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

6/01/2020

New Age Instrumental Review: Bernward Koch-Becoming

Release Date: May 15, 2020
Label: Myndstream
Website


Bernward Koch is a German multi-instrumentalist and Becoming is his fourteenth proper recording.

On Bernward’s website, he says "Music gives wings to a brighter life“ That statement is so true especially with what the year 2020 has brought the world. With all the pain and suffering on this planet, we are desperately in need of more artists like Bernward to keep making music that heals.

I also found something else noteworthy on his website that touched my soul. The US organization "Massachusetts Fallen Soldiers" uses his music to heal suicide-prone soldiers who have come back from crisis areas in different places in the world and often suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I am from Massachusetts; I am a vet, and my father served in WWII so this means so much to me. Thank you Bernward.

This music is graceful, filled with beauty, and ultimately a wonderful tool for relaxing, meditation, contemplation, or simply listening enjoyment. That is without a doubt the entire reason this man makes his music. I am sure every time he records it is a process but a labor of love at the same time. He gives away sheet music on his website for two of his albums! I find that so generous of him to do that. Aspiring piano players can learn and play his music. So, the fact he gives us such beauty and peace through his music is one thing, then to give his actual sheet music away, well that is just amazing. May all of that good karma come back to you tenfold sir!

Listening to this music really helped me today. I had to walk away from the news that has been coming across our TVs and step back and take a breather. We all need it, especially now. I personally need to know that there are still loving and giving people out there and Bernward is surely one of them.

“Sparkling Eyes” was one of my favorites and I added it to my NAMR Spotify Playlist. It reminded me of my wife when I first met her and she still has that sparkle to this day. It is a gift to listen to this music and go through so many feelings, memories, and at times, sadness is coaxed out of me but I still feel good when the music finishes. This is music that puts me in a place that is not of this earth, we call it heaven. Maybe there is some truth that we choose our parents and start in heaven and return once we leave our bodies. It is possible, anything is if you believe.

Becoming
is a very significant word. It can mean any number of things dependent on who you are and what frame of mind you are in when you are listening to this music. For me, it is about being me with no mask or wall to protect me, just me taking all of the sounds, textures, and colors in, then processing it all. What I get in the end is something very special, spiritual if you will, whatever one can call it, it is a blessing that I receive with a lot of gratitude. Every second of my life I am Becoming who I am, evolving, learning, growing, and sharing my experience, strength, and hope with everyone I know and meet.

I hope each and every listener can find a road to take within this music that allows healing. You just never know where Becoming is going to take you but that is exactly what makes it so intriguing. Every listener will find their way through this music, whether it is intentional or not, I am guaranteeing that these tracks are going to affect in you in a prolific manner, but you must let it happen, just listen and Benward, he will take you there.


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 30, 2020 


Track List: 
01. A Magical Dream
02. Lavender Fields
03. Moments of Love
04. Sparkling Eyes
05. Alone on the Way
06. Becoming
07. Mysterious Afterglow
08. The Bright Spring
09. The Harvest  
10. A Swan Dream
11. Floating Leaves
12. September Impressions
13. Long Long Time Ago



Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

5/01/2020

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Sterling-Sanctuary of Light

Release Date: April 1, 2020
Label: Harp Magic

I have had the pleasure of covering two of Peter Sterling’s releases so far. The 2016 release Sacred Visions and in 2018 Magic Kingdom. Both were filled with beautiful sounds led by his diverse harp playing. Now we have the latest to enjoy titled Sanctuary of Light which is ready to enchant us all that can appreciate new age instrumental music.

For my personal tastes, this music works. I value all music in such a way that there is built-in respect and admiration I have before listening to any artisan’s creation. With that in mind, it opens the mental aperture some more and casts aside any preconceived ideas one may have about what they will be hearing.

Right now, more than ever, we all need healing on some level. The world is in turmoil and distress and the only way to realign mother earth and its inhabitants is to take a collective breath and let the music lead the way. This is why music has been and always will be our savior. That is in effect, a community of unsung heroes as far as I am concerned.  

Peter is saying to us all “Let the light be your sanctuary, you can find it in my music.” While there is always darkness and shades of grey in our world, we can always find the light whether it's through the music, a kind face, or a gentle smile of assurance from a loved one. Yes, this is what this music brings to the forefront of my mind and how it relates to my spirit, consciousness, and attitude at any given moment.

As Peter intimates on the inner sleeve of the CD jacket “This music is dedicated and inspired by the divine light that lives in us all.” I find this to be so true right now. Every day, I am seeing how people are coming together, sacrificing their time, energy, and knowledge to fight the worldwide pandemic we are facing. It so predominant right now in all our lives that I cannot help but talk about it and how this all connects together. I am linked to music consciously and unconsciously. This gorgeous and heavenly sound Peter coaxes from his harp, gives me more awareness of my surroundings and how easily I can become grounded and centered with some help provided by his music.

So rather than mention any particular track on the recording, I prefer to put my attention on the entire project as a whole. I am looking at the big picture right now for all of humanity and the fact that music can inspire me in such a way that my inner spirit and true self is revealed.

Thank you, Peter Sterling, for your artistic genius and contribution to all of mankind with the soothing spiritual sounds provided on Sanctuary of Light.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 3, 2020
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Track List:
 

1. The Light Within
2. Divine Reflection
3. Light In Your Eyes
4. This Path I Walk
5. Forever More
6. Pool of Love
7. Seventh Heaven
8. Shores of Eternity
 

10/26/2019

Classical/New Age Instrumental Review: Gabriele Saro-SensationS

Release Date: October 9, 2019
Label: Independent

Gabriele Saro gets across the meaning of his recent release SensationS with a cover that says it all. I cannot say that I have seen a more sensual cover come across my desk in the classical-new age genre. It threw me off at first glance and created a different impression in my mind, which of course, was totally off base.

The music compositions and violin are provided by Gabriele, Andrea Del Piccolo is on piano and Francesco Pinosa rounds out the bottom end with his cello. It is a very effective and poignant trio that delivers the vastness in musical compositions and execution throughout the fifteen tracks. The tradition and discipline of classical music is on display in all its glory on this release.

The maestro on the violin is amazing. Some of the sounds Gabriele coaxes from that instrument sound as if two people are playing not just one. It is very different from what I have been accustomed to on instrumental albums like this.

What you will experience are all kinds of SensationS consistently. I must say that this group of tracks was aptly titled by the creator. And not to mention of course the perfect title for the album. It all comes together for you the listener when looking at all aspects offered on this broad selection of songs. As it mentions in the liner notes of the CD, this is “to reach states of deeper harmony with our ego, through the harmony that only its vibrations can give.” Yes, the harmony of the music and the vibrations of those sounds can sync with your heartbeat, your thought process will hopefully translate with ringing truth in your soul. For my senses that is what I look to discover in instrumental music of this nature.

Every track can bring moments of beauty, perfection, the silence of your emotions, and ultimately the focus you seek arrives through that process. Everything in life is about the process, through our minds, hearts and innermost beliefs. The only thing that heals as it does, is music. It comes with no orders from your doctor and it’s not a prescription to fix you. This is the purity of the heart translated through gifted musicians.

SensationS is everything it can be and everything you desire it to be. The giving of the music and the elegance of the classical foundation, with a new age flair, is the perfect marriage for the creators and all listeners ready to embrace it. What more can one ask for from a shiny metallic disc producing all of this sound? It is just what you need at any time during the day or evening to breath in and feels the gratitude of the wonderful artists that give us this gift of music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
October 26, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
 
01. Morrow
02. Stilness
03. Bliss
04. Merriment
05. Enchantment
06. Contrasts
07. Regrets
08. Accord
09. Torments
10. Chills
11. Nostalgia
12. Gracefulness
13. Delicacy
14. Liberty
15. Serenity 

9/17/2019

New Age Instrumental Review: Michael Stribling-One World

Release Date: September 20, 2019
Label: Leela Music


Michael Stribling sent me his last album almost two years ago. I was fortunate to have the pleasure of covering Union-Music For Lovers.



Now with the arrival of One World, I get another opportunity to explore his diversity and explorations of world and new age music.

I was a bit in awe of the talent this man has at his command. I was looking for this long list of credits and what I saw was all tunes, tracks, and tinkering by Michael Stribling. I certainly did not expect to see that when I heard the first and title track as it filled the room and enter my consciousness. 

Tom Eaton did the final master of this recording and as with so many others, he did an excellent job. And so, it is, as many that have traveled that road before him, Michael made the right choices. Because of that series of events and choices he has created an absolute masterpiece of eclectic world new age music.

The lead-off track “One World” is one such track that is the perfect introduction and pacesetter for what will follow. There is something mystical and alluring with the wind chimes these artists use in their music, and that was one of the finishing touches for that track.

The one thing you can count on with One World is an amazing cross-section of music utilizing traditional world music instruments and the new technology for the finishing touches, so everything comes through crystal clear and the kind of gentle and impactive persuasion that you would expect from a recording like this.

The lighthearted “African Marketplace” puts you right there walking down the street and visiting with all the vendors. I imagine it is quite different than what you would witness in the U.S. I would expect the goods being offered would be interesting as well. I have a feeling Michael is speaking from his own special experience. If not, he sure knows how to paint a picture with his music. It gave me a sense of being there. That is what any recording artist would want his or her audience to experience while listening to music. So, from my perspective, it was mission accomplished!

Michael takes you to a “Shaolin Garden” then to an “Aboriginal Campfire” and then back to the rat race with “Marching Through Manhattan” (although that term may be out of context when it comes to this music). The point is that you become an instant world traveler through the music and colors brought forth on every track of One World. 

The whole point is that we are One World, one community, one people, and that is not only obvious with the track titles, but the music also speaks for itself. This is all done very with a very impressive recording with a panoramic view of the world that is conveyed through one man’s music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
September 12, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. One World
02. A Gathering of the Elders
03. Shaolin Garden
04. Aboriginal Campfire
05. Buddhist Nursery 
06. Barcelona Nights
07. Persian Night Caravan
08. African Marketplace
09. Asian Dawn Maneuvers
10. Marching through Manhattan 
11. Across the Moor
12. Black Forest Cuckoo Shop
13. Gaia Weep
14. One Planet, One People
15. Benediction (Prayer for World Peace)

7/07/2019

Instrumental Piano/New Age Review: Michael Whalen-Cupid Blindfolded

Release Date: July 12, 2019
Label: Real Music

There is nothing better than an instrumental piano recording when you need to relax. I hear a lot of this music all year long and never tire of it because of the multitude of value it provides. It can offer total relaxation during a quiet time you have every day or evening, or provide beneficial focus and help you clear a cluttered mind, or simply invite you into a meditative state.

My introduction to Michael’s music was the 2018 release Kiss The Quiet. I thought that was an ingenious title for the recording and it fit the music like well-worn jeans. I think we have the same instance with the newest edition to his catalog, Cupid Blindfolded.

An artist like Michael Whalen is at the forefront of the Instrumental New Age/Piano genre. You have to be on top of your game to compete with similar artists and capture the imagination of the listeners.

For me, the first thing I take a good look at is the album cover. With the title being Cupid Blindfolded, that is the first thing you see. It is nothing that makes you think too hard or plays tricks on your eyes. Sometimes that is appropriate and is just right for the music, in this case, that is a perfect match.

Cupid may be blindfolded but if she opens her eyes, she can see through the thin red veil that is wrapped around her head. That is a clue as far as I am concerned. People, in general, may have a “veil” of some sort over their eyes but all it takes is for them to open their eyes to see right through it, right? This is a conceptual frame of mind I am coming from. Music and images tell a story and I have found that if there are no words set to the music, it can still relay a powerful message. As I always say, it is up to each listener to decide what the music means to them or could mean to them at first glance of the image.

Cupid Blindfolded is 10 tracks of exceptional solo instrumental piano music. The album has a steady flow to it, like a river after it rains, it moves right along with that sort of momentum. Each melody intrinsically connects to the next one, like mother nature at work in a musical sense of the word.

Talented ivory ticklers like Michael Whalen should have ample opportunities to license their music for a multitude of areas including soundtracks for commercials, documentaries, etc. I do want to stress that this music is first and foremost for a listener to enjoy any time of day or evening, and course the previously mentioned uses it can afford.

Cupid Blindfolded is an excellent group of tracks and it went by much too fast for me. When an album is really good and it catches my ear, it has a strong meaning for me personally. And that is the way it works and that’s a good thing!

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 5, 2019
 
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01. Cupid Blindfolded
02. All of My Heart All of My Soul
03. Reflection of My Affection
04. Sunrise in the Desert
05. The Muse
06. At the Touch of a Lover
07. Standing in the Rain
08. Serendipity
09. Isle of Skye
10. City of Lights




6/02/2019

New Age Instrumental Review: Kathryn Kaye-Solace of Mountains and Clouds

Release Date: June 1, 2019
Label: Indie

Solace of Mountains and Clouds is the fifth release I am covering by the exquisite piano player Kathryn Kaye. It was like visiting an old friend when I gave this new recording my first listen. I received everything I have come to expect from an album created by this exceptional artist, top-notch musicianship, production, and sound.

If those three factors are in place consistently on your recordings there is a very good chance you will garner the praise you deserve and all the respect from your peers in the industry. You can tick off all the boxes in that category for Kathryn as well.

Solace of Mountains and Clouds is a direct reflection of the surroundings of the artist where she lives and creates all of her compositions. The inspiration of mother nature can be found in many different segments of the artistic communities. I must say after several years of listening to instrumental piano and new age music, that the images and music presented most definitely go hand in hand. The production elements are superb thanks to the Imaginary Road Studios and the fine stable of artists that contribute to this and many other recordings. The partnerships created are absolute bliss, with Kathryn’s recording being no exception.

A few of my favorites are “Slow Waltz at Summer's End” and “While The Mountain Sleeps.”  The track titles are as moving as the music. The images created by the titles and music are all at once prolific, calming, spiritual and rhythmic. There is an innate sense of musicality and tones emanating from those talented fingers that touch the ivory keys.

Solace of Mountains and Clouds is the soul of nature mirrored in the music and the colors, atmospheres, and vibrations of this wonderful music. It starts by touching all of your senses then it finds a way to your heart and soul. Any good instrumental music holds that magic but to do it so well and for so long is an incredible achievement and a gift to all that have the pleasure of hearing it.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
June 2, 2019
 
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:
01. Luna's Dream 3:57
02. For Love of Earth and Sky 5:12
03. We'll Be Home Tomorrow 4:13
04. Slow Waltz at Summer's End 4:24
05. Solace of Mountains and Clouds 6:06
06. Mountains Touching Sky 4:10
07. Finally Spring 5:16
08. Warm Sun, Gentle Rain 4:00
09. While the Mountain Sleeps 4:27
10. Stories Told by Trees 4:55


3/28/2019

New Age Instrumental Review: Timothy Wenzel-Running Away

Release Date: January 25, 2019
Label: Coyote Floe Music LLC

What We Hold Dear  is the first time I heard Timothy Wenzel’s music in 2017. What seems like a blink of an eye, 2 years have passed and now Timothy has released Running Away

I have to say that I was enchanted right from the beginning with the new album. The 12 tracks kept me consistently interested and fascinated. That pretty much says it all for any type of listener I would think.

Running Away is very cinematic and it intends to be. Every track moves along at a good pace and offers a little something different and many times several different changes take place. It is mentioned on the artist site that some folks have said Timothy’s music is good for traveling, it changes so much it can fit the different scenes one sees on a trip. His music is like an ongoing journey and each song is like watching it through your own private looking glass.

I really appreciate the mixture of genres and even though I tag it as new age instrumental, there is so much more. New age is a generic term these days, with so much talent recording in the genre and mixing and creating their own sub-genres, makes it all quite fascinating from where I sit. Timothy does a phenomenal job with a combination of keyboards, synthesizers, compositions, and production. Friends Josie Quick (violin), Jeff Haynes (percussion) and Jill Haley (English horn and oboe) make their mark on the compositions as well. As Timothy lays down the foundation to build the musical castle the others join in to complete the construction, then the drawbridge opens up and all the wonderful sounds come flowing and rushing at your senses, making you feel alive and energized.

I would find it difficult to criticize anything about Running Away. At times it can be spectacular, colorful, relaxing, and down to earth. And then again, all those elements can come into play within one track. It was a great recording with a lot to offer a listener in one sitting. I think this is the kind of music you will reach for more than once, there is just too much going on within each track to get it all in one listen. I am sure it would be a challenge. I know I heard enough that I would highly recommend the recording to anyone interested in any sort of instrumental music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 28, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01.  Dream of Summer  4:11
02.  Dancing in Darkness  3:20
03.  A Bit About You  4:20
04.  Running Away  4:13
05.  Makes You Wonder  4:25
06. Traveling Light  3:59
07.  Magical Pageant  5:52
08.  A Friend of Mine  4:09
09.  Breaking Free  5:45
10. Gazelle Dance  4:02
11. Past Presence  4:29
12. Coronal Rain  5:38
 

3/15/2019

New Age Instrumental Review: John Otott-Unspoken

Release Date: March 1, 2019
Label: Independent

Colors was my introduction to John Otott in 2014. So, 4 plus years have flown by since I had the pleasure of hearing the rhythm of this man’s soul via the ivory keys. Now we have Unspoken.

Sometimes words are not necessary and, in this case, it definitely applies to the music of John Otott. Unspoken is a collection of nine tracks that were recorded at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios. You know if that happens you get an all-star cast contributing to your album.

The piano is the core instrument that drives the music and all the other instruments add a certain tasteful ambiance. The violin can be a prolific piece when added to the piano. “Meraki” is a great example of that marriage and how wonderful it can be. It is quite simply, sublime.  
 
My favorite track is “Unbreakable.” The mixture of John’s piano, the violin, fluegelhorn, trumpet, bass, and percussion simmers then an overflow with magic and pure musical emotion engages you further. Who needs vocals when instrumental music can be so prolific and moving? Not an artist as talented as John and his accompaniment that is for certain.

For my ears, the mark of a great recording is how fast it goes by while I am enjoying every second. In the end, I am disappointed that it had to stop. That is a good sign as far as I am concerned, and it means I will be spinning it again real soon.

Unspoken is an excellent recording that creates a wall of sound that will grace your body, mind, and soul. The compositions are strong a quite diverse making this a very attention-getting listen. It will help you to relax, smile inside and then the weight of your world will just melt away. That is the perfect scenario for any hard-working man or woman at the end of the day, it is the Unspoken that says it all.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
March 15, 2019

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
1. A Beautiful Night
2. Sunrise In Avalon
3. The Dance
4. Pieces of Eight
5. Soliloquy
6. Unbreakable
7. Emerald Bay
8. As Now, As Then
9. Meraki

 

Ads Inside Post