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

Instrumental New Age Featured Track: Orchestra Indigo-Evening On The Esplanade

Release Date: June 21, 2024

Label: Independent

Website

Orchestra Indigo (Rick Randlett) transformed his career in music from a blues guitarist to an exceptional new-age and ambient artist. He has released three albums over the last few years and is enjoying a renaissance of creativity.

“Evening On The Esplanade” is a track release that will give you a good idea of what to expect from this talented one-person show.

The track is lush, cinematic, and emotional. The distinct sound of the orchestra in the indigo is unmistakable. With a blend of various keys, synths, and computer-generated sounds, Orchestra Indigo creates a captivating wall of sound that resonates like an orchestral gathering of beauty.

Orchestra Indigo’s music has been on the rise for some time now, and I think he has found a home in the new age community. The transition is complete, and we welcome him with open arms, hearts, minds, and, most importantly, our ears.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

June 21, 2024

More about the man behind Orchestra Indigo…

Richard K. Randlett holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Keene State College, where he studied composition with well-regarded composer Hubert C. Bird. Rick also did graduate work in theory and composition at the University of Massachusetts…READ MORE…

New Age-World-Meditation Review: Paul Avgerinos, Siddhant Bhatia, Keerthy Narayanan-Gratitude Joy 3

Release Date: May 30, 2024

Label: ‎Round Sky Music

Album Link And Videos


Gratitude Joy 3
is a collaboration of many talents. Paul Avgerinos, Siddhant Bhatia, and Keerthy Narayanan combine their artistry (and many others) to celebrate new age-world meditation.

If there were one word I had to describe this music, it would be "mesmerizing." The recording begins with "Jaya Ganapati Om," a particularly relaxing and melodic piece that lays a solid foundation for the future of this recording. And all of it will be for your spiritual well-being—that is why these people make this music.

 

When I searched for the translation to the track, it said the following: Translation Glory to Thee, O Ganesha, the elephant faced one, the bestower of boons, the one who has the mouse as His vehicle, the one who has Modaka (a sweet preparation) in His hand, the supremely pure one. O Lord, I offer obeisance at Your Lotus feet.

 

So, as you delve into this collection of recorded blissfulness, you should dig deeper into the meanings to better understand the beliefs of the culture from which it was derived. Although I add the world to the genres covered, it frequently leans towards a more Middle Eastern atmosphere.

 

As Paul says in "Om Namah Shivaya," "the cosmic healer, my eternal friend, is, in fact, the calm in my chaos." And he also says, "The eternal flame I draw you near." From my perspective, this is essential spiritualism. Even though it is in a different language, the communication is clear and straightforward. One human race, one spirit, one God or deity, or whatever you choose to call it, we are one with each other, and as we are with our creator, regardless of what you decide to call it or the religion you may believe in.

 

The number of individuals involved in this project, which features over 100 musicians and singers, is incredible. "Lokah Samastah" gives you a glimpse of the talent assembled and the seemingly effortless vocals of so many. It sounds like a choir singing along to all the music and layers of instrumentation. The track's meaning is the Sanskrit phrase Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu, which supports the prevalence of love over hate. We could use that on a world level these days. Our lives and future could be beautiful with enough of everything for everyone to live comfortably.

 

It's a nice thought; perhaps this will be realized with music and words like this leading the way. Therefore, I needed to investigate the meaning of some of these tracks. It strengthened my own beliefs and wishes for our future.

 

"Om Shri Govinda" means "O Lord Govinda, the son of Devaki and Vasudeva, the Lord of the universe. Please grant me a son, O Krishna; I take refuge in you." This track has a very appealing percussive element and beautiful, transient, and universal vocals. While religious or spiritual beliefs may differ from yours, they all fold into one book of humanity when you take a step back and absorb the messages in these compositions.

 

I enjoyed one of the instrumentals, "A New Creation." The difference was that no thought went into the chanting; this time, it just let the music take you. That is often all I (and hopefully you) need to get to that place in my mind and heart to be exactly where I should be in those moments.

 

I must be honest. Once I heard this kind of music, I only considered a different language, religion, or spirituality the same. I had to simplify everything to be open to and feel it.

 

Gratitude Joy 3 is like the world church of music, all under the same roof, looking for the same result and what we all want: peace and love. This accomplished group of enlightened individuals allows you to step outside your daily existence and preconceived ideas of what this could be. Let the music and words flow (although, as I mentioned, you may want to do some research). But even so, if you do not understand the words, you can feel the spirituality of this music and the voices in every fiber of your being. Either way, it works.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

June 13, 2024

Tracks:

01. Jaya Ganapati Om 5:13

02. Narayana Hari Om 4:39

03. Om Namah Shivaya 5:20

04. Lokah Samastah 4:30

05. Devi Om 5:16

06. Om Shri Govinda 4:13

07. Ma Om 5:51

08. The Sunlit Path 3:49

09. Universal Guru 4:39

10. A New Creation 5:03

11. Blessings For All 4:33

12. Goddess Supreme 4:59

13. Lotus Petals 4:31

14. Mother's Love 5:51


New Age-World-Instrumental Review: David Arkenstone-Quest For The Runestone

Release Date: July 1, 2024

Label: QDV Music

Website

Quest For The Runestone Listening Party on June 30. 

CDs are available at  https://davidarkenstone.bandcamp.com 

Some names are synonymous with specific genres of music, and David Arkenstone is one of those artists immediately recognized for his contributions to the new-age music community. With a stunning 70+ albums, multiple Grammy nominations, TV scores, and over 1 billion streams, the man is accomplished in many fields of work.

Quest For The Runestone is a unique and captivating release that is set to captivate audiences worldwide with its distinct blend of new-age music.

The CD box of Quest For The Runestone offers more than just music. It includes a 48-page booklet, custom sleeve, *Vellum, sticker, pendant, magnet, and miniature rhinestone, providing a truly immersive experience.

(*Vellum-It is often distinguished from parchment, either by being made from calfskin (rather than the skin of other animals) or simply by being of a higher quality. Vellum is prepared for writing and printing on single pages, scrolls, and codices (books).

"Prophecy" starts with a dreamy, esoteric atmosphere. Then, as the percussion comes in, the track begins to build. The bell tolls, and the vocals call to the heavens as the story's meaning takes another turn. The orchestrations soothe and excite at the same time. Will the "Prophecy" be fulfilled?

"The Soothsayer Speaks" as the instruments and voices merge to emphasize the track's meaning. It reaches an apex and then starts to wind down as the wordless vocals come in like a chant from a faraway land. Once again, the pace picks up to convey more emotion and meaning to convey the crucial information they receive. It is one of the best tracks, for sure. It's so colorful and exciting.

"Ancient Magic Awakens" starts with tremendous color and energy. The instruments come alive with every note, notably the thrilling percussion, which drives the Celtic theme. Wordless vocals give it the epic feel when you reach the apex of the musical mountain. The violin leads the way from the beginning to the closing. There is a very soft interlude for a short time; then, it launches back into the excitement.

"Réann" begins with the Uillean pipes, which always give a song that original Celtic imprint. The old meets the new as the keys, violin, and cello enter the mix. This is the first track where the pipes are the main instrument, and everything else builds around it. It is very different from all the previous tracks and is the most effective.

In "Eyes Of Skata," the violin starts accompanied by a beautiful acoustic guitar. Then, that fantastic percussion comes in, this time more subtle but rhythmic. The vocals are in sync with the rhythms and atmosphere of the music.

"Oceans Of Ice" is like a veil of satin brushing over your skin. The story continues, beginning slowly, and then the tempo changes as the cello and acoustic guitar partner. The bass tones are a strong undercurrent, replacing the previous track's vital percussion parts.

"Path Of The Mountain's Bones" brings back the march of the percussion, and Celtic solid influences take over to inspire the climb up the mountain. The path is clear, and the people traveling do it purposefully. The rhythm and chants push them along to their journey's end. The vocals are strong and hold the promise of its people. Think of an Irish gig combined with a battle hymn—epic echoes of the past launch you into the future.

"Stars Without Light": For what is a star without its light? It begins with a mystical tone, and the wordless vocals give it a spiritual feeling. The music and vocals are soft. The cello cries, the violin answers, and a gentle picking of the acoustic guitar adds substance and beauty. A touch of melancholy towards the end makes you think about what could come next as it picks up the energy and flows again. It ends with those spirit-like vocals and leaves you wondering.

"The Arbos Stirs" begins quietly and thoughtfully as you anticipate a change. It arrives quickly, a bit more subtly than the opener, until the percussion arrives. As the track title indicates, the booming drums are an awakening, a stirring. Nice guitar picking accompanies the anthemic vocals. It is a powerful song that ends definitively and suddenly. It sounded like a warning to me that something was about to happen.

"Inscriptions" begins pensively as the violin enters the mix. The feeling is anticipation, as the measured beat of the drums enhances the overall atmosphere. As you move through those feelings, the track gently fades.

"Secrets Of The Runestone" you expect to be magical, and it is. The mystery and the secrets held are expressed in the feelings of the music as it takes shape. The familiar march of the Celts returns with percussive elements, moving along with strength and purpose and powerful wordless vocals to match. I appreciated a sharp electric guitar part about three-quarters of the way through; then, it continued to change and gather strength to the finish. It was my favorite track.

"Keeper Of The Flame" brings back the Uillean pipes and that fantastic violin. As the song gathers momentum, it gives you the feeling of watching a picturesque scene in a movie, like people traveling to an ultimate destination. The instruments merge into a gorgeous orchestration that provides inspiration to carry on and keep the flame burning.

Quest For The Runestone is an engaging and musically complex project for which David Arkenstone will receive many compliments. He created all the compositions, and he played a multitude of instruments. With some help from his friends, he has created an instant new-age and world classic.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

May 21, 2024

Tracks:

01. Prophecy 5:24

02. The Soothsayer Speaks 5:25

03. Ancient Magic Awakens 4:53

04. Réann 4:03

05. Eyes Of Skata 4:44

06. Oceans Of Ice 4:20

07. Path Of The Mountain's Bones 4:33

08. Stars Without Light 4:12

09. The Arbos Stirs 4:34

10. Inscriptions 4:30

11. Secrets Of The Runestone

12. Keeper Of The Flame 5:39





Ambient-Chill-New Age Review: Dark Sky Alliance-Interdwell

Release Date: March 12, 2024

Label: ‎Spotted Peccary

Website

Interdwell, the debut album from the Dark Sky Alliance group, is a testament to its members' collective experience and expertise. The group, which includes music industry veteran percussionist Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Indigo Girls), keyboardist Rupert Greenall (The Fixx), synthesist Eric "the" Taylor, and cinematic ambient guitarist David Helpling, has crafted a work of art that is sure to captivate listeners.

The first thing that captures one's imagination is the cover art—the globe with a logo suspended in the air. It immediately gives you an indication of what you may hear. At least for me, artwork tends to paint a picture of what kind of music is in store for my body, mind, and spirit to absorb.

If being aroused in some way does not sound like something you want at the moment, there is always some other benefit to music that has an atmosphere that creates a certain mood or feeling (and all music does, of course). I want another state of consciousness from any ambient chill or new-age recording I am hearing. Most listeners of this type of music would have that expectation.

"Search" is a short intro to set the stage for what else is coming.   "Fortunate One" is 7:19 minutes of new-age ambient chill that offers an anticipatory trajectory, particularly with the percussion. The chanting fits well with the soundscape created as you listen. It is very complex, with many divergent elements coming together. Although intricate, it is masterful in presentation and production. You recognize this from this point and in the future during your listening.

"Warm Inlet" has a super cool vibe with an echoing guitar and prominent bass line weaving through it, all strengthened by the excellent synths and keys. It has a jazzy feel, especially with the guitar and bass, that quiet storm feel I love so much in jazz. However, regardless of hearing that, the ambient and chill carry your consciousness to another level of being. Its innate eclecticism and the many genres and influences that come together define it. I would not mind hearing more of this musical improvisation with that underlying chill atmosphere. 

"The Desert Mind" starts with a synth and birds, making you feel you are in the middle of a rainforest in some remote land. The echoing and natural sounds combined with the music strike you in a cerebral way, yet they're emotionally calming. The connection between the music and your spirit is undeniable; there is something extraordinary going on with this track. It is like the mind is a desert waiting to be populated by sounds and music frequencies.

"Latch" is one of the shorter tracks (3:16). It starts with an ominous wave of synths, creating a curtain of sound and a feeling of wondering which way it will turn at any moment. But it doesn't. It maintains that heavy synth sound, reminding me of some other bands (open to interpretation) I have heard that focus on primarily instrumental. It was a significant change of pace and mood and very effective in pulling you in an entirely different direction.

The title track, "Interdwell," is the second-longest effort at 8:30 minutes. As it has been from the start of this album, percussion is vital to start pushing the composition as the other elements are added. Looking at its length, I was ready for many transitions and was not disappointed. I liked the way it was built as it went along. There is plenty of excitement and colorful collaborations of the instrumentation. I heard a good guitar line come in to add more potency to the mix. It is a very transitory musical experience and sounds fantastic at a higher volume level; it will fill your room.

"The Far Cry" begins gently with the synths, and then an acoustic piano arrives. The percussion is still bold and well-placed. Once again, your mood shifts at a different pace as the music dictates. The bass sounds like a beating heart as the layers of keys acknowledge its presence. I found this track cinematic, like you are watching a movie, and the scene goes through its movements and changes; the sounds match what you see. We all have been there before, and usually, the music is in the background, helping the scenes along, but you don't appreciate it. This makes you realize how this music can be filled with many colorful emotions. Next time you watch something, you may want to take note.

"Marotta Swamp" is Jerry's track, and although you hear him clearly throughout this album, it gives you pause to sincerely appreciate his artistry and talents and what he can bring to a soundtrack. Ironically, percussion is not part of the presentation. The track is more balanced with the synths, bass, and layers that help it build as you move along. 

"Tré Pur" is relaxing, like melting into a cloud and riding through a clear blue sky. The keys have a rhythm like a musical clock or a metronome to focus on your breathing and heartbeat. Quite beautiful.

"The Slow Train Home" is their most ambitious work, clocking in at 10:30, and it lives up to its name. I am thinking about time and how it consistently carries a definitive mood. It starts very purposefully, and then a cello joins in. That instrument can be melancholy in its effects, but it depends on what other instruments or effects join as the track moves along. It takes little time to sound appropriate once the layers of synths are alongside it to enhance the listening experience. Based on the composition's subtleties and length of time, it could serve as a meditative tool. Towards the end, you can hear a train going across the tracks, the perfect way to lead to the conclusion. 

"Linear" starts in a spacey manner, then a whooshing sound arrives, and the percussion changes the entire direction. The guitar is a nice touch with the echo effect as it punctuates the track. You can hear exciting sounds; it is entirely different in style and approach than any other track, so I appreciated it more. It ended up being one of my favorite tracks, and the guitar lends a more rock feel, which I loved with all the other instruments.

"Bring Myself To Say It" is the finale. What would they come up with next after the previous track? It is a shorter one at 3:50 minutes. It was an excellent way to close out the recording. The brief, soft, sweet piano and layer of synths lead you out gently as your feet again touch the ground, and the musical journey is over. 

Interdwell is an excellent recording that is very eclectic and entertaining. The instrumentation, mastering, and engineering are superior. The musicians involved are all veterans, and it shows from track to track. You will love this if you enjoy instrumental ambient chill with a new-age flavor!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

May 25, 2024

Tracks:

01. Search

02. Fortunate One

03. Warm Inlet

04. The Desert Mind

05. Latch

06. Interdwell

07. The Far Cry

08. Marotta Swamp

09. Tré Pur

10. The Slow Train Home

11. Linear

12. Bring Myself To Say It

New Age-Ambient-Jazz Review: Masako-Lost there Found here

Release Date: May 24th, 2024

Label: ‎Independent

Website

Masako has consistently released her solo piano compositions year after year. The artist is locked in a very productive cycle. Once an artist gets to that point in their career, they want to keep recording in fear of losing that momentum and creative process. It makes sense to me.

Lost there, Found here will be out soon. It features twelve tracks of new-age ambient jazz sounds that will surely make their mark, as always.

"Spirit Forest" is a musical narrative that begins with a deliberate, slower approach, gradually transitioning into more delicate and light tones. The shift in the pattern and the notes played profoundly mirrors the ethereal power a forest holds. This track is a testament to Masako's ability to evoke emotions through her music.

"Miracle of Spring" is a breathtaking spectacle, mirroring nature's awakening as leaves and flowers start budding and eventually burst into bloom. If you're fortunate enough to witness the four seasons, this is a particularly poignant time, a true miracle of life. The piano captures these moments, starting with anticipation, then building momentum, and finally gently receding, much like the foliage we witness each year. The piano is in full bloom, guided by Masako's skilled fingers.

"Walk Together" is the second longest track at 5:01. It starts with an excellent acoustic guitar strumming and lovely wordless vocals, with the piano entering the celebration of the light-hearted walk through your own space in time. Painted on an empty canvas in your mind's eye, then blending a palette of colors through all the sounds and textures in the song. It has a cool jazz feel to it with new-age undertones.

"Ice Blue," like the sky in the cover art, brings an airy feeling to the atmosphere. The piano's significance cannot be understated; it is gorgeous and adding a trumpet to accompany those lovely notes gives the track additional ambiance and beauty. As cool as ice and clear blue as the sky, this one was one of my favorites. It provides a listener with moments to pause and reflect.

"Reasons" may be the artist saying through her instrument that giving titles related to nature inspires the music, and there are many valid reasons for this. The song is filled with rhythms and brief seconds of space between notes, hoping you will find the same inspiration to protect and love Mother Earth. It ends with low notes, firmly making you believe this is serious business.

"Brooks and Cascades" starts with a violin, then the piano enters, followed by some wordless vocals to give the track a heavenly feel. It sets you off on your journey through the beauty and wonders of nature once again. It is picturesque and tells a story that you will want to relive.

"Somber Day" has the mood and tones you would expect based on the title. We all have those days, but perhaps it's sad for the world with our nature and habitats being polluted and destroyed. It is a hard look at reality through the lens of the elegance of a solo piano song.

"Winter Tale" is the parallel universe "Miracle of Spring." There is a dissimilar approach to this season, the one of harsh temperatures, snow, and ice. It is all beautiful watching from the warmth of a house; however, when you venture into it, your mood can change quickly. The flute is a nice touch, and once again, the wordless vocals give it a touch of class. The song has a finality and sadness, yet the piano notes are soothing and hopeful.

"Mid-Hudson" features a catchy rhythm pattern that exudes joy. The violin returns, injecting more substance and thought into the track. It is a toe-tapper, which I usually reserve for other genres. The contagious rhythms get your spirit to move and your body in motion, just like the river with the name Hudson, as some soft percussion adds more spice to the mix.

"Homebound" is full of promise as you return to your comfort zone. It is a concise track, quite a step away from the previous tracks' complexities and lengths.

"Camino del Monte" is lively and colorful, imbued with the artist's feelings for the location being honored. It instantly pulls you in as you listen for hints of what it may look like there. It is a pleasing track.

"Into the Dusk" is appropriate for closing out this recording. The temperament is fixed on the unwinding of the day as the sun goes down and darkness begins changing the light and mood. The violin hints at sadness at the end of another day, yet the piano's delicate notes promise a new day.

Masako has created a masterful group of compositions highlighting her focus and high skill level. It is solo piano music at its best on Lost there Found here.

It is solo piano music at its best on Lost there Found here.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

May 8, 2024


Tracks:

01. Spirit Forest (3:24)

02. Miracle of Spring (4:24)

03. Walk Together (5:01)

04. Ice Blue (4:15)

05. Reasons (2:50)

06. Brooks and Cascades (4:44)

07. Somber Day (4:18)

08. Winter Tale (4:197)

09. Mid-Hudson (5:06)

10. Homebound (2:33)

11. Camino del Monte (3:43)

12. Into the Dusk (3:38)


New Age-Ambient Review and Interview: 2002-Time Traveler

Release Date: June 7, 2024

Label: Galactic Playground Music

Website

As a devoted fan of 2002, I eagerly await each new release, and Time Traveler is no exception. This will be my fifth journey into their captivating world, and I'm already brimming with anticipation. It's a testament to their consistent quality that I can't help but have high expectations, and I'm confident this album will not disappoint.

Let's take a moment to appreciate the Copus family: Pamela, Randy, and Sarah. Their musical prowess is awe-inspiring, from composing to playing all the instruments and producing. Their unique approach to music, doing everything their way, is a testament to their creativity and dedication. They even invite guests to join their musical journey, as they do for this recording: James Song (violin), whose soaring melodies add a touch of classical elegance to “The Morning Breeze,” and Dan Totan (cello), whose rich and resonant tones enhance the emotional depth of “Love of My Life.”

The artwork accompanying Time Traveler is a visual element and a portal to a unique and immersive experience. It's the first thing that grabs your attention; its significance cannot be overstated. The artists have a profound understanding of how each element harmonizes, and by taking the time to connect, listeners can truly delve into the depth and significance of the album.

This music is a journey, as the image of the ship indicates. I always wonder what it would be like to travel back in time to tell myself a few things and then wonder what my life would be like today. This kind of project reminds me of those thoughts and feelings. It's okay to dream and let yourself wander into another level of perception that can be genuinely experiential. In this case, with Time Traveler, you can use this music, which is a new age, characterized by its soothing and atmospheric soundscapes, as a foundation, splintering off into ambient, relaxation, and a sleep aid as the ultimate tool to accomplish that space in time for yourself. The entire recording is expressed that way. All ten tracks offer you a respite from the day.

Along that train of thought, the delicate guitar on "The Essence of a Dream," with its intricate fingerpicking and melodic lines, the flute, which adds a whimsical and ethereal touch, the layers of keyboards, creating a rich and atmospheric backdrop, and the sounds of orchestrations, adding depth and grandeur, all come together to create an elegant and immersive musical experience. These are the tenets of what they do for a listener.

I believe this close-knit family possesses something magical. They are all blessed with talents and willing to share them with our world. We are the fortunate recipients of these blessings, and I am grateful to listen to every song. I remember hearing their music time and again, and always feeling so relieved. My mind is empty, my heart opens, and my spirit experiences a renewal, reminding me of who I am minus the hectic daily activities and a constant stream of thoughts. 

So much thought and tenderness go into these tracks. "Love of My Life" sounds heavenly and straight from the heart of those presenting it. The wordless vocals are that of an angel sent to give you comfort. It simultaneously moved me to a profound sense of sadness (for some reason), a burst of joy, and a deep feeling of gratefulness. That is some powerful medicine. The "love" could be a significant other, a child, a home, a friend, or a place; any of these things could qualify. That is what good music can offer a listener; the options are yours to choose, and the feelings are yours alone to experience and keep.

Time Traveler is a gorgeous group of tracks. Let the gentleness and cooling of "The Morning Breeze" touch your face and soul as you begin your journey of discovery. Like ether and clouds, music surrounds you, and you are the ship's captain, navigating through the ethereal soundscape. Now go ahead and take the helm and sail away… 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

Wednesday, May 1, 2024

Tracks:

01. The Morning Breeze (4:56)

02. Falling Stars (4:20)

03. Seasons Fade (4:08)

04. Love of My Life (4:34)

05. Time Traveler (6:49)

06. The End of the Journey (5:58)

07. Beyond the Veil (5:32)

08. The Essence of a Dream (5:07)

09. Adrift in a Memory (4:32)

10. Where You Are (4:12)




Contemporary Instrumental Classical Review: Pam Asberry-24 Impromptus

Release Date: May 3, 2024

Label: ‎Independent

Website

Pam Asberry commented about her new release, 24 ImpromptusThese 24 Impromptus follow the classical music tradition of writing a set of pieces in all the major and minor keys of the chromatic scale. Each evokes a unique feeling or emotion that can be summed up in a one-word affirmation, attached as subtitles to the traditional classical titles. 

It was essential to explain what exactly Pam was talking about. Casual listeners are likely unaware of these complexities, nor do they care. To me, it's fascinating. There is a scientific and mathematical part of music and all its makeup that we can hear if we understand details like this. It has been a lesson learned for this music fan. Pam shows in the track listing how she goes up and down the scale for the variations in sounds and tones.

The twenty-four tracks encompassing this recording are shy of 1 hour (55 minutes). The first track, "Journey," is the longest at 3:29.

Every track is clear and concise, and her playing is exquisite. I particularly enjoyed the rhythm and flow within each composition. Her attention to detail and tempo gives the listener enough time to process all the music presented. Pam’s musical intelligence makes her approach to the keys infallible, and it works beautifully even though many of the tracks sound like they would be challenging to play. Many sounds resonate from the piano; sometimes, it's hard to believe it's just one person.

Twenty-four tracks are a lot, but don’t let that give you a false impression. However, considering it’s under an hour, it seems to go by rather quickly. When that happens, for me anyway, it means I enjoyed the music so much I did not want it to end, and it seemingly flew by like a busy day. On the contrary, though, the music is not busy. It's very relaxing and elegant—something you can use to ease the stress of a day or as a tool for meditation.

The solo piano I have had the privilege of listening to and writing about still amazes me after all these years. At first, when I started this journey, I did not understand how one piano could fill a room with so many vibrant and colorful sounds. To hear it separate from any vocals or other instruments is very special. People like Pam Asberry are gifted artists who can translate the intricacies of the keys into compositions that are so beautiful and full of emotion that you always walk away from them once they all end, touched in some way. The entire spectrum of human emotions can be realized in one listen of 24 Impromptus.

Notes For Those Interested: The Chromatic Scale (or twelve-tone scale) is a set of twelve pitches (more completely, pitch classes) used in tonal music, with notes separated by the interval of a semitone. Chromatic instruments, such as the piano, are made to produce the chromatic scale. In contrast, other instruments capable of continuously variable pitch, such as the trombone and violin, can also produce microtones or notes between those available on a piano.

Most music uses subsets of the chromatic scale, such as diatonic scales. While the chromatic scale is fundamental in Western music theory, it is seldom directly used in its entirety in musical compositions or improvisation. (Information from Wikipedia)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

March 26, 2024

Tracks:

01 - Impromptu No. 1 in C Major, "Journey"

02 - Impromptu No. 2 in A Minor, "Brave"

03 - Impromptu No. 3 in G Major, "Bliss"

04 - Impromptu No. 4 in E Minor, "Fierce"

05 - Impromptu No. 5 in D Major, "Triumph"

06 - Impromptu No. 6 in B Minor, "Yielding"

07 - Impromptu No. 7 in A Major, "Clarity"

08 - Impromptu No. 8 in F-sharp Minor, "Vision"

09 - Impromptu No. 9 in E Major, "Serenity"

10 - Impromptu No. 10 in C-sharp Minor, "Mercy"

11 - Impromptu No. 11 in B Major, "Resilience"

12 - Impromptu No. 12 in G-sharp Minor, "Reflect"

13 - Impromptu No. 13 in G-flat Major, "Tranquility"

14 - Impromptu No. 14 in E-flat Minor, "Patience"

15 - Impromptu No. 15 in D-flat Major, "Wonder"

16 - Impromptu No. 16 in B-flat Minor, "Wisdom"

17 - Impromptu No. 17 in A-flat Major, "Grace"

18 - Impromptu No. 18 in F Minor, "Solace"

19 - Impromptu No. 19 in E-flat Major, "Joy"

20 - Impromptu No. 20 in C Minor, "Forgive"

21 - Impromptu No. 21 in B-flat Major, "Compassion"

22 - Impromptu No. 22 in G Minor, "Persevere"

23 - Impromptu No. 23 in F Major, "Freedom"

24 - Impromptu No. 24 in D Minor, "Magnify"


Classical/New Age/Ambient/Chant Review: Kevin Keller-Evensong

Release Date: October 6, 2023

Label: City Hall Records

Website 

Kevin Keller comments on his journey in music… “I’m always pondering these big questions of life and death and how we fit into this vast universe that we’re in. Questions like ‘Where are we from? Where are we going? What does it all mean?’"

I can relate to that statement as much as many of his listeners can.

Kevin Keller composed and produced all the music on his most recent release, Evensong. Other contributors included Katherine Wessinger, †Danya Katok, Elisa Singer Strom, and Wendy Baker, sopranos; Sarah Zun, violin; Angela Pickett, viola; and Laura Metcalf, cello.

In his journey from conception to the end of life, Keller combines a classical foundation of strings, organ, piano, and modern sounds and sequences. All the transitory periods we humans go through can be wrought with confusion and fear. At other times, revelatory experiences appear before us, pushing our consciousness and spirituality to different maturity levels. Music such as this has provided growth for many individuals for our existence here on the physical plane.

Note that this recording has eight tracks with duplicate titles, steadily maintaining the primary concept. Most importantly, each segment varies in pace, rhythm, colors, tones, and vocal accompaniment. I found this very intriguing, with the instruments and the vocalizations sounding like these women with gorgeous voices in a church choir. This is the church of music, though, the kind of headspace that can pull the mind in a different direction than worship in a building.

Think of music like Kraftwerk, Jean Michel-Jarre, or Tangerine Dream backed by a large choir. That is the best way I could explain it. It was a magnificent experience for these ears, and I highly regard and respect all of the artists involved.

Evensong combines ancient beliefs and new technologies into something so different and unique that you would be hard-pressed to find something exactly like it. I don’t mean this has not been done before in some way; it is simply distinctive in its sound and approach. It comes together quite nicely if you can imagine going through the different stages of your life while listening. Concerning separating the music from the vocalizations, you really cannot; they fit together so perfectly, like they were meant for each other. If you separate the two, then you are missing the whole point.

That is what any artist would want to impress upon its listeners: the whole package and perception of the presentation.

Kevin Keller, you have created a beautiful group of tracks that most people could use as a spiritual or meditation tool with Evensong—well done!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

March 14, 2024

Tracks:

1. Evensong 1 (7:07) 

2. Evensong 2 (4:42) 

3. Evensong 3 (5:08)*

4. Evensong 4 (5:38)† 

5. Evensong 5 (4:13)

6. Evensong 2 (4:42) 

7. Evensong 3 (5:08)* 

8. Evensong 4 (5:38)† 


Track Feature: Contemporary New Age & Ambient-Al Jewer & Andy Mitran-Sapphire

Al Jewer and Andy Mitran released their new track single today titled "Sapphire."

Al Jewer (Flutes), Hans Christian (Cellos), and Andy Mitran (Synths) combine their musical talents to formulate a stunning cornucopia of sound and color.

The sounds of a contemporary new age and ambient effort merge to signify the perfect marriage of sounds. With the help of their dear friend Hans Christian, who provides his cello, the track takes on an element of emotion that only that instrument can bring to the forefront. The flutes and synths are the layers for the cello to instinctively move into seamlessly, making the track a beautiful gem as the dedicated stone.

The "Sapphire" shines with perfect coloring, hues, and precision cuts, enhancing its beauty, as identified in this instrumental piece.

As Mother Earth delivers these beautiful gems, the musicians involved in the music put their talents into it and give it back to a listening audience. As usual, the experience of this music is lovely, and you will want to hear it more than once!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

February 8, 2024




http://www.al-jewer-and-andy-mitran.com/

New Age Music Review & Interview: Lissa Coffey and David Vito Gregoli-We Share The Moon

Release Date: February 14, 2024

Label: Dharmapala Records

Websites: Lissa CoffeyVito Gregoli

Lissa Coffey and David Vito Gregoli have partnered to create We Share The Moon. The inspired love songs will be released for sweethearts worldwide on Valentine's Day 2024. Lissa contributed the lyrics and melodies to start, and Vito took all of that to continue the process and played all the instruments.

 

Other talented individuals, such as Leela and Cooper Landier, Donna De Lory, N. Nicole Gilbert, Visvambhar Sheth, Venu Bhanot, and Pankaj Mishra, also contributed. So, the duo received some golden vocals to add to their instrumentation.

 

The difference from what I am accustomed to is that the lyrics are in every track covering a New Age release. Which is understandable because of what this music is all about. They are love songs, not just for loving couples, but the meaning of "Self Love." I subscribe that one cannot love others until you love yourself first.

 

Everything about the ten tracks on We Share The Moon is spiritual as the foundation for everything else, like self-love, patience, focus, finding your higher self, and raw emotions transformed into something devoted and pure, as described so beautifully on "Listen." I always say let the music speak to you, and in the track, the listening is to turn inward and listen to the voice that knows the truth, and as it says, "Listen, there is something sacred inside." Our guideposts in life are part of us when we arrive here. I like to call it my spirit guide—something God gave me, a blessing so selflessly given to me at birth.

 

The instrumentation is precise and flows in sync with the superb vocalizations. What makes this music so palatable and accessible is that all the vocals are easy to understand. The meanings carry a memorable and influential impact. Each is variable and consistent with the theme of the recording. 

 

"Krishna Govinda," featuring Leela Ladnier, is one of my favorites. This song and its premise will pique your curiosity if you are like me and are interested in comparative religions and their cultures. Three-quarters into the track, the vocalist switched to speaking the dialect that coincides with Krishna's spiritual beliefs. For that interest, Wikipedia informs us that Govinda (transl. "finder or observer of cattle"), also rendered Govind, Gobinda, and Gobind, is an epithet of Vishnu and is also used for his avatars such as Krishna.[1] The name appears as the 187th and the 539th name of Vishnu in the Vishnu Sahasranama. The name is also popularly addressed to Krishna, referring to his youthful activity as a cowherd boy.

 

"All I Thought Was Mine" was another favorite, with notable percussion leading the way and gorgeous vocals weaving in and out the notes. So celestial and graceful. The percussive elements are like a trip back in time with an angel singing to you.

 

The album ends appropriately with "Maha Mantra" featuring Visvambhar Sheth, Venu Bhanot, and Pankaj Mishra. It is a prolific mantra in tribute to India's respected spiritual and religious beliefs and beyond.

 

I am naturally curious and have a wide range of interests. When music intersects with cultures other than mine, I gain knowledge while enjoying the music. I don't always have an answer, so I need to seek the information to pass on to others, as I did here. This may only have happened with receiving this unique and inspirational music.

 

We Share The Moon is a heartwarming and spiritual journey of love that comes from within and shines as bright as the sun when we embrace and share it. That is precisely what all the contributors did on the recording while following the path of truth and the soul's well-being.

 

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-NAMR Founder

February 3, 2024

Tracks:

01. Written All Over Your Face (feat Leela Ladnier)

02. We Share The Moon (feat Leela and Cooper Landier)

03. I Surrender (feat Leela Ladnier)

04. Net of Love (feat Donna De Lory)

05. Listen (feat N. Nicole Gilbert)

06. Something In Between (feat Leela Ladnier)

07. Krishna Govinda (feat Leela Ladnier)

08. Like Ambrosia (feat Leela and Cooper Ladnier)

09. All I Thought Was Mine (feat Leela Ladnier)

10. Maha Mantra (feat Visvambhar Sheth, Venu Bhanot and Pankaj Mishra)