MUSIC & MEDIA
By Michael Diamond
Tapestries of Time
The new album, Tapestries of Time, is the 10th release by award-winning pianist and official “Steinway Artist” Ann Sweeten. Like her last album, this one was also recorded at the studio of Grammy-winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, who co-produced the album along with
Ann. And as can often be expected on a project recorded at Will’s Imaginary Roads Studio, a number of fine
musicians are on hand to add accompaniment to some of the tracks. The sensitivity she brings to each piece draws the listener into a musical world of
emotionally-inspiring melodies and
rich visual imagery for the mind’s eye. While the
focus of the album is on “time,” what I
was most struck by was the sense of timelessness that is evoked by Ann’s elegant compositions, artful arrangements and flawless performance. In addition to this CD,
Ann has also just released a live concert DVD.
The Healing is an interesting departure from the previous Char-El albums with
their dramatic synthesizer-based instrumentals and progressive rock influences. This album is a
must-have for anyone’s musical medicine cabinet and the perfect solution after
a stressful day or as an accompaniment to
any kind of healing work, yoga, meditation, etc.
Charles’ piano and synthesizer work is beautiful as always, along with flute, harp,
and acoustic guitar all blending harmoniously to create a holistic musical experience that
is greater than the sum of its parts. The
nature sounds found on some tracks also add a distinctive ambience. Charles and his accompanists have gone to great lengths to
create a soundtrack for the healing of body, mind, and spirit. From my personal
experience, I can say they have certainly achieved that goal. The Healing enfolds you like an
angelic embrace, and is an album that will have an honored place in my permanent music collection.
Little Things, by Michael Allison, who records under the name Darshan Ambient is his
seventh release on the southern California-based Spotted Peccary/Lotuspike
label. All of his recordings have been highly acclaimed, but the fact that this
release has been called “his best album to date,” by John Diliberto, the esteemed host of the syndicated Echoes Radio
program, is high praise indeed. The music, which is
composed of ethereal synth textures,
piano, guitar loops, trumpet,
wordless vocal, and subtle chill grooves is said to “delve deep into the details that slip through the cracks of everyday life… and is filled with mystery and wonder, shadows and twilight.” While the signature Darshan Ambient sound
that so many know and love is recognizable here, this recording has a slightly
more atmospheric quality that transports the listener into a musical dreamland
with subtle touches of jazz and world music adding to the journey.
Medicine Melodies: Songs The Healers Hear by Silvia Nakkach along with
Christopher Eickmann is a deep experience of world music shamanism.
Silvia is an internationally-known sound healer and the music on the album
draws on Indian ragas, Tibetan chant,
Sufi zhikrs, and indigenous shamanic songs from Africa and the Americas. In her words: “Like the forest, where so many
species live together in secret harmony, each piece of this album comes from a variety of genres, idioms,
and geographies. The intention is
to go beyond time in the search for human
resonance through devotional sound.” The tracks
offer a multi-layered tapestry of drones, vocal harmonies, strings and acoustic landscapes.
Although she and Christopher both play a variety of instruments, Silvia’s incredible voice is the primary focus as she explores the ancestral and natural music of lullabies, to the extended vocal utterances, to new music and the avant-garde.
Lorraine Flaherty is a transformational therapist
from England who incorporates the tools of Hypnotherapy, NLP, Past Life
Therapy, and more. She is also an author, seminar leader, and lecturer. Lorraine’s
latest project is a double-CD set called Inner Freedom I, published by
the renowned Findhorn Press. In her words, “All the tracks on these two CD’s take you into a deep state of
relaxation allowing you to achieve each of the stated objectives. On Inner Freedom I, these objectives include Relaxation and Stress Management, Generating Abundance, Becoming
Empowered, Attracting Love, and Unlimited Potential.
Each track is set to a background
of gentle new age music, with Lorraine assisting the listener in her soothing voice to focus on a
series of positive suggestions and overcome negative thoughts and beliefs that
may prevent us from getting what we want in life. There is also a Volume II
available as well.
Michael Diamond is a music producer, recording artist, and
music journalist in the San Francisco Bay area with over 30 years of experience
writing for nationally-published magazines and more recently worldwide on the
internet. He currently has five CD’s including two with new-age music pioneer Steven Halpern. For additional reviews of CD’s, DVD’s, and more, please visit: