MUSIC REVIEWS
By Jim Brenholts





It is with great sadness and humility that I report the deaths of two great friends who were also great musicians. Klaus Wiese
passed away on January 26. Jorge Reyes died on February 8. Both of them went to the other side peacefully as they slept.

I refer to them as great friends even though I only met one of them in person. I met Jorge back in 2000 on Memorial Day weekend after a concert in Tucson, AZ. He and Steve Roach took the audience beyond that night. I knew both gentlemen through brief encounters on the internet - both were extremely reclusive. I knew them best, however, through their music.

I honor their memories with reviews of representative CD's.


KLAUS WIESE
Mudra: Tibetan Singing Bowls
Aquamarin Verlag
www.klaus-wiese.com
Klaus Wiese was the premier singing-bowl artist in the history of recorded music. His performing, recording and sound-design techniques placed him on a level that others sought to achieve. His spiritual sensitivity placed him on an even higher level.

Mudra: Tibetan Singing Bowls is a set of two long-form (over 20') pieces and one very short (under 4') piece. The short piece is very soft and quiet - almost inaudible at times. It is the third track and a perfect ending to an intense healing session.

The long pieces are vintage Klaus. He is able to get a huge sound from his bowls. He enhances that further by layering the bowl drones around each other and letting them lead the listener to the ethereal sides of life.

This is an excellent CD for practitioners of the healing arts. It is also an excellent starting point for new fans of Klaus.


JORGE REYES
Baja el Sol Jaguar

NO CD records
www.discogs.com/artist/Jorge+Reyes (Jorge never had his own website. This appears to be the best and most comprehensive listing of his catalog. Be careful when googling him. There are several others with the same name.)

Jorge Reyes was a brilliant multi-instrumentalist and humanitarian. He strove to remember and enhance his Native  Mexican American culture and his roots. While he used synthesizers and other electronics, he was a virtuoso on dozens of ethnic and indigenous acoustic instruments.

Baja el Sol Jaguar (loosely translated as Jaguar of the Setting Sun) is a dense adventure into Jorge's strange soundworlds. It is unconventional and it is deep - and it is awesome and a half! Jorge went to the edge and back several times in creating this masterwork.

By highlighting no single instrument or sound design element he highlights them all. The ethnic grooves complement each other. The electronics enhance the atmospheres. Soundscapes capture the true essence of Jorge's sensitivity and sensibility. This CD smokes!

It is best to crawl into this music, curl up and experience the textures and timbres. Stay alert for the subtle changes and the breezes.

This is truly music to get inside of.



KRS EDSTROM
Everyday Meditation:
A Mini Retreat to Calm the Mind
and Nourish the Soul
KRS Edstrom
www.AskKRS.com  and  www.FlyWithoutFearNow.com
Everyday Meditation: A Mini Retreat to Calm the Mind and Nourish the Soul is the fifth CD in KRS Edstrom's Inner Mastery Series. She uses mindfulness meditation - a nondenominational and nonsectarian practice - as the core technique of the series. The technique allows practitioners to feel and accept the NOW!

It creates a semblance of mindfullness. (Its counterpart in therapy is motivational interviewing. That extends out to Prochaska and DiClemente's Stages of Change and into deeper practices. There are week-long seminars on that subject so it is best to leave now.)

The music, by Jeff Silverman and Jeff Harrington, is sublime and gentle. They have enriched the soundtrack with subtle overtones in the guise of deep drones. The airs weave through, around, above, below and between each other as the soundscape rolls forward gently and steadily. It is like gentle surf, feeding and releasing itself seamlessly. The drones give the atmospheres abstract and ethereal qualities. By itself, it is great space music.

The primary purpose of the music, however, is to enhance KRS's guided meditation. She is absolutely gifted and extremely talented. Her voice is gentle and direct. It is almost as if she knows the souls of her listeners. She does not preach; she teaches. There are no direct references but the entire journey is very spiritual. It allows meditators to look at themselves from the outside. The ability to create such an environment is rare.

This is an essential CD from an exceptional series by an extraordinary lady. KRS stands and practices at the nth level.

Correction: The March/April issue reported KRS' Inner Master Set was available on cassettes; it is actually available on CDs.



CORICIOLLI
Nossa Lar
Azul Music
www.corciolli.com
www.azulmusic.com.br
www.myspace.com/corciolli
Corciolli is a talented multi-instrumentalist with a very diverse catalog. He is capable of performing in several sub-genres of new age ambient music. Nossa Lar (translated as Our Home but listed on the web as The Astral City) is symphonic synth space music. It is a splendid journey to the far reaches of the outer and inner galaxies of the universe and of the soul.

Corciolli uses his synth to build huge atmospheres that drift lazily around the listening area. The atmospheres enhance each other and act as movements within a symphony. Each atmosphere is an integral piece of a movement. The movements, while independent soundscapes in and of themselves, complement each other to build one soundscape - the symphony.

The progression is almost cinematic. There is an intro as Corciolli introduces plot elements. As the plot unfolds the drama builds. Each atmosphere feeds the next one. It is like an Escher drawing as the music floats forward. There seems to be no beginning and no end. The drama is real, surreal and ethereal. The climax is more of an anti-climax. The denouement is more surreality. It leads right back to the beginning and the journey continues.

This is an awesome CD. It is great for lazy days and languid meditation.



AO MUSIC
Twirl
AO Music
www.AOMusic.com
AO Music is "a multi-cultural experience." It is from combined efforts of
four extraordinary performers - Richard Gannaway on stringed instruments and vocals; Jay Oliver on keyboards, synths and samples; Sandeep Chowta on engineering and Miriam Stockley on lead vocals. They are supported by The CRC Children's Choir of Beijing, The William Joseph International Academy for Performing Arts Children's Choir of Bangalore, India, Sowmya Rach (of Mumbai, India) on vocals, Andy Georges (of Los Angeles) on additional strings) and Kimba Arem (of Boulder, CO) on didgeridoo.

This is a very cool experience. Miriam is one of the top new age vocalists in the world. She has the ability to use her voice as an additional instrument in the ensemble. The sound design is flawless and seamless. The rhythms come from Jay's synths. Richard's strings are sweet and sublime.

 (This is just an amazing CD! I find myself sitting here with goose bumps as I try to describe it. It has something for everyone and more! The whole experience is completely overwhelming! It is joyful to the 10th power. It has depth. It has meaning. It is "in your face." It says, "Get up and move! Share the good vibes. Be part of the journey. BE THE JOURNEY!"

The music permeates every fibre of my being. I had to get up and dance despite my severe arthritis. I felt no pain. I felt joy. I was one with me. I was within myself looking at myself from the outside as I looked at myself from the inside. I was a mirror in a mirror in a mirrorŠ. I was the ultimate conundrum.

The music ended. The spell was broken. The soul was rejuvenated. I was tired. I was energized. I felt no pain. I had new perspectives. Over the years I have experienced several profound responses to music. There had not been one like this before. The other experiences were internal stimuli responding to the external. This is the external from the internal back to the external and back to the internal once more.

This is a great CD and an immediate entry to my all time top 25!


Jim Brenholts resides in N. Versailles, PA and can be reached at jbrenholts@comcast.net

 


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