Gandalf is one of the pioneers of the New Age movement quite capable of migrating from ambient to electronic to the meditative sub genres with no loss of credibility. Despite the exceptional standard of his last 3 recordings, the musical wizard’s wanderlust approach has somehow been thwarted via these semi-meditative gems. However, Earthsong & Stardance breaks this contemplative streak as Gandalf presents his listeners with one of his most progressive recordings in years.
Earthsong & Stardance is an amazing “Symphony Of The Third Millenium” created to celebrate composer/multi-instrumentalist Gandalf’s 30th anniversary as a performing artist. It is also “a tribute to the wonderful variety and beauty of the universe, to the miracle of all life and being” (quoted from the liner notes). Gandalf appears on acoustic and electric guitars, saz, electric sitar, piano, organ, keyboards, mallets, and orchestral percussion; he is also half of the Sanskrit choir.
I have always felt that the people at Real Music have a magical touch when it comes to assembling outstanding compilation albums, and their Namasté Massage further proves my point. Aside from the pure pleasure of the music, the liner notes state: “The music carefully selected for this album is designed to facilitate a state of deep relaxation where healing and rejuvenation can occur.” Whether or not massage is part of your lifestyle, this music is rich, warm, and beautifully recorded, providing a soothing massage for the mind while creating a relaxed and comforting
Mike Howe’s debut release in 2009, Time Stands Still, was such a breath of fresh air that I was very anxious to see and hear if he could maintain that kind of quality a second time. I’m thrilled to answer that burning question with a resounding “YES!” The Welsh composer, guitarist, and ecologist returns with Round River, a collection of fifteen original pieces that are mostly solo acoustic guitar. A few of the tracks include bass, keyboards, and percussion, which are also performed by Howe.
Real Music introduced us to the gorgeous music of the understated Welsh acoustic guitarist Mike Howe via his fantastic debut Time Stands Still. One year later Round River arrives and some things have changed. Instead of 55 minutes of soul stirring music, Howe extends his new creation to nearly 58 minutes. Otherwise his listeners are provided with another soul stirring reflective recording that will allow you to escape to your favorite imaginative getaway. Clearly, Howe was not planning on making many changes considering how beautiful his impressive debut turned out.