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Awareness Magazine
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Music & Media Reviews

By Michael Diamond

 

David Arkenstone & Charlee Brooks

Lovéren

www.davidarkenstone.com

Lovéren brings together well-known recording artist David Arkenstone and operatically- gifted vocalist Charlee Brooks on one of the most elaborate CD productions I’ve seen in a long time. The original story of Lovéren is an imaginative odyssey of love, romance and passion set in the magical world of mermaids. Accompanying the CD is a lavish 16-page booklet that contains the story along with stunning visionary artwork. In addition toCharlee’s contributions as a vocalist, instrumentalist and collaborator on many aspects of the production, she also created an original mermaid language which she sings. David creates on keyboards, guitars, drums and percussion, bass, mandolin, vocals, and a number of world music instruments. The album also features a host of additional accompanists including string section and choir.

I’ve always appreciated David Arkenstone’s flair for imaginative writing and arranging, and this piece shows the level of accomplishment he has attained in his accolade-laden 25-year career. Lovéren is a transcendent example of musical mastery that will inspire the imaginations of listeners for years to come.

 

Trine Opsahl

Somewhere In A Hidden Memory

http://www.heartrecords.dk/

Born in Norway and living in Denmark, Trine Opsahl has always had a fascination with the Celtic harp, and has recorded three albums of original compositions. However it is the healing power of music that inspires her most. Although Trine performs at various concerts and events, as well as teaching, playing at the bedside of hospice patients is most near and dear to her heart.

Trine’s latest CD, Somewhere In A Hidden Memory, is steeped in her Nordic roots, while combining the transcendental qualities of new age music as well. The album contains 15 tracks, with a number of them being in the one to two minute-range in the first half of the CD. They created a feel almost like an interlude or motif within a composition. The title track, in particular, had a wistful dream-like ambience that evoked rich visual imagery listening with eyes closed. Trine has produced an enchanting album reflecting diverse facets of the human experience — from light and playful, to tranquil and ruminative.

 

Lis Addison

Crown In The Sky

www.lisaddison.com

According to Lis: The phrase “Crown In The Sky” describes our human experience in which we are open and receptive to the spiritual realm yet anchored on the earth in the physical realm.” The music truly expresses this with its rootsy rhythms and ethereal ambiences, as well as its messages of appreciation (and concern) for our home planet. In addition to her beautiful vocals, on every track, Lis’ extensive experience in music and recording is evident in the fact that she wrote all the songs and lyrics, did all the arrangements, produced the album, and played just about all the instruments.

This music marks a return to her roots as a songwriter, with contemporary influences of jazz, chill, and world music. The unique blend of elements that Lis has brought together on this album should appeal to a wide cross-section of listeners. I was moved both physically and spiritually by its propulsive energy, evocative melodies, and inspired lyrics. Crown In The Sky is an uplifting and thoroughly delightful listening experience.

 

Lia Scallon

The Luminous Pearl

www.soundsofsirius.com

As a spiritually-attuned vocalist, Lia Scallon sings in what she calls the Language of Light. These angelic invocations are created to facilitate healing and higher energies within listeners, who often report that they resonate with the music on a deep soul level rather than on a level of cognitive understanding. Lia’s sacred sounds have a mystical air about them, reminiscent of songs heard in movies like Avatar or Lord Of The Rings.

In a review of a previous release, I referred to her singing as “Enya-like.“ While this is a recognizable point of reference and is still relevant to a degree, her vocalizing has a transcendental quality all its own. On The Luminous Pearl, Lia has surrounded herself with top-notch studio musicians. In addition to her traditional ethereal ambience, a few songs reflect her Australian roots adding didgeridoo and tribal rhythms. With the focus of the album being on transformation, hope, beauty, and love, I’m sure that The Luminous Pearl will shine brightly among the musical offerings of this gifted artist.

 

Timothy Wenzel

A Coalescence of Dreams

www.timothywenzel.com

An aspect of the term “coalescence” can be perceived as: “bringing diverse elements together with the right catalysts to create something bigger, stronger, more meaningful.” This is particularly appropriate for Timothy Wenzel, who addition to being a talented recording artist is also a research chemist. However, the elements he merges on his new release create pure audio alchemy. While the piano has been a primary instrument throughout his life, synthesizers play a major role in his recordings, with the sounds of violin, cello, flute, harp, guitars, drums, and percussion.

Timothy’s new-age instrumental music ranges from lushly layered compositions that have been compared with Yanni, to more light and airy soundscapes with occasional hints of Celtic and world music influence. There is a strong visual aspect to his sound in the mental imagery it evokes. And, it is also present in the stunning music videos that can be seen at his website. Although this was my first exposure to Timothy Wenzel’s recordings, it will not be my last, and I will look forward to subsequent releases.

Michael Diamond is a music producer, recording artist, and music journalist in the San Francisco Bay area with over 30 years of experience writing for nationally-published magazines and more recently worldwide on the internet. He currently has five CD’s including two with new-age music pioneer Steven Halpern. For additional reviews of CD’s, DVD’s, and more, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com