Voices From Heaven by Runar Halonen & Tron Syversen

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.

As on a number of his other releases, Tron has felt inspired to incorporate wordless vocals into his music, and as the Runar Halonentitle implies, Voices From Heaven is no exception. This time he has chosen to collaborate with vocalist and sound healer Runar Halonen. Interestingly, Runar has had no formal instruction or background in music or singing, yet became drawn to it from an inner calling. In his words: “I have never attended courses in voice training – everything has come to me naturally. The therapeutic energies from the spirit world have been my greatest teacher during my healing with sound.” He goes on to say: “My development in healing and mediumship started unexpectedly in the fall of 1996, and since then these abilities have progressed gradually through my own realizations and expansion of consciousness. Prior to these events, I had never read any books or attended any courses or lectures about healing.” However, in 2000 Runar completed a study of Reflexology and began working in the field full time in 2003. He has also authored a book about his spiritual awakening entitled “My Amazing Transformation,” that details his own personal story of healing and the inner directive he received: “… to build bridges between heaven and earth.”

Tron SyversenBy contrast, Tron has had extensive experience in music, starting at the age of seven with formal training in classical piano, and later branching into playing trumpet. He went on to study jazz and has played in a variety of settings from big bands to accompanying choirs, and more. Perhaps it was the influence of his favorite early new age music artists like Vangelis, Kitaro, and the Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden that planted a seed of interest in Tron to begin creating music for relaxation. Although he had built a successful career as a businessman, the opportunity to create meditation music for a doctor working with pain management nurtured his creative side, leading to a full time career in music with over a dozen albums. As he now says: “If my music helps people in their daily lives, I have accomplished more than just entertainment. The music on Voices From Heaven can be used solely for sound healing or in conjunction with other holistic therapies.”

While Tron has extensive experience in composing various kinds of music, the approach he took for Voices From Heaven was a bit different. In his words: “These tracks were created without previous planning. We put ourselves into a state of mind so that the music could come to us freely. I began playing and recording the music, and Runar started using his voice in a way he had never done before.” The album consists of three extended tracks. The first one, entitled “Voices In Heaven’s Cathedral” is the shortest at just over 16 minutes in length. Tron has created an interesting mix in his soundscape that includes drone-like string sounds surrounded by a subtly swirling blend of ambient synthesizer textures that provide both sonic substance and animation. An additional feeling of motion is created by an electronic drum track that is very low in the mix, yet just audible enough to add an understated groove and sense of flow. Runar’s long sustained vocal tones blend perfectly and the addition of reverb and echo effects produces an ethereal ambience that is true to the cathedral-like atmosphere of song’s title.

Track 2, “Voices For Mother Earth,” is a couple minutes longer than the first track at a generous 18:23. The music charts a similar course but with some different synth sounds and no rhythm track. An instrumental interlude in the middle of the song soared on Tron’s synth flute improvisations. While it is quite spatial, there is also more of a terrestrial quality that befits its namesake. Runar’s toning has a bit more range on this one that include some lower notes as compared to the first piece. As he explains: “Sound healing creates unique frequencies that are very specific for each situation. Different vocal sounds appear – both high and low notes. Through inner images, I see where the sound is working.” According to Runar, when he does his vocal toning, he enters a timeless state that is different from any other state of consciousness he experiences. In that space, he feels connected to a light-filled energy and the tones that he evokes are guided by that energy, rather than his conscious control.

Stairs-to-HeavenIf the listener hasn’t drifted deep into inner space by this point, track 3, “Voices Of Dreams,” will certainly take them the rest of the way there. Meditative electric piano reminiscent of classic Steven Halpern floats gently over a lush synthesizer soundscape while Runar’s heavenly wordless vocals trace vapor trails in the soft clouds of sound. It was interesting how I could feel the frequencies of Runar’s toning finding resonance in different places energetically. Listening with headphones and eyes closed, some of the lower notes were experienced in the solar plexus, while other frequencies were more focused in the upper regions.

As Tron alluded to earlier, this is not music for entertainment, but perhaps the word “entrainment” would be more appropriate. Voices From Heaven would make a wonderful soundtrack for meditation, massage, yoga, or any type of healing work. The atmosphere it creates is quite immersive and makes it easy to tune out the world around you and turn your focus inward. I’ll leave the final words to Runar who says: “We believe this music will promote the listener’s inner balance. This energy, represented here as music, is the driving force of everything we see around us, yes, in the entire universe. We want to activate your own healing processes. All humans have the ability to heal themselves, and we want this music to help facilitate that therapy.”