While I have enjoyed Anaya’s previous keyboard-based albums, her new release, Eternity, in collaboration with a live symphony orchestra, brings out the richness and dimension of her stirring compositions, taking the music to another level all together. Anaya’s desire to elevate the human spirit is deeply felt in every note of this inspired recording.
In writing about Anaya’s last release, Fifth Essence, I shared a lot about her fascinating background in both music and academia, so readers who may be interested can refer to that feature article for details. But briefly, music has been an important part of Anaya’s life from an early age in her native Brazil, a country known for its music. Her interest in piano, keyboards, guitar, and singing has been a thread that has woven through Anaya’s life, although her focus has often shifted between this and academic pursuits where she went on to earn doctoral and post-doctoral degrees in Information Studies. She also was the director of the Applied Social Studies department at the University of Brasilia and did work in her field for the United Nations.
These brief highlights barely scratch the surface of Anaya’s accomplishments. However her education also extends beyond the traditional into an extensive list of holistic health and metaphysical studies, which have in turn, played an important role in the healing direction her music has taken over the years. Reading a full account of her impressive and diverse career reveals an incredibly well rounded person with a passion for life, learning, and a desire to help others.
Anaya brings a universal and deeply spiritual perspective to her music, which she sees as a vehicle for healing and awakening consciousness; to fulfill a collective yearning shared by humanity for harmony, unity, and balance. In relation to her album, Eternity, she shares: “The essence of Love is Eternity. Love transcends time. Beyond memories of a beginning and fear of an end, our immortal soul symbolizes love and Eternal life. Music becomes a gateway to the realization and integration of our deepest feelings of love, grief, fear, joy, and peace. Our best instrument is the universal harmony of being.” Anaya sees music as a global language, and as she shared in our interview: “I always search for the Sound that resonates with my soul. Music permeates the universe and integrates my world.”
While she has many albums to her credit, Anaya’s lifelong dream has been to record with a symphony orchestra. On Eternity, that dream has finally become a reality. To quote from her liner notes: “This unique production features a virtual collaboration and real time recording in cyberspace between Anaya in Brazil, a live symphony orchestra in Prague, and Steve Salani at Orchestra.net Studios in Los Angeles. The symphony orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.” This is indeed a unique production that utilizes the latest in interactive technology in a way that would have been inconceivable not that long ago.
The opening track is entitled “Dharma,” a word derived from Eastern religion that means something along the lines of “adherence to Divine law or cosmic order.” This is quite appropriate in that Anaya is truly following her dharma in the heavenly uplifting music she creates and shares with the world. The piece begins with a sweet violin playing over a string section with a neo-classical feel. As it evolves, the sound of harp and flute add a celestial ambiance. There is a heartfelt warmth to the composition that makes for wonderful welcome into Anaya’s musical world.
The soothing sound of a babbling brook paired with subtle strings carries the listener along in its flow on track 2, “New Skies.” In the new age genre, I’m so used to synthesizers emulating the sound of strings and orchestral sounds, I had to remind myself that I was actually hearing the real thing, and not electronic instruments. In trying to describe the first half of track 3, “Cosmos,” the thought that come to mind is that the music creates a feeling of being held in the embrace of a loved one. It seems to envelop you, providing a sense of comfort and peace. About half way through, the sound of orchestral bells, percussion, and woodwinds add to the strings with a feeling of awakening like a warm Spring day with the earth thawing out and coming back to life.
On track 5, “Love’s River,” as on many of Anaya’s previous albums, the piano plays a primary role in creating the melody against a subtly symphonic background. In a tribute to the spirit of the Earth, a track called “Gaia” reflects a contrast between sounds that are ethereal and those that are more terrestrial, including chirping birds and natural elements, perhaps integrating the energies of Mother Earth and Father Sky. The album draws to a conclusion with a grand composition entitled “Once in Time.” Like time itself, the piece has an expansive quality that flows along, adding a sense of drama as it unfolds.
One word that came up for me many times while listening and thinking of how best to describe this music is “cinematic.” I could easily imagine any track on this album as being a film score. While that may evoke images of grandiose music, one of the things that I most appreciated about this recording is that the orchestra was often quite subtle, while being exquisitely expressive in its understatement. Another aspect that stood out to me in Anaya’s music is the sense of warmth and loving heart energy that comes through in every song. This is not something that can just be added to a composition like an ingredient in a recipe, but is a genuine quality that flows from the being of the composer and their attunement to the source of that love. This is certainly one of her strong points, both as a musician and a person. In this regard, I will leave the final words to Anaya as she describes, what in essence, is her dharma: “My path is to touch people’s soul through music as I connect to my own inner Being. It has been an amazing journey of transcendence with and through musical arts. The magic of music and the profound feelings of love are a divine instrument of perfection to give re-birth to our soul.”