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RETREATS
By Jim Brenholts
MUSIC
flexibilityandvarietyallowfor
manydifferentexperiences,each
havingitsown,well,Wanderlust.
Inarelativelyshorttime,Jeff
hasestablishedhimselfasoneof
thetopelectricambientmasters
ofthenewmillennium.Heisa
trueartiste.
THE TUNNEL SINGER
BEYOND STILLNESS
TUNNEL SINGER RECORDS
"Fragments of silence, moments
without time, the ethereal song
abides beyond stillness." ThusLee
Ellen Shoemaker, aka The Tun-
nel Singer introduces Beyond
Stillness, anothertriumphanttes-
timonytoherbrilliantvocalabili-
tiesanduniquestyle.
Inthepast,LeeEllenperformed
and recorded her compositions
incisterns,tunnels,sheltersand
emptytanks.Recently,however,
herrecordingengineerdeveloped
arecordingtechniquethatrecre-
atesthedelaysandechoesofthose
structures.Sheisnowabletocre-
atehermagicinthestudio.
Usingwordlesschantswithno
electronics,shedoes,indeed,de-
livermagic.Denseatmospheres
and organic textures take the
psychoactivitytothen
th
degree.
There are no boundaries as the
atmospheres surround the lis-
teningarea,takingthebiosonic
feedback device to new depths
andnewheights.Thejourneyis
fulfillingandrejuvenating.Itgoes
beyondtheedgeofrealityinto
newzonesofconsciousnessand
subconsciousness.
Thetextureshavehealingprop-
erties,too.Asthejourneyunfolds,
listenerswillfeelthesynapticac-
tivityasthechakracentersalign
andvibratewiththetimbres.Itis
arareexperience.Itisjoyful.
LeeEllenhasdeliveredanother
winnerwithoneofthebestCD's
of2008.Thisisatimelessclassic
andcomeswiththehighestrec-
ommendation.
ACOUSTIC OCEAN
LIGHT RETURNING
ACOUSTIC OCEAN MUSIC
www.acousticoceanmusic.com
If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the
house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world.
WiththatChineseproverb,
Peggy Morgan (creditedonlyas
Morgan)and
Bette Phelan Cred-
ited only as Phelan) introduce
Light Returning, their debut CD
as
Acoustic Ocean. Inthepress
releasetheystatethattheycre-
atedthisCDprimarilyforlisten-
ingpleasure.Givenitshealing
propertiesandsubtleovertones,
thatisdifficulttobelieve.Itis
perfectforaccompanyingmedi-
tation,massage,yoga,relaxation
andotherhealingpractices.Itis,
quitesuccinctly,oneofthebest
acousticambientsever!Thecom-
position,musicianshipandsound
designareexcellent.Thereareno
flaws!
Meagancomposedthemateri-
alontheCelticharpandPhelan
expanded it into rich layered
arrangementswithacousticgui-
tars, a mandolin, dulcimers, a
bass,arainstick,variousotherin-
strumentsandoceanandnature
sounds.Theywereattemptingthe
feelingofbeinginHawaii,their
homebase.Theysucceeded.
Thesoundscapesgrablisten-
ersinauniquefashion.Theduo
usesthenaturalsonorityoftheir
instrumentstobuildsimpleatmo-
spheresandlightovertones.The
synaptic response is subtle yet
sure.Listenersmustrespondto
thenarcoticeffects.Itistoohard
toignorethehealingpowers.The
synapticresponseissubtle;the
humanresponseisovert.
PeggyandBetteareamazing
women.Theirmusictranscends
harmonic convergence and en-
tersstratosphericlevelsofseren-
ity.Thisisanabsolutelyessential
CD!
DEAN EVENSON
& TOM BARABAS
HEALING SUITE
SOUNDINGS OF THE PLANET
Dean Evenson andTom Bara-
basaregiantsinthenewagecom-
munity. They have both been
creatingeleganthealingmusicfor
closeto30years.Theyhavebeen
collaboratingforalmostaquarter
century.
Natalie Twigg,aclassi-
cally-trainedoboist,joinsthem
forHealing Suite,anoverthealing
setthatincorporatesearthreso-
nancefrequencyforthedeepest
relaxation.
Dean's music and contribu-
tionstosocietyarewellknown.
Hepreachesandpracticespeace
throughmusic--vigilantlyand
constantly.Hehasdedicatedhis
lifetothatgoal.Tomhasfollowed
asimilarpathinhislifeandhis
musichastouchedthousandsof
lives.WhileNatalieisnotaswell-
known,sheisavirtuosoperform-
er,quiteathomewiththesetwo
icons.
Thesounddesignforthisset
incorporates subtle electronics
tocomplementandexpandthe
acoustics. Dean's flutes domi-
nate the soundscapes and the
atmospheresgrowaroundthem.
Tom'skeyboardsaregentileand
sure.Natalie'swindsaresublime
andperfect.Thesoundscapesare
pastoralandevokestrongspirit-
ualresponses.Themusicisgentle
andsweet.Itfloatsanddriftsto
allcornersofthelisteningarea,
surroundingthelistenerwithse-
renity,loveandharmony.
ThisisagreatCD!Itfurthers
Dean'sandTom'sreputationsand
enhancestheirstandingsasnew
ageicons.Itisanimportantad-
ditiontoanycollection.
(Readers of this column are
awarethatmymusicaltastesrun
the gamut and are somewhat
eclectic.Imakenosecretthatmy
favoritemusiciselectronicspace
musicwithdarkambientbeinga
closesecond.WhileIwaswriting
thisreview,mywifeinterrupted
meforlunch.Shehasneverre-
allyappreciatedmymusicbutshe
commentedthatthisCDdidnot
fitherperceptionsofmytastes.
Shesaid,"Itsoundsnormal.")
(Continued on page 42)
TERRA AMBIENT
WANDERLUST
LOTUSPIKE
Jeff Kowalcreatesdeepambi-
entsoundscapesunderthenom
deplume
Terra Ambient. Wan-
derlustishisthirdreleaseandit
findsJeffexploringnewterritories
andhorizons.
Inhislinernotes,Jeffdiscusses
theevolutionofthealbumasa
journal for his transitions over
a three-year period, including
relocation from Pittsburgh to
NewMexico.Themusicbecame
somewhatofacatharsis.Hede-
scribedas"the music that I needed
to make."
Jeff combines drifting pass-
ages withovertandsubtlerhy-
thms.Hisatmosphericstructures
are vast, wide and expansive.
Theydriftaroundthelistening
area,transformingitintoamedi-
tationchamber.
Thediscopenswithtwopieces
thataresomewhatmoreactive.
Theyareexcellentforhypnotic
movement and active medita-
tion.Thepercussiononthesec-
ondtrackapproachesandborders
ontechnobutdoesnotcrossthe
line.Therhythmscontrastand
complementtheatmospheres.
Track three presents deep-
er atmospheric ambience with
strongovertonesandeclectictim-
bres.ThisiswhereJeffabsolutely
excels.Hecombinesorganictex-
tures,desertambienceandtribal
timbrestodeliverauniquesound
thatistrulyhisown.
While this is a musical jour-
nalofJeff'stransitions,itisalso
avehicleforprivatejourneys.The
-- IN MEMORIAM --
Jim Brenholts
1956 - 2009
It is with great sadness that we report the loss of our
amazing Music Reviewer, Jim Brenholts, who has been
reviewing music for Awareness Magazine for several years
now. he actually became one with the music and always put
his heart and soul into every one of them.
Jim had a major heart attack in mid-September, and spent
two weeks in critical care before returning home. After resting
for only a few days, he turned on the music and began writing
his reviews. three days later, he passed away in his sleep.
While we know he is free from pain, and most likely busy
critiquing the angels' music now, we will miss him!
Jim is survived by his father Walter, wife linda, stepsons
David and Michael, three grandsons, four sisters and a
brother.