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Isalc”Li by Anaya
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 8/8/2019
Raising your vibrations and leaving you with a fee
Anaya has created a niche for herself within the music industry as one of the fastest growing artists that resides somewhere between the New Age and Neo Classical musical bracket, regardless of that, listening to her music is akin to hearing and seeing the first day of spring break, it’s so refreshing.
This new offering is called Isalc"Li: A Love Odyssey and it is on this journey of the heart we must go now. Luminous starts this voyage of sonic bliss with a really elevating opening that reminded me of Deuter at times, with a lush tapestry of tone and musical beauty, this as a starting piece was the perfect beginning.
We now move onto the splendour and ethereal harmonics of Sacred Heart, the sweeping sounds of Anaya’s keyboards and her performance on this offering were very redolent of what we used to hear years back from Isao Tomita, thankfully Anaya has pulled this style into the modern era and manifested a wonderful moment of musical mastery for us all.
One of the tracks that really moved me was this one called String Passion, Movement 1. It’s natural poise and uplifting nature was so beautifully created and a pleasure to listen to, the energetic waves of passion were so deeply empowering, at times I felt the fluency was so sublime that the piece literally transported me away to a realm of utter musical bliss.
We now move to the longest piece of the album called String Passion Movement 2. A slightly more gentle approach can perhaps be felt here, one tenderly composed with love and passion in full flow; at just short of 7 minutes in length, it is a pleasurable segment of time to just relax and enjoy all the clever nuances within this composition, one performed with such a loving intent, it transmuted the whole energy of the song to a much higher vibrational level.
The tempo slows appreciably here on this next track called Ethereal Love. I adored this offering; there was something so warm and comforting about the construction and over all feel of the arrangement, one that filled my heart with the joy of gratitude. The smooth performance on keyboards by the artist here is the apex of playing with the heart on the sleeve, and one so very emotional to float within.
Now to a subject matter I know pretty well, I once studied Greek Mythology and this very piece is about one of the gods and called Alethea, who you may know, was the goddess of truth and the pursuit of finding that truth that is within each of us. The performance here is fascinating, at times slightly mysterious, but you can always feel a sense of unconditional love cascading throughout the piece.
The penultimate offering was one of my all-time Anaya favourites and called Dharma. In my Buddhist teachings I relate to this word as meaning cosmic law order. The incredibly passionate and empowering melodies here at times reminded me of composer Vaughn Williams and the strings on this piece must have been honed with his energy, it was simply moving and emotive, all at the same time, I just never wanted this moment of musical beauty to end.
Our last track contains the skills on cello of one Steve Salani, and the track Breath is the perfecting parting piece. This is one of many fine neo classical offerings from the album, one that at times reminds me of the work of composer Eric Whitacre in its ability to move you to the very roots of your being. There is a wonderful sense of a symbiosis too, of that classical style being mixed perfectly with the ethereal energies of the new age genre, for one of the best end of album tracks I have heard this year.
Isalc"Li: A Love Odyssey in my opinion is easily Anaya’s best work so far, one that spirals us into a whole new musical dimension of love and heartfelt magical arrangements. Anaya has got it all perfectly balanced here; the music has a splendid cohesion and fluency, the performances are all manifested from the purest form of genius we have ever heard from her, and I really would love to recommend this release to you all, it is a thing of beauty, and creation, a compilation of musical offerings that will truly raise your vibrations and leave you with a sense of utter peace contentment at its conclusion.
Rating: Excellent
Before Sunrise by Jeff Greinke
- posted by Astral Jim on 8/8/2019
Amazing portraits of a time when most are dreaming
Eight amazing portraits of a time when most are dreaming. This is what I think of as classical music today, piano, cello, viola, winds, brass, vibraphone, a huge night landscape in the desert, and just a hint of synthesizers are used as a palette to sonically paint these impressionistic delights. A series of instrumental soundscapes examining the longest hours before the light of dawn. I like “The River” because of the uplifting interlocking motion. I like “Mountains and Clouds” because of the layers and details, a very interesting exploration of an imaginary view of a mountain in the darkness as the dawn progresses. Overall, Before Sunrise is a satisfying and thrilling series of chamber music performances with plenty of charm and variety, smiling friends playing great music together. You can hear that it is a real violin bow and the sound of breath in a brass instrument, and it sure makes a difference in the listening experience.
Rating: Excellent
Echo by Chris Russell
- posted by Astral Jim on 8/8/2019
Riding in a UFO through inner earth
Caves are dark, and it can be hard to tell just how big they are. When I listen to this album I imagine riding in a UFO with my new friends from far away, and we are exploring huge caves that have rare and long forgotten treasures hidden in the darkness. This is a fine example of music that is not music, there is seldom a beat, there are lots of strange and pleasant sounds, and it has a compositional coherence, while keeping a mystery about what might happen next. Mr. Russell takes field recordings and found sounds, electronically treating and sculpting them into a form of science fiction, illustrating strange scenes in strange places. I find this to be more satisfying entertainment than the old verse chorus verse business, but there is a place for all these things. On Echo my favorite tracks are “Radium,” which combines dark mystery with a positive bouncy pattern played with small mallets on glass and metal objects. I like to listen to “Varuna,” with its deep oceans hidden in a really big cave, and “Sparse” because of the ancient wandering energy it brings, this song feels to me like an exotic caravan you come upon and travel with for a time.
Rating: Excellent
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