Friday, October 30, 2020

Peace on Earth By Hiroki Okano


Peace on Earth


Hiroki Okano

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Peace on Earth has to be the most meaningful title to use in this chaotic and agonising 21st century, and perhaps this album is the panacea that will cure all ills, certainly listening to it does calm the mind and inspire the imagination; here we also have an album that highlights the very best in the New Age music genre.

The multi-instrumentational delights you will find within this album are something of a delight to behold, the flute of Hiroki Okano weaves its spell with each and every composition played, and the best place to start is at the spring of eternal happiness with Mother River, a track so uplifting and beautifully layered, it is the musical equivalent of having a really good hug, something that in this day and age is not that easy to do!

The swirling synths and dream kissed flute leads us into the arms of this next piece entitled Starry Night, a deep but far ranging opus to enjoy, and boy is that easy to do. Okano’s flute is majestic yet tender in its tone, and the performance here is so soothing to bathe within.

Inherited Prayer stands out as a superior flute based track, one that your very imagination takes flight with. For me personally I was taken to a vast redwood forest, and the silhouette of the artist was standing upon the huge branch of a tree playing live to nature itself, how beautiful is it that music can inspire such wonderful imagery.

On our next piece the piano starts our voyage of plenty, and then a wonderful symphonic gesture lightens our way in one of the most beautiful pieces off the album called Fertile Voyage. The symbiotic partnership of the flute and the orchestration was beyond wonderful, and to be honest completely moved me. This is what I would call a composition of great inspiration, from the hands of a heartfelt performance by Okano.

We arrive at the midway point and we come across a track I heard on the radio only the other day entitled Nirvana Westerly. The natural sounds and the stream combine to give us a truly warming flavour, and as if from the mists of the woodlands, Okano’s flute breaks the silence of the day with a pristine performance and the background synths hover with the intensity of an early summer’s morning, in a composition that is as beautiful as a sunrise over the mountains.

Our title track is before us and my goodness this is one heck of an emotionally charged arrangement, the keyboard organ styled sound base is raised upwards with the energy of genius on the track Peace on Earth. The underpinned build here was so craft-fully arranged and engineered it was sublime to listen to, a truly masterful title track indeed, and one that does exactly what it says on the can!

The care and attention to detail that Hiroki Okano has given to the production of this album is off the scale, listen to Dear One's Heart as an example of that love for creation, one can hear the delicacy of bird sound and a stream layered perfectly in the back, whilst the flutes of Okano seem to dance with love within the multi- instrumentational and symphonic brilliance of this offering.

The sensitivity of Pure Child, our next track, is something to respect and appreciate. The gentle piano and flute combination is so charming and loving; one just has to smile with happiness whilst listening to it. There is a well of emotion here that is perfectly balanced within the positivity of the moment, and that resonates quite craft-fully throughout this gentle piece.

Our penultimate arrangement is entitled Walk Here – Kokoperi, this wonderful track brought back some fine memories for me of another artist that Hiroki knows in Nigel Shaw, and his album Dartmoor Roundhouse. The solo flute here was equally effective at creating a blissful moment of musical magic, one that like Nigel’s work, I shall remember for a life time.

We arrive at the last destination on this quite breath taking album, it is called White Moon. This final reverie contains a thoughtful repose, one tinged with a little reflection; it is if we are looking back over our shoulder at the journey taken, and appreciating the experience by the glint of the silvery moon; another wonderfully artistic offering and simply the best way to leave the album.

Peace on Earth by Hiroki Okano has to be one of the best albums to arrive on my desk for reviewing this year, it has everything a new age album should have and far more, it takes you on a journey through nature, and lays out a simple but crystal clear message for us all to acknowledge, Peace On Earth needs to be the new normal now!

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Quantum Leap Breeze By Hiroki Okano


Quantum Leap Breeze


Hiroki Okano

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have just spent nearly one sublime hour in a meditative state listening to this brand new release by Hiroki Okano entitled Quantum Leap Breeze, I shut myself away with just the music, and enjoyed every second of this fifty minute opus.

I first found a love for the music of Hiroki Okano back in 2002, thanks to a musical friend of mine Nigel Shaw, who with Guillermo Martinez was also on the release Bamboo Cedar Oak.

I felt myself journeying at times; this amazing album is a magical weave of crafted segments that in my view represent the planets multi-dimensional aspects; if the Earth had a soundtrack this would be it. Multi-instrumental in style, Okano brings us a long form composition that you can literally sink into, and at times just blissfully drift with.

At the 20 minute marker I felt the need to give myself some healing, so with Reiki energy activated I harnessed the resonance of the flute of the artist, the chimes and sonic backdrop were utterly translucent and beautiful to bathe within, the connection to nature and our planet is so easy to make thanks to this great new offering.

Quantum Leap Breeze is a true musical journey in segments, the 30 minute marker brought a divine state of ambience to the proceedings, whilst at 40 minutes, a sensitive sense of reflection could be found in the weave of something so incredibly thoughtfully composed.

The backdrop of natural sounds throughout the release were masterfully layered to perfection, and one can feel the heartbeat of this world through the music, this is also a perfect album to relax to and get ones breathing fluent and correct. In short this is a multi-instrumental heaven, and probably the best 50 minutes I have spent for many years, it gives the listener time out of their reality to reconnect with the pulse of the planet, and that can’t be a bad thing can it?

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Paper Flags and the Wind By Eric Chapelle


Paper Flags and the Wind


Eric Chapelle

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Eric Chapelle is back with a brand new single entitled Paper Flags and the Wind, this is one of the shortest singles I have reviewed at just short of 90 seconds, but in that time the artists creates an eastern ethic with the percussive element entwined within the composition, a smooth and classy almost global ethic on piano, and all mixed with a transformative back drop of sounds.

Chapelle has created something here that is incredibly addictive to listen to, I am on my 4th visit to its temple of sound as I speak, and this mild mannered, descriptive single, with its lightness of touch and cheer filled tempo, is just bound to capture your hearts as well.

Embracing the Dark By Bruce Petherick


Embracing the Dark


Bruce Petherick

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Embracing the Dark has to be one of the most intriguing and fascinating singles I have reviewed this year; I was sitting in the heat of a late October heatwave, fans blowing and trying to listen to this new single of Bruce Petherick, but I could hear so much more going on in the background that I had to turn everything off, stick the headphones on and listen again.

I am so glad I did, the depth of performance is quite incredible and has personally given me inspiration for enhancement of my own work; the sounds of creaking wood, along with rain and storms within the backdrop of this amazing new single were truly encapsulating. I can see this new offering being one of those tracks that could be summed up by saying that there is an addictive quality to the musical narrative here that is utterly undeniable.

Lordterra By Claudio Casanueva




Claudio Casanueva

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This latest offering by Claudio Casanueva really caught me off guard, whilst the initial opening foray of this new single Lordterra was classic Casanueva, the female vocalisations and steady but purposeful build, felt like we were going on a whole new trip.

This would turn out to be totally true, this new release is a master class of just how to put together a truly fantastic new age single, the build and progression in this new release is stunningly crafted, and at the last few minutes taking us to a place never really visited before with the artist, as lush female vocals and some amazing keyboard work with pertinent percussion, took us hand in hand into what is known to many as the chill out genre, what a really clever track this is, and  surely has to be a guaranteed super hit with ease.

Monday, October 26, 2020

Message from the Trees By Kirsten Agresta Copely


Message from the Trees


Kirsten Agresta Copely

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I was desperately in the need for some solace today, and thanks to Kirsten Agresta Copely I met that desire within the composition Message from the Trees, the artist’s latest single.

The Harp is an instrument that has made a huge comeback within the new age music industry lately, and Copely’s skills at drawing beautiful and textured musical landscapes from it, is a thing to marvel at.

Here on her latest offering we have a warm performance that drifts in the winds of time, a stunning presentation that is so redolent of the subject matter and fulfils our desires to be at one and within nature again; a guaranteed hit of sublime natural bliss.

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Event Horizon By Richard Ross


Event Horizon


Richard Ross

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Richard Ross is back with another release of electronic mastery and trance with his latest release Event Horizon, the follow up to his Entropy album of 2019, and I have a whole new appreciation of this style of music after hosting a chill out show for the whole of this summer on radio.

The opening piece was fascinating, utilising a neat pitch bend and some very classy electronic beats; Bent Light got this amazing journey of sound and tone off to a flying start.

The album has seven colourful tracks within its realms and all of them crafted to such a high quality, the floating essence of Dark Matter’s opening notes gave us an enticing moment of suspense and a beautifully fluent arrangement, whilst the title track Event Horizon has a smooth and easy downbeat styled trance ethic to its overall composition, one that contains a wonderful sense of movement within, much the same way as a Jean Michel Jarre track used to do back in the day.

Event Horizon is a really craft-fully produced album, but that is Richard Ross’s specialty, everything he touches sounds simply idyllic and classy, other tracks with that chilled vibe would be Oort Cloud a stylish opus, Plasma a composition with such an addictive vibrancy about its construction, and Thermals, a vast wide open composition that takes the listener to new heights of musical exploration.

Ross finishes his latest offering with what would be one of my personal favourites off the album, the sultry tones of Vortex, if you ever wanted to hear a track with a truly masterful build and progression contained within then I need to point no further than this piece.

Richard Ross in my view has created his best work so far in this style, this smooth and extremely classy chilled vibe with trance motifs, really hits the centre spot of the musical dart board, it is an album that I think will resonate with a lot of listeners who are looking for something easy on the ears but with a little edge. Event Horizon is an album of pure bliss, and forty minutes of musical magic that is so easy to recommend.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Peace in Every Moment By Tom Moore & Tim Sadow


Peace in Every Moment


Tom Moore & Tim Sadow

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is a massive need for good explorative music these days, when we are all contained within our homes across the planet, music is the one thing that can set us free, and it is truly amazing music like Peace in Every Moment that can pacify that desire and bring peace to the heart and soul.

Tom Moore & Tim Sadow have manifested something truly breath-taking here with Peace in Every Moment; from the incredible sense of anticipation of the opening track Just a Breath Away, to the profundity and complexities of Peace Runs Deep.

This is an album that is simply genius in motion, the added bonus of a thunderstorm in the title track Peace In Every Moment is always going to be a winner for me personally, the string and keyboard performances here by the artists are utterly sublime, and resonated deeply within me, while offerings like Everlasting Peace hovered with an intensity of a mid-summers afternoon in July.

If someone ever asks you to say what actually is new age music, you need to point no further than this album and tell them to take a listen, what is contained within is magical and quite beautiful, a fine example is the penultimate composition Stillness In Our Midst, a track so vast and panoramic, one could easily get lost within its musical dimensions.

The conclusion is brought to us by the final piece entitled The Endless River, a masterful long form opus of over 20 minutes, an elaborate and picturesque arrangement that gives the listener so much room to walk around musically within, and a truly clever way with which to finish the album too.

Peace in Every Moment by Tom Moore & Tim Sadow is a crafted, beautifully performed collection of classy presentations; each and every composition is manifested with such care and attention to detail it should be applauded. It is rare to find albums of such a vastly high quality these days, but here is one that excels in creating a listener experience that is packed with moments of tranquillity and calm, surely an absolute must for all serious music fans.

Monday, October 19, 2020

House of Chimes By Robert Fox


House of Chimes


Robert Fox

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The electronic mastery of Robert Fox is back in full view for us to enjoy on House of ChimesThere is a delightful grandness to the structure to much of the music, and elements of sheer genius can be found throughout this new 8 track solo album.

The symbiotic nature of time and movement is looked into in great depth within this release, none more so than the brilliant opening piece entitled House of Chimes, a composition that marches on with care and attention in an almost new age styled methodology, one that reminded me of Time by Pink Floyd, but non the less a perfect place to start.

Fox’s simply beautiful ear can be found on my personal favourite on the album entitled Murmuration, when it happens here, which is rare, it is a simply amazing occurrence to watch, and Fox has it spot on the money with a composition that seems to move, flow and change course with ease, the lush build and progression on this track is utterly divine.

Pieces like The Devil’s Puzzle hold that sense of mystery and wonder for us, while Prayers of Light and Darkness fulfil an almost meditative reality of ambience that is too difficult to resist, the mournful quality of the latter track is also sublime.

Since the spring of 2020 there has been one word that has dominated the news, our lives and each and every moment of the tick and tock of an unrelenting clock, Lockdown! With the pandemic completely out of control, I am on a self-imposed one as I write this review and that is the track with which I float with now, as it speaks for my current situation; one could easily say it is an anthem for a never ending reflection, the electronic mournful nature of this track is deeply effective and incredibly powerful, the vocalisations equally so.

House of Chimes is indeed an album that needs to be listened to in depth, it is a work of art that needs to be given room to expand, and the time to dive deep into. Fox has moved into the darker realms of his psyche with this new offering, and I hope like me, you will simply adore this manifestation of this grand soundscape of tone, talent and style.

Beachcombing (Soundscapes Vol 2) By Divine Matrix


Beachcombing (Soundscapes Vol 2)


Divine Matrix

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Ever since the release of New Day back in 2009, I always felt there was something very special about Steve Barnes, his music truly spoke to me, drew me in and carried me along, now over the years as Divine Matrix the artist has kept that magic going, and with this new release Beachcombing (Soundscapes Vol 2) he has crossed into the musical borderlands of greatness.

An album that is inspired by many loving memories of times in nature with his father, the artist has created something spectacular and vast here, listen to the opening piece Unknown Origins of Flotsam, one could easily be there on the beach in autumn, combing the sands of time themselves.

Tracks like Sea Glass and Strange Finds retain that sense of reflective energy within their hallowed halls of tone, the soundscapes are also beautifully natural and wide open, the artists skills at manifesting lush electronic vistas are indeed something to marvel at and enjoy.

Footsteps in the Wash was something so special, the symbiotic partnership of natural sounds and electronic ambience created a tempting musical vista to enjoy and walk within, one that worked so beautifully with the penultimate offering entitled Walking The Tideline, a track with a slightly elevated tempo and energy, but still fully holding onto this never ending blissful reality of a beachcombing ambient narrative.

Steve Barnes has indeed over the years matured into a wonderfully fluent electronic artist, and now also into one who can completely call himself a creator of layered and textured realities of sound. To end with such a sublime offering like Rockpools was nothing more than sheer genius, and as always the Divine Matrix is well named and as usual, always leaves us wanting more.

Beachcombing (Soundscapes Vol 2) by Divine Matrix is an album that has to be part of any serious electronic music fans record collection. It is a release packed with quality performances and moving, memory filled compositions. The Divine Matrix has yet again created an album that offers so much to enjoy, it is an album of great colour, and a release of utterly encapsulating arrangements, and one that really needs to be in your collections as soon as possible.

Friday, October 16, 2020

Violin Passion: Postludium Noir By Benedikt


Violin Passion: Postludium Noir



Written by

Steve Sheppard


Strings of magic are on offer on this brand new release from the flaming violin of maestro Benedikt; this simply idyllic release is a multi-textured new album that will ease the mind and sooth the soul.

The passionate flow of the artist is fully evident here, and there is not a better place to start your journey than the smooth and calming tones of the opening piece Sun Shower, a tranquil opus that is so beautifully crafted it is a delight to listen to many times over and also one that would make a splendid single.

This eight track album is full of musical wonders, and for me it is a pleasure to listen to a violin taking centre stage, for me personally it is one of only a few instruments that can manifest the mood of reflection so meaningfully, a fine example of this can be found within the ambience of the piece Willows in the Wind.

There are many compositions on this album that highlight the multi-instrumentational aspect of this collection, perhaps tracks like Secret Mirror, a mysterious opus so grand and crafted, and the deep and emotive tones of Moon Crater are but two examples of this, the fluency and gentle progression of both arrangements are sublime.

The album concludes with the piece Sentimentalium, a lush and bright combination of piano and violin in perfect musical symbiosis, proving without doubt that whilst a track maybe short in time, it can be vast in beauty and colour and is the perfect way to conclude this collection of wonderful compositions.

Violin Passion: Postludium Noir by Benedikt is one of those albums that highlights the creative skills of a man who clearly loves his work, his violin and the pure pleasure of creating absolutely blissful compositions, it is without doubt a musical moment of outstanding natural beauty, and so very easy to recommend.

Thursday, October 15, 2020

Sanctuary of Light By Peter Sterling


Sanctuary of Light


Peter Sterling

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The resurgence in the Harp as an instrument of choice in the new age music genre has been a most pleasurable thing to witness, and it is albums like Sanctuary of Light by Peter Sterling that make the experience even more idyllic.

The starting composition is a perfect example of the fluency that Sterling has been known for over many years, and the track The Light Within is utterly ethereal in all its glory, a gentle flute is within the mix of the harps great majesty, and the light vocalisations are simply perfectly angelic.

Divine Reflection would be one of my personal favourites; here is a piece that has great depth and such wonderful textures, a gentle and natural narrative can be found here; listening to this track, and even this entire album, is like being as light as a feather and floating on the breeze of life through a vast green forest.

The serene nature of this album is highlighted by many beautiful moments, one of those would be this next piece entitled Light in Your Eyes. The flute works in wonderfully fluent ways here, gentle and with a slight native style too, while the Harp of Sterling just keeps the soothing dance going at all times.

One of the longer tracks on the album is up next at just short of ten minutes and is entitled This Path I Walk. The lush and slowed ambience created here by the artist is deeply meditative. This track would be perfect on a night time playlist, a sleep enhancer indeed, but for us eager avid listeners of stylish music, there is much to admire in this tranquil composition of great colour and peace.

From the long form, we now move to the short and a light little offering called Forevermore, this offers us a calming segment of just two minutes, but even in that time it still charms us into a heavenly reverie.

Time is now on hand to dive head long into the Pool of Love, how blissful can music be that one is utterly and so deeply captivated by such a beautiful arrangement like this? It would be very easy to visualise Sterling sitting by a small pool playing his harp, while all around him nature flows in the energy of life’s rich tapestry.

There is an expression that fits this piece perfectly it is “It does what it says on the can”. Welcome to the penultimate offering entitled Seventh Heaven, this in my view is probably one of the best compositions that Sterling has ever composed, the slow but creative elevation on this composition and its hopeful and empowering motifs are sublime, and for me it is one of the tracks of the year with ease.

Sterling says about Shores of Eternity, that it came to him in a dream, an opportunity to create free flowing ethereal music, from the Harp and multi-instrumental variances, to the very heart of you the listener. The duration of this piece is 4:44, which transcribed using Numerology means you are not alone and the angels are with you, I’m guessing you won’t get a nicer way to end the album than that.

Sanctuary of Light by Peter Sterling has to be the most meditative and calming album I have heard this year without doubt. The delicacy and care with which this release has been manifested is beauty on its own, but each and every arrangement has been given a perfect amount of attention to enhance an almost spiritual experience at its conclusion, an album that is indeed both uplifting, but comforting at the same time, and of course completely recommended.

Thursday, October 8, 2020

Carousel of Life By Lisa Swerdlow


Carousel of Life


Lisa Swerdlow

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is something truly special about a Lisa Swerdlow composition, each time I hear another one, the arrangements get more symphonic, or perhaps in the case of this new single more cinematic.

Carousel of Life sums up the situation that life on our world finds itself in, one that is struggling to find a new way to be, and one still holding onto fond memories of the past.

The simply moving and melodic structures of this arrangement are both scene setting and quite emotive at times. Swerdlow’s stature as a composer has grown and moved hand in hand with her crafted ability on the piano; and here we have it all, a little reflection, a sense of fun days gone by, and the most important thing of all, hope.

A guaranteed hit from a pianist and composer who is clearly in touch with her musical muse at all times.

While It Rains By Melany Thompson


While It Rains


Melany Thompson

Written by

Steve Sheppard


A brand new single is on offer from pianist Melany Thompson, the title is pretty topical for many at the moment this autumn, and entitled While it Rains, however the performance by the artist is warm and all-encompassing throughout its transcendent performance.

Unusually there are two versions to be had here as well, one on a Grand Piano and the other a Felt Piano, the latter being the softer and perhaps more embracing in its nature.

Regardless of which one you choose, the overall composition is an utter delight to bathe within; the textures and melody are sublime and give a wonderful mix of reflection and memory.

Thompson has manifested something here truly listenable, and I can see no reason why While It Rains shouldn’t be a huge chart hit for the artist.

I Have Loved You By Laura Christie Wall & Fransoafran

I Have Loved You


Laura Christie Wall & Fransoafran

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Creativity has been truly in the forefront of most musicians psyche ever since this global pandemic started; the freedom of expression is the only true freedom we have left currently.

Here we see pianist Laura Christie Wall team up with contemporary instrumentalist and violinist Fransoafran, this collaboration will bring to the table one of the most beautiful singles of the year, with the offering I Have Loved You.

The structure of this piece is a masterclass on arrangement, build and progression, the performance by Laura Christie Wall is both gentle and poignant, while the violin of Fransoafran is emotive and played with the heart firmly on the sleeve. Both have manifested here a lush and blissful repose into the deep realms of the musical heart, and thus should have a huge hit on their hands with this new single with ease.


Awakening By Randy "Windtalker" Motz




Randy "“Windtalker”" Motz

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It is always a very good sign, when you click play on an album your about to review, and instantly your first thoughts are a simple wow, an exclamation of utter beauty, and the experience that I have now been bathed in was nothing short of an exquisite sojourn of magnificence.

Randy “Windtalker” Motz and his latest release Awakening brings us the ever eager listener a dimension of calm and tranquillity to reside within, and contains 12 simply delightful pieces to enjoy.

I must first mention Windswept; here we have a track that sets the scene with such perfection, the natural world and all of creators’ creations will sit up and listen to this, it is simply the most beautiful way to start an album, and to follow it up with the reflective genius of Breathe was masterful.

Keyboards and native flute never sounded so good, I can assure you that this will be a journey of fascination and sublime skill, listen to offerings like the haunting Timeless. The depth of performance here was crafted and the ticking of the clock was a clever addition to the composition.

Awakening has many gems within the album, another one of my personal favourites would be Solitude, bird sounds set the scene and then the flute enters the clearing, setting a view so panoramic and green. The entire composition was so warming one could have easily been sitting in solitude in the middle of a great forest with ease.

The magic of the skill of mood setting could be found in Ethereal, an utterly timeless offering, while the gentleness of touch and ambience was so craft-fully played within Silhouettes and the final composition Sojourn, a piece that raises the rhythms slightly and acknowledges the completion of the project with such tenderness.

Awakening by Randy "“Windtalker”" Motz is a classy 12 track album that in my view is easily his best work so far. The entire album exudes an energy of love and respect, both for his personal path and the native peoples of Turtle Island themselves. Awakening is a release of positivity and great beauty; one packed with colour and passion and surely must be heralded as one of the most serene albums to have been released this year without doubt.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Raven Cove By Chrissie Sheppard


Raven Cove


Chrissie Sheppard

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


I have always had an affinity with the sea, I grew up near the coast, and it is something that has always been important to me, water is connected to emotions and whenever I needed to let go of things, if I needed to re-energise, I would go to the sea and sit and watch its movement and breath in the healing energies. For me the sea and the movement of the waves and the tides represent life.

I spent a lot of time with my Dad near the sea as a child, on days when he was not working, we would go to the shore and spend the day together, sometimes just watching the movement of the sea, others walking along the seafront, sometimes simply in a small rowing boat at the local lido, we even used to play Pooh sticks there, throwing our sticks into the water from the top of a small bridge and running to the other side to see whose stick was going to come through first. These were magical times that bring me great comfort, special memories that will live with me forever.

Raven Cove for me is a piece that reflects our lives, sometimes life is easy, everything seems to just go exactly how we want it to, but at other times it seems so chaotic, as if nothing will ever go right, but things always change, we just never know when and how this will happen.

I have always felt a really strong connection to birds too, my children used to laugh and say I would be like the bird lady in Mary Poppins, as I would sit and talk to the birds in my garden when they were younger, I still do.

The raven is known as the “Keeper of Secrets”, and like all birds it is a messenger between the heavens and the earth. The raven encourages us to look deep within ourselves to seek answers that we can put into motion and make those most important changes. The energy of the raven can be called upon, and the messages that it gives us, can sometimes be difficult, but in order to grow and move forward, we need to soar over these hurdles and obstacles that are placed in our way, only then can we truly move past any perceived barriers and flourish.

My Native American flute is the air that we breathe, the air that helps us take flight, the instrument that enables us to fly like the raven. The sound of the sea is a recording I made here in Cyprus, something that was not as easy to do as I thought it would be, as getting the sound right, without people talking was more difficult that I had ever imagined.

I would like to thank Andy Rogers, as he added some wonderful synths to my music, which really enhance it, and made it more magical.

Listen carefully, and follow the journey of life, with its ups and downs, until finally, the raven sets you free.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Memories of the River By Steve Sheppard


Memories of the River


Steve Sheppard

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This may well be a first for a music writer, I am going to be writing about my own music, I cannot do a review that would be ridiculously egotistical, so I thought I would explain the narrative behind the track.

My first single Memories of the River explains the tale of a father and son relationship that was late to bloom to its full maturity, and highlights the impossible desire to slow down time, so that this precious moment would never end.

There is a constant light drone, almost a hum that runs through the piece, for me it shows mid-summer, the heat of the day, the tone of the afternoon and the evening falling, the gentle natural sounds were wonderfully placed by Chrissie Sheppard, she in my view is has some of the finest ears in the business, and her capabilities as a master of mastering are well beyond mine, and many others I know. Another special mention needs to go to Andy Rogers for his addition of synths, adding to the multi-layered textures of the composition.

The keyboards tones are upbeat, but within the fluency of the composition hides a little reflection and sadness, this comes from many memories of just not spending enough quality time with my father, this partially comes from the fact that he was fairly old when I was born, close to 40.

Music would eventually be our panacea, and we would have endless conversations about that and of course the meaning of life and the universe and everything, all of those debates usually took place by the river whilst fishing.

Memories of the River for me is an endless slice of utter ambience, it is warm, heart felt, sad and happy, but more than anything, it shows one underlying fact, we spend so much energy trying to fight the endless onward progression of time, when the reality of obtaining peace and tranquillity, is a simple acceptance of what and who we are. This is a message I truly believe my father obtained before his passing in 2012, and it is this song that I dedicate to his memory.

The singles art work is the actual river where our days were spent, a river called The Ivel, in a small English village called Broom, and after we have all gone and moved on from this place, that river will still flow, and call to others to reflect and accept and enjoy.

Soul of a River By Jon Durant


Soul of a River


Jon Durant

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Jon Durant could not have chosen a better subject to create an album about for me than this one, as rivers have been one of the many constants in my life, and many happy memories surround them in my relationship with my late father, in fact my debut single is about the river, so it was with eager anticipation that I reviewed this total gem of an album by Jon Durant.

Soul of a River as ambient music goes is a masterpiece, like Music for Airports by Eno or Buddha Nature by Deuter, if your ambient music collection is to be complete, it is going to have to have a copy of Soul of a River in it.

Masterful performances like Tributaries set the scene with perfection; the repeating piano motif and the simply idyllic guitar from Durant, take us as listeners to the very bank side of this mystical and magical place.

On Estuary we actually do have a moment of ambient magic that took me back to the days of Budd and Eno combined. I cannot rate this album and this specific track highly enough, but please, take your time here, listen to the music and watch the flow of the water, and the flights of the flocks of birds on take-off and landing, it’s all in here in this incredible offering and more.

The up-tempo sparkling performances on Glistening is so redolent of the subject matter, whilst the long and languid tranquillity that one can obtain from Watercourse is simply a musical blessing that needs to deeply be appreciated.

Durant goes long form on Current, a piece so fluent and effective it is hard not to leave on repeat, the build and progression here is sublime, and then to finish the project with the outstanding Flow was pure genius, a track that does what it says on the can, it flows and does so, with such a supreme sense of ambience, that one cannot be anything but moved by the performance.

Soul of a River by Jon Durant has to be a potential award winning album and one that will certainly stay rooted on my personal music player for ages. This album is the perfect example of a creation manifested into this world by an artist that clearly knows, feels and sees all around him, and then has that wonderful ability to bring it all together, to create an album of utter blissful brilliance.

Deep Peace By Laurence Furr


Deep Peace


Laurence Furr

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Oh the bliss of the Harp, it has thankfully now become an instrument of good favour and indeed flavour within the ranks of the New Age Music genre, and about time too. This latest release, Deep Peace from Laurence Furr, exemplifies everything that is good about the harp and more so.

The opening offering from this beautiful 15 track album is sublime and entitled Quiet Earth, this brings to one, instant peace and beauty from the confines of its breath taking stunning composition.

The mournful reposes and emotive motifs are a constant within this stunning album, especially when you add in the vast and lush skills on Native flute by the artist on pieces like Grey Wind of the West, Flowing Air or Brown on the Soil, all utterly transcendent offerings.

Furr is a new artist to me, but I am so very grateful I have found his work at last, it is so deeply peaceful and tranquil, you only have to lay in the arms of compositions like the warm and loving Green of the Grass, the meditative Sleeping Stones, or the visual and soothing narrative of Quiet Rain, to fall head over heels with this album.

Laurence Furr’s performances within this amazing collection of wondrous arrangements are a thing to be marvelled at alone; listen with an open heart and mind to beauties such as Healing Light, or the charming refrains of Shining Stars, perhaps even the tranquillity created by the last piece entitled Gentle Night, each and every track so lovingly created.

Deep Peace by Laurence Furr has to be given the award of one of the nicest albums recorded in 2020. It would be virtually impossible to listen to this album and not be chilled by its contents.

Here within the dimensions of this release are 15 tracks, each one manifested into your world by the hands of Laurence Furr and all musically cooked to perfection, and all from the tender heart of an artist who truly cares, to the open minds and imaginations of all who will listen; this is without doubt one to recommend.

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Noctis Gravis By Graeme Drum


Noctis Gravis


Graeme Drum

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There are times when you hear a new single and simply utter one word, wow! Graeme Drum a master percussionist has created something here utterly powerful and driven and called Noctis Gravis.

This composition has all the hallmarks of a huge hit in the making, its vibrancy and pulsating rhythmic nature reminds me of the past, in the late but great Hossam Ramzy, but Graeme Drum has now created a niche for himself in this brave new world of music, and through the release of this brand new single, has placed himself on the map of true quality through constant hard work and dedication.

I can gaze into my crystal ball and predict that Noctis Gravis is going to be a huge hit for the artist, and may well be the piece that seals his place as a future great in this genre.