MUSIC REVIEWS
By Jim Brenholts

 

 

KIM VINCENT
A Journey Within
NFSH
www.healinginAmerica.com
www.nfsh.org.uk
Kim Vincent is a spiritual healer, a Reiki master, trainer, NLP master practitioner, hypnotherapist and personal coach. She was born in the U.S. and practiced her craft in Portugal and the UK before settling in California in 2002. She is also a member of the National Federation of Spiritual Healing (NFSH), a large charitable trust founded in 1954 in the UK.

It has been flourishing in Europe since that time but only reached the U.S. in 2003 when Kim helped found NFSH Healing in America. It is through this organization that she practices the healing arts and creates and releases guided meditation CD’s. A Journey Within is the first of the CD’s and it is awesome!

Kim’s voice is absolutely hypnotic! Paul Quinn has created an excellent ambient soundscape to augment and surround her gentle urgings, but it is Kim’s voice that centers the listener/meditator.

There are two experiences on the CD. “A Journey to the Stars” takes listeners on an adventure to the stars of the soul and the self — inner space as it were. Paul’s soundtrack is great space music and completely appropriate for the love and tenderness that emanate from Kim’s exhortations to feel the serenity and embrace the calm. It is close to perfect.

“Self Healing Meditation” builds upon Kim’s expertise as a Neuro Linguistic Programming (or Processing) practitioner. She paints vivid imagery with her voice, thus allowing listeners/meditators to reject pain — whether it is emotional, mental, spiritual or physical. Each individual has an energy center and this construction provides guidance on ways to fill the center and achieve balance.

This disc has something extra as well. Kim’s voice is sultry and sexy. The perfect balance when experienced with a lover or partner is a divine adventure. It lights the fires and stirs the passion. It is, again, close to perfect.

Kim is a brilliant practitioner and a beautiful soul. Her healing gifts are ultimate and generous. This is an absolutely essential CD!

(In the past I have related my personal experience with CD’s that took me to the edge. My experience with this CD went beyond anything that I would be able to share. It was so deep that it was almost scary.)



MUSIC FOR DEEP MEDITATION
Tibetan Singing Bowl
Inner Splendor Media
www.innerslpendor.com
Banyan Education
www.banyaneducation.com
There is no individual performer credited with creating this masterpiece although David Harshada Wagner is credited with either playing or providing the gongs. The liner notes also state that the gongs are actually Tibetan singing bowls struck at regular intervals.

Information from the websites does not clarify the situation. It would be logical to assume that David created this music. However, the holistic healing arts usually defy logic so no assumptions are made here. Suffice it to say that Music for Deep Meditation: Tibetan Singing Bowl is an awesome CD and that the performance is brilliant.

This disc has two distinct soundscapes that blend as one massive ‘scape. The first track is — quite simply and elegantly — “Gong Meditation.” It features the singing bowl being struck with reverberations and vibrations creating the atmosphere. It is a beautiful and wonderful sound. It is also a deep sonic adventure.

The second soundscape is “Singing Bowl Meditation.” There is no secret. The bowl sings along with the gong. The atmospheres are dense and vibrant. The experience is serene. there is tremendous relief in this escape from reality.

Taken as a whole, this disc is a massive psychoactive drama. The overtones are immense and they envelop and caress deep listeners with love and peace. The trance creates pastel imagery as it winds its way slowly down a gentle path. It is the perfect vehicle for emptying the mind and creating the ultimate meditative state — the blank slate (tabla rosa).

This CD is about as cool as they get. There are a couple dozen albums at this level. They are all special.



DR. JAMES HOPKINS
Golden Ratios
Pythagorean Harmonic Healing
Harmonix Healing
www.drjameshopkins.com
While it might be somewhat disturbing, it is not very surprising to learn that science and mathematics have a great impact on the holistic healing arts. It is very fashionable and cool to believe that they are all based on emotional and spiritual beliefs and creeds. Indeed, many practitioners might still believe that the arts are completely intangible.

Well, Dr. James Hopkins has devised a healing technique based on the laws of physics and Pythagorean functions that are 2500 years old. The explanation of how his Golden Ratios: Pythagorean Harmonic Healing works is extensive and quite refreshing. (It can be found on the website listed above. Of particular interest is the story of how James “discovered” this technique and “the big lie.” It is inappropriate to repeat the details here.)

It is appropriate to describe this music as unbelievable, deep, dense and superb! Using a “Divinely Inspired Instrument,” James has created a masterpiece. The instrument has 117 strings that are tuned to precise frequencies and generate intricate overtones within themselves. They unfold geometrically and James calls them “audible fractals.”

WHEW! WOW! That is heady stuff! This CD is totally acoustic and has some of the strongest overtones ever. Using the inherent sonorities of the instrument and its strings, James builds huge soundscapes and massive atmospheres. There is no trickery involved.

The natural sounds are psychoactive and meditation is a natural development of the experience. As each layer unfolds the mind goes deeper into the heart and soul of the being. As the listener wanders within the self, new paths of discovery manifest and clarity appears.

This is NOT the main function of the instrument. James explains, however, that relaxation is not a side effect either. It is a direct result of deep listening. The full effect of this technique must be an absolute joy. The CD is.



LOU REED
Hudson River Wind Meditations

Sounds True
www.soundstrue.com
www.loureed.com

Back in 1964, a young songwriter, under contract to Pickwick Records, wrote a song that the label was — quite understandably — reluctant to record and/or release. Three years later, Verve released The Velvet Underground and Nico, a landmark rock and roll debut. Two of the songs were “Heroin” and “Waiting for the Man.” In 11 minutes and 52 seconds, Lou Reed glamorized and condemned heroin addiction. (Those might also be two of the greatest rock and roll songs of all time — depends on who is making the list.)

Some 40 years later, an enlightened Lou Reed recorded and released an absolutely astonishing ambient anthem — Hudson River Wind Meditations. This is easily the most surprising release of this genre — simply because of the artist.

Lou has done it right, too. This is an excellent CD that hits home on several levels of ambient and meditative bliss. Indeed, Lou recorded the album originally to accompany his Tai Chai, body work and meditation. He writes that he has used it for “exploring inner places” and it is an excellent adjunct for delving into the inner spaces of the soul.

The CD is totally electronic with huge soundscapes and full atmospheres. It has some very cool features that are unique as well. Listeners familiar with Lou would expect some edginess and he delivers. He uses experimental sounds and dissonance perfectly. Those extras give the CD added charm and help keep listeners grounded as they focus on exploration of the psyches.

This is a rare gem and is an absolute shocker. To find an ambient meditative CD by Lou is cooler than cool — especially to a recovering addict who used to use his music to accompany his nocturnal indiscretions.



LIFE IN BALANCE

Crystal Bowl Meditations
A Vibratory Journey into Deep Meditative States
The Relaxation Company
www.therelaxationcompany.com
www.lifeinbalancemusic.com

Steve and Ami Sciuli — as Life in Balance — create beautiful and captivating atmospheres and soundscapes. Steve is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist — synthesizers, flutes and lap steel guitars — and Ami is accomplished as well — singing bowls and percussion.

They have been spreading their wings and good vibes for the past 12 years by touring and applying their trade. Crystal Bowl Meditations: A Vibratory Journey into Deep Meditative States is their first CD for The Relaxation Company and their second with international distribution. It is their eighth release overall. (They are also good friends of mine and I have three CD’s of material that is unreleased. They are also from Pittsburgh and I have experienced their live performances at least ten times.)

This CD is both a culmination and a beginning. Steve and Ami have worked very hard for this opportunity. It is gratifying to witness their successes. It is also gratifying to hear this music. It is an awesome CD!

Ami uses the natural sonorities of the bowls to create textured atmospheres. And Steve augments and surrounds the atmospheres with floating flutes and deep synths. His lap steel adds some panache as he explores its ambient qualities. The music takes listeners on three journeys — “Expand,” “Explore” and “Evolve.” Each journey has four paths and each path is both integral to the others and self sustaining in its own right.

The psychoactive properties of the bowls guide the journey on endless explorations of inner and outer space. The soundscapes function as meditation tools and as deep space music.
This is a great CD and a wonderful expression of good will and harmony. It is essential.


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

 

 


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