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

Contemporary Instrumental New Age Review: Orchestra Indigo-Farewell To Memories

Release Date: September 9, 2022

Label:  ‎Independent

Website

Rick Randlett is a blues artist with five albums in circulation. Orchestra Indigo is a separate project he created playing synthesizers and piano. His new journey began when COVID shut the world down, and he began exploring ambient new-age music. Farewell To Memories is the result of his studies and creations. When you look at the captivating view provided by the cover art, it is very suggestive. Are you ready to walk down that dock and jump in to see what will happen? I was prepared to go and take a swim through this music.

Just for a point of reference, the name of this project you may find has some interesting cross references. Indigo children, according to a pseudoscientific New Age concept, are children who are believed to possess unique, unusual, and sometimes supernatural traits or abilities. So, this music is the orchestra's child since it is the first release of this type of music. And, it certainly does have some magic and special abilities to change your feelings, brain waves, and well-being.

Farewell to Memories reflects on growing up in New England, with the title track and album title a direct reference to a return visit upon the passing of his mother several years ago. So, seeing this passing of a parent was his farewell to many things. I lost both my parents many years ago, and I have to admit that many memories have faded with time; however, there is not a day that goes by when I do not think of them. Life goes on, and death happens. It is our destiny to live and die; we do not know when that time will be. I saw a saying the other day that made sense, "Live life like it's your first day and your last." Some sound advice, to be sure. 

Rick used synthesizer strings to create his orchestra of ambient sounds and colors. Some of it does have a feeling of sadness and letting go. Such as the resolute piano in "Daybreak," which gently introduces the layers of synth for a pleasant feeling of floating on top of the primary instrument. I imagine the artist's intent with this type of composition would be that you are very relaxed and have that feeling of detachment from the physical world. In your mind, you can float away to another frame of reference or plane of existence, if you will. All tracks on offer here give the listener something to feel and find inside their soul. That sounds deep, I know, music is a powerful tool that can let you dig down and pull things out that need to be looked at, and then you can process it and move on.

Buddhists refer to our suffering as samsara, and we can reach dharma (In Buddhism, dharma means cosmic law and order but is also applied to the teachings of the Buddha-i.e., karma) through meditation and removing the thoughts of attachment to all things physical on this plane. I discovered a strong correlation between new-age music and the practice of Buddhism. And from there sought more knowledge and have continued to do so. Music like this, any instrumental recording made for relaxation or meditation, brings me to another discipline. That is just one example that is worthy of note.

As I made my way through each track on Farewell to Memories, it engaged me in many ways, triggering a thought process of feelings, including sadness, hope, joy, and the promise of a new day. This music can and will renew your spirit. You are the door that either opens or closes to this opportunity. It was my choice to listen and open the door. The result was a healing of my consciousness, direct and indirect thought process, and, most of all, my heart. As the track says, "Hope Is Eternal," it never rests. It is a part of us all; whether you acknowledge that or not, that is your choice. I always find some hope every day regardless of what transpires. And this music brought those thoughts to the forefront of my mind.

This is a distance away from the blues music this artist typically creates. For him, it was a creative and healing process; for the listeners, it can be whatever you need it to be. That is music's beauty and eclectic nature and the sounds you will hear on Farewell to Memories.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder


September 9, 2022

Tracks:
01. Farewell To Memories 5:57
02. Distant Worlds 4:57
03. In The Aftermath 3:30
04. A Time Of Solitude 4:42
05. Twilight Falls 3:49
06. Daybreak 4:25
07. Lights On A Distant Shore 3:46
08. A Perfect Summer Day 4:44
09. Mysteries 4:18
10. Hope Eternal 4:37
11. First Snow 4:02
12. One Last Look 5:16



Contemporary New Age Instrumental-Classical Review: Christopher Boscole-Isle of Shadows

Release Date: July 18, 2022

Label:  ‎Independent

Website

I have not covered a recording by Christopher Boscole since the 2018 release Soul Dreams. The sands of time move faster each year, and your perception changes so much that it almost becomes irrelevant. We live by the ticking away of seconds, minutes, hours, and days. Then that transforms into months, then years. This perception depends on your age and how busy your days are.

 

Amazing how one thought and music can unravel an idea and how it forms and becomes your truth. Music is that powerful and persuasive. So how did Isle of Shadows work its magic when I listened?

 

Classical music holds so much tradition and everlasting beauty. Its importance goes beyond what words can say. So why not do what countless others have and will again, sit at a piano and give the nod to the great composers and compositions? It makes sense and finds validation in each talent and interpretation of those timeless pieces. Respect for the music is imperative. The legacy of the music and composers must be handled very carefully, and above all, you must be an outstanding musician.

 

Starting with the dreamy artwork on the album cover, with the lovely pastels that are pleasant to the eye and senses, is a good start. Rest assured; the painting perfectly matches the relaxing meditative sounds you are about to enjoy. It is identified as new age classical piano, which is an appropriate assessment.

 

Christopher Boscole has answered the call of the greats and played all these tracks with the utmost care and precision. The artist, in this case, has transformed into a different kind of piano player, one that can take the sublime beauty of the title track and create his rendition from a blank canvas. The composition by Selim Palmgren, is significant because the entire recording is named after it. That name does not come up when someone discusses Chopin, Bach, and Debussy. Perhaps that is why the composer, and the track are getting the spotlight. It will bring forth an awareness of the talent of this otherwise unrecognized master.

 

The more I hear recordings like Isle of Shadows, the realization that these compositions' brilliance and musical perfection attain full recognition from my point of view. This happens when an artist takes each track into a solo piano excursion. It is much more meaningful and appreciated by this listener. It makes me wonder why I have not explored classical music on a more profound level. Perhaps after absorbing this superb recording, I will reevaluate my music collection and endeavor to reach out further to explore this music that I found so appealing.

 

After paying tribute to all the masters, the artist closes the curtain with an original saying, "Until We Meet Again." A perfect ending and as close to perfection as one can get on an album.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

August 31, 2022

Tracks:

01. Romance Sans Paroles in Ab major, Op. 17 No. 3 (3:21) (Arranged by Christopher Boscole)

02. Nocturne in Eb Major, Op. 9 No. 2 (5:11)

03. Sonata No. 8 Op. 13 “Pathetique”II. Adagio Cantabile (4:45)

04. 6 Lyric Pieces, Op. 28 “Isle of Shadows”II. Skuggornas O (5:56)

05. Pavane, Op. 50 (4:32) (Arranged by Christopher Boscole)

06. Préludes, Book I, L. 117: Vii. La fille aux cheveux de lin (3:30) (Arranged by Christopher Boscole)

07. Sonata No. 14 in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 27 No. 2 “Moonlight”: I. Adagio sostenuto (5:31)

08. Suite No. 3 in D Major: II. Air (4:44) (Arranged by Christopher Boscole)

09. 24 Preludes, Op. 28: No 17 in A-flat major (4:15)

10. Solace: A Mexican Serenade (5:21)

(Arranged by Christopher Boscole)

11. Kinderszenen, Op. 15: No. 7, Traumerei (2:59)

12. Until We Meet Again (5:41)

Contemporary Instrumental-New Age Review: Dan Chadburn-Always

Release Date: August 1, 2022

Label:  ‎Independent

Website


When you have performed for audiences at Carnegie Hall (New York), Symphony Hall (Boston), and The Kennedy

Center (Washington, DC), there is a level of acceptance recognized worldwide by the music community. For Dan Chadburn, these are just a few of his accomplishments over the years.

He released Always in August of this year. The keyboard's colors are illustrated on the release artwork and in his music. 

With tracks like "Yesteryear," he paints the picture suggested in the title without words with poignancy and beauty.

The twelve tracks on Always are like walking through a musical spiral staircase of life's emotions and events. The track "Uncertainty" puts that idea into perspective with grace and purposefulness. The pace and rhythms are moving with a genuine feeling that finds a way to soothe your doubts with the simplicity of solo piano music. Its pure beauty and message are clear as day and the blue sky above. It is also one of the most extended tracks on the album, giving the listener time to absorb the meaning entirely.

"Missing You" is another track that pulls on your heartstrings. I felt deeply moved by the way it was presented. While straightforward, the music has a hypnotic effect that draws you in, and you start reliving things in the corners of your mind and soul. That is what I call music doing its job well. 

Creating the sound and colors without words needs to be robust, clear, and concise to ensure you are paying attention and your mind does not drift elsewhere. That fact alone is the reason it can be so relaxing and used to help you reach a meditative state. I can see that mission was accomplished from the twelve tracks I enjoyed.

This music can be your "Wishing Well" and where you can realize "Synchronicity" with your mind, body, and spirit. And for this listener's ears, that is precisely what I seek when I listen to music like you will find on Always.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

August 28, 2022

Tracks:

01. Always 3:14

02. Uncharted Waters 3:22

03. OShenandoah 3:27

04. Turning Point 4:44

05. Yesteryear 3:12

06. Minuet 2:42

07. Uncertainty 4:12

08. Missing You 3:07

09. The Wishing Well 3:31

10. Sacred Breath 3:26

11. Synchronicity 2:48

12. Final Curtain 3:28



New Age Meditation Review: NTHNL-Tranquility Studies Vol. 2

Release Date: May 20, 2022

Label:  Independent

Website

Jacob Rudin is the artist NTHNL(Nathaniel). The title Tranquility Studies Vol. 2 expresses what you will hear in this release, literally.

The artist makes a concerted effort to shoot for "low-alpha" or "high-theta" ((around 7-10 Hz). There are 114 minutes of sound in this recording. Each piece is an exceptional tool to focus and meditate, or if one prefers, relax.

The concept of taking electronics and mixing them with instruments is not anything new. The importance of the sound waves coming in at the 7-10hZ level is critical, giving it a substantial variance from the norm. That is the key to your "focus," and attention span. "Soundbath 1" is just the beginning. The frequencies your brain will adjust to and follow rather quickly, and while remaining in that state of consciousness, you take in the instruments, such as the principal flute, mixed in with the sound waves. It is repetitive, like a constant drone or the sounds a didgeridoo can produce. That mesmerizing Australian instrument can maintain a drone with variations of frequencies. That was the one thing I thought of while reading about how this music was constructed and presented in this way.

There are some natural sounds added in for good measure and to differentiate between everything else that is going on. That element is not meant for a refocus but for you to connect and find identification, make you feel good, or make you smile. I love the sounds of all the birds chirping. It is the sound of happiness in nature. That is my interpretation, and everyone identifies differently with the sounds we can hear during a 24-hour period. "Soundbath Two" ends with the sound of rain, which is synonymous with the replenishment of the earth's plants and the very element that keeps all living things alive.

I am pretty sure with all that there is to utilize that, every listener will find the right track or tracks to combine for their meditative healing sessions. There are six lengthy exercises of frequencies, sounds, and music to choose from. You will listen to what works best for you; how you choose to use it is the most crucial factor in getting the maximum out of this musical exercise.

NTHNL does create a bath of sound, and when you frame it in that context, it shines a different light on what Tranquility Studies Vol. 2 can and will do for the discerning listener looking for solace, comfort, healing, deep meditation, or undistracted relaxation.

All tracks are composed, performed, produced, mixed, and mastered by NTHNL. Once you take in the entire experience, you will be impressed by this artist's all-around talent. The flute, woodwinds, saxophone, and many ambient textures are all that you will find abundant in this musical expression. It's chill, new age, ambient, meditation, and all that combined. Every track is entirely different from the last, so do not expect much of the same. And that is a good thing from my listening perspective.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

August 7, 2022


Tracks:

1.Soundbath 1 23:37

2.Soundbath 2 19:18

3.Soundbath 3 18:28

4.Soundbath 4 16:08

5.Soundbath 5 16:58

6.Soundbath 6 20:30



New Age-Contemporary Review: Darlene Koldenhoven-Traveling the Blissful Highway

Release Date: October 14, 2022

Label:  ‎TimeArt Productions

Website

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


Tracks:
01. Cheerful Mohana
02. Time Traveler
03. Jade Dreams
04. Gentle Soul
05. Birds in Paradise
06. Dot Calm
07. Tropical Chill
08. Sweet Peace
09. Osmium Glow
10. Native Star
11. Highland Mist
12. Blissful Highway


Instrumental Ambient Chill Review: David Helping-In

Release Date: April 15, 2022

Label:  ‎Spotted Peccary

Website

When I interviewed (included here) David Helping to discuss IN, I knew I would have to wait for the vinyl to arrive. That was over three months ago. The wait was long, but worth it to hear this release in glorious vinyl. After talking with David, I knew this would be a fantastic listening experience.

IN was filled with ambient and chill textures transcending time and space.

I absorbed each track as something new and fresh musically as I made my way through the two LPs. The LPs come housed in gatefold sleeves with all the track listings and credits. Also included was a sheet with the names of the contributors and David’s tribute to each one.

Side A starts with “Waves Dream of Breaking,” and it serves as a grand opener to set the tone. This beautiful and exciting mixture of color and sound was just the beginning but a great start that filled a listener with anticipation for what could be next.

“This Burning Sky” includes wordless chant-like vocals from Nidhi Bhatmuley. It gave the track a world flavor while maintaining its core ambient foundation. “Only What’s Been Taken” is dreamy, layered synths with an interesting backbeat that transitions to a quieter interlude and then back again. Side A closes out.

Side B begins with “Here All Along” which features some nice rhythms, and you find yourself relaxing on a smooth wave of sounds. “Still As Stone” has tinkling bells with echoing notes from the keys layered upon soft synths. Perhaps the mesmerizing effect would make you as still as the track title would indicate. The side closes with “The Bliss You’ve Always Carried” featuring Benjy Wertheimer on the Esraj, a stringed Indian instrument. It looks similar to a sitar but sounds entirely different. It gives the track a uniqueness that others do not have. It runs for 8:01 minutes, allowing the instrument to provide you with a taste of its capabilities and different ranges of sound, which is then enhanced by synths, ambient guitar, and other instruments. Side B closes out.

Side C opens with “Slipping” featuring Miriam Stockley’s wordless vocalizations. This one also runs for 8:01 minutes. It is silky smooth from start to finish with Miriam’s addition. “The Cold Distance Between” could indicate many things; however, the one thing it accomplishes is hypnotic spacey sounds with a sense of drama bubbling underneath. “You Already Are” features Matthew Schoening’s electric cello. A flair for the classical is arrived at with his instrument while adding a feeling of warmth. Side C closes.

Side D begins with my favorite track, “Bending Towards the Night.” It clocks in at 8:21 and resembles a prog rock magnum opus. Eclectic sounds abound and delight straight through every second. It has a purposeful pace bringing me back to the thought that time has no relevance in the space of this music. The track continues to build with color, light, and frequencies that engage the listener. It takes the concept of the day and bends you towards the night. 

The track reminded me fondly of Tangerine Dream (a reference I often make if the music is good enough within this genre). The built-for- soundtrack-music and energy come with “In Waves of Fire.” The curtain closes on this ambient chill journey with “I Too Am Coming Home.” The track has elegance and beauty reserved for prolific instrumental music. In addition, the angelic vocals of Miriam Stockley accompany the music, making an appropriate ending to a marvelous listen.

You will be totally IN the music once you start listening. It will capture your consciousness and revitalize your spirit. The outstanding musicianship and production values make this one of the best recordings I have heard on vinyl this year.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

July 18, 2022


Tracks:
Side A:
01. Waves Dream of Breaking 07:32
02. This Burning Sky (Featuring Nidhi Bhatmuley) 07:20
03. Only What’s Been Taken 06:26

Side B:
04. Here All Along 06:24
05. Still As Stone 06:11
06. The Bliss You’ve Always Carried (Featuring Benjy Wertheimer) 08:00

Side C:
07. Slipping (Featuring Miriam Stockley) 08:00
08. The Cold Distance Between 05:55
09. You Already Are (Featuring Matthew Schoening) 06:42
10. Following the Lines 05:30

Side D:
11. Bending Towards the Night 08:21
12. In Waves of Fire 05:49
13. I Too Am Coming Home (Featuring Miriam Stockley) 06:44




Contemporary Instrumental Review: Vicente Avella-Physics of Light

Release Date: August 8, 2022

Label:  Pandora’s Boombox Records

Website

Physics of Light is about many things besides what the title would indicate. For Vicente Avella, there is a story behind the music; there always is. If you have a curious disposition and want to know the how and why of a recording, then you will love the story behind the music. 

Vicente recorded during COVID. For most artists, this was a blessing in disguise if it did not affect them in other ways, like contracting the virus or losing someone because of it. It was an opportunity for this artist to do all the recording himself because everything was closed. So, he went to the Boston GP 163 piano to start his process. The piano he had wanted to play to record on for some time.

It was destiny, and Physics of Light was born. Sixteen tracks of instrumental piano music to calm the nerves and refresh your being are now alive and well for everyone to enjoy.

The recording started with some trepidation from Vicente, but he did a fine job and then sent it off to be mastered. And now he has this beautiful recording, knowing he does not need a studio to get an album done. The world works in mysterious ways; there was a roadblock at the time. After further investigation and taking a chance, another door opened. He just needed the faith to walk through it.

What I found interesting was the thought that went into the entire presentation. The artwork Vicente envisioned was to be something that Da Vinci had created. If you are familiar with that, the attained visual is perfect. It had to be scientifically and mathematically correct, so he had it checked by a composition student and now who is also a Physicist. After that, an artist in Italy (of course) was commissioned to take Vicente’s chicken scratch and make it look like a work of Da Vinci’s. Once again, it hit the mark. It was essential to convey the images and thought process encompassing all aspects of light while listening. Then looking at the track titles and hearing how they came out in the audio spectrum is the next step. It is up to you to delve further to compare the similarities or differences between the two ranges.

So, for me, the listener and reviewer, reading about the story was fascinating and made the music more enjoyable and thoughtful. Yes, it is very scientific, and there was a process; however, once you hear the music and its sheer beauty and simple perfection, you will wholeheartedly agree that this makes sense in all its totality.

Sometimes I wonder what else to say about another solo piano instrumental album. The truth is, I always find enjoyment and something new. My fascination with how this all came together and the thought and care that went into making it a “complete” artistic rendering of audio recordings was the key that unlocked my mind. It all connects and makes sense. And to think one man’s fascination with the Physics of Light could create such beauty and picturesque sounds through one instrument. It was a lonely process, but that is the X factor in creating a successful recording. It would be best if you were alone with your thoughts, the process of creation, and no distractions to take you off the course that brings it all home.

Vicente Avella has triumphed over all the obstacles to release one of the most rewarding albums of his career. And for the listeners and followers, this is to be enjoyed for many years. Physics of Light will be your beacon to some well-deserved musical fulfillment and relaxation.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

July 13, 2022


Track List:

01. LIGHT PARTICLES                            

02. RADIANCE                                       

03. WHERE LIGHT AND SHADOW MEET        

04. ULTRAVIOLET                                  

05. OSCURO                                          

06. RESISTANCE                                    

07. COLOR SPECTRUM                          

08. CLARO                                             

09. PENUMBRA                                     

10. REFLECTION                                  

11. INTERMEZZO                                

12. OPAQUE OBJECT                                    

13. UMBRA                                         

14. INFRARED                                     

15. ANTUMBRA                                  

16. VISIBLE LIGHT 


New Age World Instrumental Review: Vito Gregoli & Ricky Kej-Wild Monsoon

Release Date: June 28, 2022

Label:  Independent

Website: https://www.vitogregolimusic.com/

https://www.rickykej.com/

Vito Gregoli & Ricky Kej combine their diverse talents on Wild Monsoon. This recording comes at you bursting with a world new age color and dynamic that will lift you right off the ground.

Vito has been a multi-instrumentalist for many years, and Ricky Kej is a composer who has made his mark globally. The recording is another incredible album and partnership that will derive plenty of attention from the music community and listeners.

Ten tracks will engage all your senses, and I mean that in a literal sense of the word. The Indian influences are strong; however, the background and music foundation from which both artists are from merge splendidly. It is an East meets West amalgamation that is stunning. Here is an idea of how good this music is. I am listening to it on little speakers attached to my laptop; the sounds fill the room. That says it all about an all-encompassing experience of sound and effect. It would be amazing to think about how this would sound on vinyl or a mobile fidelity audiophile vinyl release. I hope at some point that is a consideration.

Two consecutive tracks just blew me away, "Vana (Forest) 6:41" and "Jharna (Waterfall) 6:09." Note all the references to our environment, from the title to the tracks and the artwork on the cover. It is intrinsic to the music you will enjoy. Ricky is an advocate for the environment and uses all the platforms within his influence to get the message out that we need to heal the planet. The healing must come from within us all for change to begin first. Let's not look to our political leaders and complicated legislation. It will take forever to accomplish and will be watered down with concessions to favor big corporate money and greed. Yes, that is a very political statement, but in my mind and observations, I believe it to be accurate and the one factor that has stopped any progress.

We have the singularity of music to step away from the politics of things, which unfortunately seems to creep into everything these days. All its power, grace, spirituality, and tremendous energy can be absorbed with one listen. From that point of reference, you can propel into a different attitude and use music as your voice. Vito and Ricky are doing that with Wild Monsoon. 

If you consider production values, they are extraordinary. The complexities and nuances of everything that goes into just one track are mind-boggling. Listening to "Badra (Rain) featuring Kimberly Haynes on vocals, is an excellent example. I got chills hearing all the music and her singing so poignantly of returning to nature. Such a prolific statement to make in such an uncertain time we live gives you the energy and hope of that message, and the words and music carry it with a clarity and certainty that I am sure made Ricky smile.

"Baadal (Clouds) 7:56" is the longest track on the recording and one of the most gorgeous and affecting pieces of music I have heard closing out an album. The entire album is the perfect blend of new age and world and sets the standard for consistency and taste.

It is a Wild Monsoon of music that will excite the mind, body, and soul, get the blood flowing, and inspire those who listen on every corner of the globe. It will make us reevaluate who we are and how vital mother earth is to our survival and think about honoring how all living things are connected and deserve our respect. Thank you, Vito and Ricky, for a beautiful message in such incredible music.

Vito Gregoli & Ricky Kej have set the bar extremely high for all releases in the new age world genre that are forthcoming for the rest of the year. I see another Grammy nomination and a possible win for Ricky to add to his collection.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

June 29, 2022

Tracks:

01. Greesham (Summer) 7:04

02. Sheeth (Winter) 6:50

03. Vasant (Spring) 6:36

04. Sharad (Autumn) 6:03  vocals: Kimberly Haynes

05. Mahatma (Vito Remix) 5:35  flute: Wouter Kellerman, sitar:  Paul Livingstone

06. Vana (Forest)  6:41

07. Jharna (Waterfall)  6:09

08. Nadi (River) 6:55

09. Badra  (Rain) feat Kimberly Haynes  6:12  vocals: Kimberly Haynes

10. Baadal (Clouds) 7:56




New Age Instrumental Review: Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer-Sanctuary

Release Date: July 1, 2022

Label:  Independent

Websites: https://pauladams.org/home

https://elizabethgeyer.com/

I have familiarity with Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer. I had the pleasure of covering ImaginingsDeeper Imaginings, and Elizabeth's The Bridge. With July 1st right around the corner, Sanctuary continues the successful partnership.

 

There is always a story behind the music. One day, Elizabeth was suffering from a migraine and heard Paul practicing the Native American flute on the floor below. Something about the flow of the music, with its low gentle phrases and a breeze that grounded her. The migraine started to subside.

 

I love hearing about music's healing powers and how it genuinely helps people who suffer. We all need some help to relax and heal; this type of music will undoubtedly lead you down that path. I could use it daily myself, as I am sure many people would echo that statement. 

 

We have more stressors today than ever with many social issues because of the media and the social platforms, war all over the world, inflation, and the list can go on and on. It gets to be a bit much. I have decided to stop watching the news because it stresses me out and makes me negative about everything. I get glimpses of headlines from cell phones and even my laptops. It appears we cannot escape it anymore. Unless I move to the mountains and have no electronic devices, that would make me feel alone with no awareness. So, what is the answer? 

 

For my sanity, I need music, as you will hear on Sanctuary. For instance, in "Nothing Is Really Lost," the track begins with the sound of water running down a stream, and Paul introduces his flute as Elizabeth's piano comes in. It is one of the more beautiful and engaging tracks on this release. It is 5:05 minutes of new-age bliss that you can count on for meditation or simple relaxation. If you like to meditate, I suggest putting this on a loop to maintain that state of consciousness. Honestly, the entire album is well suited for meditation or deep relaxation.

 

"Graceful Waters" is another getting back to your root's tracks. With 6:00 minutes of the sound of water (from whence all life came) and that beckoning sitar and the dreamy flute sounds, it brings you into that state of consciousness you need to heal. It will get you in touch with our connectivity with mother earth and all living things.

 

Something about the Native American Flute's tones and more specifically the breathy Anasazi, vibrations, and overall feeling instantly set you at ease. The addition of various other textured layers of sounds like Elizabeth's wordless background vocalizations, electric sitar, chimes, etc., make for a completely immersive experience.

 

This music can be your Sanctuary. The outstanding production values will allow you to feel the water moving in the music and hear Paul's breathing as he plays the flutes. It is an exceptional addition to an already impressive catalog of music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

July 1, 2022

Tracks:
1.Sanctuary 7:00
2. A Forest’s Embrace 7:50
3. Through The Tree Tops 6:50
4. An Evening’s Caress 7:30
5. Nothing Is Really Lost 5:05
6. Forest Light 7:00
7. Graceful Waters 6:00
8. An Endless Summer’s Evening 6:00
9. By The Water’s Edge 7:30

Contemporary Classical Instrumental/New Age Review: Tim Neumark-24 Improvs

Release Date: June 24, 2022

Label: Independent

Website

(The cover photo for 24 Improvs is licensed by akg-images. The original photo is the property of the National Museum - Czech Museum of Music and can be seen on display at the Antonin Dvorak Museum in Prague.)

Tim Neumark is an exceptional musician and piano player. I have heard a lot of his music over the years. 24 Improvs is the sixth album in his comprehensive catalog that I enjoy listening to and covering for review. In essence a double album. If it were on vinyl, it would be at the very least 3 LPs. So, a lot of music!

To single out any track of this music is challenging for several reasons; it's all good, all instrumental, and most importantly, each one offers the variances of improvisations that showcase this artist's capabilities. If there were vocals on half the tracks, there would be a defining line. There is no separation between the type of music, but you must know this is all excellent and tremendous piano virtuosity.

Tim embodies solo piano performances with a solid classical base and a steady undercurrent of a new age to enhance it. The music sets you at ease, removes all barriers in the subconscious mind, and allows a listener to feel the flow of the music. Without the distraction of neurons firing away inside your head after a busy day, you get the opportunity to let it calm down and appreciate everything you are hearing.

About halfway through, you are surprised how quickly it all passed. You understand why it seems so fleeting if you absorb the music as I do. It all comes about due to an intense feeling of enjoyment, healing, and any range of emotions that flips that internal switch. The time factor is essentially meaningless as the music fills your soul. All good music accomplishes this. However, when you hear piano alone, you can listen to all the different parts of the composition differently, basically unencumbered by any other instruments or sounds that can populate a more complex new-age instrumental album. Not to take away from the other more involved projects I have covered and enjoyed. The main point here is that this is a clinic on how to present various improvisations on a piano. 

24 Improvs is precisely that and much more if you can listen to it all at face value. If you are looking for the brilliance of simplicity brought to you by the ivory keys, this will be your bliss.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

June 26, 2022

Tracks:

01. Improv in C Major (Gentle Stream)

02. Improv in C Minor

03. Improv in G Major

04. Improv in G Minor

05. Improv in D Major

06. Improv in D Minor

07. Improv in A Major

08. Improv in A Minor (An Interlude)

09. Improv in E Major

10. Improv in E Minor

11. Improv Over One Chord (Social Distancing in B Major)

12. Improv in B Minor

13. November Improv

14. Improv in F-Sharp Minor

15. Improv in D-Flat Major

16. Improv in C-Sharp Minor (Numb)

17. Improv in A-Flat Major (The End of the Road)

18. Improv in G-Sharp Minor (Isolation)

19. Improv in E-Flat Major (Stay Here With Me)

20. Improv in E-Flat Minor

21. Eternity (Improv in B-Flat Major)

22. Improv in B-Flat Minor

23. Improv in F Major (Sunday Evening)

24. Improv in F Minor


Instrumental New Age Reviews: Genevieve Walker-Home Songs

Release Date: June 21, 2022

Label: Blue Yarn Records

Website

Genevieve Walker’s debut was Walking Home. Six years ago, I discovered her music. With her babies grown into little people, she is back with Home Songs. It is appropriately titled because the melodies you will hear were what she hummed to her children while sitting with her. 

Music lovers can listen to lullabies set to music via the main instrument, the violin (she does play the viola and piano as well). That is the best way I could describe it. Genevieve’s instrumentations can fill up a room. “Fathers,” for instance, starts very strong, and the realization of the power of classically-based music rings true. It then mellows out and lulls your consciousness to a state of calm. The sweetness and purity of the place it comes from make it very special, so knowing what inspired this project before listening is beneficial to potential listeners. It gives you an immediate appreciation for her presentation, its purpose, and foremost, the talent to be able to translate it all to each listener.

The songs about family are in proper order as well, the birth with “Mothers,” the support and strength of “Fathers,” then the most critical piece, “Sons,” which in the case of some people may be “Daughters,” however the meaning and intent are the same. Parenthood is a life changer, and your world becomes anew with another life to care for. That responsibility never ends, and we are always there when needed, regardless of their age. There are many lessons in parenthood, and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to learn with my children. From their first breath to our last, we love them and support them. That is the job of a parent.

Music is the ultimate expression of emotions; the projection of the feelings of Genevieve comes through in the music beautifully. Rafe Pearlman complements her violin, viola, piano, vocals, and Noah Hoffeld on cello, Chris Seligman on French horn, Steve Gorn on Bansuri flute, Nin Rao on vocals kartals, and the producer of the album, Chris Garter on bass, complete the significant backing throughout.

The sound and production values are solid and clean. The tracks are divergent but hold the same qualities and crisp production as you progress through each offering to the end with “Shadows,” which has many intersections of change and sound. It is a beautiful way to close out the recording. It leaves you wondering what could be coming next for this artist as it is very exploratory, and I enjoyed that aspect. 

Home Songs portray the gifts of life for one family through the eyes of a wife and mother. Someday her children will be grown and come to appreciate the beauty their mother created in their honor. I know I could not have related to this music and its meaning unless I was a father myself. For those of you who are not parents yet, it will give you something to think about; for those who never will be, an appreciation of what they may have missed comes to mind or newfound respect for parenthood and the sweetness it brings so many of us. 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

June 21, 2022

Track list:

1. Constellations (5:51)

2. Saints (5:08)

3. Mothers (5:22)

4. Fathers (4:19)

5. Sons (5:16)

6. Beloveds (4:01)

07. Moons (3:11)

08. Shadows (5:23)