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


Instrumental New Age/Meditation Review: Byron Metcalf-Inner Rhythm Meditations

Release Date: September 30, 2016 
Label: Sounds True

For thousands of years people have been using drums and other acoustic instruments to create sounds and rhythms. There were many reasons to create these sounds other than for the pure enjoyment of generating different sounds. They would gather to summon spirits, gods, the dead and go into a trance-like state or vision quest.

Enlightened spiritual individuals like Byron Metcalf take those ancient traditions and use today’s technology to create a canvas to paint a musical picture upon. He brings you into his world with his latest release Inner Rhythm Meditations. The subtitle of the release is “Music for expansive awareness & inspired movement.” All those words certainly put everything into focus, and then when you listen, it all comes to life as you enter an entirely different space or reality, if you will. You get to make the choice how you want to enjoy this music, it is a gift and tool to use for what you request and it’s all positive, or as they say “it’s all good.”

Byron uses several instruments to put together six tracks of considerable length. Peter Phippen and his incredible flutes add to the mix and overall ambiance throughout this release, and the multi-talented Metcalf plays a variety of percussive instruments. He takes the old and new to make meditation easier for anyone seeking to reach that state. Easy rhythms and relaxing sounds will melt your stress away like ice on a warm spring day. Erik Wolllo also brings a multitude of talent to the table, playing all sorts of electric guitars, bass and keyboards.

Every track represents a doorway to your soul. The keys to this kingdom is to unlock each door and walk through to see what you can find. Are you thirsty for inner knowledge? Do you seek wisdom from a higher self? Or are you seeking sanctuary and relief to obtain a calm and peacefulness so that you can re-energize? The answers lie within, and the only way to that path of discovery is through the music that is represented on Inner Rhythm Meditations.
We always have the answers; it is our built-in mechanism and ability to either block out the truth or let it in and accept it. I have found this to be true more and more as my life tick tocks away like a clock that never needs rewinding or another battery. To be honest, it’s my mind that has a hard time shutting off.  I need to calm my mind before my body will follow. Music like this is a magnificent healer, it brings us closer to our meaning here and what we truly belief is our own path to real freedom, physically and spiritually.

I think the music of Inner Rhythm Meditations is like a continuing story, your story, and how you write it. It only ends when the music stops, but you can begin again right from the start upon next listen. Simple as that seems, there is more to it than meets the eye or spirit. I cannot break this down into favorite tracks, I find that impossible to do with music like this. Although it is six tracks, it is one story, one journey for you in the music; just hit play. Each one is a space in time and long enough to hold you to explore different textures, tones, ambiances and colors. This demands your focus because there is no one pulling you away with vocals and words to ponder upon. 

Breathe deep, relax and take the magic carpet ride of percussion and its heartbeat to your own special place with Inner Rhythm Meditations. You will get there, be patient and listen, it does work.

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: ALL

1. Garden of the Peaceful Warrior
2. As Clouds Dance
3. Patterns of Awarenes
4. A Perfect Place
5. The Awakened Heart
6. Presence of Longing
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
December 16, 2016

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Instrumental New Age/Ambient Review: Tom Eaton-Abendromen

Release Date: February 8, 2016
Label: Riverwide Records

Abendromen is Tom Eaton’s latest release. The title comes from the Dutch. It is actually two words combined, "Abend" is evening and "Dromen" is dreams. Tom is a very busy producer collaborating constantly with Will Ackerman in his Imaginary Road Studios to help New Age artists find their sound. Somehow he found the time in December 2015 and January 2016 to get this recording completed.

This is an album about dreaming and the different forms it can take on a daily basis. Some sweep you away from reality and some become reality. Listen to the music and create your dreams.

Tom composed, mixed, mastered, engineered and produced the recording using textural electric guitars, fretted and fretless basses, synthesizers and piano miniatures. All the piano, keyboards, guitars, basses and percussion where played by the artist making this a true “solo” work.

The ever important opening track draws the curtain back and sets the tone for any recording. And Tom introduces his style of music perfectly by easing you into his world with “Sunday-Slow Rotations.” It is atmospheric and features ambient textures with keyboards floating on top, promoting the traditional day of rest. It is the face of magnificence and elegance found in music all packaged in one track. The elements of new age and classical are injected with some ambient chill to make for delectable treat for the senses. 

Oddly enough “Monday-Midwinter” is exactly where we are at in the northeast. Usually every year we have those nightmare days with the weather but it has been a winter only imagined by those hoping for warming temperatures and a lot less snow and ice. That dream came true. 

“Tuesday-The Compass” is one of my preferred tracks. It reminded me of some of my favorite artists over the years like Tangerine Dream (Le Parc). The dreamy floating on cloud effect is there except the pace picks up a bit more right at the start. There is lovely melody weaved into the fabric of this track. It has inspired me to start listening to some of my favorite music again that I have not heard in so long. Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre and Mike Oldfield come to mind right away. The compass showed me the way.

I think the one track I could relate to most was “Friday-Patience.” The saying T.G.I.F. comes to mind and how you need to be patient and work your way through the day looking forward to the weekend to do what you really desire. It does require patience to make it through to Friday each week, some weeks require more than others. That is how the title hit me and the music felt right as well. The pace is even and peaceful while carrying the hope of a new day right around the corner.

I knew Tom Eaton was an incredibly talented producer and now I know for certain that the music is in every molecule of his being. With Abendromen his gives proof positive that his fingers hold the key to capturing the imagination of an audience in desperate need of unwinding and appreciating a relaxing atmosphere to decompress. It worked for me. 

4/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Monday-Slow Rotations, Friday-Patience, Tuesday-The Compass

01. Sunday: Slow Rotations
02. Monday: Midwinter
03. Tuesday: The Compass
04. Wednesday: In Stillness
05. Thursday: For Orion
06. Friday: Patience
07. Saturday: Long Lonely Light

Bonus Tracks:
08. Wednesday Night
09. The Eighth Day
10. Saturday Night

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck- New Age Music Reviews Founder
February 27, 2016
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Featured Stream: Joe Heinemann - Lenape

Joe Heinemann's new release Gratitude says how the artist feels about life and he then translates that in his music.

The track of choice is "Lenape." It is a beautiful dance of grace and sound. Joe's fingers are the translator and his piano is the messenger.

The soft intro pulls you in and grabs your attention. The pace is purposeful and meaningful. 

"Lenape" is one example of what is in store for the listener on the new release. Lovers of instrumental, classical and new age music will find this an enjoyable piece to listen to.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

More About Joe Joe Heinemann:

Some music career voyages start early, some start late, but each one shares a point where the commitment to working on one's craft becomes

important. For pianist Joe Heinemann, that happened at the young age of 7, shortly after he began taking piano lessons. His mother was the only

member of the household “really into music,” and was the guiding force in his early musical development and the emergence of his performing

talent. “My mother pushed me when I was young, which was key, because I wasn’t aware of what I was developing completely. I wasn’t self-driven.

There were many small steps to feeling good about becoming a really proficient player and side-man, and that made making music more valuable as

I aged."

Joe Heinemann grew up in Portland, Oregon, and studied classical piano from the age of 7 until he turned 20 (including a brief stint at the

Music Conservatory in San Francisco). His professional playing career began smack-dab in the middle of that spell, at a mere 13 years old. As a

young teen in Portland, he found himself drawn to jazz by listening to albums at friends' houses. In his twenties, he heard a Keith Jarrett

album and a light bulb went on over his head. “I was a strong solo pianist and always wanted to do that most. When George Winston appeared [on

the scene] I thought it was great that he could do concert halls with a casual appearance. I wasn’t at a point in my life to follow a similar

path to [Winston's], though.”

After his formal studies, Heinemann funneled his energy into jazz and dance music, as well as a great amount of freelancing (he would end up

playing piano and keyboards with an assortment of bands until he turned 45). For two years in the mid '80s he lived in Amsterdam, playing local

gigs and touring Europe, performing and recording, including dates with saxophonist Archie Shepp. These years represented his most intensely

focused jazz-playing period.

Moving back to the States, he launched a career as a jazz and blues keyboardist in both Portland and San Francisco, most notably touring and

recording with Charlie Musselwhite's Band. Between 1992 and 2001, Joe recorded and shared the stage with many well-known artists (e.g. Robert

Cray, Steve Miller, Bonnie Raitt, and Albert Collins, to name just a few), developing a reputation as the consummate sideman. He also fronted

his own group, releasing six recordings under his name. One of his earlier songs, "Straight Ahead," placed in the top ten in a Jazzizz magazine

national keyboardist contest. As accomplished as he had become, something was missing. “I knew in 2001 I had to leave freelancing and playing in

other people’s bands. I needed to take time to develop my music and discover my true voice. I knew it would be a long process and I had to make

a living, so I built a private piano teaching business in the Bay Area and left performing for a living to teach while I wrote and developed my

own piano repertoire. That lasted about 12 years.”

In 2012, he and his wife moved to New York City (where they currently reside) and Joe spent time “getting to know himself” as a different kind

of piano player and composer. “I fully realized I wanted to (and needed to) find a way to be a solo pianist, perform for respectful audiences on

nice pianos, express my original music in a relaxed and mature environment.” This process of discovery slowly took shape, culminating in the

artist reaching out to noted producer Will Ackerman, founder of Windham Hill Records and currently part of one of the hottest producer/engineer

tandems in music alongside Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios in rural Vermont. It is here that Joe recorded his latest work, Gratitude. While

subtle elements of jazz can be heard on the album, “...with this music I’m doing now, melody is primary. Will stresses this and I think it’s

part of why his judgment is so valuable. I will probably revere melody more for the rest of my life because of Will’s influence.”

As Joe Heinemann continues to evolve, those first glimpses of this new direction his music would take all those years ago (with the discovery of

Jarrett and Winston) have crystallized. “This solo piano, original music, played on great pianos, with quiet listeners that want to hear you,

working with the greatest producer in the business, and an audience ready for my music, is all I really wanted since I was very young.

Ultimately, I want to leave something behind after I’m gone. The music I’m making now will allow for that.”


Featured Stream: Robert Linton-Aside The River Bend

Robert Linton has a new album coming out titled Beyond The Clearing. The focus track is "Aside The River Bend."

The track is much like walking alongside a long and winding river observing the fluctuation of the flow and all the activities one may witness during that stroll.

Robert's guitar is poignant, expressive and beautiful as the nature it emulates. The track is soft yet it makes a strong point as it makes its way into your soul. It touches your senses and you really can relate to the title so much once you listen.

I look forward to hearing the rest of this album as it sounds like it will be a wonderful experience.

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

More About Robert Linton:

Robert Linton is a musician of deep thoughtfulness, this sensitivity is evident on his recordings of lyrical guitar instrumentals. Linton plays finger-style nylon-string guitar, his songs exude such tranquil beauty and peaceful solace that they work their way into your soul without you even realizing it. They become part of your being without any conscious effort or mood-setting required, which is the essence of true musical artistry.

Robert's first recordings can be found on his 2001 demo, which featured (among others) the songs "Scent of Rain," "Mountain Mist," and "Autumn Moon." These tracks would later be re-recorded and released on his CD Pale Shades. By 2005, Robert had released his second CD Within the Outline. It was while promoting Within the Outline that Robert first connected with noted guitarist and founder of the ground-breaking label Windham Hill, Will Ackerman, (currently the hottest producer in contemporary instrumental music via his Imaginary Road Studios). Agreeing to produce Robert's next CD, Whisperings at Nightfall, Ackerman added other instruments to Robert's sublime guitar compositions, calling on the members of a crew of accompanists who have since been featured on many excellent recordings from Imaginary Road. After the release of Whisperings at Nightfall, Robert took time away from recording his music to write music for the library of Harpo Productions.

In February of 2011, Robert released Throughout the Autumn Light. Mixed, mastered and co-produced (with the artist) by the highly regarded studio engineer and overall sonic wizard Corin Nelsen, the album features a stellar cast of guest artists: Stephen Katz on cello, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Tracy Silverman on violin, Jill Haley on English Horn and Jeff Pearce on EBow guitar. In March and April of 2011, Throughout the Autumn Light reached number two on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airply charts. By the beginning of 2012, the CD had been nominated for Best Instrumental Acoustic Album by radio broadcasters reporting to Zone Music Reporter. Also during this time, Throughout the Autumn Light and Whisperings at Nightfall were added to the music library of The C.A.R.E. Channel, a program of Healing Healthcare Systems, which is played in more than 700 leading hospitals around the country.


Track Feature: Angelo Râpan-Remember

Angelo Râpan has released his album Songs of Leaving and with that successfully weaved a tapestry of instrumental tales of the heart.

"Remember" is the focus track and my initial thoughts are similar to what Will Ackerman said about the artist. He transfers his mind, body and soul through his fingers to make beautiful and moving music.

Like a clear running stream of cool water ready for consumption he lets his fingers do all the talking. His message to us is to "Remember" who you are, where you have been and where you are going. Listen and you will be able to relate easily!

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Rating 5/5 Stars

More About Angelo Rapan:

Angelo Râpan inhabits the smallest ecosystem known to musicians: The place where heart and mind are perfectly in balance.   Angelo comes to us from years of training and discipline to a place where his skills are immediately and dramatically apparent.  What makes him stand apart, however, is the passion of his composition and performance which force us to encounter him on an emotional level far beyond what mere skill can provide.  Those skills are certainly breathtaking, and his composition unique, but ultimately it is what he has to tell us of a life deeply and richly lived that matters.

 ~ Will Ackerman