||Just when I thought I knew what New Age flautist Sherry Finzer was up to, she changed on me. I had reviewed an album of hers a few years ago and was quite pleased with what I had heard. Now she changes her tune and goes somewhat minimalist of me and, it works wonderfully. Her echoing flute compositions have become dreamy, almost fantasias in the truer sense, but they still maintains an organic element that is usually not common in acoustic music. Her latest is called Sanctuary II Earth, the second album in her Sanctuary Series, containing six tracks of placid guitar and flute combinations that are as peaceful as cool, flowing water or pale, afternoon sunlight. The word "relaxing" seems to float around every track making it perfect for meditation, yoga, reiki, or just plain thinking.
Imagine a long camera shot of our planet from space. The sun seeps over the horizon like a timely guest. Swirling white clouds eddy almost imperceptibly above the rumpled, buff mountains and cerulean oceans. As I get closer I hear the tune Earth with its gentle guitar by Darin Mahoney and Sherry's mournful flute. The clouds disappear and the ruggedness of the terrain becomes substantial and I am witness to the green hills of earth. In my mind, the song produces color from the hands of some unseen Artist.
If I were a bird, I would not have to work hard to be uplifted into the heavens by the sound of Dream Flight. The musical thermals produced by a soft, continuous drone and the flute would lift me high into the sky and take me on a journey that lasted the whole day. Below me, life would carry on and I would be privy to the changes, the action and the excitement.
Tranquil Waters starts with a burbling sound of liquid. It accompanies the flute like a friend and, together, their journey down stream begins. The sound not only produces the sense of calmness, but evokes images of all that water symbolizes; a steady flow, life-giving nourishment, coolness, and the passing of time.
Leafy, green-tinged sunlight and an azure sky is the background my favorite tune on Earth II called Woodlands. I guess it goes back to one of my first and favorite 1980's New Age albums by Lanz, Tingstad and Rumbel of the same name. In Sherry's resonant tune I can sense dappled light in the tree tops. I walk on cool forest paths silent with a carpet of pine needles and I can smell the fresh earth as I travel in my mind.
Redwoods (Remix) is from her Desert Journey album and a welcomed remake. It is the epitome of placidity. Like the ancient tress there is height and girth to the tune and a sense that once you look up, there is no end to the loftiness. But above all else, these sequoia sentinels retain a sense of strength that is unsurpassed by anything mortal.
If the sound of peace seems to escape, then you put on Sherry Finzer's album and find just what you are looking for. It is music that produces a feeling of quietude that lets you dream, grow, think or heal with the press of the PLAY button.