Release Date: October 14, 2022
Label: TimeArt Productions
Darlene Koldenhoven’s instrumental new-age world release Traveling the Blissful Highway, will be another significant achievement to add to her impressive catalog of releases.
There are several instruments utilized to create the tracks. Darlene is the producer, engineer, composer, and instrumental-vocal arranger. She played keyboards, provided background vocalese and spoken word, added quartz singing bowls, rainstick, shaker, and native drum, and did all the synth programming. It would take a considerable amount of space to list all the rest of the instruments provided by contributors' names that may be familiar to you in the genre, including Charlie Bisharat, Ron Korb, and Joanne Lazzaro to name a few. There are many more as well. I cannot understate the importance of collaboration with so many different instruments coming together in the tracks. Steve Shepherd provided the mixing and mastering, and his work shines from beginning to end.
It is some of the most relaxing and dreamy music you will have the pleasure of enjoying. The first single of the album, "Cheerful Mohana," sets the tone and atmosphere perfectly. The Mohana (Urdu: موہانہ), sometimes referred to as Mohanoمهانو, are Sindhi Mohana tribes called Mohano Mallah Mirbahar Mirani in the province of Punjab.
I liked the play on the words "Dot Calm," it is a great way to take something that can be stressful or frustrating when things are not working right and flip it to the positive. The internet or dot.com space is a wonderful tool for millions of people. It takes that word and changes everything you think about cyberspace. That is the point here, I believe.
Even the title suggests a change of thought patterns when referring to the highway. The morning or evening commute can be a nightmare. The artwork would mean something entirely different with a view of beauty and colors. That kind of scenery is possible; however, I think you would get the idea here for those looking for another "road." Life can be bumpy and full of unforeseen potholes. This road is in your mind by following the music's power of suggestion. Music so peaceful and a slice of heaven has a way of changing you from the inside out. It starts with audio and vibrations, then adjusts your brain waves, which changes you physically. That is the healing power of music.
"Osmium Glow" (Osmium is a shiny, silver metal that resists corrosion) is one of the most serene and inviting tracks. The combination of instruments is superb (as they are on every track). Lovely piano, synth, violin, and some vocalese towards the end are the perfect complement to one of the more exciting songs. The world elements give it a flavor and spice all its own. If you are in the mood for Celtic influences, then "Highland Mist" will deliver with some alluring flute.
Traveling the Blissful Highway can become a daily trip to your paradise. This music exists to change you on so many levels. Ultimately it will succeed in doing so if you allow it. The key to enjoying any music is letting it envelop you, to be a place where you feel safe and loved, and most importantly, a place you can always go to get reintroduced to some well-needed rest. As always, music can lead us there.
Darlene Koldenhoven is very talented, and every album I have heard and reviewed is entirely different. It is the fifth release to add to my collection and has already become one of my favorites.
Being eclectic and using all the tools at your disposal is the way to record such a great album. With the addition of talented friends into the mix, this artist has found everything she needs to continue recording great music for years to come.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
August 6, 2022