Real Music Corporate LogoVisionary new age music for nourishing and rejuvenating body, mind and spirit

Real Music Corporate LogoVisionary new age music for nourishing and rejuvenating body, mind and spirit

Breathe

Breathe by Carl Borden

Once in a while an album comes into your life that just blows you away.  —One World Music

Close your eyes , softly say the title accompanied by a deep breath, and the wondrous feeling of letting go will say more about this gorgeous album than a description ever could. Deepen the experience of a unique and sublime life as you relax into Breathe, Borden’s second album after the award-winning Echoes of Bliss.

Watch the video for “I Lift My Hands” from Breathe

Tracks

1. I Lift My Hands 4:31
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2. Beautiful Memories 6:51
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3. Morning Journey - Part 1 7:12
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4. Breathe 6:29
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5. Calming Grace 6:00
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6. Closure 5:46
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7. Morning Journey - Part 2 6:49
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8. Genesis 8:22
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9. Rainy Afternoon 5:51
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More Music By This Artist

Echoes of Bliss by Carl Borden

Press Acclaim

Michael Foster

This album marks the second release by Carl Borden for the Real Music label and it is a real treat for listeners who are seeking a peaceful, contemplative album to offer them a momentary respite from the “noise” that we encounter each day when we step out of our doors to go off and to earn our living or whatever else that requires us to leave the sanctuaries that we all call home. All the songs on Breathe were written, produced, mixed, and mastered by Borden save “Breathe” and “Beautiful Memories” which also had Keimy Sakamoto lending a hand as the Assistant Mastering Engineer. Breathe gives you an exquisite atmospheric journey of almost fifty-eight minutes during which you can soak in the healing energy of Borden’s compositions and let go of whatever it was that disturbed your heart/mind during the day that just ended.
 
The music definitely qualifies as ambient in nature, as it moves almost seamlessly from track to track while maintaining a gentle and serene overall feeling to the listener’s journey through the soundscapes that Borden has created here. There are no sudden musical or tempo oriented shifts in the music, but rather Borden has composed music with one thing in mind and that is allowing us to “take a step back, and breathe” when life throws a curve ball in our direction and we need to slow down, focus and regain control of our emotions before trying to deal with whatever has caused the disruption.
 
It is obvious that Carl knew what he wanted to achieve with this project because each song is crafted very skillfully to be a part of the whole rather than to be separated and played as standalone tracks. Not that you couldn’t find one of the tracks more appealing than the others, but for the maximum effect it is best to listen to albums such as this in sequence so that you receive the benefits that Borden intended when the album was recorded, and the tracks placed in a particular order. Borden also used the sound effects of water, rain and waves on many of these compositions to enhance the calming atmosphere created by his synths, but never to excess and never to overshadow the movement of the music.
 
Breathe is subtle and creates a comfortable place for the listener to spend time contemplating and relaxing after a long day, or simply to end a day at home on a peaceful note. Oftentimes we do not realize the immense benefits of music that helps us to disconnect from those things we have to deal with in the “outside” world and to be able to enjoy our private lives without fragments of stress and concern worming their way into our minds even when we are done dealing with them for the day. Borden’s music is reassuring and comforting to the listener and allows one to center themselves and bring some clarity to the events of the day and to let them go for the night.
 
The album consists of nine tracks with each composition leading the listener into a deeper state of relaxation until by the end of the album the listener can take that deep breath and know that they truly have left behind everything that had clung to them from the world beyond their doors. The music appears to be very much synth based but never becomes drone like (nothing wrong with drone music) in that Borden, being a talented musician, shapes and directs the music so that the listener never loses interest in where the music is taking them. As the flow of the album was created not so much around a track by track basis, but more on the album as a whole, I don’t really have songs that I can pull out of the album and say that this one is my favorite or that one deserves more listens than any of the other tracks. I will make a slight note here about “Morning Journey Part Two” which is track number seven and features the only other element that you will hear on this release; even though it sounds like a voice drifting in the background toward the end of the track, it is in actuality created through a program called Vocalise by Heavyocity. The voice blends into the music so wonderfully that it is simply an extension of the synths that have created this musical landscape.
 
An album like this is best judged as a single effort broken down into nine pieces, each of which continues the movement forward until a satisfying conclusion is reached by the time listeners reach the last song. It is self-evident that Borden is a skillful musician and is able to take his work from beginning to end and offer the listener a cohesive album dedicated to providing a quiet place in which to decompress after a hard day. The album offers up a delicate beauty in its music, well designed by Borden, which shines forth in the work that was done on this project leading up to it being released in the form that was sent to this reviewer. Borden was able to translate his inner vision for this music into compositions that will find homes in the hearts of those listeners who decide to give his music a chance and bring it home for themselves. This album is a great second release by Carl Borden and certainly an album that would be a good addition to any ambient music library. Recommended!

Steve Sheppard

Once in a while an album comes into your life that just blows you away. This can be said for the latest release from Carl Borden entitled Breathe.
 
Borden’s efforts are seated in the classic new age era of music and one can, with utter bliss, float on the ambiance created by this superb release. Listen to the opening track “I Lift My Hands” and enjoy its mellow, deeply respectful and ambient keyboards. This journey is going to be filled with calm and peace all along the way.
 
It seems eons since I have heard such a delightful resonance of sensual arrangements such as these, and track 2, “Beautiful Memories” carries on that theme with ease. There is something so very warm and caring about this composition that one can feel the soothing energy flowing from it.
 
Borden’s performance here is sublime and on “Morning Journey – Part One” we have an opportunity to explore further into the inner dimensions of this newly created realm; the chords on this piece seem almost like the birth of a new day, a sunrise over a mountain range and with a delicate escalation on tone, we see the day taking form, as the journey begins.
 
This is ambient music at its very best. Now it’s time to listen to the title track and do just one thing … breathe. Borden’s skillful and compassionate performance will fill you with love, hold you in its ambient embrace and soothe your soul, and through this melodic composition, create a safe harbor to sit and enjoy an inner moment of musical reflection.
 
It seems that time is a pointless function with this album. Borden’s classy compositions and caring performances seems to wash away the tick and tock of that oh so needy clock, and on “Calming Grace” we have another lush example of a tranquil summer garden, a musical oasis of sorts. I spent a few hours by the ocean yesterday and watched errant storms flatter to deceive, gazed upon small clouds rushing across the ocean, and breathed in the freedom that only nature can provide. And all of that would have been perfectly accompanied by this stunning backdrop of gracious natural sounds, and sensitive and healing keyboards called “Calming Grace.” What more could you want?
 
On the track “Closure” we have a slightly deeper moment of reverie, where one can feel through the tones of the music that we are perhaps letting go of something deeply emotional to allow us to move on, and this slow and gentle arrangement will help us do just that.
 
Now if you remember a while back, we were on a journey. We can now resume that narrative with the musician as we bring you “Morning Journey – Part Two.” It’s evident and clear that we have moved forward and a far more expansive movement of sound and energy can be felt here. While the arrangement has that element of walking through new territory, one always feels safe and secure at all times within the compositions creation.
 
So, we now find that our aforementioned journey has taken us back to the beginning, a bit like life really, as we find ourselves enjoying the penultimate offering, and the longest song on the release called “Genesis.” There is something light and bright about the resonance about this one, as it’s filled with a sense of renewal and hope, and manifests a musical smile for us along the way.
 
We don’t get many of these here in Cyprus, but the last track on the album would be a welcome one for us as we head into summer, and is entitled “Rainy Afternoon.” The smooth nature of this piece is sublime and it’s so good that you can actually smell the wet rain touched grass through the melodies of this composition. A thunder head rumbles, gentle waters flow forth, and for one last time we can be transported into a musical Eden of beauty and tranquility.
 
Carl Borden has re-ignited the good old days of the new age music industry. If you remember Stephen Rhodes, Mike Rowland and 2002, you will get a flavor of the style.
 
And Breathe is just that, a moment to take in life, enjoy smelling the roses and just breathe. Borden has created a musical area of outstanding natural beauty. This is a release that must be part of everyone’s life. Its all-encompassing, all embracing warmth is rare, and the tenderness of performance is a place you will want to go to over and again, many, many times.
 
A must get release, and one I completely recommend.

James McQuiston

Breathe, Carl Borden's sophomore release on the Real Music label, begins with “I Lift My Hands.” This four and a half minute introductory song blends together bold synth lines that set the stage for the approaches and environment to follow, and will keep listeners on the edge of their seats. Borden's ability to create such a coherent introductory statement is unparalleled.
 
Track 3, “Morning Journey - Part One,” includes the sound of rain with a rising arrangement that heralds the raw potential of this titular time of the day. Track 5, “Calming Grace,” then builds off of the sounds of the earlier songs; the gentle sound of waves adds complexity to the strong, extended synth lines Borden places within. The cohesion of Breathe is best shown in “Closure.” This composition is important as it dovetails together quicker and slower moments. “Morning Journey - Part Two” should be enjoyed in a number of ways. I would recommend that listeners play Breathe in its entirety to understand how the song works within the overall tapestry woven throughout the album. After this introductory play-through, choose both sections of “Morning Journey” to see how they are similar (and the few ways in which they differ). The synths feel hopeful; if the first “Morning Journey” expresses what all the morning may bring, then the second supremely confident statement pushes listeners towards achieving everything that can be done during a productive morning.
 
“Rainy Afternoon” is the final track on Carl Borden's nine-track Breathe, and it accomplishes two things. First off, Borden is able to wind up any loose ends and put the finishing touches on the album. Secondly, the emotive synths and natural environments portend the ways in which Borden may add to his discography on future releases.