Release Date: September 1, 2023
When I saw Richard Theisen's name, it looked familiar. I covered his Mayan Stars album in 2014. My memory for music is exceptional; everything else seems mediocre at best. The reason is that music makes me happy and satisfied; it is my savior.
Music aimed at healing the mind, body, and spirit is essential to us all, whether that realization has arrived for you is apparent or is still waiting to come, which brings me to Estonia.
On the cusp of fall comes Estonia, a gorgeous instrumental production guaranteed to soothe your soul and invite you to a different plane of consciousness. I speak from my experience and hope it does that for every listener.
Once again, I am ready to listen to contemporary instrumental-based keyboard music with a strong foundation in the new-age genre. That formula is a consistent approach I have witnessed for many years. As the new age genre has expanded, it has opened many doors to artists like Richard, who would be classified differently.
The girl on the cover is Freya, the subject of the opening track "Freyas Tears." Don't be surprised if this music sounds like it could be a soundtrack to a movie. That is one thing Richard has done expertly over the years and winning a Grammy for contributing to the Beverly Hills Cop soundtrack.
So, it all depends on what kind of listening experience you are looking for. It serves the purpose of intent, getting me to slow down, smell the roses, and recognize the beauty around me. We tend to get self-absorbed in the day's thoughts and lose our spiritual connection. I also realize the value of quality music for different uses, such as soundtracks. That fact does not diminish its importance for my benefit; however, it is vital to recognize the duality some music can provide.
The tracks come in layers of exquisitely used keyboards and sound effects generated by today's highly advanced technologies. Richard uses all those tools to have a significant impact on every track. I saw a distinct change in style and sound on "Lavinia." The track features upbeat music with some Latin-flavored guitar and castanets (sound generated as such, perhaps). These sounds are so authentic these days that it is hard to tell if someone is playing them or if they are generated from a computer or keyboard. It is amazing. If I had the fine-tuned ear of an advanced musician, I might know the difference. So far in this life, I listen and comment on what I hear. I must also mention that the closing track, "Twilight," is exceptional, a slice of heaven, as one would say. The acoustic guitar sets the pace as the other elements melt into the mix. The track is warm and inviting, as the entire album is.
The cover art of Estonia reminded me of the graphic novels my son read as a teenager. And smartly, the pleasing to-the-eye color of purple with the white font immediately brings attention to the artwork, which is the first step in getting someone to pay attention initially. Everything looks to be in place for Estonia to succeed, and I see no reason the new-age community and listening base would not enjoy this release. It is quality in production and musicianship.
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder
August 13, 2023
1. Freyas Tears
2. Brezien Dream
7. Nordic Whispers