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

1/21/2021

Track Feature: The Song Gardeners - Warrior Light


The Song Gardeners have once again graced our presence with another single release titled "Warrior of Light."

Once again featured on the track singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn (vocals, piano, guitar), singer/songwriter Mary Gospe (vocals, guitar, percussion), and Chris Day (bass).

Mary sings "Activate the love inside, be a warrior, a warrior of light." This is very spiritual and positive for us all to take to heart. It goes along with the saying "Kill them with kindness." That kind of approach helps people drop their guard and open up to another viewpoint.

This is not a protest song by any means however it does point to the media and the lies both sides have been telling us all along to support their agendas. That is one simple fact that most people do realize. So the message is to be true to yourself and picking a side is not part of the equation. Travel your purposeful path and you will reach the desired destination. The truth shall be revealed if you listen to your inner voice which is a "go with your gut" attitude that cannot miss.

I for one loved the song, lyrics, and the premise of why it was recorded.

 

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

The Song Gardener's Media Page: https://ffm.to/qqpx8e2

Visit The Song Gardener's Website: https://www.thesonggardeners.com

The Song Gardeners is a musical trio from the San Francisco Bay Area featuring singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn (vocals, piano, guitar), singer/songwriter Mary Gospe (vocals, guitar, percussion), and Chris Day(bass). 

Their original songs are filled with positive, empowering messages and beautiful harmonies.

Track Feature: The Song Gardeners - Warrior of Light


The Song Gardeners have once again graced our presence with another single release titled "Warrior of Light."
Once again featured on the track singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn (vocals, piano, guitar), singer/songwriter Mary Gospe (vocals, guitar, percussion), and Chris Day (bass).

Mary sings "Activate the love inside, be a warrior, a warrior of light." This is very spiritual and positive for us all to take to heart. It goes along with the saying "Kill them with kindness." That kind of approach helps people drop their guard and open up to another viewpoint.

This is not a protest song by any means however it does point to the media and the lies both sides have been telling us all along to support their agendas. That is one simple fact that most people do realize. So the message is to be true to yourself and picking a side is not part of the equation. Travel your purposeful path and you will reach the desired destination. The truth shall be revealed if you listen to your inner voice which is a "go with your gut" attitude that cannot miss.

I for one loved the song, lyrics, and the premise of why it was recorded. This is musical nourishment for the soul!

 

Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck


The Song Gardener's Media Page: https://ffm.to/qqpx8e2

Visit The Song Gardener's Website: https://www.thesonggardeners.com

The Song Gardeners is a musical trio from the San Francisco Bay Area featuring singer/songwriter Corrie Dunn (vocals, piano, guitar), singer/songwriter Mary Gospe (vocals, guitar, percussion), and Chris Day (bass). 

Their original songs are filled with positive, empowering messages and beautiful harmonies.

6/07/2020

Adult Contemporary/New Age Review: Richard Shulman-Life Seasons

Release Date: July 1, 2020
Label: Richheart Music
Website

Richard Shulman has recorded 28 albums and collaborated on dozens more. The soon to be released Life Seasons is the next proper album.

I like the thought of the seasons theoretically and how it fits each individual's age and current life situation. For instance, the winter of your life would likely be your seventies or eighties dependent on your health.

I would consider Life Seasons as a new age album thematically but musically it is adult contemporary with different elements sprinkled in. Richard’s beautiful piano playing takes center stage and he creates each track like the colorful pictures on the album cover.

“Summer Solstice” is performed by Richard’s trio. The lazy season is given the proper treatment with some cool jazz-inflected laid-back sounds. In the same frame of reference “Bohemian Summer” is a nice jazz number to kick off your shoes and soak in. As the notes are created your mind is set at ease, imagine just floating on a soft billowing cloud.

As we move into the changing seasons “Pre-Autumn” segues into “Sweet Autumn.” The tides of the music change with the season as the paces slow down and speed up in different parts of the composition, intimating the real-life changes you can see when nature does its magic. As autumn ends then we go “Spinning Into Winter” with a nice vocal performance from Wendy Jones, to follow is a solo piano performance from Richard titled “Winter Solstice.” His solo playing is very elegant and appropriate for the distinctiveness of the winter season and all its beauty as it covers the mountains and trees.

“Winter Solstice Dream” continues our seasonal walk through one of mother nature’s most celebrated seasons. It is the most prolific track that includes a spoken word performance from Wendy. The dialogue is significant and reflects much more than the actual season. It goes beyond relating to us as humans and how we translate mother nature’s work. The track runs for 9:52 with a backdrop of Richard’s tinkling ivories leading down the path of realizations as the spoken word continues telling a fascinating story. It is an exceptional track and presented beautifully.

The cycle continues with “Hope for Spring” and the beginning of the thaw with “Early Spring.” Richard’s piano is alive and thriving with exuberance and a consistent rhythm.

Now that I have heard all of the piano instrumentations, I have the belief that the foundation of this music was derived from classical and morphed into a new age, contemporary, and jazz leanings type of listening. All of it made for a perfectly enjoyable listen from beginning to end.

Life Seasons
is quite the journey, offering each listener a taste of every season through the eyes and hands of many talented artists through the piano and other assorted instruments. Everything that went into this recording is just as dissimilar as all the seasons. That is the one element that I found the most interesting and relatable. Of course, every listener will find something different and that is what makes it so unique and special to those that choose to listen.

The personal for this diverse musical collection includes:


The Trio:
Richard Shulman - piano, all compositions and arrangements,
Zack Page - bass on all except #8,10, 13.
Rick Dilling - drums on all except #8,10,13

Vocal Quartet:
Wendy Jones - soprano #4,7,9,10,13 and flute on #7
Paula Hanke - alto #1,4,9,13.
Sherman Hoover - tenor #4,9,13.
Bob Bencze - bass/baritone #4,9,13.
Ron Clearfield - cello #1,7


Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
June 5, 2020


Track List:

01. Life Seasons - 5:00 - vocal feat. Paula Hanke
02. Summer Solstice - 4:40 - trio
03. Summer Night - 4:02 - trio
04. Bohemian Summer - 4:13 vocal quartet
05. Pre-Autumn - 5:13 - trio
06. Sweet Autumn - 4:33 trio
07. Spinning into Winter - 3:30 vocal feat. Wendy Jones
08. Winter Solstice - 3:39 - solo piano
09. Velvet Shoes - 3:22 - vocal quartet
10. Winter Solstice Dream - 9:52 - spoken word feat. Wendy Jones
11. Hope for Spring - 5:20 - trio
12. Early Spring - 5:36 - trio
13. The Fairy of Mystery Blue - 3:14 vocal quartet



Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

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

5/29/2020

New Age Vocal Review: Prem Vidu-Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma

Release Date:  June 4, 2020
Label: Independent
Website

Prim Vidu and his newest offering Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma was a pleasant surprise for my new age tastes. Normally the vocals I hear on releases are some background embellishments. This however is all vocals with the traditional instrumentation you would come to expect from a new age release.

I had no idea what I was in for with this album, I just trusted that Prem was a new age artist looking for an opinion on his music. Well he asked the right person and everything does happen for a reason. This is Prem’s first release and everything was composed and performed by him and his team. Besides singing he plays a multitude of instruments. It is quite impressive as this album is his first and an independent release. This is about belief in your life, love, gratitude and the pureness of one enlightened soul.

Some of the instruments used are nylon guitar, shakers, kit acoustic guitars, electric guitars, mandolin, piano, synths, fretless bass, flugelhorn and trumpet. And that is the short list!

To create an album with all vocals and to have that new age color, depth, and meaning, you need all the right instruments. Based on what I heard, things were done properly and Prem and his fine team of musicians pulled out all the stops and present one beautiful recording.

The one and most important instrument is Prem’s vocals. I found an immediate attraction to his warmth and flowing vocalizations. The lyrics are from the heart and soul of a man that has found his true path through the music and spirituality. Prem says “"There is no shorter umbilical to your soul than singing!" How that rings so true for me and I am sure countless others that will enjoy Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma.

At this particular moment in time I feeling some back pain and, in the music, and words of Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma I found comfort and healing sounds. Although I must admit some of the lyrics are not understood because they are not in English, however that did not matter. Prem’s voice is so inviting and smooth that you just go with all the flow. The instrumentation is certainly quite excellent, which helps to get you at your comfort zone.

There is plenty of variety musically which keeps your interest besides the digging down deep lyrics presented on this amazing group of tracks. Anyone that can appreciate our humanity, spirituality, a variety of instruments, and incredible vocals, well, that about says it all doesn’t it. This is thoughtful words set to a magnificent array of instrumentation! You need to hear Encounter – Medicine Songs from Ma.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
May 27, 2020


Track List:
1. Holy Divine Mother
2. May I Have The Strength
3. Cancel The Show
4. Oh Your Glory
5. Mighty Presence
6. Floating
7. Your Love Heals Me
8. Everything That Is Here

 


Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

5/08/2020

Contemporary Instrumental Review: Yurina Shin-Connections

Release Date: May, 7, 2020
Label: Independent

Yurina Shin is a classically trained composer who blends the richness of the classical tradition with the fast-paced, moving rhythms of today. This is on her “About” page on her website. I find this kind of info is simple and straightforward. It creates a clear picture of who the artist is. Yurina has created a lot of music for very successful video games and is very well educated in music, holding an M.A in Music Composition, and a B.A. in Music Education.

That kind of combination is an excellent core to work from for any performing artists as far as I am concerned. I have found the educated musicians are always drawn to the classical genre. This makes total sense as that is where everything else comes from one way or another, it all started there.

Connections is her latest release, which combines her two EP’s Memory Lane and Reflection. This encompasses eight tracks of contemporary instrumental that shines the light upon Yurina’s education and previous experiences as a recording artist.

I do believe as well that many listeners would put this music into the new age instrumental genre. For the sake of brevity, I will call it contemporary instrumental, which does have a strong crossover tendency to new age classifications. The music is very relaxing and beautiful. Piano based music such as this can serve many purposes for personal use, movie soundtracks, and documentaries. However, that is not the intent of presenting this encapsulation of the two EPs. This brings attention to her all-around talents and abilities and hopefully to a wider distribution of listeners and potential record labels.

Because of the changing tides of the music, it makes for a more diverse listening experience. The pace and length of the tracks are just right and Yurina uses all of her talents to make each one a singular work of art. The addition of a violin only accentuates her efforts through the ivory keys. The addition of that instrument is always is well suited for the piano accompaniment that I have heard with so many artists.

Yurina desires to reach a larger audience and the uses of her music will certainly follow once that happens. Connections will be an introduction for many potential listeners and I believe will be the springboard to more opportunities and much larger fan base than she already has.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
April 25, 2020

Founder of:

Track List:
1. Wind
2. Another Day
3. La Lumiere
4. Pulse
5. The Soft Voice
6. A Blue Boy
7. Fog Over the Lake
8. In Darkness

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
 

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


2/08/2020

Classical/World/ New Age Instrumental Review: Kim Angelis-Passages

Release Date: January 15, 2020
Label: Cantocielo Music
Website


Kim Angelis has recorded a lot of music over the years. Her most recent effort is Passages. As indicated in her bio on her website, her foundation in classical music is readily apparent. What comes after that foundation is amazing!

Passages
has some incredible virtuoso violin playing. What you will witness is an aural explosion of colors and sound. This a woman taking that classical foundation to new heights of progressive improvisation and turning into a fascinating gypsy-inspired sound with all kinds of elements mixed in for an original sound.

The recording has nine tracks that come at you one after another, full speed ahead. If you have enjoyed other violin artists such as Jean Luc-Ponty and David Ragsdale etc., you will find great joy in this album. I know that great players go back to the days of Bach, so perhaps that is where this talented lady first received the gift of inspiration and creativity that brought her to this place she is in now.

The very first track just blew me away to be perfectly honest. “Lavender Farm” sounds like it should be a soft and gentle introduction to this music that unfolds before you. Well, do not read into that title, this track has plenty of high-level energy and cultural magnificence driving it along. The farm she dedicated the track to is a real place in IIwaco Washington, which is a garden of delights according to track notes included with the fold-out CD cover. I did add it to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist without a second thought. It is the second-longest track clocking in at 7:51. “The Promise,” another full-fledged classic instrumental track, finishes at 9:19.

How many instrumental violin tracks have you heard that had consistency and grabbed your attention for that long? There are not many that can do that, the previously mentioned Ponty, could do it for me, but then again, I am far from being a violin expert or one that listens to a lot of this type of music presented this way. I do believe I am missing out on an awful lot, and I am sure there is more out there that is similar but will it be this good?

“Lost and Found” illustrates that moving and danceable gypsy sound that I find alluring. It is more than just a casual listen. There are other players involved in all this music that help to heighten the lead violin sound. There is the quintessential percussion, bass, classical harp, flute, clarinet, and kalimba (which is a thumb piano) that populate the various textures and sounds in every track. It all comes together stunningly, like the magic of a gypsy spell, it sweeps you away like a warm wave of heat coming off a campfire blazing long into the night. The warmth permeates your senses, you feel it, smell it, and breathe it in, the music comes alive, and fills you up with all of its vibrations and sounds.

These Passages of time wrapped up in these nine fantastic tracks will convince you that the violin can indeed be a lead instrument if played with as much robustness and talent as one Kim Angelis.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 6, 2020

 

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Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

1. Lavender Farm
2. Sweet Botswana
3. Wait Until Summer
4. The Promise
5. Eagles
6. Lost and Found
7. Longing
8. Tango de Paco
9. Sequoias (Resurrected)

 
 

1/30/2020

New Age/Contemporary Instrumental: Louis Colaiannia-Contemplation

Release Date: January 10, 2020
Label: louismusic

I have come to know instrumental piano music on a very intimate level. And because I hear so much of it, every new release has to be excellent and hold my attention. The magic has to be evident within the first few tracks or that special feeling I get, the wonder and amazement of what I am hearing, just falls short.

Louis Colaiannia is a veteran of recording with several albums behind him and his name is well known in the circles of new age music. He is part of that special community of artists that are connected in so many ways, contributing to each other’s releases like family. So, I am one of the fortunate ones that have been invited into that circle to listen to some amazing music year after year.

Louis just released Contemplation a few weeks ago to kick off the new year. Before listening, you must agree that word sparks a lot of interest. So, what does Contemplation mean to you? To be able to reach that level of concentration and thought process you must be accompanied by some soothing instrumental music, music so engaging and beautiful that it sweeps you away to another plane of existence or consciousness. This all must happen effortlessly and with joy. I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that this will happen listening to the music of Louis Colaiannia.

The one track that set me on the right course was the second offering titled “Gentle Rain.” I immediately added it to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist that is on the sidebar of my site for listeners and artists alike to enjoy. The track was like musical rain inviting me to take a walk, as the drops of music and melodies consumed my entire being. There is beauty in those ivory keys and it takes some coaxing to get that out and be realized fully by the artisan playing the instrument.

When I hear musicians like Louis Colaiannia perform it’s like I am hearing a specific individual that was delivered from heaven above to bring joy and healing to everyone willing to listen. I am more than willing; I feel it has become such an essential healing tool of my life that I could not live without it at this point. If you are not involved in a particular discipline like Yoga for instance, or you do not have the focus or patience to meditate, listen to this music. I think Contemplation can help you down that path if you so choose or you can just listen and soak it all in and just let it flow and happen. That is what I do, and I am very grateful for this art and how it has helped me to listen and have the ability to express what it does for me in words others can understand.

Contemplation is beauty and elegance personified by Mr. Louis Colaiannia. The elements of classical, contemporary and new age are a perfect match for the ten tracks you will hear in this transformational listening experience. It is a must-have collection of songs for any appreciator of solo piano music.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 28, 2020

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks: 
01.The River
02.Gentle Rain
03. Believe in Peace
04. Contemplation
05. After Goodbye
06. Mystic Nights
07. Two Hearts Across Time
08. What If
09. I Am  
10. Forbidden Feelings


1/24/2020

New Age/Contemporary Instrumental Review: Doug Hammer- piano2

Release Date: December 31, 2019
Label: Dreamworld Productions

Previous to Doug Hammer’s 13th proper studio recording piano2, I had the distinct pleasure to cover two entirely different releases. Christmas Lights in 2015 and Americana in 2016. The titles are self-explanatory however this title leaves you thinking what could be coming out of your speakers.

What I can say with unequivocal joy is that piano2 is as diverse musically as the last two I heard and reviewed. Doug likes to mix it up and play many different styles, touching upon a multitude of genres. 

There is new age, contemporary classical, like “A Rainy Night with You” or some jazz-inflected honky-tonk like on “Chasin’ Possum.” Or one of my favorites that I added to my New Age Music Review Spotify Playlist, “The Sunshine in You.” That one sounds as bright and energetic as the title implies. If the shoe fits wear it right? I believe that applies to all of this music, titles of the tracks are a lead into what you will hear. Everyone will hear something different but the one commonality is that if there is a love for instrumental piano music. The consequence of that is piano2 will be your cup of tea straight away.

The changes can be dramatic from one track to the next and that is exactly what makes it such a great listen. It will hold your attention from beginning to end. 

One thing that always fascinates me is the process an artist goes through creating a recording from scratch. This what Doug said about his process with piano2:

 “I would work on an accompaniment first and then listen to that and record melodic ideas on another track. Then, I would go back and refine the accompaniment and then again go back and refine the melody.”

So, the very beginning steps then turns into refinement on different levels of production. What you get after all that passionate piano playing and structuring of compositions is nothing but beauty. To be more specific, this is musical bliss that anyone could enjoy and or appreciate. 

My entire being is touched by music like this because I do not have to think about any lyrics, I just let the music take me to another mindset, a place where I love to go time and time again. I am giving thanks to Doug Hammer and every artist out there that has given me that gift. If you are looking for something like I am, then give piano2 a spin or stream it with the player provided right now.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
January 16, 2020
 
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

Tracks:

 01. Shimmer in Disaster
02. You're the One
03. The Sunshine in You
04. Across the Plains  
05. Reaching for the Moon    
06. Strut Your Stuff  
07. Chasin' Possum
08. A Rainy Night with You     
09. The Uncertainty Principle
10. Round and Round      
11. Fanfare      
12. Celtic Heart
13. Walking with You
14. Shine Bright  
15. The Last Goodbye  
 



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