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A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E /
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47
MUSIC
Reviews
by Michael Diamond
SCOTT AUGUST
Radiant Sky
Cedar Mesa Music
www.cedarmesa.com
Among players of Native
American flute music, such as
Carlos Nakai and Coyote Old-
man, Scott August ranks as one
of the foremost in the world. He
has been nominated and has
won numerous awards includ-
ing the Native American Music
Award.
In addition to being a leading
authority on the instrument, he
has been a headline performer at
various music festivals, and has
produced four CD's previous to
this one, which have garnered
airplay on nationally-syndicated
radio programs such as "Hearts
Of Space" and "Echoes".
After being impressed by the
visual nature of Scott's early mu-
sic, well-known composer Brian
Eno suggested that Scott consider
creating scores for film, TV, etc.
Following that advice he soon
had a client list that included
The Discovery Channel, NASA,
Minolta, Lexus, and many oth-
ers.
Speaking about "Radiant
Sky," Scott says "this is probably
my most contemplative album."
Ethereal space-music dream-
scapes provide a soothing and
mystical background for his
flute playing along with addi-
tional accompaniment by Scott
on piano, guitar, percussion, and
exotic world instruments. In ad-
dition to the traditional native
wood flute, he also plays the
rare Anasazi rim-blown flutes,
which very few musicians have
mastered.
The combination of ancient
hand-made instruments with
more modern electronic textures
is mesmerizing, and transports
the listener into the dreamtime.
While some of the compositions
float effortlessly in spacious
ambience, gentle rhythmic cur-
rents provide a bit of percussive
groove to other songs. This al-
bum weaves a sensuous sonic
tapestry and I highly recommend
it.
MERCEDES BAHLEDA
Mercy Songs
White Swan Records
www.whiteswanrecords.com
www.mercedesbahleda.com
"Mercy Songs" is a beautiful
and haunting album of devo-
tional music that encompasses
Latin Christian church hymns,
Tibetan Buddhist mantras, and
ancient Vedic chants. It is rare
to find these diverse musical and
spiritual influences together un-
der one roof, so to speak. How-
ever, given Mercedes' diverse
background it all makes perfect
sense. Beginning life in New
York City as a Roman Catholic,
she became deeply involved in
the study of voice, choir, chant-
ing, and Christian meditation.
Her later spiritual evolution
led her to the East where she
became immersed in the yogic
tradition and teachings. She is
currently practicing Buddhism
and incorporates all that she
has learned about spirituality
and music over the years in her
own classes as well as serving
on the teaching staff of New York
University.
All of this exploration and ed-
ucation comes together in "Mer-
cy Songs" which ranges from
"Ave Maria "to "Kali Durga" and
"Om Mani Padme Hum" and
much more. Mercedes' voice is
stunning and is a perfect vehicle
for such deeply devotional mu-
sic.
A meeting in a Buddhist tem-
ple with Parisian-born classical
musician and producer Ferenz
Kalios, who played a major role
in this production, was the be-
ginning of bringing this record-
ing to fruition.
His music, with its elements
of classical, new age, and eth-
nic influences is the perfect ac-
companiment for her evocative
singing -- providing a subtle, yet
supportive soundscape for her
voice to soar over. All in all, an
interesting and heartfelt multi-
cultural listening experience.
DAVOL
Good Sign
www.davolmusic.com
I've been a fan of Davol (pro-
nounced duh-VOL) since the
late 1980's when I first heard
his debut album "Mystic Wa-
ters," which made it to #15 on
the Billboard New Age Chart,
and remained on the charts for
25 weeks. The music from his al-
bums has been used worldwide
in TV, radio, video and multime-
dia productions.
This Denver-based electron-
ic music composer has come a
long way since getting his first
Moog synthesizer at the age of
13, and in my opinion is on
equal ground with some of the
pioneers of this genre that he
idolized in his early days.
Perhaps it is a cliche to call
something "feel good," but that's
exactly what Davol's "Good
Sign" is. It is bright, bouncy, up-
beat, and hits you like the sun
breaking through on a cloudy
day. Electronic music comes
in many flavors, some with el-
ements of classical, rock, deep
space, techno, etc.
Davol's instrumental compo-
sitions display influences of pop
and perhaps a touch of smooth
jazz giving it the accessible, up-
lifting ambience that it has. The
music has the unique quality of
being both relaxing and energiz-
ing at the same time -- a perfect
balance of yin and yang.
Every song on the CD is ex-
cellent, and I particularly en-
joyed his use of sonic accents
-- the little electronic sparkles,
wooshes, cymbal swells, and ar-
peggios that appear out of the
mix and add an air of magic to
the soundscape. This is the sev-
enth of Davol's outstanding al-
bums, and perhaps his best yet.
LIA SCALLON
The Sounds Of Sirius
www.soundsofsirius.com
Subtitled "Songs To Soothe
The Soul," this album is a com-
pilation that includes excerpts
from all seven of Lia Scallon's
"Sounds Of Sirius" CD's. Her
music is now available in the
U.S. and worldwide after en-
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(Continued on page 48)