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The Recording Academy, Los Angeles

The Recording Academy, Los Angeles

I am a San Francisco Bay area music producer, recording artist, and journalist with over 30 years experience writing arts and media reviews for nationally published magazines and more recently world-wide on the internet. I’ve been the music editor for the Los Angeles-based Awareness Magazine for the past 6 years as well as a free lance journalist/ publicist, and editor of Music and Media Focus.

 

As a music industry professional, I currently belong to The Recording Academy and am a voting member of The GRAMMY’S.

 

 

 

Ambient Alchemy front final

NEW – AVAILABLE NOW at Amazon and iTunes!

AMBIENT ALCHEMY –  Steven Halpern & Michael Diamond  with special guest Michael Manring.

 

“An enchanted world of musical dreamscapes.”

 

Click here to hear samples and read about it.

 

Reached #2 on the ZMR Top 100 chart for international radio airplay!  Nominated in 2 categories in the ZMR Awards: “Best Electronic Album” and “Best Ambient Album,” and also nominated in the Independent Music Awards for “Best Ambient Album.”

 

 

indigo-moonAs a recording artist I have 5 CD’s of ambient music with elements of electronic, jazz, and rock. My previous release, “Indigo Moon“, features a guest appearance by Jefferson Starship and Rod Stewart keyboardist, Pete Sears.  Also appearing as a special guest is new age music pioneer Steven Halpen, whose record label distributes this album, as well as my first release, “Atlantis Rising,” which was named by CD Baby as “one of the best new releases of the year“.

 

 

 

md-studio-pic-11Along with studio recording and producing projects for other artists, I perform doing  electronic music and synthmulti-media shows  in addition to  playing synthesizers and electric guitar in SF Bay area bands.

 

 

 

 

I also produce music videos, such as the ones for Ambient Alchemy below, as well as creating soundtracks for video, guided imagery, etc.

 

New:  AMBIENT ALCHEMY MUSIC VIDEO:

Featuring excerpts from 4 songs with visionary art images:

(Be sure to watch video in “full screen” mode for best effect)

 

 

New: CELESTIAL SUITE – from Ambient Alchemy album
(this track has been submitted for GRAMMY consideration)

(Be sure to watch video in “full screen” mode for best effect)

 

For more music videos on this site, visit: 


Chill out with the enchanted sights and sounds of Michael’s visionary art music videos.
Click here.

Now showing: “Merlin’s Garden,”  and more…

(For a cool “double feature” – take a fantasy journey to otherworldly alien landscapes with Indigo Moon, then come back to earth with a visit to Merlin’s Garden which features original music and nature photography filmed in the San Francisco Bay area)

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Also, for more on my music and writing services on this site, click on these page links:

Michael Diamond CD’s

Writing and Promotional Services

 

 

Atlantis Rising

Six full length songs from my various CD’s can be heard on the music player here:

http://www.reverbnation.com/michaeldiamondmusic

(shorter samples of every song on all my CD’s can be heard on the links here)

 

 

 My music is available for licensing as soundtracks for films, video, guided imagery CD’s, etc.

 

CONTACT: mdiamondstudio@aol.comChroma Zone
or: mdiamondstudio@gmail.com

 

Michael Diamond Facebook page – click here. 

 

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CD: Bridge To Vallabha
Artist: Tina Malia
Contact: www.tinamalia.com

vallabha cdAlthough I’ve been familiar with Tina Malia’s music since her ground breaking debut release, Shores Of Avalon, in 2002, this is the first opportunity I’ve had to write about her. But the timing is perfect as I recently had the pleasure of seeiing her perform for the first time at the ZMR Awards in New Orleans, both solo and in duet with award winning pianist Peter Kater. Since that first album, Tina has released four more recordings including the latest, Bridge To Vallabha. Her music has been diverse and spans a range from dream pop to world music and sacred chant. Over the years, Tina has been fortunate to perform and record with Kenny Loggins, Bonnie Rait, India Arie, Jai Uttal, Deva Pemal & Miten, Peter Kater, and many others.

 

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GhostChild by Tedd Arnold

CD: GhostChild
Artist: Tedd Arnold
Contact: http://www.theearthcat.com/

GhostChild_V9_4PANITIn my three decades as a music journalist, I’ve received many “concept albums,” covering a wide range of subject matter. But one of the most intriguing and unusual ones is a new release from Pittsburgh-based electronic musician, composer, vocalist and lyricist Tedd Arnold, who is known by fans as The Earth Cat. According to Ted: “GhostChild is the story of a young girl, Sarah Diane, that has not fully realized she has passed away. View full article »

CD: Fire In The Rainstorm
Artist: Kori Linae Carothers
Contact: http://www.koritunes.com/

album coverOne of the main focal points of the feature articles I write here on Music and Media Focus, in addition to highlighting the music on an album, is an in-depth profile of the artists themselves; their inspirations, motivations, background, and more. In the case of pianist Kori Linae Carothers this back-story is as inspirational as the elegant expressive music she creates. View full article »

CD: Celestial Resonance
Artists: Paradiso and Rasamayi
Contact: http://www.5thelementmusic.com/


Celestial-Front-Cover-WebIt’s been about two and a half years since I wrote a pre-release article about Attuning To Oneness, the previous recording by Paradiso and Rasamayi. Since that time, the album went on to win a Best New Age Album of the Year Award, as well as debuting in the top 5 in global airplay of World/Ambient/New Age music. View full article »

White Sun by White Sun

CD: White Sun
Artist: White Sun
Contact: http://www.whitesun.com/

WhiteSun-AlbumCoverIn today’s fast-paced hi-tech society, the latest developments can become obsolete in a relatively short time to make room for the next big thing. Yet in the quest for spiritual development, seekers often look far into the past for inspiration. And some, like the music group White Sun, create contemporary versions of ancient spiritual practices for the modern world. Here on their debut album, they tap into the healing power of mantras. View full article »

Equilibrium by Kerani

CD: Equilibrium
Artist: Kerani
Contact: www.kerani.nl

Kerani---Equilibrium---CoverEquilibrium, the impressive new album by Kerani is the follow up to her chart-topping previous release Arctic Sunrise, that I had the pleasure of writing about, and which won the Best Neo-Classical Album in the 2014 ZMR Awards. Arctic Sunrise was a concept album that Kerani described as “ a true tribute to the mysterious worlds of ice.” So, not surprisingly, Equilibrium is also a concept album, although with a very different theme. In her words: “With this album I wish to bring homage to all women who took it upon themselves throughout history to go against the tide.” View full article »

LOVE by Peter Kater

CD: LOVE
Artist: Peter Kater
Contact: www.peterkater.com and http://www.mysteriummusic.com

coverlove6Ah, love… that most powerful and universal emotion which has captivated and inspired every form of artist and musician throughout the centuries. While poets, playwrights, and songwriters have used words to express their feelings on this subject, instrumental composers like Peter Kater use music to communicate the depth and expanse of their sentiments, hoping that it will create a resonance in those that hear it. View full article »

Galaxy by Tim Neumark

CD: Galaxy
Artist: Tim Neumark
Contact: https://timneumark.com/

galaxy-cover-247It’s been about a year since I wrote a feature article about Tim Neumark’s excellent previous CD, Storm. In that time its obvious that others have taken notice of it, as was named “Best Solo Piano Album” of 2014 by One World Music and that it is nominated for Enlightened Piano Radio’s “2014 Album of the Year.” This is no small achievement given the large number of solo piano albums released in that time by a host of highly talented artists. Tim’s latest release, Galaxy, is his sixth album, and as of this writing was just named “Best Instrumental/Piano Album” by The Akademia Music Awards.


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Learning To Fly by Neil Tatar

CD: Learning To Fly
Artist: Neil Tatar
Contact: http://neiltatar.com

Learning To FlyWhile his new album is entitled Learning To Fly, guitarist/pianist/composer Neil Tatar is one of the most down to earth people you could meet – although his music certainly does have wings. Neil’s previous release and collaboration with cellist David Darling, Where Did The Time Go, was excellent, and those who are interested can click the link to read my feature article about it. With Learning To Fly, however, Neil has taken his music and collaborative efforts to the next level entirely.

 
 

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CD: A Better Place
Artist: Michael Stribling
Contact: http://www.leela-music.com/

Stribling_BP_cover_300dpiRecording artist/ composer Michael Stribling describes his new album, A Better Place as: “14 instrumental tracks in a calming and reflective celebration of the joy of love, growth, healing, and nurturing relationships.” That definitely sounds like something we can all use. I was looking forward to the release of this recording, having greatly enjoyed his previous release Safely In The Arms Of Love, which I wrote about back in 2011. View full article »

CD: Android Dreams
Artist: Jose Luis Serrano Esteban
Contact: http://jlsemusic.com/

Android DreamsIt’s hard to believe that it’s been over 3 years since I wrote about A New Horizon, the excellent previous release by Spanish recording artist Jose Luis Serrano Esteban. In that feature article, I covered much of his history and prior work in the music field, so those who are interested can find more at the above link. But just as a brief recap, Jose Luis’ background includes extensive experience in both music and sound engineering. View full article »

One Journey by Ryan Stewart

CD: One Journey
Artist: Ryan Stewart
Contact: www.ryanstewartmusic.com

One JourneyPianist/composer Ryan Stewart’s One Journey is his third release, and follows his critically acclaimed debut album Equanimity, which was included on the Top 30 Albums for the Decade by MainlyPiano.com, and the sequel to that, The Dreaming Hour, that was in the Top 15 Albums of 2010, also on MainlyPiano.com. Based on his past success, as well as having heard this new album, I’m sure One Journey is going to be equally well received. The recording encompasses 13 original compositions ranging from piano solos to “fully painted orchestral works.” View full article »

CD: Playing With Shadows
Artist: David Franklin
Contact: http://www.davidfranklin.com/

Playing with Shadows coverWhen David Franklin was just 9 years old, he made a promise to himself that, in his life, he would never miss a day of playing music. Keeping that promise, except for a few days of illness or travel in the past 40 years, David calls his eighth, and newest album: “… the culmination of all that playing.” While many musicians choose an instrument, often early in life, and stay with it for their entire career, David’s musical path has been diverse. View full article »

CD: Fields Beyond The Known
Artist: Alan Roth
Contact: http://www.alanroth.com/

Fields Beyond The Known CDComposer/ multi-instrumentalist Alan Roth has created Fields Beyond The Known, an album of deeply meditative music that is perfect for inner exploration. Recorded in the tropical Hawaiian paradise of Maui, Alan’s intention was to “capture a moment in time” and musically share, as much as possible, the lush surroundings and his peaceful yet focused state of being. The album also features legendary LA keyboardist/ soundscape artist Ben Dowling and was co-produced by Emmy Award winner and Oscar nominee Kit Thomas.

 

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CD: Lavender Dreams
Artist: Steven Cravis
Contact: https://www.stevencravis.com/

Lavender DreamsThe lovely color and aromatic fragrance of lavender can enhance and brighten any space it is placed in. And so it is with the music of Steven Cravis on his Lavender Dreams album. Interestingly, although some of Steven’s songs have an upbeat groove to them, I find them to be both stimulating and relaxing at the same time, with an overall “feel-good” vibe – much like the effect that the scent of lavender produces. View full article »

CD: A Thousand Springs
Artist: Adam Andrews
Contact: http://www.adamandrewsmusic.com/

A Thousand Springs coverHailing from my old stomping grounds of Denver, and currently living in Colorado Springs, solo pianist Adam Andrews has released his second album, entitled A Thousand Springs. This follows on the heels of his debut solo album, Road To Ambo, which garnered him a nomination for “Best New Artist” in the recent ZMR Awards, in addition to another award nomination, chart success, and international radio airplay – quite an auspicious entrance for this talented artist.


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CD: Among Friends
Artist: Steven Halpern
Contact: http://www.stevenhalpern.com/ 

Among FriendsLike many reading this, I’ve been a fan of Steven Halpern’s music for over 30 years.  His groundbreaking meditative and healing albums, including SPECTRUM SUITE, CHAKRA SUITE, and ANCIENT ECHOES, earned him a well-deserved reputation as a founding father of New Age music. As I wrote in my review of his PARADIGM SHIFT album: “If anyone has ever helped to create and define a musical genre it is Steven Halpern.” In my three decades as a professional new age music reviewer I have had the opportunity to review many of his recordings, and recently had the pleasure to collaborate musically with Steven on the award-nominated album AMBIENT ALCHEMY. View full article »

CD: Letters From Far Away
Artist: Heidi Breyer
Contact: http://heidibreyer.com/

Letters From Far AwayJust before beginning to write this feature article on pianist/ composer Heidi Breyer’s new release, Letters From Far Away, I went back and revisited the one I wrote about her excellent 2012 album Beyond The Turning. It concluded with a quote from Heidi that makes an excellent segue to this release. In her words: “Our creations are an affirmation of life…whatever form they take, they are the legacy we leave, reflecting the most poignant moments of our short time here. View full article »

CD: Another Time, Another Place
Artist: Robin Spielberg
Contact: www.robinspielberg.com

Another Time Another PlaceAlthough I haven’t had the pleasure until now to write about the music of composer/pianist Robin Spielberg, I’m quite familiar with her name from my being involved in the new age music genre for many years. She is considered among the premier neo-classical/new age solo piano artists and has quite an impressive history that extends into a number of different areas. Robin is a prolific composer with seventeen recordings under her name, as well as appearing on over 40 compilations. Her record sales exceed one million, and this official “Steinway Artist” has had three sold out performances at the legendary Carnegie Hall. View full article »

New Rain by Eve West Bessier

Book: New Rain
Author: Eve West Bessier
Contact: http://www.evewestbessier.com/

New Rain If ever the term “multi-media” fit like a glove, it does in the case of describing the life and artistry of Eve West Bessier (pronounced Bessie-yay). Eve is known for her many and diverse talents. On the musical end of her artistic spectrum, she is a top-notch jazz vocalist, voice coach, and studio musician/ voice-over artist. On the literary side, Eve is an award-winning author of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, as well as being the Poet Laureate Emeritus of the City of Davis, CA, where she lived for many years and earned her Master’s Degree from the University of California. She is also a visual artist/ painter and photographer. Now, after recently moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Eve can add the title of “novelist” to her impressive resume, with the completion of her first novel, New Rain.

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Mississippi by Eric Tingstad

CD: Mississippi
Artist: Eric Tingstad
Contact: www.erictingstad.com

mississippiThe latest release by GRAMMY winning artist Eric Tingstad is a superb contemporary example of the classic “concept album.” I’ve always had a fondness for concept albums, dating back to the late 60’s with artists such as The Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Moody Blues, Jethro Tull and more. A concept album as defined by Wikipedia is “a studio album where all musical or lyrical ideas contribute to a single overall theme or unified story. View full article »

Souvenirs by Christine Brown

CD: Souvenirs
Artist: Christine Brown
Contact: http://christinebrownpiano.com/

Souvenirs-coverThere’s an old saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” Although for pianist/ composer Christine Brown, it might be more appropriate to say: “When life gives you lemons, make music.” This is not to say that all of her composing has been inspired by life’s challenges, but the piano has certainly been a place where she could pour her heart out, and in turn, create some of her most evocative music. View full article »

CD: Spiritual Haven
Artist: Russell Suereth
Contact: http://www.russellsuereth.com/

Russell-Suereth-CD-Cover-Spiritual-Haven-FrontRussell Suereth (pronounced sue – reth) is a composer/ recording artist with a vision. In fact, many visions, which we’ll soon see. As the title of his third and latest release implies, expressing and fostering universal spirituality is motivating force in his life and his music. The sounds heard on Spiritual Haven are rich in imagery, often of sacred places around the world, as well as those within us. View full article »

next by Jeff Oster

CD: next
Artist: Jeff Oster
Contact: http://music.jeffoster.com

next - coverQuick, can you name your top three favorite ambient flugelhorn players? If you’re like most people, the answer is probably no. All of which gives Jeff Oster, who also plays trumpet, a distinction that not many others can claim. As I wrote in my feature article on Jeff’s previous album, Surrender: “While there is some precedent for this with artists like Mark Isham, Jon Hassell, David Hoffman, and even Miles Davis (particularly on his classic “In A Silent Way” album and subsequent “electric” period, Jeff is charting new sonic territory in his expansion of these instruments into a context of electronica, down-tempo grooves, and loop based electro-orchestral tracks.” Although Surrender was one of my favorite albums when it came out (and I still love it), this new release, simply entitled next, certainly takes it to a whole new level, for many reasons, as we’ll soon see.

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CD: Heart of Silence
Artists: Peter Kater & Michael Brant DeMaria
Contact: www.soundstrue.com

 

Heart-of-Silence-coverI was excited to first hear about and then to receive a new album on the Sounds True label that features two of my favorite recording artists, Peter Kater and Michael Brant DeMaria. Although I’ve written numerous times about each of them separately, this new release, Heart Of Silence, showcases their first collaborative effort. As the album’s subtitle, “Piano and Flute Meditations” indicates, the music blends Peter’s elevating piano with the soothing sounds of Michael on a variety of Native American flutes. View full article »

Signature – Solo by Fiona Joy

CD: Signature – Solo
Artist: Fiona Joy
Contact: http://www.fionajoy.com/

It’s not often, as a music writer, that I have the opportunity to be present in the studio when an artist’s album is in the process of being recorded. However, I was happy to receive an invitation from award-winning Australian composer/ pianist Fiona Joy to stop by when she was here in the San Francisco Bay area working on her new album as a Blue Coast Records artist at their impressive OTR Studios. Signature – Solo is the fifth Fiona Joy CD I’ve had the pleasure of writing about View full article »

Reiki Hands of Love by Deuter

CD: Reiki Hands of Love
Artist: Deuter
Contact: http://deutermusic.com/
http://www.newearthrecords.com/artists/deuter/

 

CD cover - Reiki Hands of Love (Deuter)Way back at the dawning of the new age music genre in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s a few seminal musicians planted the seeds of a new kind of music that was in tune with the awakening consciousness and emerging spirituality of the time. Along with artists like Steven Halpern, Constance Demby, and Iasos, was German-born Deuter (pronounced Doy-ter) who released his first album in 1971. View full article »

Bloom Road by Dan Kennedy

CD: Bloom Road
Artist: Dan Kennedy
Contact: http://www.dankennedy.us/

Bloom Road (cover) - Dan KennedyBloom Road is the latest release from pianist/composer Dan Kennedy and is the follow up to his excellent Intuition CD which I had the pleasure of writing about back in 2012. Although Dan is classically trained and earned a Master’s degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, his style is diverse and inclusive, blending classical, jazz, contemporary instrumental, and new age.

 

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Heart Song by Elise Lebec

CD: Heart Song
Artist: Elise Lebec
Contact: http://www.eliselebec.com/

albumart_eliselebec7_200x200Some artists begin their musical career early in life following a strict path in a particular genre of music and stay rooted in that form over the years. While other artists answer to a more diverse calling and experiment with a wider variety of musical forms as they develop their own creative identity. Composer/ pianist/ vocalist Elise Lebec is one of the latter. Her latest release, Heart Song, reflects the rainbow spectrum of her musical history and the long winding road that has led her to this particular point in time.

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Ca Sarvetaratra by Vive

CD: Ca Sarvetaratra
Artist: Vive
Contact: www.vivemusicproject.com

albumcover1Ca Sarvetaratra, which means “and everything else,” is the latest release from the group Vive. The music exists at the intersection of ancient spirituality and modern technology, making for a divinely blissful yet energizing listening experience. Vive combines the considerable talents of vocalist/ massage therapist/ yoga instructor Tanya Witman and composer/ songwriter Gabriel Mann. View full article »

Transcend by Phillip Wesley

CD: Transcend
Artist: Phillp Wesley
Contact: http://philipwesley.com/

reg_Transcend cover full-resolutionNo doubt, everyone experiences ups and downs in life ranging from minor to catastrophic. Composer and pianist Phillip Wesley certainly has, and through his music has documented those times in a way that not only touched the hearts of listeners around the world, but also has earned him numerous awards and accolades. His seventh and latest release, Transcend, occupies a special place in his discography. View full article »

Undercurrent by Michele McLaughlin

CD: Undercurrent
Artist: Michele McLaughlin
Contact: http://michelemclaughlin.com/

Undercurrent coverA great number of the instrumentalists I write about, and pianists in particular, tell of years of study, private lessons, music academies and conservatories, and the like. It’s not as often that I hear a pianist who has reached an extremely high level of proficiency with no formal training and being completely self-taught. However, Michele McLaughlin is one of them. View full article »

Spiritus by David Wahler

CD: Spiritus
Artist: David Wahler
Contact: http://www.davidwahler.com/

SPIRITUSSpiritus is the fourth release by accomplished composer/ keyboardist David Wahler. Although this is the first time I’ve written about his music, I’ve certainly enjoyed listening to two of his earlier albums, Antiquus (2009) and A Star Danced (2010). His debut recording, Antiquus, made a splash after its release, reaching number one on ZMR (Zone Music Reporter) Top 100 chart for international radio airplay. And at the time, it was the highest-ranking debut album in the history of those charts. Topping it off, he also won the award for Best New Artist that year. View full article »

CD: Inamorata
Artist: David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks
Contact: www.davidarkenstone.com

Inamorata_coverIt’s been two years since I had the pleasure of writing about composer/ multi-instrumentalist David Arkenstone and enchanting vocalist Charlee Brook’s epic recording Lovèren, which out of the over 250 featured albums on my site, has been by far, the most viewed of all. Since that time, this dynamic duo has certainly not been resting on their laurels. Much of the music from that album was subsequently featured in a live multi-media concert extravaganza entitled David Arkenstone’s Symphonic Adventure, which has recently been broadcast on PBS. View full article »

Summon The Wind by Timothy Wenzel

CD: Summon The Wind
Artist: Timothy Wenzel
Contact: www.timothywenzel.com

CD cover Summon the Wind (Wenzel)I ended my review of Timothy Wenzel’s previous album River Serene by saying: “I’ll certainly look forward to hearing more of his sonic alchemy in the future.” And with the release of his new recording Summon The Wind that future is here. I’ve been a fan of Timothy’s imaginative and visually evocative music for a while, and my enthusiasm is only bolstered by his latest creative effort. View full article »

22 Piano Tales by Galya

CD: 22 Piano Tales
Artist: Galya
Contact: http://www.galya.fr

Galya-22PianoTalesIn the world of fictional literature, tales are told in a variety of forms ranging from epic novels to short stories. Having had the pleasure of writing a feature article about Galya’s previous album, Key of Dreams, which showcased her talent for intricate and detailed composition, I was fascinated to receive her new release, 22 Piano Tales, that is more an example of the short story analogy. In an exclusive interview, she explained: “Each song in my previous albums was like a book, with an intro, story line and ending, so they were long. In the album 22 Piano Tales I use a little bit different approach. Each song is like a small tale describing a moment of life or an emotional state.” View full article »

CD: Seasons of the Heart
Artist: Renee Michele
Contact: www.renee-michele.com

Seasons of the HeartAfter four solo piano albums, Oregon-based composer Renee Michele has expanded her circle by releasing a recording with a variety of accompanists to embellish her emotionally rich compositions. Seasons of the Heart reflects Renee’s determination to take her career to the next level by choosing to produce the album in collaboration with the GRAMMY Award-winning Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton. Recorded at Will’s iconic Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, the album features a number of his world-class studio musicians adding their colors to Renee’s sensitive tone poems.

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Coming Home by Greg Maroney

CD: Coming Home
Artist: Greg Maroney
Contact: http://www.gregmaroney.com/

Coming HomeThere is something about the elegant simplicity and spaciousness in much of pianist Greg Maroney’s music that is perhaps a reflection of the earthy rural lifestyle he leads in south central Pennsylvania where he and his wife tend their gardens to raise much of their own food, build their own barn with only hand tools, and seek to live in harmony with nature. Much of Greg’s inspiration comes from the beauty of this region with it’s rolling farmland, with endless fields of corn and wheat that ripple in the winds, and summer thunderstorms. Also, according to Greg’s bio: “His songs are derived from his life experiences as well as the emotional and spiritual journey we all take as human beings.”

 

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Colors by John Otott

CD: Colors
Artist John Otott
Contact: www.johnotott.com

john-otott-colors1As Cyndi Lauper sang in one of her iconic hit songs: “… don’t be afraid to let them show. Your true colors… are beautiful like a rainbow.” Pianist John Otott certainly lives by this advice, as evidenced in his latest release entitled Colors. According to John, many of the songs are inspired by his life events, conveying a true sense of meaning through music. Emotions provide the impetus for much of his composing and the piano is the perfect channel for his expression of them. View full article »

CD: Drum Travel
Artist: James Asher and Sandeep Raval
Contact: www.james-asher.co.uk/

Drum TravelWorld Music and percussion fans, be forewarned: when pressing “play” on the new release by James Asher and Sandeep Raval, keep a firm grip on you socks so as not to have them knocked clean off. I was about to say that “this is one seriously powerful recording,” although the reality is that is actually two recordings – a double album; something you don’t find very often these days. But Drum Travel offers some of the most mind-blowing, earth-shaking percussive energy and cross-cultural influences that I have encountered in quite a while.

 

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CD: Whispers The Falling Snow
Artist: Dan Chadburn
Contact: www.danchadburn.com

whispers-cover-artworkIn my feature article on pianist Dan Chadburn’s previous release, Nocturnes, I provided detailed information about his background and classical music training, his performances at Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston, The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., and more. Readers who may be interested can click on the Nocturnes link above to read that article. While the theme of album was “a journey through the night,” the focus for his latest album, Whispers The Falling Snow, is winter and the holiday season. View full article »

CD: Patterns of Sun and Shade
Artist: Kathryn Kaye
Contact: www.kathrynkaye-music.com

Front_CoverThere can be little question as to the source of Kathryn Kaye’s creative inspiration. The beauty and mystery of nature have always played prominently in her artistry. Even the title of her latest release Patterns of Sun and Shade reveals her fascination with the natural world. Of this she shares: “I’ve always been fascinated by sunlight filtered through leaves or bare branches, the play of light and shade in clouds and high mountains, and shadows on a rock wall or on a narrow path winding through the woods.” There is no doubt that her home in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an endless bounty of natural splendor, where she captures its essence in music and photography. However, another source that feeds into her musical wellspring are the hymns and folksongs of the Appalachian Mountains of southeast Kentucky, where she grew up.

 

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Coming Home by Peter Jennison

CD: Coming Home
Artist: Peter Jennison
Contact: http://www.peterjennison.com/

Coming HomeI’ve had the opportunity and the honor to write about many albums that have been created in support of heartfelt humanitarian causes, and the latest release by Peter Jennison is certainly one of them. Entitled Coming Home, the album, in his words: “celebrates the wonderful homecomings between Soldiers and their Families that we see depicted on national television. I also pay tribute to those soldiers that return from battle wounded, and those that come home in flag-draped coffins. I created each piece to evoke a certain image for the listener.” And the music, which is a sequel to his debut recording Longing for Home (Songs from War) is quite evocative, to say the least, being written from Peter’s experience as a soldier deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

 

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CD: Where Did The Time Go
Artist: Neil Tatar and David Darling
Contact: http://neiltatar.com/

Where Did The Time GoThe title of the new release by Neil Tatar and David Darling, Where Did The Time Go poses a question you may well ask yourself after becoming totally absorbed in listening to this captivating music. Although this is their first collaboration, both are veteran musicians with extensive experience in music and the arts.

 

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My Beloved by Michael Dulin

CD: My Beloved
Artist: Michael Dulin
Contact: http://www.michaeldulin.com/

My BelovedIt’s been close to three years since I’ve had the pleasure of writing about the music of virtuoso pianist/ composer Michael Dulin. At that time, I reviewed his then-current release Timeless II, which is an album of classical piano with interpretations of Bach, Beethoven, Chopin, and others. I also wrote about his previous release Follow The River, which by contrast was an album of his original compositions that spanned much wider range of influences including contemporary instrumental, new age, smooth jazz, and a bit of folk/roots Americana. That Michael is able to draw from such diverse influences and genres is remarkable, but is not surprising given his background. View full article »

Midwinter’s Night by Erwilian

CD: Midwinter’s Night
Artist: Erwilian
Contact: www.erwilian.com

Midwinter's NightIt’s not that often in the new age music genre that I get a live concert album to review. However, I know from writing about Erwilian’s excellent Light From Darkness CD, and learning more about them, that live performance is a major aspect of the group. In fact, as founding member Jordan Buetow told me: “Erwilian originally began in 2000 as a performance group with a passion for bringing audiences seasonal music that was not always given the attention it deserved. An album – a live album for that matter – of this material truly was like a distilled manifestation of the very soul of the band.” View full article »

Endless by Rick Sparks

CD: Endless
Artist: Rick Sparks
Contact: www.ricksparksmusic.net

Endless CDThe title for pianist/ composer Rick Sparks’ latest CD release, Endless, was prompted in part by the magnificent picture of a starry night sky over a tropical lagoon, by photographer Ben Canales. Yet, on a deeper level, for Rick, the title also reflects what he refers to as “God’s endless love for us.” This spiritual focus is what is at the heart of this beautiful music that he creates, in his words, “ to feed the soul.”

 

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Artist: Sherry Finzer
Contact: www.sherryfinzer.com

sherry-finzerPeople are drawn to playing, recording, and performing music for a wide variety of reasons. And like other aspects of our lives, those reasons can evolve over time. For international award-winning flutist and composer Sherry Finzer, this is certainly true.

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Spirits by Erik Scott

CD: Spirits
Artist: Erik Scott
Contact: http://erikscottbass.com

SpiritsThe old saying: “expect the unexpected” is certainly appropriate, and perhaps even a bit of an understatement, when referring to the music of veteran bassist Erik Scott. I doubt whether there are many artists producing music in the instrumental new age genre that have a more extensive, impressive, and quite unlikely discography as he does.

 

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CD: Voices From Heaven
Artist: Runar Halonen and Tron Syversen
Contact: www.runarhalonen.com www.tronmusic.com

 

Voices From HeavenIt’s been over two years since I wrote about Norwegian composer/ keyboardist Tron Syversen and his wonderful Sacred Dreams album. At that time, I predicted: “I’m sure we’ll be hearing more from this talented recording artist as his mellow music flows from the fjords of Norway into more international waters.” I don’t have a crystal ball, but that prediction has certainly come to pass. Since that time he has continued to produce beautiful music for relaxation and healing that has drawn the attention of listeners around the world.

 

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CD: Mind Heart Fingers
Artist: Trevor Gordon Hall
Contact: www.trevorgordonhall.com

 

MHF_coverIt’s not everyday that I have the honor of writing about “The World’s Premier Kalimbatarist.” That’s probably because, as far as I know, Trevor Gordon Hall may be the world’s only kalimbatarist. But that is what makes him special and stand out in a crowded field of acoustic guitar players. So the obvious question now is: what is a kalimbatar?

 

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Trail of Dreams by 2002

CD: Trail of Dreams
Artist: 2002
Contact: www.2002music.com

CD_Trail_of_DreamsFor a well-established recording artist or ensemble with a large following, experimenting with new directions in their signature sound can be risky. Fans sometimes have preconceived notions about what they expect to hear from that artist and charting new territory can often go either way with the listeners. Fortunately for 2002, their experimentation has paid off, and I have no doubt that the changes to their sound will be well loved by those who have followed them over the course of their numerous chart-topping albums. In fact, I’m sure it will serve to expand that fan base as well.

 

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CD: Echoes in the Sand
Artist: Kevin Lucas
Contact: www.kevinlucasorchestra.com

echoes_front_cover_1_300pxBack in the late 1960’s, Marshall McLuhan, one of the prophets of the electronic age coined the now-iconic phrase: “The medium is the message.” For recording artist and percussion virtuoso Kevin Lucas, his medium of music is all about conveying messages. The new CD by The Kevin Lucas Orchestra carries messages that are both timely and urgent, particularly with regard to climate change.

 

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Inspired by Bryan Carrigan

CD: Inspired
Artist: Bryan Carrigan
Contact: www.bryancarrigan.com

bryan-carrigan-inspiredI’ve been a fan of Bryan Carrigan’s exquisitely crafted music for some time and was very much looking forward to hearing the latest addition to his ever-expanding catalog – now his fifth solo release. While I, and many others are familiar with Bryan’s extensive background in the music industry, for those who may not be, let me provide just a brief sketch. Bryan is described in Wikipedia as: “an American music producer, engineer, and electronic musician that has been involved in the production of studio albums and film scores. Carrigan is also known for serving multiple roles in the recording studio as music editor, programming and sound design.” View full article »

CD: Music That Matters
Artist: Various
Contact: www.cdbaby.com/cd/musicthatmattersrelaxing

Music That MattersIn these troubled times filled with so much discord between individuals and nations, its like a breath of fresh air to hear about caring people who have come together in service to humanity. A newly released music compilation entitled Music That Matters is a shining example of this philanthropic spirit. View full article »

CD: Experiences
Artist: Ryan Michael Richards
Contact: www.ryanmichaelrichards.com

ExperiencesAcoustic guitarist Ryan Michael Richards is part of a younger generation of instrumentalists to whom the torch has been passed, carrying on the legacy of virtuoso artists like Michael Hedges, Alex de Grassi, and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, who actually produced Ryan’s album at his famed Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont. View full article »

CD: Songs Of A Siren
Artist Lea Longo
Contact: www.lealongo.com

 

Songs Of A SirenIt used to be that musical categories were fairly well defined, and that most songs fit neatly into little boxes called genres. However, in recent times, it seems that the lines have become blurred and the boundaries breached, so that just about any style can be merged with any other style to create some of the most innovative blends imaginable. A perfect example of this is the latest release by Canadian singer/ songwriter Lea Longo, entitled Songs Of A Siren. Here she combines her love of jazz and pop standards with the spirituality of mantra and kirtan chanting to provide a completely different twist on the East meets West concept.

 

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CD: Ashokan Memories
Artist: Peter Calandra
Contact: www.petecalandramusic.com

Ashokan MemoriesHaving had the pleasure of writing about Peter Calandra’s excellent album, Inner Circle, I thought I had a fairly good idea of his style and musical direction. However, his Ashokan Memories album reflects a different facet of his creative spectrum. Oftentimes an artist draws inspiration from their surroundings, and this is certainly the case with Peter. View full article »

Day Star by Jonn Serrie

CD: Day Star
Artist: Jonn Serrie
Contact: www.thousandstar.com

Jonn Serrie coverThe earth has made many trips around the sun, twenty-seven to be exact, since as a budding new age music journalist, I wrote a review of Jonn Serrie’s now-classic debut album, And The Stars Go With You, back in 1987. That album was in memory of the astronauts lost in the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster the year before. Now, over two and a half decades later, Jonn is still traversing the galaxy producing new music starscapes, as well as giving innovative concert performances back here on earth. View full article »

CD: Moksha

Artist: The Ray Spiegel Ensemble

Contact: www.simlahouse.com

MokshaVeteran musician Ray Spiegel and his Woodstock, NY-based ensemble have recently released an exciting world music album entitled Moksha. The word “moksha” is a Sanskrit term that means liberation or release. This is most appropriate in that the music, while based in traditional Indian Ragas and rhythms, breaks free from strict classical forms by integrating “the full spectrum of moods, grooves, and tempos of East and West from hard driving dance beats to meditative spiritually oriented music.”

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CD: The Gathering II: a new generation of musicians produced by Will Ackerman, the founder of Windham Hill Records and Tom Eaton
Artist: Various artists
Contact: www.cdbaby.com/cd/thegatheringii

The Gathering II_CoverIts hard to believe that two years have passed since the release of the first compilation entitled The Gathering – a landmark album that garnered international radio airplay, and was honored as the ZMR “Album Of The Year,” with the highest rating of any record in the history of those charts. For those who may not be familiar, The Gathering is a compilation of songs from 22 different artists who had albums produced and recorded at the famed Imaginary Roads Studios, the recording Mecca of GRAMMY winning producer and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman.

 

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CD: Los Angeles
Artist: Curtis Macdonald
Contact: http://about.me/curtismacdonald

Los AngelesHaving had the opportunity to write about Curtis Macdonald’s previous album, When Dreams Come True, which I loved, I was very much looking forward to his latest, and 18th release, Los Angeles. The premise for this new album is quite unique and most definitely intriguing. Curtis’ many years of composing music for film and his love for the classic “film noir” genre led him to blend the distinctive feel of a vintage Humphrey Bogart detective movie or Raymond Chandler dime store novel with sounds of jazz and contemporary electronic music to paint an impressionistic sonic portrait of his current home city of Los Angeles. View full article »

CD: Still
Artist: Stephen Peppos
Contact: www.stephenpeppos.com

StillIt never fails to amaze me how many musicians who were around in 1964 cite seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show as being the inspiration for making music their life’s ambition. A budding young pianist named Stephen Peppos was one of them. As he tells it: “Seeing the Beatles perform on the Ed Sullivan Show was a watershed moment for me. I guess it was seeing how the audience reacted to them, but more so for me . . . it was the music. View full article »

CD: Narrow Path
Artist: Matthew Schoening
Contact: www.soloelectriccello.com

Narrow PathMention the word “cello” to most people and the first association that comes to mind is European classical music. In fact Wikipedia describes the instrument as “used in chamber music ensembles, string orchestras, and as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras.” However, some people like to think outside the box and innovate in ways that expand our horizons. One such person is solo electric cellist Matthew Schoening (pronounced Shay-ning). View full article »

CD: OMKARA – The Sound of Divine Love
Artist: Rupam Sarmah
Contact: http://www.omkaradivinelove.com/

OmkaraFrom combined efforts in India and California, comes a groundbreaking new project called OMKARA. Just released is an album of chakra balancing music called OMKARA – The Sound of Divine Love. But OMKARA represents much more than just a musical recording. It is also an ongoing research project that deals with sound in conjunction with medical facilities in India that work with conditions such as cancer, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, mental retardation, pain relief, depression, and more.

 

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Peace Is Now by Bodhi

CD: Peace Is Now
Artist: Bodhi
Contact: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bodhi12

Peace Is NowIf there was ever a timely moment for an album like Peace Is Now, this is one of them, with armed conflict erupting from Iraq, to Ukraine, to Israel, and other places around the globe. Not to mention all the inner unrest that so many people experience. Although a single CD may not end the world’s strife, the adage: “Think globally, act locally” certainly is appropriate. View full article »

CD: Language Of The Soul
Artist: Steven Vitali
Contact: http://www.stevenvitali.com/

Language-Of-The-SoulI always find it interesting to hear about the seminal life experiences that inspired an artist to want a career in music. For young Steven Vitali of Toronto, it was seeing an orchestra perform the “Nutcracker Suite” ballet. On that day, a seed was planted which blossomed into a diverse musical garden. View full article »

CD: muichi motsu
Artist: Maneki Neko
Contact: http://manekinekomusic.com/

muichi motsuManeki Neko (pronounced Ma-neh-kee Neh-ko) is the nom de plume, or more accurately, the musical identity of composer, soundscape artist, and recording engineer Al Mikula who specializes in electro-acoustic ambient music for yoga, relaxation, meditation, and massage therapy. View full article »

CD: Moments from the Life Stories of Strangers – Pt. 1
Artist: Steven Chesne with The Luminous World Orchestra
Contact: http://www.brahmasong.com/

moments-coverOften times as a musician settles into their career, they find their “niche” within a particular genre of music. Few that I’ve encountered, however, are comfortable (and accomplished) in as many styles as Los Angeles-based musician Steven Chesne. While his latest release could be classified as new age with classical and world music influences, the branches of his musicality spread out like those of a tree and has roots just as deep. View full article »

CD: With Evening Above
Artist: Jeff Pearce
Contact: www.jeffpearcemusic.com

With Evening AboveThe first descriptive phrase that comes to mind in regard to Jeff Pearce’s new release With Evening Above is “a return to form.” As I wrote in my feature article of his last album, the lovely In The Season of Fading Light:Jeff Pearce is best known for his impressionistic ambient guitarscapes, so the release of this decidedly piano-centric album was an unexpected event for people familiar with his previous music.” So “a return to form,” refers to the fact that this new release is totally guitar-based. View full article »

CD: Arctic Sunrise
Artist: Kerani
Contact: www.kerani.nl

Kerani-Arctic-Sunrise-CoverAccording to Wikipedia, a concept album is “a studio album where all musical or lyrical ideas contribute to a single overall theme or unified story.” I’ve always been a fan of concept albums, and Arctic Sunrise by Kerani is one of the most interesting and unique ones I’ve encountered in a while. View full article »

CD: Winds of Samsara
Artists: Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman
Contact: www.windsofsamsara.com

Winds of SamsaraThe concept of “samsara” as it is found in Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and others can be translated as “cycles of existence” or “continuous flow” and relates to the repeating cycle of birth, life, death, and reincarnation. This is a belief that is very familiar to composer/ producer Ricky Kej who was born and raised in India and continues to live and work in the city of Bangalore. While his life there would seem to be worlds away from that of South African composer/ flutist Wouter Kellerman, the two have found common ground musically and have woven together the disparate elements of their cultural backgrounds on this ground-breaking recording that features over 120 musicians from five continents. View full article »

Storm by Tim Neumark

CD: Storm
Artist: Tim Neumark
Contact: https://timneumark.com/

 

storm-coverTim Neumark is someone I’m quite familiar with having written an extensive artist profile on recently. Readers who may be interested to learn more about background of this talented piano maestro can check out the feature article here on Music and Media Focus. I ended the profile by saying: “Keep an eye out for a storm on the horizon – an album called Storm that is.” Well, it has arrived, and I’m happy to break through the clouds to the eye of the storm and give a complete weather forecast.

 

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CD: Mesa Verde Soundscapes
Artist: Jill Haley
Contact: http://jillhaley.com

Mesa Verde SoundscapesMesa Verde Soundscapes is the latest release from wind instrument virtuoso Jill Haley, and is the third album in a series that centers on National Parks. I had the honor of writing about her beautiful Zion and Bryce Canyon Soundscapes CD, which was a sequel to her Glacier Soundscapes. View full article »

CD: Ritual
Artists: Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai
Contact: www.mysteriummusic.com

RitualReprising their rich history of recording together, pianist Peter Kater and Native American flute virtuoso R. Carlos Nakai have once again joined forces on their first joint release in over a decade. Entitled Ritual, the album also features accompaniment by Paul Winter Consort alumni, Paul McCandless on soprano sax, English horn, and oboe, Jaques Morelenbaum on cello, who is best known for performing with Sting, and the ethereal vocals of Trisha Bowden who also served as this album’s executive producer, View full article »

Ann Licater
Invitation from Within
www.annlicater.com

Invitation From WithinThe flute has to be one of the most soothing instruments of all, and in the hands of a sensitive multi-talented artist like Ann Licater it’s sound is a gift to the body, mind, and spirit. On her latest release, Invitation from Within Ann plays silver and alto flute, as well as Native American flutes. The album features solo, duet, and multi-instrumental compositions. View full article »

CD: Dharma Rain
Artist: Chronotope Project
Contact:  http://www.chronotope-project.com/

Dharma_Rain_COVERThe release of a new album by Jeffrey Ericson Allen, aka Chronotope Project is always a major musical event for me. I am a huge fan of his recordings and greatly enjoyed listening to and writing about his previous releases Chrysalis and Event Horizon, which I called: “a quietly masterful release that now occupies a place in the upper echelons of my all-time favorite ambient electronic music.” View full article »

Accidental Etudes by Milana

CD: Accidental Etudes
Artist: Milana
Contact: www.milana.ws

accidental etudesWhile some composers may spend great amounts of time and effort carefully writing each note and chord change of their music with pencil on notation paper, others choose to create spontaneously according to their inspiration in the moment. Pianist Milana is one of the later, who as poet William Blake described: “kisses the joy as it flies.” The title of her new album Accidental Etudes is descriptive of this aspect of her creative process. View full article »

CD: The Dream Exchange
Artist: John Luttrell
Contact: www.johnluttrell.com

The Dream ExchangeIt’s not surprising that the music of guitarist/keyboardist John Luttrell incorporates a variety of different influences, given the diversity of his background. A true world citizen, John was born in Venezuela and has lived in Libya, Nigeria, Switzerland, England, and currently in the US. Described as “Atmospheric Music,” his sound draws from ambient, new age, jazz, and progressive rock. His professional resume includes writing scores and soundtracks for several films, documentaries, and multimedia projects. View full article »

CD: Time Apart
Artist: Simon Reich
Contact: www.facebook.com/simon.reich.927

Time ApartAustralian pianist and composer Simon Reich has had a distinguished career so far, and it shows no signs of slowing down. Although, while his newest release is piano-based, to be accurate I should expand his title from pianist to “multi-instrumentalist,” since he also plays synthesizers and guitar in some of his other music. But whatever the moniker, his accolades include awards for songwriting, film scores, and a Peoples Choice Award in top 25 tracks Smithsonian Remix competition. View full article »

CD: By a Wire
Artist: Jennifer DeFrayne
Contact: www.facebook.com/jenniferdefraynemusic

By a Wire coverForged in the fires of personal loss and tempered by the inspiration of overcoming, Jennifer DeFrayne has crafted musical gold from the lead of life’s challenges. Her sensitive piano melodies reflect a range of heartfelt emotions, from wistful remembrances to hope-filled dreams, and more. Produced by renowned Australian pianist Fiona Joy and Grammy winning Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman, a number of A-list studio musicians accompany Jennifer on her profound musical journey, making this an evocative and deeply moving listening experience.

 

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CD: Closer
Artist: Louis Colaiannia
Contact: www.louismusic.com

CloserWith the title of award winning pianist Louis Colaiannia’s previous album being The Next Stage, and his latest release titled Closer, it certainly sounds like he is on a trajectory towards reaching his musical goal. However, after listening to this new album, I get the feeling that he may have already arrived. View full article »

CD: Inner Circle
Artist: Peter Calandra
Contact: www.petecalandramusic.com

Inner CircleAlthough he is best known for his extensive body of work in film and TV soundtracks, composer/ pianist Peter Calandra steps into the spotlight in his other role as a recording artist of his own music with the release of his imaginative new CD, Inner Circle. The album sparkles, reflecting a rainbow spectrum of his musical influences ranging from classical to new age, jazz, Latin, and more

 

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CD: Life Under Stars
Artist: Carl Weingarten
Contact: www.carlweingarten.com

Life Under StarsI really like the first line in this quote from ambient guitarist Carl Weingarten, speaking about the inspiration for his new album: “Someone once told me that people don’t have ideas, ideas have people. And such is the case with Life Under Stars.  What began as a whisper in solitude took shape over the next seven years and eventually became a chorus of pedal steel, flutes, trumpet, bass, piano, percussion, vocals, and guitars.” View full article »

CD: Emergence
Artist: Lawrence Blatt
Contact: www.lawrenceblatt.com

EmegenceThe conceptual foundation of award winning guitarist Lawrence Blatt’s new CD, Emergence is one of the most interesting I’ve heard in a while. The blending of science and music is not often found, but for Lawrence, who studied both microbiology and music as an undergraduate, and went on to earn an MBA and a PhD in science, the combination comes naturally and brings together his two passions in life. View full article »

DVD: An Evening with Ann Sweeten
Artist: Ann Sweeten
Contact: www.annsweeten.com

Live-at-the-St-GeorgeHaving recently written about Ann Sweeten’s excellent CD, Tapestries of Time, I was excited to receive her brand new live concert video entitled An Evening with Ann Sweeten: Live at the St. George. Hearing an artist on an audio recording is wonderful, but actually seeing them perform their music live on a DVD adds another whole dimension to the experience. As I mentioned in my review of her CD, Ann is an award-winning pianist and an official “Steinway Artist.” View full article »

CD: Passionata
Artist: Denise Young
Contact: http://deniseyoung.com/

Passionata-by-Denise-YoungFor many people, the quest to find love and fulfill their passion in life is all consuming. Those who are fortunate enough to have found that path and set foot upon it are truly blessed. One such person is Denise Young. Her third and newest release, Passionata, is a reflection of that desire.

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Craftsman by Bob Ardern

CD: Craftsman
Artist: Bob Ardern
Contact: www.bobardern.ca

 

CraftsmanCanadian finger-style guitarist Bob Ardern has a hard act to follow with his new album entitled Craftsman. That act is his previous release Wires Rosewood and Roots, which debuted at number 3 on the Zone Music Reporter Album Chart in March 2012, and was in the number 1 spot within two months. View full article »

Artist: Tim Neumark
Contact: https://timneumark.com/

Tim NeumarkWith the release of his fourth album, aptly titled Opus Four, pianist and composer Tim Neumark has been gaining recognition and is making a name for himself among the ranks of solo piano artists. The recording has received award nominations for classical and new age tracks, and it was nominated for Neoclassical/Classical Album of the year at SoloPiano.com. He sees his music as a blend of new age, classical and inspirational styles with influence by artists such as David Lanz, John Tesh, Yanni, Kostia, and Antonin Dvorak. Tim’s inspiration comes from his feelings and thoughts about the world and people around him. View full article »

CD: New Horizon
Artist: Minstrel Streams
Contact: www.minstrelstreams.com

New HorizonThe word “confluence” can be defined as: “where streams flow together to form a river.” This is significant, not only in that it is connected to how the duo Minstrel Streams got their name, but also on a much more personal level. Matt and Rebecca Stuart were introduced as fellow musicians under “chance” circumstances to discuss a songwriting project, and to make a long story short, wound up not only creating a musical entity, but also becoming husband and wife just six months later – the ultimate confluence. Since they began playing together in 2008, the duo has released four albums, including their latest, New Horizon.

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CD: Solo Piano Tales
Artist: Piotr Komorowski
Contact: www.piotrkomorowski.pl

Solo Piano TalesTo say that Polish pianist and conductor Piotr Komorowski has had a distinguished professional career would certainly be an understatement. Not content to rest on his laurels, however, he is constantly exploring and pursuing new creative frontiers. View full article »

CD: Sacred Name Sacred Codes
Artist: J.J. Hurtak & Desiree Hurtak with Steven Halpern
Contact: www.keysofenoch.org/html/music.html

Sacred Name Sacred CodesIn recent years the number of albums being released which center on devotional singing, chanting mantras, kirtan, etc. has been on the rise. This is a good indication that more and more spiritual seekers are looking to sound and music that goes beyond entertainment, and which can be used as a tool for inner attunement. A new entry into this genre, although based on very ancient teachings, is Sacred Name Sacred Codes by Drs. J.J. Hurtak and Desiree Hurtak, that features a musical soundtrack well known new age music pioneer and sound healer Steven Halpern. View full article »

CD: Tapestries of Time
Artist: Ann Sweeten
Contact: www.annsweeten.com

Tapestries of TimeAs guitarist/songwriter Steve Miller sang in one of his many radio classics: “Time keeps on ticking… into the future.” The subject of time is one that has intrigued artists, musicians, and writers, inspiring them to create reflections of its mysteries. The new album, Tapestries of Time, by award-winning pianist and official “Steinway Artist” Ann Sweeten, is one of these. In her words: “The pieces on this album have to do with time in some concept or other. There may be a direct reference, a captured moment, an isolated experience or inspiration drawn from a particular event, the idea of infinity and limitless possibility.” View full article »

The Healing by Char-El

CD: The Healing
Artist: Char-El
Contact: www.char-el.com

The HealingI must say that I have been a long-time fan of the otherworldly music of Ohio-based synthesist and keyboardist/composer Charles Thaxton who records under the name of Char-El.  So the news of his latest release, The Healing, was not only music to my ears, but to my mind and body as well, which I’ll talk about in a minute. View full article »

CD: Out Of Nothing
Artist: Matteo Palmer
Contact: www.matteopalmermusic.com

Out Of NothingAlthough I’ve been playing the guitar for almost 50 years, after hearing Matteo Palmer, I may never play again. Just kidding of course, but it was sobering to realize that at the tender age of 17, Matteo is already a more accomplished guitarist than I will ever be, although our styles are different. And the fact is that he is not just good for someone his age, he is amazing for any age.  View full article »

Chakra Love by Mantrananda

 

CD: Chakra Love
Artist: Mantrananda.
Contact: www.chakraboosters.com

Chakra LoveChakra Love is the debut CD from a Los Angeles-based duo of Vicki Howie and Jeff Bonilla who record under the name Mantrananda. The word means “the bliss of spiritual sayings (mantras).” Incidentally, for those who may not be familiar, chakras are the energy centers of the body as described in Eastern spiritual teachings. View full article »

CD: River Serene
Artist: Timothy Wenzel
Contact: www.timothywenzel.com

River SereneI must say that I’ve always had a fondness for “concept albums,” or recordings that weave a thread throughout. Such is the case with keyboardist Timothy Wenzel’s new release entitled River Serene. This album follows in the wake of his previous highly successful album, A Coalescence Of Dreams, which was ranked in the number 5 spot on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 radio airplay chart. River Serene is Timothy’s third release, and I have every reason to believe that it will be as popular, if not more so, than his earlier ones.

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Sojourn by Jim Gabriel

CD: Sojourn
Artist: Jim Gabriel
Contact: www.jim-gabriel.com

SojournOne thing that has not been lost on pianist Jim Gabriel is the value of education  – both his own, and that which he imparts to others. With so much being said these days about the cutting of funding to arts programs in the schools, its gratifying to see someone like Jim who has done so much with his extensive education and is now giving back to a new generation, as a music teacher and choir director. View full article »

Nocturnes by Dan Chadburn

CD: Nocturnes
Artist: Dan Chadburn
Contact: www.danchadburn.com

NocturnesNocturnes is the fourth album release from classically trained pianist Dan Chadburn, whose performance venues have included Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston and The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Additionally, his choral compositions have been recorded and performed in the Concert Hall of The Kennedy Center. View full article »

CD: The Undiscovered Horizon
Artist: Harrison Edwards
Contact: www.harrison-music.com

The Undiscovered HorizonDescribed as “a poet who expresses himself through his music,” Harrison Edwards is a multi-instrumental musician and composer, as well as being a novelist. His latest CD release, The Undiscovered Horizon, follows his previous three successful albums, each of which was in the Top 100 on New Age radio airplay charts. View full article »