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/ A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
46 / A W A R E N E S S M A G A Z I N E
M A R C H / A P R I L 2 0 1 1
MUSIC
Reviews
by Michael Diamond
MICHAEL BRANT DEMARIA
GAIA
www.ontos.org
According to Michael Brant
DeMaria, the songs on this CD
are his "tone poems and sound
prayers offered in the spirit of
waking up and acting for the
good of our children's children,
during this time of ecological
crisis and transition" as well as
honoring our common heritage
as dwellers on this precious
planet.
Just as we are all connected,
so are the songs on the CD as
they trace the awakening of Gaia
through time. And what better
way to express our unity than by
incorporating instruments and
musical styles from around the
world including aboriginal Aus-
tralia, Africa, and the Far East.
Our connection to the Earth
has always been revered in Na-
tive American culture through-
out the ages, so it is appropriate
that Native American flutes,
which are one of Michael's pri-
mary instruments, are featured
prominently in the music. Other
flutes include the Chinese xiao
and Japanese shakuhachi, along
with piano, synthesizers, global
percussion, and Michael's own
voice.
There is a peacefulness that
pervades throughout and helps
achieve the goal of assisting
one to feel the unity of Gaia.
Listening to the music with eyes
closed, absorbing all the various
cultural influences blending to-
gether, I did indeed begin to feel
a sense of being part of some-
thing greater.
This is a wonderful album,
diverse yet unitive, and expan-
sive in its vision. The awareness
this album seeks to foster is most
timely as we strive to re-balance
our connections with each oth-
er and the planet we co-exist
with.
LIS ADDISON
The Grace of the Green Leaf
www.lisaddison.com
Lis Addison, award-winning
composer, vocalist, and dancer,
has created a stunning follow-
up to her previous CD "The Song
Of The Tree," which I also en-
joyed very much. She is a pio-
neer in combining innovative
forms of music and movement
that incorporate ancient wis-
dom and promote healing.
As she describes it, "the over-
all intention of this project is to
create a trancey musical bed that
unlocks the mind and allows my
vocal healing tones to work their
vibratory magic."
Based on a new "family" of
tones she calls "Body Chants,"
the idea is "to help focus healing
sound vibration on various body
parts, to cleanse and recalibrate
them and to help us really expe-
rience their wisdom." The Body
Chants assist the listener to tune
in meditatively to their body.
Although listening is only part of
it -- the intention is to encour-
age you to get up and sing and
dance along.
Movement comes naturally,
as the grooves sink into your
soul you will find it's hard to sit
still. The music blends Lis' in-
credible voice with drums, and
a contemporary electronic mu-
sic focus, which is not surprising
seeing that she holds a Master's
degree in electronic music from
Mills College.
Other than some drum loops
and hand drums, Lis composed
and performed all this trance-
formative music herself, and
like her previous CD, this one
was also expertly mixed and
mastered by Christopher K at 7
Generations Studio. And as with
all her CD's, a portion of sales
goes to tree-planting projects
worldwide.
WOLFSHEART
The Call of the Canyons
www.wolfsheart.eu
"The Call of the Canyons" by
Wolfsheart, is perfectly named,
as it conjures for the listener,
the color and tone of ancient
red rock walls and the spirit of
those who dwelled in these sa-
cred places and called it their
home. This collection of twelve
songs has been "inspired by the
canyons, the natural landscapes,
the people and the soaring birds
of the Southwest.
It is a reflection of ancient
indian ruins, monuments, petro-
glyphs and the teachings of Na-
tive American people of various
tribes." Titles like "Saguaro Sun-
set," "Monument Valley Shad-
ows," Sunrise At Four Corners,"
and "Kokopelli Dreams," further
hint at the influence.
Interestingly, Wolfsheart, who
plays Native American flute, Na-
tive drums, and sings, currently
lives in Vienna, Austria. Howev-
er, his immersion in this musical
genre and culture is deep. He is
also the force behind the 2010
Native American Music Award-
winning band, Big City Indians.
In addition he performed at
the 2010 Zion Canyon Flute Fes-
tival in Utah, and he hosts a ra-
dio show called "Native Indian
Music Channel" on woodroot
-radio.eu and rockradio.de.
The music on the album is
a wonderful blend of ancient
and modern as wood flutes and
earthy drums blend with synthe-
sizers and occasional electronic
percussion. The keyboard string
section gives a cinematic air and
sense of drama and majesty for
the flute to glide on like a hawk
drifting on updrafts above the
canyon.
While some songs are pro-
pelled by earthy rhythms, oth-
ers are soulfully meditative. All
in all, a deeply felt tribute to a
sacred space.
In this issue, I'm pleased to
review not one, but two new
CD's produced by Windham
hill Records founder Will Ack-
erman, an icon of acoustic new
age music:
SHAMBHU
Sacred Love: Feel the Journey
www.ShambhuMusic.com
While there are many musi-
cians in this genre hunched over
computers recording in home
studios (myself included), there
are very few who have taken the
music-making process to the
heights that Shambhu has on
his "Sacred Love" CD. Sparing
no expense to work with some
of the top people in the music
industry, Shambhu set out from
California for the bucolic splen-
dor of Vermont to record at the
studio of Windham Hill Rec-
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