Showing posts with label Instrumental Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Instrumental Music. Show all posts

Instrumental New Age Review: John Fluker-11:11

Release Date: May 1, 2016
Label: Retribution Records


Composer, musician and vocalist, are a few of the titles that the multitalented John Fluker holds. He has backed folks like Beyoncé, Dionne Warwick, Mavis Staples, John Legend, Boyz II Men, etc. The list goes on and on. So to say that the man is a seasoned artist is putting it mildly.

With the release of 11:11 he showcases his diversity with musical styles using the piano as the foundation where every track finds its path through careful construction. From the colorful atmospheric opener “Awaken,” with classically influenced piano strokes and ambient textured keyboards, the music gives you a wakeup call to this immense talent and pulls you into another world. The theme here is indicative of the title of course so you can focus on that one meaning, look at the track titles then take it from there.

“Artificial Time” is a gorgeous soundscape taking the bounty of that classical influence then pushing the envelope to make it an instrumental new age journey through your own personal space and time. The title reminds us that we invented time so it thereby is artificial in every sense of the word. What we really know is that we are all stardust and our lives are but a bat of an eyelash in the grand scheme of things…indeed.

I love albums like this; the ability to take music and no words then unravel a story through one concept and create an aural painting that freezes in time forever is a gift. Music is everlasting and so are the memories we hold dear. Life and what we know is what keeps us alive and the will to live another day for more wonderful life experiences. Music makes it all that much more enjoyable and when its great piano based instrumentals that are on offer we get the chance to write the story.

Speaking of time and stories, “Tick-Tock Tale” encapsulates everything I just said. The hands of time move ever so fast or much too slow depending on your life situation. With each passing second you change and so do your surroundings however it takes us a while to notice the change happening before us. The tick tock of the clock is our compass to the past and the future. Listen to John’s fingers make another piece of paradise with the ivory keys. It is short and sweet yet poignant and impactful. The title makes you think and then the music ends to fast like our time here on this earth.

11:11 has the genius and presence to get your attention, make you focus and think about all the things that matter in life. I really appreciate what music like this does for me; it is truly a spiritual experience that brings out the very best in me. Give it a listen to see what it can do for you.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Awaken, Artificial Time, Tick-Tock Tale

Tracks: 
01. Awaken
02. In The Beginning
03. Artificial Time
04. The 4th Dimension
05. Piano Story
06. Tick-Tock Tale
07. Moments
08. Age of Eternity
09. Piano Story
10. Hour of Prayer
11. 11:11
12. The Joyful Clock Unwinds

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
March 31, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

New Age Instrumental Review: David Franklin-Playing With Shadows

Release Date: March 1, 2015
Label: Indie

David Franklin is a musician and therapist that spent close to three years recording his most recent effort Playing With Shadows. This is his seventh recording.

The instrumental new age album has 18 tracks of acoustic piano and guitar pieces that include some special guests that include Michael Manring (fretless bass on 10 tracks), Rick Corrigen (accordion) and Alex Franklin (electric guitar). It was mixed and mastered by Warren Kahn

One of the main ingredients that take a part of the success on this album for Franklin is the addition of Michael Manring on bass. Michael's basses are custom made to his specs  He plays a 4-string fretless Zon bass and he often plays with an ebow. He creates a unique sound that compliments Franklin’s guitar and piano playing. A note of interest is that Franklin plays in about 25 different tunings on his guitar. Certainly these attributes are one of the main reasons the album has such a large palette of sounds and textures.

18 tracks is a lot of music and Franklin uses the space well throughout the recording. I was impressed with the overall diversity that I heard. Between the acoustic guitar, piano and Manring’s amazing fretless bass, each track held its own very well. For a listener that wants to take the time to hear it all fall into place within each track, I would recommend taking the time to do so. It not only soothes and relaxes; it brings to mind pleasant images that give a very spiritual atmosphere. Textured like a billowing cloud sitting in the middle of a clear blue sky, this music awaits you.

The opening track “Living in Interesting Times,” certainly is an understatement in a literal sense however the music does set you at ease and does a nice job creating the proper mood and atmosphere of what to expect in the forthcoming tracks. There were a lot of good reasons to find this track one of the most key presentations on the album.

“Song For The Dreaming” is another pick of the 18 tracks that really stayed with me and will prompt you to listen more than once. I featured it on our Rate The Tracks site as well. It is simplistic and that is the beauty of it. The guitar playing is smooth and flowing, it invites you in, and then you want to stay. So as a listener that means mission accomplished!

“Shifting Landscapes: Dawn” and “Shifting Landscapes: Dusk (feat. Rick Corrigan)” are two very strong tracks. As dawn segues into dusk you will find out it serves as a logical progression in two parts that make total sense. The music is anticipatory and holds beauty and elegance all at the same time. I found the changes and clarity refreshing and interesting much like Mother Nature can be when you observe it from a spiritual healing place.

Playing With Shadows has a lot to offer a listener and it can give more than just aural pleasure if you seek solitude and need to look within and or meditate, this wonderful music can be a useful companion where you will find joy and peace.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Living in Interesting Times, Song For The Dreaming, Shifting Landscapes: Dawn, Shifting Landscapes: Dusk (feat. Rick Corrigan)

Tracks: 
01. Living in Interesting Times
02. There Used to Be Songbirds   
03. Giza (feat. Michael Manring)
04. Shifting Landscapes: Dawn
05. Shifting Landscapes: Dusk (feat. Rick Corrigan)
06. Song for the Dreaming (feat. Michael Manring)
07. Falling Slowly (feat. Michael Manring)   
08. Falling Fast (feat. Michael Manring)   
09. Sunlit Mornings (feat. Michael Manring)
10. Not Just a Walk in the Park (feat. Michael Manring)   
11. The Rabbit Hole   
12. Rolling (feat. Michael Manring)
13. First Day of Autumn
14. Autumn Memories (feat. Michael Manring)   
15. Forgotten Memory (feat. Michael Manring)   
16. Goodbyes (feat. Michael Manring & Alex Franklin)
17. Playing With Shadows
18. A Final Song
 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
May 27, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews



Track Feature: Philip Wesley-Union

Philip Wesley's "Union" is the meeting of a man and his piano and how the sounds produced through that instrument can create beauty and reverberate in the human spirit.

This song will touch your soul in some way, and that is exactly what the artist wants to do. His goal is for people to listen and Transcend any problems or obstacles one may have in their lives through his music.

MuzikMan Rating: 4.5/5 Stars


 

More About Philip Wesley:
http://philipwesley.com

Philip Wesley’s music has been featured in radio, TV, film and print. It can be found on many of today’s most popular platforms including Pandora, Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and CDBaby. His music continues to dominate his genre of ‘New Age’ music and reached #1 on the iTunes charts, The Top 100 on Amazon, Best Seller at CD Baby, and most recently #12 on the Billboard Charts (New Age Catalog Chart) Charting with ‘The Piano Guys’ and ‘Jim Brickman’ The music reviewer ‘Reviews New Age’ recently called Philip
’s album Dark Night of the Soul one of the “50 Greatest New Age Albums of All Time.”

Transcend is Philip Wesley's 7th solo piano album and is about overcoming problems and obstacles in life. Not just overcoming them, but rising so far above and beyond them that they seem insignificant and a distant memory. This album is also about having the courage to change, to face and overcome your fears, and pursuing the people, places, and things in life that captivate you.

A dynamic album with a rich, dark ambient piano sound. Ranging from contemporary/new age to classical crossover. An emotionally powerful album from start to finish. 


Featured New Age Artist: David Wahler

David Wahler's music transports you to another place, where it is serene and beautiful, unencumbered by any outside influences.

This is healing music. Get ready to relax and take a trip to heaven! Listen to "Night Sky of Orion" for a taste of what is to come.

His upcoming album Spiritus is sure to make waves as its predecessors did.



More About David Wahler:
http://www.davidwahler.com 

David Wahler began his musical career at the age of 7 playing the piano “by ear.” Years of summer music clinics and academies at various universities culminated in his studying piano performance at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music and Mannes College of Music in New York. David then began serving as a musical director off Broadway. In the Chicago area, he played with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra as well as teaching music appreciation to disadvantaged and handicapped children. 

David released his first album, Antiquus, in the spring of 2009. The CD was met with instant accolades from the reviewers. He placed number one on ZMR (Zone Music Reporter) charts for the month of July, and was the highest ranking debut album in the history of the charts. Antiquus was selected by numerous websites as “one of the best New Age CD’s of 2009”, as well as placing third on ZMR’s Top 100 Most Played Albums of 2009. Antiquus was also nominated for four Zone Music Awards for 2009, including Best Album and Best New Artist, going on to win Best New Artist. 

David’s second album, A Star Danced, released March 1, 2010, was met with the following praise from RJ Lannan, reviewer with Zone Music Reporter. “Contemporary ambient artist David Wahler, musically takes us beyond earthly boundaries on his newest release, A Star Danced . It is music that celebrates the joy of living on a celestial scale. I give it a stellar recommendation.”

Nominated by ZMR Awards as Best Album, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, A Star Danced went on to win Best Meditation & Relaxation Album of 2010. Secret Dream, David’s third album, was released in 2013 by New World Music.

New Age World Instrumental Review: Erik Scott-Spirits

Release Date: 2014
Label: Indie


Mr. Erik Scott has quite the resume. From playing with Alice Cooper and Flo & Eddie to releasing a string of successful new age world instrumental releases, his influences are dramatically different. And The Earth Bleeds was released in the spring of this year so I did not expect another album so soon.

Spirits is Scott’s second release this year so to say the man is in a groove would be an understatement. Groove being the operative word here considering he is a bass player. Violins, flutes, electric guitars, various keyboards and more make up this montage of audible delights.

I think diversity is the key to success in area of employment and never is it more evident than with Scott’s music. His bass is a magnificent tool that prompts all the other sounds to bubble to the surface in the most wonderful way. “Free (Instrumental)” is a Celtic influenced track that is modern and clean yet it takes something from years long past and carries on the tradition and legacy of that timeless sound. If you are not thinking of castles and horse drawn carriages while listening to this song you had better check for a pulse!

Scott’s bass is quite prolific throughout this recording; his prominence and importance to the overall presentation reminded me of the dominance of a Jaco Pastorius or Tony Levin. It is like the purity of a hot springs bubbling essence and the synchronicity of time meeting for a grand explosion of colors and sounds. It’s both beauty and wonder put together in one tightly wrapped package.

“Donnie and Sancho” takes you to yet another time and place, Scott’s bass rolls over your body like a warm summer breeze and you feel like you are on a private beach in Mexico dipping your toes into the ocean. Ambiance and the intermingling of genres create a dance as the sands of time stand still. His bass is powerful, beautiful and ambient at times. It is kind of hard to explain but you have to hear it and feel it to totally assimilate the entire presentation. I know that sounds complicated but it’s actually quite the opposite because it’s right as rain straight on through. “Weightless” has a way of making you feel that way and once again the picture is painted on the right canvas. You find as things move along that this artist has impeccable taste and knows exactly how to create emotion and a deep sense of being one with the music. 

“Run (Instrumental)” has a tribal world feel to it as many different instruments take part in the festivities. It makes you feel like you are in the wide open spaces with an ancient civilization during some kind of ceremony or ritual. It gives you timeless music and a space to fill it all in with the inner most thoughts one can create as you take it all in. And if all of that wasn’t enough he does his own unique version of The Beatles “Yesterday,” which is brilliant. In a word, this man does more with one bass than some bands do with multiple instruments at hand.

“Proper Son” is the penultimate track that takes the bass as a lead instrument to an entirely new level. The combination of Scott’s bobbing and weaving bass lines coupled with layers of various instrumentation, are so impressive. I can hear this track playing during a rather exciting scene in a movie, perhaps a pursuit of climbing the highest peak or a deep jungle adventure.        

The music keeps you focused and mesmerized, track after track it will immerse you and make your heart sing. An consuming musical experience is what everyone needs on occasion and if you give Spirits a chance it will make you whole and satisfied with who you are and your surroundings. That is the purpose of a great musical experience. The day and stresses melt away and there is nothing else to focus on but the music. To me this is heaven, the very Spirit of mankind in its essence and purity, unencumbered by distractions. 

Spirits is a masterstroke of divergence and a cultural musical stew of joy and absolute bliss. It would seem one could listen to this album and land just about anywhere in the world. This is indeed a job well done Mr. Scott! You are a very talented individual and I hope you continue on this path you are on and have some more joy to bring us again very soon.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Free (Instrumental), Donnie and Sancho, Proper Son

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder

November 7, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Track Stream: Marika Takeuchi-Rain In The Park

I was so taken with this beautiful track I had to post it right away. Without a word it sweeps you away and brings so much emotion. It nearly brought me to tears. There is solace and a slice of heaven in this woman's fingers.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
More About Marika Takeuchi:

http://www.marika-takeuchi.com

Composer and pianist Marika Takeuchi, a native of Japan, began studies in classical music at the age of three. In addition to the piano, she played violin and french horn for several years. She began studying composition and building career as a composer at the age of 18 at Shobi Music College in Tokyo. Her early career includes composing for Japanese national radio, a major TV series and Universal Music Japan. As well as being strongly influenced and fascinated by classical impressionism and film music, her passions have been also extended into new age music, as she truly believes that music has the profound power to heal and change people’s lives.