Instrumental New Age Review: Christina Tourin-IONA Inspirations - Healing Music

Release Date: September 1, 2010

Label:  Emerald Harp Productions


Christina Tourin said about her new release IONA Inspirations - Healing Music - “The music truly depicts the voyage to this little island - that of EICSE - where the veil is thin on the brink of the waters.” She plays the harp quite beautifully, and she also teaches it and has a website with plenty of information on that. And no, the release date is not a typo!

Christina takes history buffs, writers, and harp loving people to the island each year then this music gives them some history and flavor of the island. So that was the main motivation in releasing the recording once again as she gets ready to bring groups of people again on that journey.

Along with the harp, several other instruments are in the mix, including guitar, keyboards, flute, cello, pennywhistle, Scots Gaelic, and chants. If you were wondering like I was, Scottish Gaelic, also known as Scots Gaelic and Gaelic, is a Goidelic language native to the Gaels of Scotland. As a Goidelic language, Scottish Gaelic and both Irish and Manx developed out of Old Irish. Compared to English, it sounds foreign. I am far from a language expert; I had to look it up. For example, it sounds very ancient compared to someone with a heavy Irish accent.

As one would imagine, this music is very soothing because of the harp; however, the mixture of other instruments is a nice touch. It gives it a new age world sound with many facets courtesy of the harp accompanied by the aforementioned additions. You will experience an hour and fifteen minutes of pure sounds that will delight, relax your mind and body, and enlighten your spirit. The music on this recording fits that description very well, and although it is pretty eclectic, I would still call it a new-age instrumental, with a bit of added spice and variety, if you will. You may find “The Well of Eternal Youth” inside the music.

Tracks like “Stone” feature that wonderful blend of many instruments like the flute, guitar, and cello that give the music an air of mystery and lure. I can envision the pied piper playing his flute, guiding you into the deep forest. It would be a great soundtrack to an ancient story handed down over the centuries. “White Mare” is one of the airier light-hearted acoustic jazz-infused guitar tracks with the harp. There are many sounds interwoven that make it dreamy.

The music on IONA Inspirations - Healing Music represents so many things, and it will be different for each individual, which I say a lot; however, it is essential to bring up that fact that supports the power and freedom of music and what it brings to us all. There is always more to it than songs without words. You have to let the music take you there, look at the artwork on the album cover, look at the track titles and follow along as you listen. Therein lies the story, your story in the music. It is a beautiful thing that brings me so much joy every time it happens.

IONA Inspirations - Healing Music
will be a gift to yourself. It is Christina Tourin’s personal story of her trip to Iona Island off the western coast of Scotland in 2007. She does a fantastic job of painting the pictures of her visit through the music. The production values are excellent throughout the recording. That is incredibly important to any release but more crucial to a primarily instrumental group of songs (except the ancient tongue offered on a few tracks). There are many layers of instruments and sounds to consider making production much more complex, and the final mix is paramount in bringing all of those sounds to you in full bloom.

The CD comes with a nice booklet providing plenty of information about the music and what was behind it all. You will discover a complete experience if you get the CD.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
May 4, 2022 


01. In The Glow   6:21
02.  St. Columba’s Vision 4:43
03. Images 5:56
The Fairy Mound /Lammy O   
04. Iona of My Heart 3:16
05. The Well of Eternal Youth 3:39
06. Stones 6:36
07. Wild Geese   4:13
08. White Mare   4:07
09. Hermit Cell   3:08
10. White Strand of the Monks 2:13
11. Wonder 3:25
12. Blackbird 3:22
13. Fingal’s Cave and The Sea   4:29
14. Sky’s Invitation 9:51
15. Blessings On Iona 9:00
          Bunessan (Morning Has Broken)
          Iona Blessings
          May The Roads Rise Up

New Age Instrumental Review:Tron Syversen-A New Spring

Release Date: April 27, 2022 Digital/May 27, 2022 CD

Label:  Tron Music


Tron Syversen has quite the recorded collection of music available on his website. A New Spring is his latest work. We look back on Winter as another season with different views once that is upon us. Some folks dread it, move south to warmer climates, and return after the orange-breasted robin's return. That bird and its song remind us that life can also be migratory.

This music brings those thoughts and feelings into focus. I look at the beautiful things Winter can be, and on the other side, the danger that awaits one if you are not paying attention.

Tron's music is atmospheric and soothing as watching the buds on the tree on the album cover coming to life and blossoming. If you live through the four seasons, each has its beauty and offerings to those wishing to embrace it. And the music is relatively easy to feel at home with. The tinkling of the keys from Tron to the lovely wordless vocalizations of Helene Edler is magical. Each pulls you into its separate journey of unspoken scenery. The track names are self-explanatory, and the music follows the pictures that come to life with the color and spirituality in your heart, mind, and soul. Helene’s angelic vocals are the axiomatic icing on the cake. Her talents are rendered with excellence as they embrace the music and become one with its purpose.

Tron has a lot of talent behind his piano and keyboards with violin, electric violin, cello, guitars, bass, English horn, flute, and soprano sax. I have listed all the contributors below.

Listeners can go from moments of "Surrender" to the chill of "February," then to the "Melting Snow," then reach back to the beginning of the recording to relive the "Dancing Butterflies." A New Spring is the poetry of life that we all share. We are witness to all of these songs of life, and hopefully, we all find our "True Love," whether that a person, a furry friend, or your life's work, those expressive words can apply to so many different things during our lives here on earth.

A New Spring reminds me of all the beauty and what mother nature gives us during all the seasons. They can apply to the different periods we travel through on our paths to the Winter of our soul. These "Magic Waves" of music created by the gifted artist Tron Syversen will find appreciation by many listeners. It is all original music arranged by the artist, making it much more valid and noteworthy.

I find peace and refuge inside the music, which is the idea you will hear in A New Spring.

Voice: Helene Edler
Violin: Agnes Hoffart
Electric violin: Sunniva Tomter
Cello: Silje Katrine Gotaas
Guitars: Rolf Kristensen,
Harald Fjelde (2, 7) and Elin Løkken (4)
Bass: Per Elias Drabløs
English Horn: Henrik Eurenius
Flute: Elin Kathrine Thorkildsen
Soprano Saxophone: Arne Egnesvoll
Piano/Keyboards: Tron Syversen
Music and arrangements: Tron Syversen


1. Dancing Butterflies (6:59)
2. Melting Snow (5:42)
3. Blossom of the Heart (7:21)
4. Surrender (5:27)
5. February (6:18)
6. Magic Waves (6:08)
7. Evening Breeze (7:16)
8. True Love (6:32)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 27, 2022

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Lynn Tredeau - Reflection

Release Date: June 10, 2022

Label:  Independent


Instrumental solo piano is many things, solitude, simplicity, one focus, and I am sure some people could think of a lot more. While it may feel different and hold diverse meanings, there is one commonality it can bring, peace and tranquility.

The music of Lynn Tredeau fits nicely into that frame of reference. Her latest release, Reflection, allows a listener to do just that. The music leads you and prompts you to reflect on what is inside your heart and mind.

There are some very descriptive track titles such as “The Passing of Time,” “Washed Away,” and “Celebration.” They have a meaning to the performer and can easily translate to a listener. You could be “Meandering” and find yourself “Deep In The Forest” as mother nature takes over and you are listening to “What The Rain Said.” Stories weaved into the fabric of audio frequencies, colors, and sounds are what good music can accomplish.

As every picture tells a story, like the cover featuring the Northern Lights, every note played highlights the words used to describe the music. The twelve tracks of solo piano offered on Reflection is an example of singular beauty created by an artist with the talent to manipulate the ivory keys.

Lynn Tredeau  is a talented pianist, and it was good to revisit her talents. The last time I had the pleasure of covering her music was in 2018 for the Fellowship of Solitude. I find sadness in this kind of music because it makes me reflect on my life and the people who have come and gone. Especially family members. For some reason, the music always finds a place in my heart that needs expression. There were no significant changes in the flow that would affect my mood that I would describe as a variable with this album. I think it’s best to say it felt like melancholy with elements of introspection. That is a tribute to the gently persuading style the artist offers. It is consistent throughout, thus giving me those strong feelings for most of the listen. I need to say it was all lovely, and it just affected me a certain probably because I heard it for the first time on Easter and missed so many people. The last track, “Celebration,” was quite uplifting in many ways and an excellent way to close out the album.

was therapeutic for me, and because it brought about feelings of sadness does not mean I did not enjoy it. I did derive a lot of satisfaction from listening because there was truth and honesty in the emotions I was going through. Music brings about awareness and a different way of thinking, and far as I am concerned, it was a success in every way.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 16, 2022

01. Tide Pools (4:33)
02. Someday, Somehow (3:22)
03. What the Rain Said (3:42)
04. Dreaming Tree (3:10)
05. Meandering (3:35)
06. Aspens of Targhee Mountain (3:03)
07. Deep in the Forest (4:36)
08 The Passing of Time (2:36)
09. Nomad (3:44)
10. The Road to There (3:34)
11. Washed Away (2:39)
12. Celebration (2:53)

New Age Ambient Instrumental Review: Rusty Crutcher-The Oracle of Delphi

Release Date: April 11, 2022

Label:  Emerald Green Sound Productions


Rusty Crutcher’s recent release The Oracle of Delphi (from the sacred site series) does an excellent job of catching your eye and igniting your imagination with the cover art. Once you hear the music, you will understand how the art matches.

The new age ambient instrumental mixture on the ten tracks consists of many different sounds; you will hear duduk, pan pipes, flutes, choirs, kithara, water moving, mesmerizing bell-like sounds (singing bowl?), and swirling colors of ambiance riding on waves of synths. It is a compelling conglomeration of music that immediately sets you at ease for essential relaxation, reflection, or a meditative state.

Music such as this can ignite an inner flame that was barely flickering into an intense and consistent fire for the curious mind. I am naturally curious and love to learn every day if the opportunity arises. Certain sounds and vibrations in music can change our brain waves and mindset entirely. That is a scientific fact, and I believe it happens to me quite frequently. I do feel a strong sense of gratitude to artists like Rusty Crutcher.

I took some time to look at Rusty’s Facebook page, and you can tell what this man is all about. His profile reflects a soul in harmony with himself and his surroundings. And most certainly, this beauty is reflected in all the music presented on The Oracle of Delphi.

Wikipedia: Pythia was the name of the high priestess of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. She specifically served as its oracle and was known as the Oracle of Delphi. Her title was also historically glossed in English as the Pythoness. The name Pythia is derived from Pytho, which in myth was the original name of Delphi. Referenced on track #7 with “Pythia’s Trance.”

Ancient Greek mythology is often a subject matter and driving factor to recordings. It is a fascination for many of us. It makes you wonder how much of it is true. Where do the stories originate? Did they suddenly appear in someone’s mind and then take on a life all their own? Or were the ancient god’s beings from another planet sent here to watch over us and guide us? The music can take you to many places. Perhaps the entire idea of this recording, besides letting you relax, is to engage your thought process to think about the possibilities of what each track title prompts you to ponder.

The Oracle of Delphi
offers each listener beautiful music to let the day wash away and clear your mind. It is a soundtrack to the past with music for now and in the future. However, if you are anything like me, you find quite a bit to think about once you look at the artwork, the titles, and take in all the music that brings all of those aural sensations to you and invite you to another plane of existence gently.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 12, 2022

01. Miriams Wish                
02. Itea Bound               
03. Aegean Reflections        
04.Song of the Muses        
05. Apollo Awakens            
06. Center of the World        
07. Pythia’s Trance            
08. Vapors of Apollo            
09. Castalian Breeze              
10. Know Thyself

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Samer Fanek-Call of the Desert

Release Date: April 30, 2022

Label:  Independent


I have witnessed growth and maturation with each release I have had the pleasure to listen to from Samer Fanek. With Call of the Desert, this young and vibrant pianist reaches back to his roots and creates an astonishing array of tracks.

Samer’s music is very cinematic and so vital to the core of his message. He wants to go back to the Middle East and perform this music. His homeland of Jordan inspired this music and longing to go back there. Such inspiration and beauty lie within the heart of every human. It comes from the heart to the fingers through the piano.

I felt the honesty of this music, and the excitement that gave me chills from the start. “Call of the Desert - Part I” brings you to Jordan within seconds. It gets more interesting musically with lovely orchestrations to accentuate the elegant piano playing from that point on.

“Into The Sun” is as picturesque as the cover art. However, the sun is going down to relieve those people from the intense desert heat. At the end of the journey is a piano and palm tree off to the side. Is this a mirage for those weary travelers? I think not. The music is convincing, and you are there right in the middle of that scenery created by Samer’s music.

Call of the Desert is Samer’s most inspired and ambitious work. The equation is simple; home is where the heart is. It will be good for everyone to hear this music. I know here in the U.S. that a different picture is painted of the Middle East thanks to the media and social platforms. Every home and country has its unique beauty to its inhabitants. With this music, perhaps we all can see that more clearly. We can take the first exit down the right road as we cast aside any preconceived ideas or thoughts pushed onto us 24/7. Samer can be our guiding light to a world we can only imagine in our minds. He knows through his past experiences what Jordan is and what it means to his people. With that knowledge and heartfelt expression, he conveys it all beautifully.

Tracks like “The Old Arabic Shop” are reflective and have a sweetness. And indeed, through the eyes of the beholder and his memories, we can envision what he remembers. “Pleading to You” is full of emotion, and the track title could mean many things. I know that the music sounds like it asks you to listen and absorb the sounds and colors of a world far away from where you sit now. Samer brings it all to life instantaneously through his music.

“Desert Rush” is full of movement and drama as you take the arduous journey over the unknown desert landscape. The excitement is a rush of adrenaline you have never experienced before.

The recording ends dramatically with “Call of the Desert - Part II,” as Samer’s gentle touch lends a sublime beauty to some masterful keyboard magic that you just enjoyed. I know this would sound so amazing on vinyl LP. It was so consuming as I listened to it all. I felt like I was in a storybook about a land I did not know. It does not seem so far away after listening to Call of the Desert anymore.

Capturing another country’s atmosphere and a young man’s memories inside the music is an outstanding achievement. In this excellent release, Samer Fanek has recreated everything about Jordan in his heart and mind. It will capture your imagination, I promise.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
April 11, 2022


01. Call of the Desert - Part I
02. Nighttime Celebrations
03. Where Did the Time Go?
04. Into the Sun
05. The Old Arabic Shop
06. Dramatic Encounters
07. Mediterranean Moments
08. Pleading to You
09. Desert Rush
10. Call of the Desert - Part II

Instrumental Ambient New Age Review: Palm Reading-Joshua Tree

Release Date: March 18, 2022

Label:  ‎myndstream


Palm Reading is the musical project by Scooby Laposky and Charles Copley, inspired by plant life, the natural environment, and the traditions of ambient and mindfulness music.

In August this year, I was introduced to this clever musical duo with their first journey Malibu: Point Mugu. Now we have their first full-length release Joshua Tree.

The nine tracks encompassed in Joshua Tree continue their belief in preserving ecosystems, which is a noble and just cause. What will become of all living things if we do not protect our ecosystems so essential to the rhythm of life?

The sound found on this album is similar to the three-track EP previously released. How they create, their music is unique and innovative. It combines synthesized electronic music generated by biodata recorded from plants using a biodata sonification device. The device works by measuring microcurrent fluctuations occurring across the surface of a plant’s leaf, generating MIDI notes when a change in conductivity is detected, allowing a user to listen to the invisible biological processes occurring within plants.

Once again, I found this fascinating with the creation of all the ambient sounds through their process of instrumentation, technology, and nature make for a very effective relaxation or meditative tool.

Each track is dissimilar; however, it all blends nicely. It all flows with a natural course from one track to the next. It is so seamless that the distinction between tracks can become so realistic that it sounds like one track infinitely connected, just like all living things. That is why it is such a great accomplishment if you think about it for a minute because each composition differs. That factor has a very pleasing effect for those looking for that listen that can put you in a different mindset or plane of existence, if you will. Whatever you want to call it or level of consciousness, you can reach that goal easily with this music.

Joshua Tree
is a fantastic achievement of a symbolic triangle consisting of music, nature, and technology that intersect to mold into art. I found this was one of the more exciting projects of 2021; in 2022, we have a natural progression to the next level of audio achievement, continuing and expanding the last effort.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
March 18, 2021

1. Mojave Yucca - Bighorn Pass
2. Beavertail Cactus - Bighorn Pass Interlude
3. Desert Parsley - Bighorn Pass
4. Creosote Bush - Utah Trail River Bed
5. Blue Palo Verde - Cottonwood Spring Oasis
6. Goodding's Willow - Cottonwood Spring Oasis
7. Joshua Tree - Pinto Basin at Sunset Part 1
8. Joshua Tree - Pinto Basin at Sunset Interlude
9. Joshua Tree - Pinto Basin at Sunset Part 2

Ambient-New Age Instrumental Review: Various Artists-Ambient Sleep

Release Date: March 11, 2022

Sleep is crucial to our health, heart, body, and mind. Which in many cases can all equal a definite form or spirituality? It makes sense to me. myndstream is a label that is interested in all humanity's well-being and endeavors to provide new age music in various forms. The three-track release focuses on Ambient Sleep, a doorway to the inner light that lives in us all. I am familiar with the artist featured, so I felt comfortable and ready to listen with some anticipation of a great experience.

The artwork points you in that direction and the three tracks presented are the spirit clearing elements that keep that window open to all of that beautiful light coming in. The music is a three-fold idea, new age, meditation, and instrumental only. There are no words to clutter your thought process. It is about letting go of any thought process and finding the emptiness of space. Anticipation of your arrival there is imminent at some point during the listen.

The first track by Carl Borden is "Dreamscapes." Carl is no stranger to creating soundscapes to clear the occupied mind and soothe the soul. The layers of ambiance entice you to come in and hold you from beginning to end. It is dreamy and ambient and played at just the right volume, making you spellbound.

"Guuterput" by The Haiku Project offers a nice piano backed by synths. It is very tranquil and inviting. The pace is purposely slow and layered with the right tones and colors to ease a listener into a comfort zone. This type of track should usher in a meditative state in a relatively short time frame. I do speak from my perspective; however, I suspect it will apply to many of you who are into this type of music.

"Tomorrow By Another Name" by Michelle Qureshi is layer after layer of synths, and then some strings enter the picture via an acoustic guitar. The guitar offers an element the previous tracks do not and a certain uniqueness in this trilogy of instrumental bliss. It is a bit shorter than the earlier tracks; however, it makes an impact, and it felt like the perfect ending to an otherwise perfect day or evening, whatever may be the case upon your first listen.

These artisans are talented and offer listeners an easier path to relaxation, time for thought, or meditation to clear their thoughts. Whatever way you pursue your purpose, all are sure to benefit from the three tracks on Ambient Sleep.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
March 11, 2022

1. Dreamscapes by Carl Borden
2. Guuterput by The Haiku Project
3. Tomorrow By Another Name by Michelle Qureshi