Fans of Enya, Adiemus and Secret Garden will find much to enjoy in Pamela and Randy Copus’ new CD. Using a cosmic synth, harp, guitar and flute mixed with light, airy vocals, this duo creates music for the new millennium, appropriate for yoga, massage, relaxation or a nightly bubble bath. Pamela Copus’ flute work is particularly enchanting; she plays with gentle emotion and avoids the saccharine. The strongest cuts feature vocals, flute and strings, and the Copuses combine them for a heavenly, soothing musical glow.
The title Fire might suggest roiling textures or a conflagration of sound, but this volume of Peter Kater's four-disc Elements series is golden sunsets and hearthside caresses. Purely acoustic, Fire has a nostalgic aura. Paul McCandless’s pennywhistles and Ludvig Girdland’s violin lend it a Celtic flavor on tracks like “Eternal Sunshine,” while on “The Way Home” that same fiddle takes on a tinge of Americana, framing McCandless’s forlorn oboe and Kater's pensive piano.
“Sayama” is a Japanese term which literally means “sitting on a mountain,” and this perfectly expresses the intent of his music (Sacred Healing Touch, Sacred Healing Waters) — to instill serenity and peace in the listener. His musical journey began with the guitar and piano, but as his horizons broadened, he grew well versed in acoustic instruments from all over the world, especially Asia.
Frank Steiner, Jr. is a German composer, but he's shown a penchant for Asian tonalities in recent years. His I Ching Symphony was a surprisingly austere and affecting work, and he dips from that well once again with Touching Silk. Steiner is a gifted sound designer and player, who tends to drown his uncomplicated melodies and often striking instrumentation in honey-laden arrangements and Ray Conniff-esque voices.
As a title, One principally represents the body-mind-spirit cohesion aspired to in keyboardist Mark Ciaburri’s slowly unfolding journey toward a state of sublime relaxation. It may also serve as a small pun, indicating the number of tracks found on this disc (and the number of recordings in this newcomer’s discography). One is a nearly 67-minute, multi-instrumental bliss-out that also could have been appropriately titled Meditation Jam.