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Movements of the Heart by David Lanz
- posted by John Iverson on 11/19/2013
A New Age Solo Piano Masterpiece
Right from the opening track, "Love's Return", it's quite obvious that the latest release from this new age music icon is something special and extraordinary! David recently moved from Washington state to upstate New York, and what surely had to be a drastic change for him after so many years in the Pacific northwest may just have inspired this album, perhaps even as the opening piece suggests, the return of love.
The root of David Lanz's music has always been solo piano - beautiful melodies that come straight from the heart and are poured out through his instrument so stunningly and emotionally as if it were a part of him. So when a solo piano album like this one is released you can be sure that it will be something very special. Quite simply stated the album is thirteen amazing pieces of music, and you can't really pick a favourite from among them. Of particular note however are "Love's Return", "On Rainbow Way", Rainlight", and the title track "Movements of the Heart".
To David's credit he has always been an artist that other new age pianists admire and aspire to be like, and with the release of Movements of the Heart he again proves himself worthy of this esteem.
I have admired David Lanz's artistry since his days on the Narada label in the mid 1980's, and this album ranks among the finest that he has done! The album is classic David Lanz, and is breathtaking from start to finish. David is a master of the piano, knowing how to utilize all the sonorities, colours and vocal range of the instrument to full advantage, producing a sound that is full-bodied and radiant. This album is certainly destined to be yet another classic for this tireless composer and performer, and a must have for all David Lanz fans!
Rating: Excellent
Transcendence by Sean Christopher
- posted by John Iverson on 11/19/2013
Transcend the Depths of Your Soul
When I first received this disc it didn't register with me that this was an artist that I had heard beforehand, but when I listened to it the music was instantly recognizable. Sean Christopher was none other than Sean (Christopher) Dockery, the remarkable artist behind the stunning album Sojourns, which was released a few years ago.
With Transcendence Sean takes your soul on a extraordinary otherworldly journey, leaving earth and journeying across the universe for what seems like an eternity before finally reaching paradise. Musically he does this with evolving synthesizer textures, celestial choirs, and the stunning playing of violin virtuoso Andrew Sords. Also featured on this album is the voice of boy soprano Collin McKinley on the piece "Into the Black Hole". All of the material on this album is original, with the exception of "Luna's Song", which is a beautiful re-working of the haunting opening movement of Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata.
Sean only entered the new age genre about ten years ago, and his long-standing love of classical music permeates throughout the music that he creates. This was very evident with Sojourns, an album that won several awards, and has continued impeccably with Transcendence, which in my opinion is destined to achieve the same renown as its predecessor did. All of the tracks on this album are brilliant, and the album flows beautifully from one selection to the next. I particularly enjoyed the opening track "Gloria" with its heavenly choir, "Into the Black Hole" with the stunning voice of Collin McKinley, and the ghostly "Sleeping on Oort Clouds". No sophomore jinx with Transcendence, just a superb follow-up to Sojourns, and another new age masterpiece from Sean Christopher!
Rating: Excellent
Language Of The Soul by Steven Vitali
- posted by John Iverson on 11/19/2013
Soul Connection
If you have been to an airshow featuring a performance by the Snowbirds, Canada's air acrobatic team, within the past sixteen years then chances are you have heard the music of Steven Vitali, who composed the stunning music that accompanies their performances. With Language of the Soul this talented and determined Canadian composer, arranger and multi-instrumentalist has released a gem that is destined to be his best album thus far, and a true classic in the new age genre.
Language of the Soul is a wonderful cross-section of Steven's compositional styles and skills, from fresh upbeat rhythms that make you want to get up and dance, to soft and tender melodies that will soothe your soul. Right from the opening track to the final one, this assortment of instrumental music will both entertain you and captivate you, with all of it coming straight from the heart. And what is even more remarkable is the fact that Steven plays all of the instruments on this album himself!
Listen carefully to the pieces on this album and you will find that each one tells its own story. For example, "Red Piano" was written as a tribute to the aforementioned Snowbirds, the beautiful "Forever Germaine" is an homage to his mother, and the touching "My Father, My Prayer" details the honour and respect that he has for his dad. But it's hard to choose favourites in this collection - all of the pieces can certainly stand on their own merit. But collectively they form a carefully crafted work of art, a true masterpiece in the world of music!
So if you are looking for music that will inspire you, look no further. This collection will evoke images in your mind, trigger emotions within you, and satisfy your hunger for heartfelt music. Steven Vitali aspires to be "the best he can be", and with Language of the Soul he has certainly achieved that!
Rating: Excellent
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