Sunday, October 27, 2013

CD Review – Bliss of Being, by The Pure Heart Ensemble

The Pure Heart Ensemble sound exactly like what their name suggests, and the title of their latest album is just as much on the mark.

The group consists of Richard Shulman on piano and synthesizer, Adriana Contino on cello, Kate Steinbeck on flutes, Dielle Ciesco on voice, and Bob Hinkle on crystal bowls.

Together, these five musicians create a sound that is truly blissful and comes from deep within their collective souls to touch the hearts and minds of listeners.

The compositions are thoughtful and beautifully arranged and the music is soft and sensitive, slipping into the subconscious and facilitating a state of serenity and calm.

This CD provides a wonderfully refreshing experience all around.

--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, October 20, 2013

CD Review – The Shimmering Land, by Meg Bowles

The title of preeminent new age composer and musician Meg Bowles' latest release is appropriate, as the album is full of shimmering sounds.
Bowles is known for grand, ethereal, otherworldly textures, commonly associated with the new age sub-genre of space music and all of which are in abundance here. All of the sounds on display are generated entirely by Bowles using her synthesizers.
Although the medium is electronic, the resultant music is very organic. This is due to Bowles' dynamic and expansive compositions, which contribute to the conjuring of cosmic vistas in the mind's eye of the listener.
If you're looking for quintessential new age music, this is it.
--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, October 13, 2013

CD Review – Primordial Sonics, by David Vito Gregoli

David Vito Gregoli's latest album is a melting pot of sounds from around the globe, truly making it a genuine work of world music. He calls it ambient aboriginal groove fusion, and that's exactly what it is.
Indigenous instruments such as Australian Aboriginal didjeridu, sitar, tabla, Persian santoor, Indian tambora, Indian bansuri flute, and Egyptian Ney flute come together with bass, percussion, and keyboards and synthesizers to forge a hypnotic hybrid that sounds very much like instrumental rock by way of India, Australia, and the Middle East.
Helping to bring Gregoli's musical vision to life are didjeridu virtuoso Stephen Kent, Yoga chanteuse Donna De Lory, flautists Suzanne Teng and Manose, and late percussionist Geoffrey Gordon and late bassist Bob Birch, the latter two to whom the CD is dedicated.
This is one of the best world music albums I have ever listened to, and it's a global musical journey worth taking.
--Raj Manoharan

Sunday, October 6, 2013

CD Review – Voyage: Hiroshima Eternal, by Takashi Suzuki

Not only is Hiroshima the place of residence for Takashi Suzuki as well as the site of a notorious historic event, but it also the creative impetus for Suzuki's latest work, resulting in an album that is among the highest order of synthesizer music.
Neither Hiroshima itself nor its implications are the focus of the CD. Rather, Suzuki uses Hiroshima as a jumping-off point to explore the journey of an imagined soul after the end of its corporeal life in a real catastrophe. Suzuki has basically created the soundtrack for that conceit.
And what a soundtrack it is!
All the sounds on the disc are generated entirely by Suzuki's synthesizers, which is easy to forget because this is as far from sounding like electronic music as you can get. In fact, the music is very orchestral, but in a more solemn, heartfelt--rather than full-bore, bombastic---manner. Think searching, penetrating horns and strings.
Also telling is the fact that this is Suzuki's first international CD release to feature tracks with separate, distinct titles, furthering the effect of a story with a unique theme unfolding.
This is a bold musical statement from a visionary, continually evolving artist.
--Raj Manoharan