Showing posts with label Independent Music Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Independent Music Reviews. Show all posts

Experimental Instrumental-Ambient-Acoustic Review: Constance Hauman-The Quarantine Trilogy - The Third Wave

Release Date: October 20, 2020

Label: Isotopia Records

Website

A world-renowned classical singer, Constance Hauman, can shift gears at an alarming pace and entertain music listeners from the opera, funk, soul, pop, and rock audiences. Diversity and talent are the operative words here.


With The Quarantine Trilogy - The Third Wave the album is a series of improvisations that originated with her on piano and drummer and longtime collaborator Ross Pederson on midi drums and synth.

This is another instrumental venture into the ambient and atmospheric sounds that have helped so many of us deal with the restrictions and unrest of the pandemic this year. I have heard several that have assisted in calming and healing from my listening perspective.

Piano and synths are the main instruments that take you on this ride through the ether or possibly the unknowing parts of your brain, memories, or something that has been locked away inside that needs release. There is something to be said regarding not just the overall power music holds but the certain instruments that are being used to grab that source of energy and convert it into sounds.

Constance and Ross are gifted partners. They present different types of listening within each track. Every track has the room to grow and move around. That approach works very well. For instance, “The Quarantine Trilogy 3rd Wave": I. Solar Eclipse Symphony,” clocking in at 13:49, offers solo acoustic piano and some synths come in to add to the layers and colors of the music. This long stretch of improvisation takes you into successive changes as it builds and builds. At times this kind of progression reminded me of legendary performers such as Vangelis. The track takes you to a crescendo of sounds then back down to earth for a safe landing however you still have that feeling of floating on a soft cloud through the ambient and acoustic mixture of sound, especially with the way the song closes.

Then to switch things up you move on to starting things off with some very futuristic and space sounds. “The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": II. The Last Century,” gets you back in flight, back to that mindfulness state to leave your earthly surroundings behind, unattached and free. What a beautiful thing how music can change your entire frame of reference. The synths get thicker and more pronounced as the track progresses through all its changes. Along the way, the acoustic piano of Constance holds firm and serves as an equal response to the synths. The mixture is brilliant and I also appreciated the pauses where there was just the solitude of that acoustic piano, which are brief but recognized for their poignancy and beauty. Things get even more interesting at around the nine-minute mark and take an entirely different direction. It reminded me of the way progressive jazz and fusion can be within one song. When you have more than 13 minutes to stretch out musically a lot can be accomplished. In one track it goes from cool spacey ambient sounds to more pensive interludes bordering on cacophony. That part of the track may surprise you and the way it abruptly ends with the sound of a scratchy radio frequency that you would hear going between stations. I thought the entire thing was innovative, risky, and satisfying.

The trilogy closes out with “The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": III. Solemn Feels Good Right Now.” The continuation of that progressive nature gets things off to an interesting start. The synths sound like they are holding down the rhythms being created by the synth drums and at times oddly timed piano notes. It is a challenging listen for any audience, albeit interesting, filled with the color and embodiment of testing the boundaries of keyboards and their extraordinary reach when combined acoustically and electronically. By the time that track ended the only way I could put a name on this music was to dub it Experimental instrumental-ambient-electronica-acoustic. Then again, why does it need a tag or label? It is music both unique and complicated yet very entertaining.

The Quarantine Trilogy - The Third Wave
is a superb diverse instrumental album that will awaken your senses and make you think. The thought process will be different for each listener and I believe pleasant and rewarding at the same time. I am not surprised that I enjoyed this group of tracks. I do hope to hear more in the future from Constance Hauman and Ross Pederson
.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
November 27, 2020


Track List:

1. The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": I. Solar Eclipse Symphony 13:49
2. The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": II. The Last Century-13:03
3. The Quarantine Trilogy "3rd Wave": III. Solemn Feels Good Right Now 12:53


New Age World Instrumental: Mikuskovics Baum-Timeless

Release Date: December 21, .2018
Label: Independent

Mikuskovics Baum has a new release titled Timeless. It is significant that the date of release is the beginning of the Winter Solstice.

I think it is imperative that I took a snippet of information from the artist website so you can understand a bit more about them and their music.

Bernhard Mikuskovics & Georg Baum present sensitive and intimate but yet passionate and wild early European and Indo-European songs, dances and tunes as well as timeless improvisations in a contemporary outfit using vocals, overtone singing, jodeling, harp, guitar, Jew’s harp, bowed psaltery, ocarina, ethnic flutes & instruments.

That is a fair introduction to these two talented gentlemen. There are seven tracks and none under 6 minutes in length. The first track comes in at a substantial 11:36. The harp is a slice of heaven, the sounds that it makes are mesmerizing and quite appealing. When the other instruments are mixed in, or should I say the plethora of sounds, it creates amazing results. I think it is fair to say that the title of this artistry is appropriate. The music you will enjoy hearing is simply put, Timeless.

Timeless is the perfect blend of ancient traditions and new technologies for sound. Taking worldly instruments and using the recording studio’s wizardry is a marriage that works very well. I have had the pleasure of hearing these types of recordings many times now. The combination of new age and world fits like a glove or your favorite pair of jeans, the ones with the worn-out knees so you see nothing but white thread. Now that is pure comfort.  That is the key element here, feeling comfortable with the music. The sounds of so many wondrous instruments make it an easy transition. It is a magic door to open into musical nirvana. You then begin to envision your own personal heaven with the music.

Admittedly there are some instruments listed in the tracks that I have never heard of. That does not phase me, I just endeavor to learn more about what is being presented. The Sruti Box, for instance, uses bellows to create the drone you will hear and the KouXian is a general Chinese term for any variety of jaw harp. So, you not only hear the traditional Jew’s Harp you get different variations and configurations of that type of instrument. I find all this fascinating. There is so much more inside the music than meets the ears (and inner eye). There are cultures, traditions, and endless information that you can be exposed to, all you need is a little curiosity. When one listens to this recording and does some research, not only does it enlighten you, you become well informed with a new-found appreciation of what went into this music and how it was created.

Timeless is beauty, serenity, earthy tones, colors, the sounds and sights of many different peoples of the world coming together, it is like tapping into a global spiritual vein of gold. This is one of the more unique and interesting albums I have heard all year and a wonderful way to close out 2018 and head into the Holidays and bring in the new year. 

I look forward to 2019 with the anticipation of many more journeys offered by so many talented individuals like Mikuskovics and Baum. This is one recording you cannot miss out on if you enjoy instrumental world music with a variety of instruments. 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 20, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 1. Timeless Zenith (B. Mikuskovics / G. Baum)
Bernhard Mikuskovics: Parmupill, Mojave Flute, Native American Flute, Sruti Box, Georg
Baum: Harp

2. Intuition Element (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Celtic Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sound Bowl, Mexican Log Drum,
Overtone Harp, Overtone Singing, KouXian, Sruti Box, Native American Flute

3. Mirror Ideal (G. Baum)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Dvojacka, Quenacho, Fujara, Jew´s Harp

4. Emotion Trance (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sruti Box, Native American Flute, Khomus,
Horn Pipe, Ocarina

5. Life Land (B. Mikuskovics)
Bernhard Mikuskovics: Sound Bowl, Overtone Singing, Sruti Box, Fujara, Quenacho,
Dvojacka, Georg Baum: Harp

6. Endless Ozean (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Native American Flute.

7. Same Source See (G. Baum / B. Mikuskovics)
Georg Baum: Harp, Bernhard Mikuskovics: Khomus, Quenacho, Mojave Flute, Sruti Box,
Parmupil

Instrumental New Age/Ambient Review: Michael Whalen-Kiss The Quiet

Release Date: February 2, 2018
Label: Spout

Kiss The Quiet is one of the best titles I have ever seen for an instrumental new age album. The title most certainly lives up to its name as well.
Michael Whalen is the architect of this recording. He uses ambient piano, synthesizers and electronics for a superb blend of atmospheric qualities and moods.


 
Kiss The Quiet softly encourages you to listen and when you do it is all over, you are hooked. This is great music for meditation, focusing or just relaxing and emptying your mind. It is rhythmic and soulful, and not soulful in a musical sense but coming from deep down in the soul of the artist. This music emerges to touch you in many ways.



I think people that have the gift and talent to create music like this are blessed. They are willing to share their blessing with us, the listeners, so we can heal, realign the chakras and feel whole once again. That is how I honestly feel about this music.



It kisses your soul, with a touch of heaven added it has the ability to remove you from a physical body and lead you into another type of existence. I feel this way even without meditation, I enter a different realm and let my innermost thoughts arrive and translate it for you here in my reviews. That is a blessing I receive each time I have the opportunity to share my thoughts on music. You can call it the ether where thoughts come and go and are either processed or reflected upon.



You can Kiss The Quiet and feel something different as you let the music envelope your heart and soul. You will be moved by this experience and it is one you will want to feel more than once, I can guarantee it. For this listener after taking in music like this for several years, I have come to know myself very well. It can work for any listener if you just calm the ongoing thoughts and let the music take over.



Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 24, 2018



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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 24, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Kiss The Quiet
02. Heart So Full of Joy
03. Full Moon Dance
04. Almost Touching Heaven
05. The Prayer Box
06. No More Secrets
07. Window To the Soul
08. My Obsequious Tear
09. Hush The Night
10. Ever Closer Ever Nearer Ever Sooner