi
08. The Golden Spiral
09. I Will Love You Still
10. Seraphim (Breath of the Angels)
11. Full Moon Sonata
12. Into the Blue (Oceanus Reprise)


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Founder of:
May 19, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


May 16, 2016

New Age Instrumental Review: Alexi Musnitsky-Zia

Release Date: December 14, 2015
Label: Independent

Alexi Musnitsky has been playing piano since he was four years old. His album Zia is his debut released last December. The seven tracks offered on this recording are simple and beautiful compositions, a total exertion of passion and grace.

Solo piano can be relaxing and tranquil and Alexi embraces that atmosphere and flow with each track. “Sparkling Heart” is a perfect example of that flow and heartbeat of the music emanating from his fingers to the ivory keys.

The everyday complexities of life just roll of your back and fade away listening to these tracks. Each one effortlessly follows the next leading you down the path of tranquility. Music like this is a spiritual experience for me. It is easy for me to forget the worries and stresses of life once this kind of music begins. There is one thing to focus on, the piano and how it speaks to you, pulling you out of any inner and external turmoil you may be experiencing into the bliss; it is as simple as that.

Although there are only seven tracks, they embody an artist at work. His heart and soul is pouring into this. Also there is not one track under 4 minutes, in fact the final track “Dream Catcher,” clocks in at 7:08. So there is more than enough to take into consideration within the seven tracks on this album.

This definitely can be “The Quest,” as the track introduces those thoughts and feelings. The delights of some nice instrumental music are yours if you so choose. It is a blend of contemporary, classical and new age wrapped nicely into one package. That may sound a bit complicated but it is everything but that.
The music of Zia will touch your soul and warm your heart. Let your ears listen and your spirit unfold, the music will lead the way. It most certainly worked that way for me while taking this in.

Alexi Musnitsky is an extremely talented solo pianist with a bright future ahead. I look forward to hearing his next release.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Sparkling Heart, The Quest

Tracks: 
1. Zia
2. War of Love (feat. Eugene Friesen)
3. Sparkling Heart
4. The Quest (feat. Eugene Friesen)
5. Light Will Lead the Way (feat. Eugene Friesen)
6. Mile of Life (feat. Eugene Friesen)
7. Dream Catcher (feat. Eugene Friesen)

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
May 16, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

May 12, 2016

New Age/Meditation Review: Silvia Nakkach- Liminal

Release Date: March 25, 2016
Label: Vox Mundi Records
Grammy nominated artist Silvia Nakkach has been delighting audiences with her unique blend of soul healing music for more than 30 years. A skilled composer, teacher, author, instrumentalist, performer and vocalist, she is renowned all over the world for her ability to twist many genres and make them her own, giving them a unique twist. Liminal, her fourteenth album is just that. Splashes of color on the canvas of human emotion, this album draws its breath from classical, New Age, Indian Ragas (Hindustani music) and World Music spinning magic with each well-defined track. Credits for this album include Todd Boston (producer), David Darling (cello), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn), Val Serrant (percussion, voice) and of course, the extremely talented Silvia Nakkach.

If I tried to pick a word to define this album it would have to be masterful. Each track, from the first to the last has its own unique flavor and story to tell. The vastness of space in all of its forms seems to be a theme in Liminal, but one that is handled very well. How does one perform the intricacy of a ray of light or a dust mote? You listen to this album and Nakkach will show you. Every note. Every harmony.

The first piece, "Liminal Clouds" is an auditory journey through the reaches of time and space. Close your eyes and feel the electronica whispers as they blend with the mounting tension of voice and the multi-layered instrumentation. Ambient music, sacred chanting and a blur of sound flows over you as the vast echoes of time and space drift in a journey that never ends.

"Liminal Glow" is a spell that weaves over you. Whispery voices chant and coax you to the edge of your seat and ambient waves and the sounds of bells and birds float through the air. Percussive elements add to the tension. Just a glimpse for the listener into the wild unknown with promises of enchantment bursting from tender moments of sound and substance. This track is one of my favorite ones on the album. Colors whirl and electric energy fans out around you with sacred fire and glittery moments of secret dreams held tight in your hand. Never let it go.

"Liminal Moon" is the final track on the album. Whispered voices and the gorgeous sound of the flugelhorn pervade the sacred spaces of this amazing composition. The moon gazes down on the workings of the world, ever watching. Staid and solid in a world on fire. Humanity drifts like the currents beneath the all-knowing luminous presence. I didn't want it to end.

Silvia Nakkach is a Grammy nominee and it is easy to see why. Her compositions shoot straight to the heart of the human condition, bringing Eastern and Western sound and multiple genres to spin and weave the pattern the Fates have created for us all. There is an elemental beauty in each well-honed composition. Each contributing artist has proven their merit by this exquisite work. I highly recommend it.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Luminal Clouds, Liminal Glow, Liminal Moon

Tracks:
 

1.Liminal Clouds 05:20   
2.Liminal Beauty 08:46
3.Liminal Motion 06:16
4.Liminal Space 06:52   
5.Liminal Light 05:50   
6.Liminal Rays 03:11   
7.Liminal Glow 05:45   
8.Liminal Dream 06:11   
9.Liminal Moon 05:10

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
May 9, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



May 2, 2016

New Age Instrumental Review: Ann Sweeten-Where Butterflies Dance

Release Date: June 3, 2016
Label: Orange Band Records

Where Butterflies Dance is Ann Sweeten’s twelfth album. The title is such a great fit for the music presented on this album. If you listen to her hands glide across the keyboard it is not hard to envision butterflies flitting about.

If you take the time to read the inner sleeve notes of this CD you will find that this music is dedicated to the butterflies, specifically the Monarch Butterflies. They are on the brink of extinction because of pesticides destroying the milkweed plants which are their source of food and reproduction. After reading all of that information it certainly puts a different spin on the music you are about to hear.

Creating a vision through music without words surely is a process and more difficult than one could imagine, particularly those of us that are not actually recording the music, just listening. We have the easy job.
I make no mistake about letting people know how much I admire and appreciate instrumental music. The more I listen to it the more I understand how amazing it is. It is not unlike an artist taking a blank canvas and painting a striking picture to be admired by everyone that has the pleasure to see it.

Ms. Sweeten takes you on a journey through 10 tracks focused on her love of the environment and the creatures that inhabit it. Her staunch support and respect for those two factors are the driving force of the music that she creates.

Ann’s piano playing is gorgeous throughout this album, that is the best way to explain it. There is a flow and natural rhythm like what mother earth so generously gives us all. A heartbeat of life that pulsates, ebbs and flows like the tides of the sea, the music will capture you as you fall into it without even knowing it. That kind of experience is indeed magical like all of the miracles of life around us. Most importantly it is a reminder that we need to respect all life and not let corporate greed extinguish it for their profit. 

Each track follows the next in natural progression. One track is not more important than another because they become intrinsically linked like it was meant to be. For that specific reason I need to acknowledge the entire album as one entity not just a few significant tracks, I want to bring attention to it all. 

If you enjoy instrumental music and most particularly piano based tracks, you will love Where Butterflies Dance. It can be enjoyed by just sitting back and listening, meditation, focusing or just decompressing at the end of the day. For those of you that happen to have a stressful commute to and from your place of employment this music would be a great tool to avert the stress associated with that travel.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

Tracks: 
01. A Trace of You
02. Broken Wing at North Light
03. Elysian Fields
04. Love Among the Ruins
05. Veil of Tears
06. Morning Mist at Chimayo
07. Sateo
08.The Hanging Road
09. Where Butterflies Dance
10. Migration

 
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
May 2, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews