Music Reviews
By Chuck Diliberto

 

 

Zen Gardens
Wall Matthews
Musik International
The events going on in the world created by world governments and reported by the puppet media very rarely captures the true significance and meaning of our lives. It is only when we separate ourselves from the conditioned reflexing of the disillusioned conformity culture that we coexist within that we will find any lasting meanings in our lives. In this regard, Wall Matthews traveled to Kyoto, Japan to explore the many sacred temple spaces located there.

Matthews was looking for inspiration in the various Zen gardens located in Kyoto. Japan has long been known for these simple gardens of sand, stone, and wood. The arrangements of these gardens reflect both the simplicity and complexity of our being flowing undauntedly within seamless endings and beginnings. Matt-hews was so impressed with his experience there that it took him ten years to complete this recording.

The music is a mixture of ethereal percussive instruments (temple bells, finger cymbals, wind chimes and wood blocks) supporting a majestic soundscape created by the blending of shakuhachi flute, piano, string bass, and harp. The melodies are spacious and lush allowing for the breath of the soul to be expressed. There are musical pauses floating through our senses, stretching our imaginations beyond the mundane to a point of eternity. It is in this moment, the here and now, that Matthews has captivated his feelings with the unlimited expanse of consciousness and universe. He is literally transporting his awareness beyond the third dimension, entering realms of pure intuition and discernment.

“Zen Gardens” is a cosmic journey of discovery and soul affirmation, something we could all use a little more of no matter what is being perpetuated in the world around us.

For more information, please call 1 (888) 476-8745.

 

Falling Into Love
Jane Sterling
Musik International
Jane Sterling is somewhat of an anomaly amongst the current crop of female singer / songwrit-ers. Her contemporaries include Joni Mitchell, Karen Carpenter, Anne Murray, and the melodic commercial strains of the popular 70’s band Bread. Her roots of inspiration are recognizable and respected. She could easily be mistaken for someone who was popular in the 60’s and 70’s.

The modern contemporaries of Jane Sterling were listed as k.d. Lang., Tori Amos, and Fiona Apple. Each of these performers write songs that are sensual in nature, and very telling in their depiction of personal experiences both good and bad. Sterling adds her sultry voice to a reservoir of plaintive emotions that streamed forth from an open heart big enough to express all of her feelings. Her lyrics explored the many sides of love that present themselves as part of our day to day existences.

She wrote optimistic ballads injected with positive affirmations that alluded to the nature of soul and Spirit. The love Sterling refers to in her compositions is not necessarily the love of romance, but the state of love inherent in all sentient beings. She spoke of peace and joy; she spoke of the moment when the state of love is waiting to merge with us, silently, patiently observing our every action.

Jane Sterling the poet, the balladeer, the love activist, the singer/songwriter. Take your pick. She is all of these and more.

For more information, please call 1 (888) 476-8745.

 

The Tao of Cello
David Darling
Valley Entertainment
Most of us are familiar with the sound a cello makes. It is an instrument used in many classical compositions. Many of these compositions have been used as soundtracks in movies. The cello has a hauntingly resonant tone that is similar to the violin but deeper and more sonorous.

David Darling decided “to try the magic of The Tao” using excerpts from passages in the Tao Te Ching as song titles. His inspiration for allowing the magic to come through his cello comes from following “The Watercourse Way” (the path of least resistance). The music was recorded in an acoustically perfect barn in Litchfield, Ct., with David Darling, two microphones, and his cello.

The music emanated from the soul recesses within David Darling. This is done in true improvisational fashion. The music is unrehearsed and spontaneous combining Darling’s talent and experience with the creative inspiration of the moment. He explored many moods and feelings, often stretching thematic melodies into new terrain. Each note was played sensitively and intuitively, creating a living piece of art performance. The music is notable in the sole ability of the cello to express varied soundscapes. Darling’s ability to play in a stream of consciousness is a musician’s dream; no limits and no rules apply here. Least resistance has become no resistance. Check this one out.

For more information, please call 1 (212) 974-9400, ext 11.

 

Zen Connection
Various Artists
New World Music
It is not often that we get a chance to listen to a compilation of music that is currently popular in Australia. “Zen Connection” is a two-disc set, disc one is labeled “From The East”, and disc two “To The West”. Most of the artists are not that well known in the United States, but the music is very familiar.

On disc one “From The East”; we are being treated to what could be termed psychedelic ambient dance music. Fast paced rhythms were interspersed with sonorous chanting and driving percussive beats. In between the chanting and the beats, spontaneous musical interludes arose. Melodies and solos from the bass, flute, trumpet, keyboards and guitar jumped into the rhythmic mix. Sometimes these musical interludes were comprised of just plain weirdness, creatively inspired in the heat of the moment. The music derived its’ flavor from Middle to Far Eastern poly-rhythms and beats. The performing artists brought a neo-contemporary musical perspective to these old world melodies. The result was a fusion of sound that was both danceable and musically pleasing.

On disc two, “To The West” there is more of the psychedelic ambient dance music, only this time the music was being derived from contemporary beats and rhythms without the old world flavor. The melodies were mostly modern and recognizable as a mixture of dance, Jazz, and rock-n-roll with a little funk thrown in for fun. If you like to dance and get loose in “Zen” style where there are few boundaries to limit our soul’s expression, then it is, time to make the “Zen Connection”.

For more information, please call 1 (888) 476-8745.

 

Pangaea
Kurt Anderson
Independent
Most artists have a personal vision of their lives as art. Every breath brings a new vision to be felt and explored. With musicians, their music represents an opportunity to create a vehicle to express flow of consciousness. That intangible sense of our soul that is non-verbal and invisible, yet real and alive.

In “Pangaea” Kurt Anderson personalized his vision by creating sonic tone poems that were both ethereal, and somewhat strange. Anderson used his guitar in much the same way a synthesizer keyboard works. There was plenty of sustain and echoes mimicking the sound of orchestral strings and keyboard samples.

The music Anderson created had its’ root in another world. There was very little structure as free flowing sounds emanated from the ethers, drifting through our senses like strangers passing in the night. The moment his aural tapestries streamed into my ears it felt like the air was different in my music room. Anderson’s music filled the room with a mist creating a synesthesia experience where you could see the music actually materializing as layers of sound. This was a unique experience to say the least.

It would be hard to categorize Kurt Anderson’s music. This can be said though, his music can definitely be used as a transcendent medium. It will change whatever mood you currently find yourselves in. The music can take you on a journey if you are so predisposed to allowing this to happen. “Pangaea” is that moment of letting go where anything can happen. This is cosmic voyaging without any destination or inclination of returning to the original starting point.

For more information, please call 1 (217) 726-7051.

 

Chuck Diliberto is a resident of New York state. Having written for a hometown publication that covered local and national musicians, reviewing CDs is an extension of that experience. His main interests are spiritual in nature and right living in practice.


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