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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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By Michael Brant DeMaria
Label: Ontos Music
Released 1/1/2018
Ama tracks
1. Ama
2. Night Voyage
3. Stella Maris
4. Lost
5. Beyond The Veil
6. Between The Worlds
7. Mysteria
8. Renascence
9. Shimmering Light
10. Arrival
Listen and wonder
What do water, mother, and love have in common? They have all been given life by the same root word, ama, in various languages. It makes so much sense that Dr. Michael Brant DeMaria, composer, flutist, and metaphysician combines the organics of water, the effect and affection of mother, and the poetry of love into a single themed album called Ama. I have reviewed a number of Michael’s albums and I can say that this is his best work to date. His recordings in the past have consisted of his flute and various New Age, Celtic, and contemporary concepts, but this album has a complexity heretofore unheard of by me by this talented composer and sound healer. He offers otherworldly elements usually found on electronic albums, light orchestral variants that have meditative qualities, and ambient soundscapes that seem to invite you on a journey of the spirit, and all centered on his main subject.

The track Ama opens the album, setting the scene for the first step through an open door. Music is the universal key here and Michael gives it up freely, opening the lock for us. The voice in the distance calls, invites, and beckons the heart to enter. Icy cold piano and haunting flute combine in a celestial summons. The Native American essentia in the mix has a natural soothing effect on the spirit.

Stella Maris is our guiding star and our light in the distance. Like most stars, what we see is not all that the star is. The glistening light we perceive in the night sky is a cloak of light that hides the fire within. De Maria’s song is an elegant, flowing strain that suggest that love, is a smile perhaps on the surface, but inside, our own hearts burn with love and desire.

As in the song with the same title, I understand the concept of Lost. A life or a soul with no direction, no purpose, no end point. Michael’s music offers the sense of wandering aimlessly, an entity with no motion of its own and a victim of the solar winds. Or perhaps more frighteningly, adrift with our own thoughts as our only companions.

It is a universal question; what lies beyond the veil? In Michael's song Beyond the Veil our inner spirit is allowed the autonomy to explore the concept through meditation, reflection, prayer, and thought. The music is a neutral zone so to speak. It is a continuous stream of gentle waves that are cool, benign, and uncluttered. Sometimes the experience of someone close to us passing triggers the process. At other times it is the thought of own immortality that prompts the question.

One of my many favorites on the recording is called Mysteria. It is a blend of ethereal flute and gentle waves of sound that embrace the spirit. It is suitable to navigate within the mists to find what we are looking for. We must remember to go forward, ever forward.

What had been dormant is now awake as in the tune, Renascence. The journey has led to a transformation, a metamorphosis and it has made the world different on every plane. This is another favorite that is a mesmerizing, yet blissful score that you might hear when a flower blooms or the sun rises.

The final cut, but not the end of the experience, is called Arrival. Yes, we may have reached our last stop, but then the real journey begins. The journey of the awakened spirit. Nothing is the same. No one is the same. The undertaking has opened up towering gates of wonder. The music has made it so.

For Michael De Maria, Ama represents a journey of experience and discovery three years and more in the making but it is the listener who will benefit in the same way simply by opening their hearts and their minds to the flow of sound. As a listener, I have been given a gift of time and space for introspective rumination, for day dreaming, for pondering. Water flows, mothers give, and love binds the universe. What are your thoughts?

Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 12/15/2017
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