Showing posts with label New Age Instrumental Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label New Age Instrumental Reviews. Show all posts

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Kater-Soul Story

Release Date: August 25, 2022

Label:  Independent


Part of being a recording artist and remaining successful is to move forward in developing a signature sound. In some cases, it is a matter of trying something entirely different. Or what I like to call “thinking out of the box,” which happens to be one of the things I want to do myself. It keeps things fresh and feels like an adventure.

Soul Story is one of those exciting turns in the road that Peter Kater took while playing for people. He would sit down and talk to folks then they would lie underneath his piano while listening to the melodies created while recalling their stories. So then, piano readings were born. The experiences are recorded and given to the folks with the reading. From my point of view, this is innovation and using your instrument to provide people with their Soul Story.

The dance of the solo piano is one of my favorite things to enjoy. I find it one of the best relaxing and contemplative types of music to enjoy. In the case of this album, it holds a special meaning for many different souls. They are also segments of some of Peter’s favorites. In fact, this should make it much more special for the recipients of his piano readings. I would be immensely grateful to have had the opportunity, as I am sure all those people are.

The beauty and simplicity of these tracks are what make them so listenable. When I am feeling stressed and exhausted from the day, the evening arrives, and I can listen to music from artists like Peter Kater to help me feel rejuvenated and hopeful for a new day. I can always count on it to be there for me. Music is timeless; it fills the void of space around us and changes the feeling and atmosphere of an entire room. The power of music goes far beyond what words can say. In this case, it is expertly performed solo instrumental piano played in a very contemporary way with the foundation of new age ideology, the driving force to create it.

The title track I found very moving. It is 4:39 minutes of pure emotion and thought. It is a very effective track; you can feel and process the emotions as Peter’s piano ebbs and tides throughout, connecting you with it every step. Music like that touches your soul, and you realize what a miracle it is that one may convey so much with one instrument and no words. Every track will leave a lasting effect on you. However, I found that one the most moving for me.

Soul Story and its depictive artwork do indeed tell a story, many of them. It will be one of the most beautiful and meaningful recordings in 2022. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself listening to it quite regularly to finish out your day.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

July 25, 2022


1.  Starry Night

2.  Touch of Rain

3.  The Path is Clear

4.  Spiral Outward

5.  Find Me

6.  Soul Story

7.  Majesty Falling

8.  Full Circle

9.  United

Instrumental Ambient Chill Review: David Helping-In

Release Date: April 15, 2022

Label:  ‎Spotted Peccary


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

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

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

Release Date: July 1, 2022

Label:  Independent


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

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

New Age Instrumental Review: Rick Sparks-Speak Peace

Release Date: June 4, 2022

Label:  Independent


Rick Sparks just released Speak Peace, an album for our times. We need artists like him in a world of unrest, war, ecological disasters, and many other things that cause discomfort and stress.

As his warm pictorial of the sun rising on a large field of poppies on the album cover indicates, you will find immediate serenity from the image and hopefully the same with the music. As the world turns and our lives are forever changing, the one constant we can depend on is music.

Music that soothes the soul is something everyone needs; whether you realize it or not, it is for the taking. As Rick's keyboard journeys in the eleven tracks on this album will attest, this is just what the doctor ordered. Stress will melt away, and the world's worries and the day will fade to the background. The time taken to listen to this music can make a difference in your life; that is why you listen.

The title track sets up the rest of the recording by introducing a gentle invitation to join in and hear the voices of angels accompanying Rick on the keys. This combination is an effective method to find a meditative state that you may seek; otherwise, if you are looking for a relief valve to relax, there is also a path to that found in this music.

The beauty of "Little Princess" may remind you of the innocence of a child or bring fond memories back from long ago. If you have a daughter, you may be able to relate to that; I certainly do and find myself looking back and wondering how our daughter is now a grown woman thousands of miles away. I have tears running down my cheeks right now thinking of it. It seems like another lifetime ago, come and gone in a blink. Such is the power and magnificence of music and the emotions it can stir inside you. It makes me wonder how something you are hearing is beautiful yet sad.

"Prayer For Ukraine" is an ode to that war-ravaged country being destroyed a bit at a time while taking lives and changing the world of millions. We all feel it in more ways than one. Rick's piano solo is healing personified, and the positive message of prayers will go out tenfold with each listen. The track was released as a single with all the funds sent to the relief fund for the country. 

Music makes a statement, and you will hear it in every corner of the earth. Its reach and magnitude have no limits. Listening to Speak Peace will open the door to your soul.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

June 7, 2022


01. Speak Peace

02. Harvest Moon

03. Little Princess

04. Dragonfly Dance

05. Lass of Inverness

06. 1912 Waltz

07. A Love That Lasts

08. Prayer for Ukraine

09. End of Day

10. We Wait Upon the King

11. Auld Lang Syne

New Age Instrumental-Meditation Review: Sonic Yogi-Breath Into Being

Release Date: February 11, 2022

Label:  Independent


Over two years ago, I was introduced to the Sonic Yogi (Jonathan Adams) on his Be The Love You Seek release. I am pleased to be listening to Breath Into Being. All instruments are performed, recorded, and mixed by Jonathan Adams. Jeannine Scarpino provides some gorgeous vocals as well.

Comment From The Artist: The intention of the album is to combine a cross-section of musical art and meditative practice. Music and Sound, have a direct impact on our nervous system and can also be great teachers to bring us back home to a calm and centered place in the nervous system.

Now here we are, still trying to make our way back from the pandemic, inflation, uncertain futures overseas with ongoing wars; it is piling upon us all. Stress is a major killer of all human beings; it takes forms disguised as cancer, severe headaches, aches and pains, heartburn, high blood pressure, the list seems to go on and on. 

Along those lines, Sonic Yogi was dealing with extreme anxiety, and he had to find a way to deal with it. He found relief inside the music. He wants to share this effective outlet with you all that are able and willing to listen.

From listening to this form of meditation and healing, I have learned that I can let go of the stress. And once you gain some solid ground with this practice, you will find peace, and the situations that once caused your grief subsides. I could easily accept daily stress while multitasking in my day job. The foundation I built was years of taking in music that you can assimilate, such as Breath Into Being, and that is precisely the point, you make it happen when you breathe.

Breathing is an absolute that ties into meditation and how you handle each day’s events. If I feel any stress coming, I breathe in and count to four, then release it counting to eight. It is very effective, and if you do that in combination with what is offered by the Sonic Yogi, you will be well on your way to mastering your path to a better life. You can have a life that exhibits more patience and overall control in acceptance of your surrounding or triggers like work stressors. It is a process - breath, meditation music, acceptance, rinse and repeat as often as necessary. I also enjoy using an acupressure mat daily for 30 minutes.

There is a lot to take in on this recording that includes:
•   Eleven beautiful music tracks.
•   Additional sounds or drones for focus.
•   Some lovely strings that lead the way.

The tracks range from 9 minutes (“Om Mani Padme Hum”) to the closer at four minutes and eight seconds (“Singing Bowl Improv”).

The array of instrumentation on this album is impressive, and everything solidifies to make for a fascinating listen with many healing elements to place it firmly into the realm of meditation and relaxation where it belongs. I appreciate the effort and time that must have gone into creating this recording. One man putting it all together with a god-given gift is amazing to me. I am grateful that he wants to share it. 

I always hear flowing water at some point in these types of releases, and it makes sense; it is from whence we came, and it is, after all, very calming. Logically it is about “Om Shanti (Releasing).” The releasing is part of the breathing; that is where it starts. And honestly, I realized that whatever choices I make determine what external things affect me. It is all in your mind, which is very powerful. We can learn to use its powers to exhibit more control and easy release of tensions. All of this is inside the music for us all.

I am here to listen, learn, live, and love, and this music will allow you to bring your Breath It Into Being

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
March 2, 2022

01. Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu
02. Breath into Being
03. Om Mani Padme Hum
04. Alone in Me, Together in Me
05. A Gentle Insight
06. Dilo sin Palabras (Say it without words)
07. Grounding in Intention
08. Om Shanti (Releasing)
09. Choose Love in each moment
10. I Am: Letting Go
11. Singing Bowl Improv

New Age Instrumental Reviews: Trine Opsahl-The Moon Stays Bright

Release Date: January 1, 2022

Label:  ‎Independent


Trine Opsahl is a pioneer of harp therapy in Denmark and works as a therapeutic harp player in two hospices, playing for the dying and their relatives. She is a Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner (CTHP), trained and certified within the International Harp Therapy Program (info from the artist website).

To truly appreciate the all-encompassing artistry of Ms. Opsahl I needed to share that information.

The new year will be ushered in with The Moon Stays Bright. The recording encompasses eleven tracks of solo harp music, with three accompanied by her daughter Josefine on cello (tracks 4,8,11). In 2018 I was introduced to Trine's music with Add Colours To My Sunset Sky.

I find the simplistic beauty of the harp to be the most attractive aspect. It draws me in very quickly and what I hear are the voices of angels. Trine's precise and gentle touch allows you, the listener, to relax and let your soul melt into the sounds. When Josefine joins in on the three tracks, the harp takes on a new meaning; the sound becomes multi-hued with all the definitions you would expect from string instruments.

Most listeners would find this music exceptionally accessible and, more importantly, healing. The exciting aspect of this listen is that the healing I speak of happens unknowingly. Without effort or thought in that direction, things happen inside the audio vibrations and various dimensions on offer.

Most interesting is the trilogy of "Moonscapes" I-III. The moon is significant to mother earth. Its gravitational pull affects the oceans' tides, our weather and brings light into the dead of night. It is like the offspring of the sun giving us the natural light we need. When a full moon rises, it affects people in different ways. This reference has a spiritual meaning, and it stays bright from the first to the last track.

Listen to The Moon Stays Bright, and you are bound to find that "Stars Lie Hidden In You." This is a prolific release that you should not miss. The Celtic Harp is a fantastic instrument and becomes magical instantly in the right hands. Trine Opsahl is one of those rare artists that come along once in a lifetime for a listener. Her music will leave an indelible imprint on your soul.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
January 1, 2022

01. The Moon Stays Bright
02. Moonscapes I
03. Do Not Simply Pass By Like A Dream
04. Rose Of The Eternal Spring (Duo)
05. Return Of The Light
06. Moonscapes II
07. Stars Lie Hidden In You
08. Do Not Simply Pass By Like A Dream (Duo)
09. I May Look Distant But I Am So Close
10. Moonscapes III
11. The Moon Stays Bright (Duo)

New Age Instrumental Review: Ann Sweeten-Change Is in the Wind

Release Date: September 3, 2021

Label: Orange Band Records



Ann Sweeten takes us all on another instrumental new age journey on Change Is in the Wind. This is the fourth release I have covered in her catalog.

Ann has defeated breast cancer twice and is now battling leukemia. It makes me wonder why so many people have to go through so much suffering in their lives. It is for a reason, that is what many people will say, and even those going through it. It is about acceptance, healing, and moving to the next phase of your spiritual development, here on earth or another level of existence.

With that thought in mind, I think artists such as Ann Sweeten come from a place not all of us can understand. Although there are physical issues, we all deal with, some are more serious and life-threatening than others. In that very moment of realizing your life is once again being threatened, the enlightened will look at it as another opportunity to grow and get stronger. That is exactly the choice that Ann made recording this album.

While reading all of her notes in the CD pamphlet I realized that there were so many things I could relate to. She mentioned sitting in her garden and a butterfly and hummingbird came to visit. She immediately looked at it as one of nature’s gifts and god’s messengers. I have always felt that way about wildlife I “coincidentally” came across, and no I do not believe in coincidence, I see these beautiful creatures as a reminder of the beauty and life that surrounds me.

This has everything to do with the music of Ann Sweeten. The appreciation, connection, and the awesome beauty of god’s gifts that are given to us while we are here. It is important to me to know about the artist and their music, what drives them, where their energy is coming from, and what is the process that gets them to the end of an entire recording. I find out a lot of this on my Podcast’s however just by listening to the music, reading a bio on a website, or the liner notes, I have a lot to think about before I listen, and then it changes my entire experience.

Ann and her Steinway Baby Grand Model B will sweep you away into another time and place, the mists of time melt away, and your feelings are engaged and pictures will enter your mind. This music moves me in a way no other genre can. It takes away any preconceptions of what I will hear and allows me to flow with the music and feelings that are happening. And yes, it is meditative and healing, her music has always had that effect on me.

“What My Eyes Can’t See” is one of the most prolific tracks she has ever created. And interestingly enough it connects to “What Blooms Beneath The Snow.” It is untouched beauty yet to blossom as we wait for the snow to melt and the sun’s rays to provide the warmth to initiate the growth. Life is like that in many ways. In some ways perhaps the disease that this amazing woman is currently dealing with has brought about something she now can see, and the growth is beginning because another part of her physical being is going through yet another change. I can see how she weaved all of these titles with meaning into her gorgeous representation of instrumental piano work. The spiritual essence of this individual is alive and well in this music and as she created it, presents it to us all, she is healing as well. This is her gift to the world and with that, we all must appreciate what is before us and take advantage of the beautiful sound and expressions being delivered through those ivory keys.

I think there has been Change Is in the Wind for several years now. The awareness is getting stronger with each passing day on a global level. For me, I count my blessings every day. When I realized what was going on with Ann it changed my entire perspective on my own life. Even though there is gratitude present, I believe there could be more. We all need to give each other as much understanding and opportunity to express our true feelings and love for each other. Music like this gets me into the right space where all of these thoughts come to me one at a time for yet another moment of consideration. Music without words can be more powerful than heartfelt lyrics. Ann Sweeten has mastered that artistry and Change Is in the Wind is another documentary of her amazing life and talent.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
September 3, 2021 

01. Arctic Dance
02. What Blooms Beneath the Snow
03. May 24, 42 Years Ago
04. Turning the Page
05. What My Eyes Can’t See
06. One Last October
07. Forever Sunday
08. Emergence
09. Change is in the Wind
10. Silver Lining

New Age Instrumental Reviews: Peter Sterling-The Winding Way

Artist: Peter Sterling

Title: The Winding Way

Release Date: August 13, 2021


Peter Sterling is “Calling All Angels” (track 4) with his magnificent harp playing on his new release The Winding Way.

Like many of his contemporaries, Peter has a multitude of talents that can be enjoyed. I would recommend visiting his website to see the array of artistry he presents with several recordings, works of art, and a book titled Hearing the Angels Sing: A True Story of Angelic Assistance.

I have said this before, and it bears worth repeating, this harp music is the closest thing to heaven on earth on an audio level that I have heard. Beyond the audio, there is an experience available. The listening is just the beginning. For my senses it is transformative. I can go from being restless, stressed, and worrisome, to a very satisfied meditative state. And what all that equates to is a strong feeling of gratefulness for everything presently in my life. That is a tremendous feeling of spirituality and oneness. For one recording to enable all of that is a miracle, and it must make the recording artist feel quite gratified because I can assure you that is the goal for this music.

In the new age instrumental genre, the music must speak to you in some way. Without words, a message must be carried by the music alone. With the music of Peter Sterling, there is the harp leading the way in every track however there are layers of sounds and elements that embellish and support that main instrument. There is an old saying, behind every great man there is an equally great woman, and vice versa. With music, there is always a wellspring of talent and production values that support the main instrument. In this case that applies along with a beautiful wordless singing (with the exception of the spoken word on #9 “The Elven Queen”) that is a lovely touch that makes the chosen tracks more elegant and desirable. I would not think that was possible but it is, just that harp is beautiful enough, and then to add the additional layer of the talented background vocals is taking it all to another level. It is like more roots growing on a strong oak tree.

Lately, I have seemed to been getting away from mentioning certain tracks and just focusing on the album in its entirety. I listen to it like I would watching a river flow or the snow or rainfall. Like it was a living live thing coming alive before me. It was almost like all 11 tracks wrapped into one ongoing story unfolding and all of my senses joining in and becoming one with the music. This is truly a spiritual thing for me and I am very pleased that it happens that way. This does not happen all the time, just more so lately. I can look it at it as a different level of conveying my feelings and thoughts of what I am hearing to potential listeners. This to me is another form of growth and coincides with my studies of Buddhism. It all works together.

So, Peter Sterling, I thank you for the opportunity, the realizations that your music revealed, and how the timing of my listening experience was meant to be, perfect for these moments in time. Hearing your amazing new album, The Winding Way made everything crystal clear.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

August 13, 2021


01. Beauty Abounds         
02. Clouds and Sky         
03. Deep Dive         
04. Calling Angels          
05. Along the Way         
06. Rose Petal Tea         
07. Every Which Way         
08. The Noble Knight         
09. The Elven Queen         
10. Hope for Tomorrow         
11. A Love That Lasts

New Age Instrumental Review: Dean And Dudley Evenson-Monet’s Garden

Release Date: April 21, 2021

Label:  Soundings of Planet


Dean Evenson (Silver & Cedar Flutes, Keyboards, Field Recordings) and Dudley Evenson (Harp, Hand Harp, Singing Bowls, Chimes) released Monet’s Garden in April this year. This duo creates music to match the beautiful scenery of the background on the cover of this recording.

To present what went into this effort...they took their dream trip to Monet’s world to gather footage after a lifetime of admiring and studying his life and paintings. From that lifelong journey, 12 tracks emerged.

By using their chosen instruments, the recordings encompass natural sounds such as birds in all their happiness, and with the harp and flute as the main instruments, and the addition of keyboards, singing bowls, and chimes, a musical garden is created. Some may call it nirvana, it felt that way to me and I believe based on what I garnered from reading about these two profound artists, they successfully created their garden of delights merging art with music.

Every listening experience is something new for me. In this case, this was my introduction to the music of the Evenson’s. And what a way to start. I found this music beautiful and so deeply relaxing and meditative. I find several different pathways to where I need to be through music like this. I found it was all easily assimilated. The reason why was the flow of the entire recording. To my senses, it was like one journey or path, in essence like one song. I find it more difficult to mention any single track as a key because the entire album was a doorway for me. For my interpretation, that is the highest compliment I can give an artist. To command my attention and appreciation in such a way that I was totally focused and listening intently, that is the ultimate for my ears. I would think that is what any recording artist would want and the desired result for many listeners.

I love the sound of birds and there is one singing sparrow in my backyard I hear every day. My life would be incomplete without it. There is a lot of that interlaced in this music, which gave me an immediate level of comfort and acceptance. That is the organic touchpoint that I got from Monet’s Garden.

One of the things mentioned in the information I received was that this album Contains Earth Resonance Frequency for deeper relaxation and a heightened state of peacefulness. It certainly has that effect, and all of the instrumentation is excellent as well as the engineering and sound values.

Monet’s Garden is a storybook music experience, page by page you enter a garden in your mind’s eye with all the colors and beauty that Monet could capture in his paintings, with the light of the day dancing through the trees, the sun shining brightly and the birds showing their appreciation, this is a listening experience you need to have whether you want to meditate or just relax.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
July 12, 2021

01. Water Lily Nymphs         
02. Wisteria Foot Bridge       
03. Golden Tones                   
04. Splendid Irises                  
05. Water Garden                    
06. Spring Impressions           
07. Enchanted Garden Path     
08. Field of Flowers          
09. Pond Reflections              
10. Cascading Willows       
11. Play of Light
12. Evening in Giverny 

New Age Instrumental Review: Dyan Garris-Orenda: Breath Of Angels

Release Date: April 23, 2021

Label: Journeymakers, Inc


Dyan Garris is set to release her fourteenth proper album titled Orenda: Breath Of Angels.

Looking at the title, the first thing I needed to do was endeavor to find what Orenda was. Fortunately, that was provided by the artist.

From the Urban Dictionary:  Orenda is "a supernatural, divine force within every human being. Always omnipresent, it empowers people to change the world in a positive, loving way. It is also the energy that effects change in one's own life.”

From Wikipedia:  Orenda /ˈɔːrɛndə/ is the Iroquois name for a supposed spiritual energy inherent in people and their environment. It's an "extraordinary invisible power believed by the Iroquois Native Americans to pervade in varying degrees in all animate and inanimate natural objects as a transmissible spiritual energy capable of being exerted according to the will of its possessor."

Now I am off to a good start on this audio journey. The cover image projects exactly what it needs to. It’s soft and very spiritual and angelic of course. If you look at both interpretations of Orenda there are similar meanings, however what I think Dyan is projecting through her music is peace, serenity, love, hope, and ultimately a meditative and healing experience listening to her music. If that force is present then all of those things can happen.

If you are part of the new age community and are into this genre of music, Dyan is not hard to find. Besides being a fine musician that enlightens her listeners, she writes reviews regularly for her contemporaries on Zone Music Reporter, and most recently launched her radio station called New Age Notes. So, to say the least, she is multi-talented and offers so much to others. She is one of our gifts that all of the music community can thank the heavens for.

I had previously covered two of her singles “Every Time You Breathe” and “Forest Whispers.” I completely enjoyed that experience. Now I had the opportunity to settle in and take an entire album in. Dyan allows us to get outside ourselves, and become willing to remove the thoughts and distractions of the day, and focus on the beautiful music she provides on Orenda: Breath Of Angels.

The primary instrument from which each composition is created then performed is her keyboards. For those of you that want to be informed of what equipment she used to record, there are three configurations of keyboards including the Korg Triton Extreme, Korg Krome EX, and Yamaha MOX8. In addition to all the amazing sounds, you will hear the very popular in demand Rebak Eden, who provides the ethereal wordless vocals to give it that special heavenly touch.

What is there not to like on Orenda: Breath Of Angels? The answer is nothing. All ten tracks were wonderful and gave me such solace and regeneration of my mind, body, and spirit, that it was over before I knew it. That is a good thing from my viewpoint, if the music is good then it goes by fast. The sounds while electronically generated, are amazing, to say the least. The combination of all the keyboards and additional instruments makes for a classic contemporary new age music album that will be a joy to hear. It is, as I always say, a great healing tool and will help you get into a meditative state. If you seek relaxation, meditation, either deep alpha or minimal to focus, it works.

If you are ready to take flight on the wings of an angel, then Orenda: Breath Of Angels will make a path of restoration that you will want to visit more than once.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 19, 2021

01. Every Time You Breathe (3:34) (feat. Juliet Lyons, VOX and Sherry Finzer, flute
02. Another Place (3:32)
03. Forest Whispers (5:20) (feat. Sherry Finzer, flute)
04. Orenda (2:59)
05. Moonlight Breeze (6:30)
06. Gentle Traveler (5:05) (feat. Rebekah Eden, VOX and Tony Garviz, guitars)
07. Water For The Soul (Remix) 2:56)
08. Timeless Traveler (6:21) (feat. Rebekah Eden, VOX and Sherry Finzer, flute)
09. Home (Remix) (5:19) (feat. String arrangements by Louis Anthony deLise
10. 5th Eye Trance (5:27) (feat. Rebekah Eden, VOX)

Total run time: 47:23

All music written and performed by Dyan Garris

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-Ambient Tuesdays

Release Date: January 29, 2021

Label: Independent


The first thing I noticed on Peter Calandra’s new release Ambient Tuesdays was the texture of the album cover. If you look closely or blow it up larger you can see it has the same surface as the paper on canvas. It of course works very well because it is an oil painting and it looks like the image used was the actual painting. I think it was a clever idea to do it this way.

When I started to listen to the first track it was an instantaneous reaction of, yes, I know I am going to love this album full of ambient delights. It never hurts to be familiar with an artist, which I am with Peter. I go back to 2014 and here we are in 2021 already and the music just keeps coming, and I am very grateful for that.

Ambient Tuesdays
will take you on quite a journey, with each track offering the listener all the variety one artist can assemble in a recording session. There is gracefulness in this ambient aural exchange. With each track, there are so many elements intersecting you quickly realize the immense effort that went into recording all eleven tracks.

The very interesting and progressive title track starts the proceedings then the exciting and cinematic “Walking The High Line” changes direction entirely. If you can picture a situation or actual physical presence of someone attempting such a daring feat, the music certainly gets you there quickly with emotion and suspense sprinkling the image in your head with various sounds and keyboards. On the other side of that “Spring Morning” is a shorter piece that brings instant relaxation and peace. It is contemplative and meditative all at the same time and I could see if it went on for a few more minutes it would serve as a doorway to another state of mind, that higher plane of existence that meditation can take you. Peter is no stranger to bringing that kind of composition to a recording as the next piece, “Quiet Romance,” is everything it says it is in the title and it runs for 6:28. It gives any kind of listener ample time to stretch out, relax, and let the stress or worries of the day just disappear. It is a wonderful thing this spiritual-based music we have at our fingertips any time or anywhere.

Now if all of that was not enough Peter invites you to create “Your Story” set to the most elegant and inviting sounds. This allows you to paint your picture on a blank canvas with the music as your spark to some creative essence otherwise not found. Maybe you have something inside that needs to come forward or you need to rewrite your story and make it real. The music is the golden key to bring you there.

I particularly enjoyed the way Peter wrapped up the album with the two “Matriarch Suites” prelude and postlude, coming in at 7:10 and 5:54 respectively. The first suite reminded me of the wizardry of keyboard legends like Rick Wakeman and Jordan Rudess. Peter stretched out and gave his audience an aural bag of goodies with over 13 minutes of his keyboard prowess on display. I thought it was an amazing two tracks and I thoroughly enjoyed how many changes and developments all this music went through. As a matter of fact, on the entire recording there was so much diversity, but more so in these two suites than I ever expected.

Ambient Tuesdays takes the core beliefs of the new age genre and community tenets and uses them as a springboard to create and deliver gorgeous ambient instrumental soundscapes. The production values of this recording are superb and the use of the keyboards and different sounds it can generate is masterful.

The truth is you can have all of this and it does not have to be Tuesday to fully enjoy it!

January 12, 2021
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

Track List:
01. Ambient Tuesdays (3:00)
02. New Renaissance (5:51)
03. Overlook Morning (4:24)
04. Rainy Mood (5:11)
05. Desert Skies (2:42)
06. Walking The High Line (4:04)
07. Spring Morning (2:47)
08. Quiet Romance (6:28)
09. Your Story (4:10)
10. Matriarch Suite, Prelude (5:54)
11. Matriarch Suite, Postlude (7:10)

THE FINAL ON VINYL REVIEW: Howard Givens & Craig Padilla-The Bodhi Mantra

Release Date: June 26, 2020

Label: Spotted Peccary Music


The Bodhi Mantra was a real treat for this addicted vinyl collector. The fact that I love to hear music on vinyl is the driving force behind this addiction. So, I am thinking, when can addiction be a good thing? Ok, I thought for a minute, when the music makes you happy and the vinyl is a beautiful teal and blue splatter and looks very cool when you hold it up to the light. There is my justification. I’m sold- But seriously…

Howard Givens & Craig Padilla unveiled their third release in June this year and it is an instrumental blessing of sound and textures. A little bit of history is good to know before you listen to this immersive slice of vinyl. The artists use analog, digital, and modular keys and synths to create their multitude of sounds and spiritually with an exceptionally enlightened approach. This version of The Bodhi Mantra is a deluxe 140-gram 12" vinyl record pressed on teal and blue splatter colored vinyl with a premium polylined sleeve and color insert.

I pulled this info off the artist Bandcamp page to give more meaning to the album title: Bodhi is a Sanskrit word translated as “enlightenment” or “awakening” which relates to a Buddhist concept of spiritual awareness, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana - being freed from hate, greed, and ego or the unenlightened identity. The Mantra is the musical expression of this serene offering.

That certainly puts things into proper perspective from where I sit. I am interested in comparative religion and have a fascination with the ancient healing arts and all the music these enlightened musicians create. On the other side of all that for the listener that is not seeking any particular path of enlightenment and has a desire to hear some wonderful ambient new age sounds, this is a great listen. There can be a multitude of purposes for music like this. I happen to look at every aspect possible like the album art, the inner sleeve that comes with this album, the credits, the equipment used, and the color of the vinyl, and finally, the all-important sound.

The first side offers one track titled “Prana” which clocks in at 13:01. The mellow and immersive sounds gradually relax you and the tones, wavelengths, colors, and textures go through some changes during the time that fills over 13 minutes. It sets you up for side two which is more complex.

“Serenity, the Peaceful Place” runs for 9:29 and it is perfectly titled. It says it all giving the listener an imaginary comfy chair in your mind's eye to slide right into a melt into the music. The sounds are an invitation to reach down in an explore your soul and find the truth. Our daily lives are so fast and busy that we stop only because of mental or physical exhaustion, or both. This is time to unwind and heal, to recharge those batteries so your inner light can shine again.

“Leaving Behind the Now” runs for 18:50 and it is their ultimate track to close the curtain on their synthesized delights. I find myself thinking of legendary performers such as Kraftwerk and Tangerine Dream. I reference these two bands frequently when I hear music that flips that switch inside me. This track did right away and even though it was nearly 19 minutes long I did not want it to end! It just kept getting better as it progressed with the different layers of keys. It starts as a small quiet stream of water then gradually builds to a mountain full of sound. Some of the stronger heavier sounds got the Tangerine Dream thing happening for me.

This was an album that was an awakening to two very talented artists sharing their path with the world. Music, good music, has the power to do that. Do not miss out on The Bodhi Mantra.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-TFOV Founder

August 31, 2020

Side One:
1. Prana 13:01
Side Two:
2.Serenity, the Peaceful Place 09:29
3.Leaving Behind the Now 18:50

New Age Instrumental Review: Carl Borden-Beyond the Sunrise

Release Date: August 14, 2020

Label: Myndstream


Beyond The Sunrise is Carl Borden’s third proper recording. Carl said Beyond the Sunrise symbolizes a new beginning for me as an artist. Both creatively and emotionally.”

What you will hear are some soothing sounds among the ten tracks offered on Beyond the Sunrise. The keyboards and synths utilized create a blanket of sounds that gently wraps you up and takes you away. If you happen to be looking for meditation-based music this definitely could serve the purpose.

For me, it is listening and letting the music open the doors to what I am feeling while I am listening. Essentially what it does for me is it pulls the plug on an entire day, my mind empties, my physical being is relieved of all stress and as I let go, I let the music do its work. Only then can find a clear path that resonates with my soul.

The title track is the longest clocking in at 8:54. For my listening experience, it was the most fulfilling and inspirational. The consistency of the flow of music, the textures, colors, and connection I found inside the music was exceptional. Every artisan’s intention is to move you in some way with their music, paintings, sculptures, whatever visual or audio component they want to present, they all have a special meaning to the creators, and hopefully for those that appreciate it all. I sincerely appreciate all types of art; music happens to be the most powerful for my tastes and expectations. At times when the music is paired with a video, it becomes even more powerful depending on what the artist is trying to convey to an audience.

Different sounds are combined with all the keyboards in these songs, that make them individual artistic expressions. For example, in the title track, you can hear birds tweeting.  “In Space and Time” you can hear wind chimes and gentle keyboards allowing those sounds to permeate your being. It is as if you are on the front porch of your home on a sunny day with a huge empty green field in front of you and your appreciation and love for that land radiate like the sun above as the wind chimes give their appreciation by making beautiful sounds in full agreement. That is what I could picture myself doing and feeling listening to this track. That is but a few of the diverse expressions of audible art that you can create via your own personal painting inside your mind’s eye. Just let Carl Borden lead you down that path.

Speaking of diversity and contrast, “Jamila’s Song,” while it is the shortest outing, gives pause to just the solo piano that Carl can offer without any other effects. It is pure and simple and perfect just the way it is played. I surely could have listened to several more minutes of that piece and really do enjoy just solo piano as much as everything else I heard on this entertaining and ultimately relaxing session.

Beyond The Sunrise is beauty, elegance, consistency, diversity, and everything one could expect from a keyboard-based instrumental new age recording. I do understand the hours of work that goes into arranging compositions, putting them together, using the right instruments and effects, then recording something cohesive and pleasing for a perspective audience. Carl Borden ticks all the boxes and I am sure you will love his work after one listen. Your entire being will melt like butter on a hot summer day, it is perfect for stress relief from start to finish.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 10, 2020

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Track List:
01. At First Light 05:24
02. Beyond the Sunrise 08:54
03. City of Dreams 06:01
04. Drifting Stars 07:29
05. In Space and Time 06:35
06. Jamila’s Song 02:19
07. Memories of You (Interlude) 04:18
08. Memories of You 06:32
09. The Road Home 06:04
10. Walk With Me 04:39 (A Beautiful Journey)