Peter Sterling’s self-established record label, Harp Magic Music, is named after his first album, and it is an apt description of the celestial sounds that emanate from his muse and find expression through his hands on strings.
The harp is not something that comes to my mind when I am looking for new music to listen to, but that’s where Sterling’s talent and vision come in. Ditch any preconceived notions you may have about the harp – think of jazz/new age/rock fusion with a harp instead of a guitar, keyboard, saxophone, or flute as the lead instrument, and you have the music of Peter Sterling.
The key to the success of this album is the fact that Sterling’s electric harp often sounds like an acoustic guitar, but with that extra grace and elegance that only a harp can provide. Sterling adds his keyboards, flute, and vocals to the sonic mix, augmented by other musicians on bass, guitar, tablas, flute, violin, and vocals, resulting in a sound that is heavenly while grounded in infectious melodies and rhythms.
Stylistically, the music is undeniably new age. The lyrical compositions and arrangements have flowed naturally from Sterling’s spiritual sensibilities, and the performances by Sterling and his fellow musicians impart those sensibilities to the listener, creating a safe haven that engenders peace, tranquility, and warmth.
This is one of those albums where I don’t have any particularly favorite tracks, because all of them, even with their various nuances and subtleties, are of one accord. This is both a cathartic and a pleasant listening experience from beginning to end, making this a perfect new age album.