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

3/14/2020

Instrumental New Age Review: Sonic Yogi-Be The Love You Seek

Release Date: January 26, 2020
Label: Sonic Yogi Productions
Website


The Sonic Yogi is Jonathan Adams. After recovering from extreme anxiety Jonathan realized the healing powers of music like never before. I think if you find yourself caught up in a cycle like what he experienced you are searching for solutions, and he was fortunate he found what he needed to get back on the right path to recovery.

His answer to the calling he received was Be The Love You Seek. This is a collection of eleven tracks that combine music with elements of music and sound therapy, a very effective combination I must say. He plays several instruments including Classical Guitar, Tibetan (Himalayan) Singing Bowls, Gong, Percussion and Native American Flute.

All of that creates an aural soundscape that will invite you to fall right into the music, relax, and focus on your inner being, from where your spirit comes from. That essence of our humanity and strength can be sidetracked or even dormant when faced with a debilitating illness, mental or physical. The timing of this is perfect with the Corona virus spreading worldwide and our economies in virtual collapse. The panic behind all this madness needs to be calmed and music from Be The Love You Seek can be that organic pacifier we all need to hear right now.

My favorite track is “Dharmalodic.” I added it to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist. That is the one track I want everyone to hear first because it combines rudiments of the old and new so seamlessly, it is a true work of art. In these turbulent times when we are uncertain and our very souls are shaken by events, we need that assuring and calming voice. That voice is music my friends, it speaks to us as the ultimate healer that does not require a prescription, just your ears, and undivided attention.

I can promise you this, if you listen to Sonic Yogi’s music your cares will melt away and you feel relieved and re-energized, prompting a more positive view of your surroundings and the world at large. It works beautifully and you can trust the music to transport you to another frame of mind or another plane of existence if you will.

This was a day when I really needed Be The Love You Seek.  Perhaps many of you can find a different way of feeling. In the end, existing in this environment that constantly exposes us to the many forms of communication that can serve as interruptions to our days, music is the always the answer to regain our focus. Trust me when I say, you need this music. Sonic Yogi has arisen from the ashes like the phoenix of music, spreading his wings and inviting you to go for the ride. Ready for takeoff?

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 14, 2020


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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

01. Montana Skies
02. December Sun
03. Dharmalodic
04. Ajna Meditation (Monaural Beat Mix)
05. Om Shanti Mantra (Prayer for Peace) [feat. Octavia Nasr]
06. Yoga is Union (Introspection)
07. Finding Theta
08. Awakening in the Dream (Note to Self)
09. Third Eye Flute (Interlude)
10. Gong Bath Zen
11. Guided Chakra Meditation


8/07/2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Jill Haley-The Winds of Badlands

Release Date: May 17, 2019
Label: Coranglais

Jill Haley and I go back to 2014 and her Mesa Verde Soundscapes recording. She is a sought-after musician and can be found on many other recordings from similar artists as well in the new age genre.

Fast forward to 2019 and her continuing series on National Parks leads you to The Winds of Badlands. Jill’s expertise with the English Horn, oboe and piano lends itself well with the sights and sounds of every track that mirror the winds and their effect on the badlands.

Once again, the CD is packaged beautifully in tri-fold cardboard book format that includes various pictures of the landscape with comments from the artist. What you get is the complete experience and hopefully engaged enough to follow the photos and musical passages to make you feel like you were with Jill experiencing every day she spent there at of one our national treasures.

Each track is a special tribute to the badlands and every mood, time of day and night, and color comes through her music. I wonder how one person can experience the magnificence of nature and all its gifts and translate it through a chosen instrument. Jill has that gift and she presents everything so perfectly in sync with her surroundings.

I choseCliff Shelf Breeze” to add to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist and once I made that selection I realized if I had to pick again, I would be quite perplexed. Every track is so beautiful and each one has its individuality, sound, pace, texture, mood, and color.

What Jill Haley accomplishes is two-fold. Her innate sense of musicality and how it relates to the music and nature then the gift of conveying her spirituality through the instruments she plays. It is a powerful message to each listener, particularly those that believe our environment is so important and to invest in protecting our Mother Earth for future generations. These parks should be held with the highest respect and love. Those of you that are here to provide the teachings and stewardship to the current generations and beyond are essential to moving forward in this process.

Artists like Jill Haley and projects like The Winds of Badlands carry a very strong message and lesson to us all. Stop, look, listen, and appreciate the environment around you, that is what this poignant artist has accomplished with all of her recordings. It is a great way to enjoy music and also give some thought to what this is all about.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
August 4, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Whirlwind
02. Wind Hymn
03. Cliff Shelf Breeze
04. Silhouettes at Dusk
05. Western Meadowlark Call
06. Sculpted by Water
07. Floor of the Sky
08. Rustles of Green and Gold
09. Moon Over Badlands
10. Uplift
11. Sage Creek Basin
12. Prairie Grass Dance

 

8/01/2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Michael Joseph-Into The Blue

Release Date: April 19, 2019
Label: Independent

Into The Blue is the debut album for Michael Joseph. This can be a turning point in the career of any artist. Into The Blue allows each listener to look into those blue eyes of the artist and beyond. In other words, right into the very soul of the man playing all the music.

What Michael says about new age music on the inside cover of the CD is insightful. I agree 100% with his thought that music can shape your day and bring you calm. His music is a beautiful tribute to the keys that created all tracks. And all the compositions were created by him as well. This is for a man who wondered one day if he could compose music. I would say the answer to that question is a resounding YES!

Into The Blue is a very inviting release. It doesn’t lull you to sleep, it brings about introspection and complete peace within. This is what the artist was searching for while composing this music. It is indeed a direct reflection of his soul. I believe any astute listener can appreciate the sincerity of this man and his music.

The keyboards have plenty of accompaniment that provides the lush soundscapes for Michael to gently drop his tasteful keystrokes upon. Listening to all these tracks is like riding on a pure white cloud floating along through a clear blue sky. His musicianship perfectly meshes with the layers he puts together in each song. There are many different influences in his music as well. You can hear them all loud and clear, and that my fellow listeners is a beautiful thing.

“Church of My Heart” is one of the finest examples (which I added to my Spotify Playlist on my site). The gorgeous melodies and choir coming into the mix is a slice of heaven. Who would think such beauty could abound from a shiny silver disc? It is one of the miracles of technology. I am waiting for the day when all of these wonderful artists like Michael start getting their music on vinyl, it will be a glorious occasion indeed. In the meantime, we still get to enjoy the originality and talent of fine artists such as this.

Into The Blue is exceptional debut release that should lead to many more to come.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 28, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:
01. Awakened (Remastered)
02. Carpathian Echos
03. Into the Blue
04. Daybreak
05. Church of My Heart
06. What Could Have Been
07. Lover's Waltz
08. The Quiet Within
09. Escape
10. The Passage of Time
11. Missing You
12. Into the Storm
13. Another Chance
 

7/24/2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Masako-Underwater Whisperer

Release Date: June 21, 2019
Label: Masako Music

I found Masako through her Piano Sanctuary release.  And I found a sanctuary through her music. Now two years have passed and Underwater Whisperer is delivered. If you look at the track titles it all lines up with the album title and colorful illustration on the cover.

What I see is a young lady communicating with her surroundings (arms raised to get attention?), the ocean, the polar bear, an iceberg, and sea creatures. Masako communicates with her music but what she is trying to say as well is very important. The thought process here evolves around nature and perhaps a cry for some reasoning around what is happening to the polar ice cap. It is melting away with rising sea temperatures.  Anyone with any sense of reality can see what is going on with our environment. And what is accomplished here is a lot more than a whisper.

You will enjoy 11 tracks of instrumental elegance from the fingers of Masako. The production values are excellent when an artist goes to Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios and Tom Eaton provides all the meticulous production work. They are two of the busiest men in the music business.

I think the entire album delivers on the promise of tranquility and a meditative or contemplative state of consciousness. Two tracks in particular were my favorites. “Sea Pearls” is 7 minutes and 20 seconds of pure piano bliss.  And “The Deep” is the one I chose to add to my Spotify New Age Music Reviews playlist. It is a step away from the norm, a very different, atmospheric ambient haunting track, as she puts aside the acoustic keys and opts for the electric sound and the perfected vocals of Noah Wilding. I loved it because it is outside of the comfort zone if you will of the rest of the album. Masako takes a chance and comes out the other end triumphantly, offering another side of her musical repertoire that will get long time listeners some ideas of possibly hearing more of that type of approach and sound on the next release.

The piano alone can say a lot but when you add the cello, flute, Chapman Stick, wind synthesizer (an interesting instrument), and percussion it is like a small orchestra adding layers to the one layer of piano. Together as one it can mesmerize and send you to dreamland within one track. It is a thing of beauty that can only be accomplished by a seasoned group of professionals covering every nook and cranny in a song in regards to musicianship and production.
 
It did not take long for Masako to become one of my favorite artists in the new age genre and with Underwater Whisperer my interest and respect for her music continues to grow wings and fly with her every step of the way.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 22, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

5/27/2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Ann Sweeten-Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow

 Artist: Ann Sweeten
Title: Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow
Label: Orange Band Records
Website


Ann Sweeten has a story to tell. This incredible woman and musician has suffered through 3 bouts of cancer. I found her words inspirational. She does not want anyone to feel sorry for her, she wants positive support and for people to stop and smell the roses of life that abound all around us. 

I covered the 2016 release Where Butterflies Dance and in 2014 Tapestries of Time So now I am ready for the latest offering Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow.

Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow is her story set to music. Words are not necessary with such talent at the keys. The eloquence and beauty of piano instrumental music reach new heights for the artist on this release. With everything going on in her personal life she has found the energy and inner spirit to push herself beyond any physical limitations and turn into something positive and wonderful.

The title track is a gorgeous heartfelt melody flowing like a stream of rhythmic in-sync spirituality. In other words, Ann becomes one with the music and the end result is extraordinary. “Philadelphia 22” is so emotional and full of the grace of the heavens. The power of her rolling piano passages finds its foundation in classical but the soul of the track is all Ann. The addition of the cello, English Horn, and violin give the tracks another layer that brings an additional emotive element and that classical sensibility.

There is sadness in the music however her piano brings out the joy and positive vibes that are within her and it will heal not only the artist but everyone that hears it. That is the beauty of this music. The story behind it all is incredibly real and it will touch many lives.

Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow will leave an indelible mark upon your soul. After reading about her tribulations, the music took on a stronger significance. Just knowing what Ann has been through, her great attitude and the messages she delivers in the music, it would give anyone pause. I heard the birds chirping last night and looked at my wife and said “Hear them chirping? They sound so happy.” That is the purity of nature and all the sounds, smells, and colors that are all around us. I am so grateful for that kind of awareness and the gift of this music, all music, that heals and takes me to another level of reality. 

This kind of instrumental music envelops you in a cocoon of tranquility that cannot be retrieved during a normal busy day. This surely is music made for those seeking healing that goes beyond words.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 27, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Across the Midnight Sky          
02. Before Today, Beyond Tomorrow      
03. Beyond the Clouds          
04. The Empty Swing          
05. Saying Goodbye              
06. Philadelphia 22          
07. Vanish                  
08. Lullaby for Blackie Boo          
09. Through Winter Panes          
10. Like Smoke Through a Keyhole  
   
 

4/10/2019

Instrumental New Age Review: Robert Linton-Adrift in Wonder

Release Date: April 5, 2019
Label: October Moon Records

My introduction to Robert Linton’s acoustic guitar music was three years ago on Beyond The Clearing.  Adrift In Wonder is the newest offering from the talented guitarist.

The recording was mixed and mastered by Corin Nelsen of SycroSonic Productions. If you are familiar with the new age genre you will recognize some of the people that contributed to Adrift In Wonder and come to an understanding of why it is such a pleasing listen.

The violin (Sara Milonovich), English Horn (Jill Haley), Cello (Eugene Friesen), Electronic Wind Instrument and Alto Flute (Premik Russell Tubbs) add an exceptional layer of sounds to Robert’s acoustic six-string journeys.
The collaborative spirit they have in the new age culture is very effective for all involved. These are busy musicians contributing to so many of the releases that come out, with responsibilities of their own recordings as well. It is an “everyone gets a slice of the pie” mentality that anyone in a business should be taking a good look at.

Listening to this music really does have the Adrift In Wonder effect on you. It is the perfect music for simple relaxation or meditation. Robert’s approach is consistent and he sustains the warmth of his guitar throughout the recording, which I naturally appreciated. I work in a highly stressful day job and this music takes the edge off and sets my soul at ease, and gives me a renewed sense of hope and strength I cannot find anywhere else.

The importance of music to our world goes beyond words and music without the words most certainly can say a lot and have an impact. It is artists like Robert Linton taking one instrument then bringing in other equally talented artists that know how to present their music. This is a spiritual path for the artist creating the music and very special listening experience for his audience. 

I really appreciate guitar-based albums and in particular acoustic undertakings that have to work harder to get your attention. Adrift In Wonder opens a pathway to a “Gentle Descent” as you are “Weaving Through the Waves” of sound and beauty presented. I highly recommend this album to those seeking tranquility and regeneration of energy and spirit. Synchronicity with the music can be accomplished quite quickly, all you have to do is pay attention to what you are hearing.

A+ musicianship and production set Robert Linton apart from those aspirant folks looking to complete the same experience with the gratifying results that all listeners and he will surely enjoy.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 10, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


Tracks:

1. Gliding the Current
Robert Linton(Guitar), Sara Milonovich (Violin), Jill Haley(English Horn)

2. Weaving Through the Waves
Robert Linton(Guitar), Premik Russell Tubbs(EWI.. (Electronic Wind Instrument)

3. Traces of Reflection
Robert Linton(Guitar), Eugene Friesen(Cello)

4. Gentle Descent
Robert Linton(Guitar), Sara Milonovich(Violin)

5. Sifting Through Daydreams
Robert Linton(Guitar), Premik Russell Tubbs( Alto Flute), (EWI.. (Electronic Wind Instrument)

6. Casting in the Afterglow
Robert Linton(Guitar), Eugene Friesen(Cello), Jill Haley (English Horn)

7. Murmur of Chimes
Robert Linton(Guitar), Premik Russell Tubbs (EWI.. (Electronic Wind Instrument)

8. Adrift in Wonder
Robert Linton(Guitar), Eugene Friesen(Cello)

9. Hovering in the Sun Rays
Robert Linton(Guitar), Sara Milonovich(Violin)
 

10/14/2018

Instrumental New Age /Ambient/Jazz Review: Jeff Oster-Reach

Release Date: October 5, 2018
Label: Retso Records 
Website

Three years ago, I covered Jeff Oster’s Next album. If you do a search on my New Age Music Reviews site it will show several other artist reviews as well. The reason is that Jeff is in demand to play on other people’s albums. There is a very good reason for this. He is one of the few Flugelhorn and Trumpet players in the genre that plays a chill ambient type of music that new age recording artists and listeners alike want to hear. He also is able to interject jazz and funk elements into his recordings. Besides that, it is a great partnership. Jeff is masterful with his instruments and with the new album out now titled Reach, he is in great form and so are the folks that accompanied him on the album.

Reach has nine tracks in total and it is a great mixture of sound and textures that will do many things to you while listening including relaxing, feeling energized and wanting to move, becoming contemplative, just about everything one person can think of or do during the listen of one album really. It invites you in at the outset and you never want to leave that “musical comfy chair.”
I love new age music when it combines jazz and world rudiments. “Le Caveau” is a great example of those sounds and atmospheres getting in sync. The music and sound clarity are amazing. The following track “Five Great Mountains” is just hypnotic. Jeff’s horn is superlative and the bass is incredible, in fact, I thought it might be Tony Levin, who seems to show up on everyone’s albums. It is, in fact, Benjamin J. Shepherd, who plays a huge role in the track, and the entire sound of the album actually. His rhythm and musical leadership in the track are exemplary. That kind of preciseness allows the star of the show to shine even brighter, so hats off to Benjamin for doing such a great job with his instrument. Everyone involved in this project is outstanding so I felt the need to list the credits below.

Some of the other instruments on this recording, besides the horns of course, that give it an overall world-jazz flavor, are the Erhu and Indian Flutes. Then there are very calming spiritual tracks like “The Lotus Within.” In my estimation, the reference would be the Lotus flower, a symbolically important aquatic Asian plant also known as the Indian or sacred lotus.  The emphasis is on sacred for this magnificent composition. 

To keep things fresh and on your “listening toes,” Jeff follows those two critical tracks with an upbeat jazz and funk-filled number titled “Troppo Y Boffo.” The Latin percussion and bass pulsate and drive the number while Jeff just glides through with his horn putting the veritable icing on the cake. It is Latin bliss, wonderful and colorful as it gets. This track could find a home on any good (worthy) jazz album.

Jeff Oster puts it all together on Reach. Every track is solid and consistent throughout. The combination of instruments, musical style and artistry of every contributing musician make this album one of the best in the genre this year. This comes as no surprise to me as everything I have ever heard from Jeff has been superlative from his own recordings to being a guest on other recordings. He is in a groove that keeps him at the forefront of the music industry and I can see that influence growing more all the time. In conclusion, I think that he will Reach a much larger audience with each successive release

Artists:
Jeff Oster – Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Ruslan Sirota – Piano, Keyboards, Guitar, Vocals
Robyn Ghosh – Guitar
Benjamin J. Shepherd – Bass
Tamir Barzilay – Drums
Pete Korpela – Percussion
Jenni Asher – Erhu (Track 4)
Ravichandra Kulur – Indian Flutes (Track 9)
Drew Allsbrook – Vocals (Track 4)

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 14, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
1. Onward
2. Far Rockaway
3. Le Caveau
4. Five Great Mountains
5. The Lotus Within
6. Troppo Y Boffo
7. How Familiar
8. Velvet and Smoke
9. The Pink City


9/25/2018

Instrumental New Age Reviews: Steve Rivera-Beyond Measures & Time

Release Date: September 7, 2018
Label: Independent

My coverage of Steve Rivera’s music began two years ago with Dividing The Darkness. Now a release that came out a few weeks ago titled Beyond Measures & Time has arrived. It was easy to notice the prolific artwork on the cover of the album. It looks very thought-provoking and the first artist I thought of was Dali. It is a mixture of modern with the old, the sands of time slip away the old-fashioned way or the modern way with the wristwatch. The hand looks more robotic than that of a mannequin. So right away the images are telling a story before you ever hear a note played.

This recording is all solo piano instrumentals. It is one of many I have heard this year. And as with the other recordings, I found so much enjoyment in the music. The simplistic approach serves some artists so well, in this case, it works beautifully for Steve. The adage of less is more certainly is applicable in this case.

Although the piano is the only instrument there is plenty of flow and rhythm, it fills the room you are in.  “Waves and Particles” is one of the better examples of a constant rhythm and destination for the music. It is all about the rhythm and flow of the music and where it can take you. From where I am coming from, it really fits that description. There have to be tones, vibrations, colors and rhythm for me to get in sync with the music. It all felt quite natural to fall into a pocket of sound and just go with it, then let my soul just float away with it. That is my form of release and meditation, it is very healing.

Beyond Measures & Time is the perfect title for this recording. The essence of time and measures is scientific, mathematical, it is in essence cerebral. I think what the artist may be saying here is that music transcends all of that thought process. This all part of our daily life - time and schedules, then measuring that time to fit into a schedule. 

Music so beautiful and properly arranged removes us from an equation and puts us in a space that finds a comfort zone with no particular cause or thought other than to center and relax, heal and eventually reenergize because the music took us to that point. For this listener, that is the perfect scenario.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 25, 2018

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Tracks:
01. Suspended Dream
02. Passing Shadows
03. Unlocking The Moments
04. Spectrum of Thoughts   
05. Falling Closer   
06. In My Own Memories   
07. Waves & Particles
08. From The Beginning
09. Dark Tides    
10. Fragmented Dreams
11. Measures & Time
 

7/08/2018

Guided Meditation Review: Lucinda Clare & Yuval Ron - Voyage Through The Chakras (2 CDs)

Release Date: June 15, 2018

The Chakra system represents one of the great gifts from ancient India and yogic culture. Originating from Sanskrit, the sacred language of ancient India, the word Chakra literally translates as Dzwheeldz. Each Chakra functions as a vortex of spinning energy influencing the physiological and neurological systems in the body. (Excerpt from the label site http://mettamindfulnessmusic.com/chakrasalbum.html )

Life happens and brings us gifts when different causes and individuals paths intersect. That is exactly what happened when Meta Mindfulness Music, Yuval Ron (instrumentation) and Lucinda Clare (voice on CD 1) pooled their resources and created a two-CD set titled Voyage Through The Chakras.

My focus is the music on CD2, which is all the backing music on CD1 while Lucinda guides you through the selected meditations. I use the music to guide me to another place and always have. In this instance, I find it much more interesting to hear both sides of the project and one separate part or parts. Lucinda is A well-known actress and Yuval Ron is an award-winning musician, lecturer, and author. When you are invited to play your music for the Dalai Lama you have reached an apex in your career! What a great honor. I read from a book that quotes the Dalai’s inspirational words of wisdom for every day. I have found it enlightening and so very simple and true. 

As it mentions on the one-sheet that came with the Voyage Through The Chakras CD, this is music for the soul. I honestly believe all music is for the soul - to heal it, energize and just put a smile inside you.  Music, good music, is the path to better wellbeing.

Yuval Ron is a multi-talented artisan and he has many friends that help him with the amazing soundtrack to the heavens that awaits you. You will hear Gongs, Oud, Cello, Bansuri Flute, Jaws Harp, Flugelhorn, Sitar and Glass Harmonica, the list is quite extensive. It is literally like walking into a different world, all created by sounds, chanting and then some necessary focus and concentration by the listener is the only requirement. With those thoughts in mind prior to listening you will hopefully discover your own nirvana. There are even detailed instructions on the label website if you want to find out more prior to listening (take a few minutes to look at the video provided here as well).

Voyage Through The Chakras opens the door and it is up to you to walk through and discover what you came for.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 6, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
Disc 1:
 

01. Root Chakra Guided Meditation
02. Sacral Chakra Guided Meditation
03. Solar Chakra Guided Meditation
04. Heart Chakra Guided Meditation
05. Throat Chakra Guided Meditation
06.Third Eye Chakra Guided Meditation
07. Crown Chakra Guided Meditation


Disc 2:
 

01. Root Chakra (feat. Kenneth Goff)
02. Sacral Chakra (feat. Pandit Nayan Ghosh)
03. Solar Chakra (feat. Dennis Karmazyn)
04. Heart Chakra (feat. Shye Ben Tzur)
05. Throat Chakra (feat. Andrew Carney)
06. Third Eye Chakra (feat. James Hood)  
07. Crown Chakra (feat. Brien Engle)

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