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

Contemporary New Age Instrumental: Michael Borowski-Gardens of Zion in the Rain

Release Date: March 4th, 2022

Label:  ‎Independent


A lot of the music I enjoy hearing is solo piano music. Many people would think that music like this would not have too much variation. If that thought ever crossed your mind, you can dispose of that right now. It has been my experience over many years of hearing this kind of music; each track receives definition by its sound and voice, and how that reaches you some way. The piano is a fantastic instrument when it finds the right hands to manipulate those white and black keys.

Michael Borowski is one of those artists that creates his compositions and plays with his definitive style. Gardens of Zion in the Rain are eleven tracks of contemporary new age instrumental or crossover classical. Anyone appreciating instrumental music would find joy and complete satisfaction in one listen. The term contemporary new age instrumental is interchangeable frequently with crossover classical. The crossover into the range of relaxation and the beauty of spiritualism is vital within the music.

Will Ackerman said, "Michael plays brilliantly, but his heart gives all of us a view into the human soul." How true that statement relates to what I was feeling and how the genre is strong on the spiritual end of the musical spectrum. It is accurate from my listening experiences how this music moves you. Michael's rhythmic and flowing playing is like a river running its course unencumbered and taking the twists and turns necessary to be flowing consistently and strongly at all times.

The album was produced by Ackerman and mastered by his leading man Tom Eaton, who Co-produced, recorded, mixed, and mastered the album. It has been one of the most effective combinations in recorded music for quite some time. The process these folks go through has made Ackerman's Imaginary Road Studios an iconic site to visit to make their music a reality. The Executive producer was Michael Whalen, another great musician, composer, and producer of his music. I can see that this would be a dream team for any artist seeking to get the music out properly with the most refined sound possible. Their mission was accomplished.

Tracks like "This Is My Song - Frick's Field" and the rolling rhythm provided by Michael's talented fingers are one of many highlights in an album full of the amazing grace of this man's exceptional artistry on the piano. And the title track "Gardens of Zion in the Rain" radiates and electrifies a listener in all of its pure joy and shining light. It is so healing to listen to this music. Even though it could have many uses, such as meditation, just listening without a purpose is a beautiful experience as well.

If you can envision long or short walks in nature on a sunny or rainy day, then you can look at the cover art and understand what has inspired this artist to make such gorgeous music for us all to enjoy. If you appreciate the music you can fall into without words or any particular thought, then Gardens of Zion in the Rain is your one-way ticket to the bliss you may be seeking.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck

March 6, 2022

01. Gloriana (3:26)
02. Brotherly Love (5:06)
03. This Is My Song - Frick's Field (5:09)
04. Penn's Woods (3:38)
05. Gardens Of Zion In The Rain (6:33)
06. Bella (3:51)
07. Adrian's Hat (2:29)
08. Jaxson's Creek (4:33)
09. Bees (3:34)
10. Time After Time (3:47) (Lauper/Hyman)
11. April Mourning (1:59)

Ambient-New Age-Jazz-Meditation Review: Gian Berselli & Jérémy Marais-Creative Stillness

Release Date: October 1, 2021

Label:  ‎Astral Wolf Records



Matters of circumstance, coincidence, or events that were meant to happen always seem to find their way into everyone's life. It all depends on how you perceive it and take advantage of those events to turn it into something beautiful to share with others. I do not believe in coincidence. I believe everything happens for a reason, and it is your choice down which road you decide to travel.

With the musical duo of Gian Berselli (Brazil) and Jérémy Marais (Israel), they created Creative Stillness due to the timing of events, the pandemic, and Gian's seven-month-long stay in his homeland due to the virus breakout and restrictions.

The outcome of the across land and sea collaboration is a compelling eight jazz-filled tracks with elements new age, world, and ambient, which combine to make it suitable for meditation music. Music like this cannot be stuck in a box and tucked away into a corner. There are so many genres woven into the patchwork quilt of sound it defies categorization. You will hear sounds of nature abounding, like rain and birds tweeting, mixed in with smooth saxophones, guitars, keys, and an abundance of textures, sounds, and color, that brings you to a place far away from what dominates your mind at the moment.  

The artist page on Bandcamp comments the following: This album was made in order to support that new earth we envision, from inspiring tracks like Arcobaleno All'Interno that literally means "Inner Rainbow" that were created to bring out the colors inside your soul, or "In The Beginning, There Was Water" a track that was designed to help you move stuck energies in your psyche, all the way to tracks like "Zen Garden," a contemplative journey into stillness.

The human mind is complex, and we use it extensively every day. We engage it in many tasks and have it thinking about several things simultaneously. So, what can we use to empty it, calm it enough to be empty to find stillness, focus on our soul, and explore deeper meanings of what life is and our purpose here? There is always music to help us, and then we can find that Creative Stillness that awaits us in the music.

That is the medicine we all need and could use daily. I think the additional sounds of nature create an appealing real-life atmosphere to be enjoyed by all of your senses. The music is the birds singing, the water moving, and all of the instrumentation that makes this recording a "Zen Garden" of delight and relaxation.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 23, 2022

1. Rasa Silvia 6:42
2. Insight 6:00
3. Arcobaleno All'Interno 6:06
4. Mouna 5:26
5. Mama 6:36
6. Dalat 1:40
7. In the Beginning There Was Water 7:08
8. Zen Garden 8:14

New Age Meditation Review: SUKHA-Fire

Release Date:  February 22, 2022

Label:  ‎Super Symmetry Records



Sukha (Sanskrit: सुख) means happiness, pleasure, ease, joy or bliss, in Sanskrit and Pali. So, when you kick off your shoes, take a deep breath and sit back in your favorite comfy quiet place, Fire will live up to the name of the artist meaning. The album is inspired by content and the mantras contained in the book by Deepak Chopra The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, A Guide to the Fulfillment of Your Dreams.

The artist’s name SUKHA is from the husband-and-wife team of Nicole Sukhaman (vocals) and Steven Sukhaman (yogi/guitar).

I like how the tracks are translated to their English equivalent meaning. This kind of translation will help listeners make their interpretation of each selection. And that will provide a window the artist is attempting to open to reach whoever is listening.

Right from the start, I felt comfort when I heard the music of Steven and the voice of Nicole channeling their spirituality. I do not understand the language; however, I find it quite beautiful and relaxing and thoroughly understand the meditative value of this kind of artistry. Nicole's voice has a superb flow and gentleness that perfectly complements the music.

The one thing you need to get used it the repetition of the words, which is understandable because it's chanting and meant for focus in meditation. Those who understand reflection and the direction you need to attain will make sense. Everyone works at different levels of attainment, and this music will guide you regardless of where you are at in your practice.

Fire is a valuable tool and not meant for a casual listen like putting on your favorite record to get in a groove. The repetitiveness of the lyrics is not designed for casual listening. Admittedly, I am one of those listeners who does not have that kind of patience listening to any music that way. The reason for that is I am listening to write about it and not using it for what it was meant for. That makes total sense, and it allowed me to practice patience, which happens to be an asset to learning how to meditate.

The meaning and absolute beauty that this talented couple produced found instant gratification through my senses. Furthermore, if you intend to do some mediation practice, I highly recommend starting this Fire right away. It is an eternal flame of two souls working hard to lead you down a path of discovery and inner meaning that you will not find going through your daily lives and routines.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 21, 2022

1. OM BHAVAM NAMAH - Pure Potential
2. OM VARDHANAM NAMAH – Cosmic Momentum
3. OM KRIYAM NAMAH – Action and Reaction
4. OM DAKSHAM NAMAH – Efficiency and Flow
5. OM RITAM NAMAH – Truthful Intention
6. OM ANANDHAM NAMAH – Non-Attachment

Contemporary Instrumental-New Age Review and Interview: Brian Hagen- Portraits

Release Date: February 16, 2022

Label:  ‎Independent


Brian Hagen's album Portraits mirrors life in his music through personal experience and harmonic chordal progressions. From lucid dreams to impressions, the solo piano work you will hear should be relatable to everyone somehow. The tree of lights on the cover gives you an idea of the motivation behind this project.

I find solo piano music to be very moving in many ways. This music aims to provoke thoughts and feelings from a listener by looking at each track title, processing it, then how it can relate to their own life experiences. At the same time, the music gently pushes you in the direction you need to go. It is all about taking the initial step of looking at the track's title then letting your feelings and thoughts develop as you listen. You thereby create your own private "Portrait."

Light can come into a person's life in many ways, physically by the warmth of the sun, through a spiritual awakening, the smile of a person passing you by on the street, the warmth of a loving hug by a sibling or partner. The list can go on, but the main point here is the light of life or the tree on the album cover demonstrate the wonder of life adorned with the energy that creates light.

The music on Portraits was all composed, arranged, and performed by Brian Hagen. This is his first album of all original solo piano work. Again, I enjoy hearing contemporary classically influenced instrumental music with the principle of the new age thought process as a solid foundation. It has been ongoing development of the genre. The intersection of music and a belief system, while not anything new, is both refreshing and energizing within presentations like this recording offers. This approach continues to grow and expand its reach into many areas of our life, including teaching, healing, music therapy, meditation, and simple relaxation.

The many thoughts of love come woven into the fabric of these tracks, such as "A Time For Love," "Forever Love" and "The Love We Had, The Love We Lost," and "You Are My Everything." Then as the album progresses, the different occurrences around the subject matter of love come to you via "Reunion" and "Starlight Dance."

The superb and tasteful piano playing throughout the album touches your heart and soul. You will often be ready to absorb the meaning of it all as presented. And this falls in line with the thoughts I shared previously. It all can be your group of Portraits. The simplicity and beauty of these meaningful tracks make for an experience you will want to relive many times. If you are a romantic of any sort, the music you will discover on this recording is perfect for going down that path. And then, with the final track, you will find "The Peace Within.

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

01. Iridescence 3:30
02. A Time For Love 4:26
03. Finding The Stillness 4:03
04. Garden Duet 4:16
05. You Are My Everything 3:09
06. Forever Love 3:56
07. Through It All 3:36
08. Regrets 4:30
09. The Love We Had, The Love We Lost 5:36
10. After The Rain 3:29
11. The Unforgiven 3:53
12. Homage 3:22
13. Reunion 3:35
14. Starlight Dance 3:33
15. The Peace Within 4:17

New Age Music Review and Interview: The Living Earth Show and Danny Clay-Music For Hard Times

Release Date: January 18, 2022

Label:  Earthy Records


This is the first time I have ever heard music referred to as “calming strategies.” It is an excellent way to look at what The Living Earth Show and Danny Clay present on their recently released Music For Hard Times.

The hard times we have endured going into the third year of a pandemic forces everyone to pivot and rethink everything. Things we took for granted, visiting with loved ones, going to a crowded mall, participating or going to a sporting event, or how we will work to secure income are some of the many aspects of daily life we did not have to ponder a few years ago. All of it is very complex. It seems like we live in a science fiction movie, but it’s all true.

I am one of the fortunate souls the did not get sick or lose my job. However, I remain cautious and think entirely differently, with more discipline. Lord knows there are enough things to approach with that mindset, and music removes all of those barriers. Music cannot get me sick or hurt me in any way. It is suitable for me regardless of when I decide to listen to it.

The music is composed in a book style with 15 parts with a contemporary chamber duo. And to encapsulate this recording, I would say it’s an effective combination of genres grounded in a new age foundation with ambient, electronic, and meditation elements. It is a very ambitious project with many moving parts and talents combined to make it a reality.

Important Information Direct From The Artist:
Recorded in isolation and compiled and edited by Clay, Music for Hard Times exists in two parts. Book 1 was recorded in April 2020 in the homes of guitarist Travis Andrews and percussionist Andy Meyerson of The Living Earth Show using instruments, voices, field recordings, and found objects. Book 2 was recorded in 2021 and includes young musicians from the San Francisco Girls Chorus – led by Valerie Sainte-Agathe – and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, led by Edwin Outwater.

As a listener who respects the music and appreciates what is involved in creating it, I would say that the presentation here is essential. Any theme is great to hear in good times or bad. The significant difference with a project like Music For Hard Times is how it can help heal any soul seeking some comfort from something other than a physical or inanimate. Music is about detaching from anything in our world that you can touch, taste, or feel. It is aural bliss with many different sounds and layers to accomplish the result, a listening experience that will make you feel better than when you started. And once it is complete, you will remember that it is a tool to get back into that space again.

NOTE: The interview provided is very organic and posted as is. We had tech issues and lost the call however we collectively decided to go with it as it was recorded.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
January 30, 2022 

01. Book 1 - Part 1
02. Book 1 - Part 2
03. Book 1 - Part 3
04. Book 1 - Part 4
05. Book 1 - Part 5
06. Book 1 - Part 6
07. Book 1 - Part 7
08. Book 1 - Part 8
09. Book 2 - Part 1
10. Book 2 - Part 2
11. Book 2 - Part 3
12. Book 2 - Part 4
13. Book 2 - Part 5
14. Book 2 - Part 6
15. Book 2 - Epilogue

Featured Track: Moonstone-Al Jewer & Andy Mitran

Al Jewer & Andy Mitran return on January 27th of the new year with their follow up to "Emerald," titled "Moonstone."

As they continue with the concept of gemstones, so do their gorgeous soundtracks to emulate the perfect beauty of the stone celebration.  

Once again, Hans Christian delivers fretless bass and cello performances to enhance the track, giving depth and soul and the meditative, ethereal atmospheres provided.

When listening to "Moonstone," I felt like I was taking a journey into a distant land to discover a long-lost treasure. That treasure could be identified in many ways, finding the solitude, peace, or deliverance of a spiritual awakening.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

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