Friday, October 29, 2021

Moments by Ryan Marvel




Ryan Marvel

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I believe that we each live our lives in a sequence of moments, all things change, all life moves forever onward, it’s about surfing the rapids of our lives, and not swimming against the flow of the tide that we must try to do. Here on Ryan Marvels latest offering entitled Moments, we have that aforementioned statement in music, and it is this sojourn of many musical places we can now go.

We start with the first open door of tone called Rays; this is an idyllic presentation, and one that depicts a fresh day full of optimism and hope as the rays of glorious sunlight filter in through an open curtain.

Our next piece called Commencement leads us off on a veritable exploration of life’s rich tapestries, the changes within the song, and those repeating motifs and gentle chord structures are indeed like life, ever changing, with a wistful melody of simplicity.

We all reflect on our past and those times that hold special moments good or bad for us, and for me this next track offers up much with regard to healing those sadder sequences of life, and entitled Yesteryear. The slow tempo and thoughtful progressions are almost dramatic in stature, but mournful in mood and texture.

As previously stated the one thing that is certain in life is Change, here is a track that reflects that oh so very perfectly, at times new age piano is combined with a little jazzy ethic, and I even found a slight hint of Keith Emerson in the weave too, “Change” indeed was the correct title for this one.

We move ever onwards and as we do so we come across a composition entitled Growth, something we all do if we have learned the lessons that life throws at us, here Marvel gifts us a gentle musical narrative, one that seems to pull back and forth like a summer tide.

This for me was a personal favourite, and called Empty Stage, I was taken back in time and reminded perhaps of Shakespeare: “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances; And one man in his time plays many parts”. The grand classical elements are here, a possible soundtrack even, and a flourishing almost Baroque performance from the artist too.

Moments is a truly inspiring slice of solo piano, if this is your genre then fall in love with it you will, especially on tracks like Farewell. A deep and moody opus can be found here, perhaps to allow one to drift off onto a bed of reflection with, this was strangely enough, one of those pieces that I had to stop writing and just listen to at least three times, each time I did so I felt the narrative and direction change, creating a new flow, whilst paying homage to the last.

As we move forever deeper into this musical woodland of wonderment, we come across a beautifully light reverie entitled Spirit, the texture and chords here are so calming and soothing, and with each note played, beams of light and hope stretch across the room of potential.

There is an energy of the dance within this next happy composition entitled Equinox, the upbeat nature of this arrangement is sublime, and would be a pleasing grin to anyone looking to be lifted; almost anthem like in presentation, here is a track that will raise the rhythms with ease.

Way over in the deeper waters of the album we can find a vast arrangement entitled Stargazing. Ryan Marvel has really embraced the subject matter here completely, his blissful performance is one to wander across the universe with; a wondrous open feel that stretches on musically into infinity and beyond can be found here.

Our penultimate offering is called Goodnight and quite brilliantly played by the artist, a calming serene mood is manifested here, one that will allow you to rest your head on the pillow, close your eyes, and drift off down the stream, perchance to dream.

To conclude this crafted collection of creative compositions, we end with Sleep, I adore the gentle presentation here, the tranquil tones will ease the heart and quieten the mind, this is also a clever performance by the artist too, and his use of a slight pause and repeating notes and structures, brings forth a truly restful and crafted last offering.

Moments by Ryan Marvel could well be one of the best solo piano offerings in this style, that has been released this year, in my view it is the artists best work to date with ease, an album full of thoughtful and professional performances, beautifully produced and presented, this is a story book of life, wrapped up in one wonderful solo piano performance.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Nocturne No 1 By Eric Chapelle & Michelle Schumann


Nocturne No 1


Eric Chapelle & Michelle Schumann

Written by

Steve Sheppard


A gentle start to the day is assured after listening to Nocturne No. 1, a combination once more, from composer Eric Chapelle and pianist Michelle Schuman and is a track from the forthcoming album Works for Solo Piano.

The soothing solo piano narrative is the perfect way to get the hours ahead on the move in the most graceful of ways, Schumann’s performance is equally as graceful, and the delicate but precise presentation and structures were wonderfully delightful to listen to.

The arrangement is enhanced further by the superb art work courtesy of Santa Fe based artist Rick Stevens, whose Winter Moon over Cornfields is utterly idyllic and certainly fit for purpose. Nocturne No. 1 is one of those sumptuous new singles that will end up being a constant on your playlist of choice, full marks indeed for another fantastic release.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Full Bloom By Nancy Shoop-Wu


Full Bloom


Nancy Shoop-Wu

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Soulful, melodic and charming, are but three of the words that could describe a Nancy Shoop –Wu album, funny thing is, I was only thinking of her last album Rainbow Road the other day, when this new collection came across my desk to review and called, Full Bloom.

Here is an album that is as beautiful as the day is new, one that starts with a composition so light and attractive in the title header itself, Full Bloom. Featuring producer Derek Nakamoto on piano, a wonderful performance can be found here, and one must add there is also a classy percussive backdrop, from whom else but Peter Korpela, while Nancy Shoop-Wu’s violin ushers forth some of the most profoundly beautiful violin ever.

One of my favourite pieces early on was the delectable Night Rainbow, the piano and violin combination was utterly sublime, and created a truly moving arrangement and composition; add the light percussion and you get a rhythmic creation of not only great colour, but a glourious musical tapestry of tone too.

Dreams is a piece to bring peace, this is a transcendent offering that slows down the mind, quietens the beating heart, and softens the cadence of the day, a fine presentation by the artist here and her compatriots, on one of the most heartfelt songs off the album.

Featuring the acoustic skill set of Mitchell Long, the artist for the first time on this album, brings forth her vocals as she sings on Flying Away. Without doubt, this is one track that contains a wonderful energy within its construction of movement; one through the tempo alone, could be found sailing high on the blue skies, and over lapis oceans with ease; if ever there was a fine example of an excellent feel good piece then this is it, and in my view one of the best compositions thus far created by the artist.

At the half way marker we come across a composition from the very core of all that is love and called Beautiful. Whilst listening to this track I became extremely emotional, I could feel so much in here that needed to come out, the violin of the artist and the piano, manifested for me something truly and very deeply moving, on this quite passionate and emotive opus.

We share a similarity, both myself and the artist draw inspiration from our own islands to create our work, and that love of our true homes shines through with such a colourful clarity. Here on Olinda Winds we have a fine example of that, the violin here issues a portent through performance, a change can be felt in this remarkable presentation; again Shoop-Wu gifts us a song that is passionate, but one that contains a blissful calmness to its overall construction as well.

On Angel Above Me there is a softness that is so sublime, one that could have easily fluttered down on the wings of an angel themselves. Once more the delicacy of performance here is both touching and melodic and the song itself creates a soothing narrative of a tranquil nature.

Serenade has an almost classical feel to its overall narrative; the fluency of the violin here creates a heartfelt plea of sorts, one that manifests a vibration of musical love with each and every note played; a moving performance that reminded me of segments within Vaughn Williams Norfolk Rhapsody.

The penultimate track off this quite breath taking release is called Golden Leaves, a quite apt song for those who have a regular fall, for me it reminds me of the past, and the depth found within this track is redolent of late October days, in this season that was once of mists and restful sunsets.

Our last musical gift comes with the arrival of the final offering and entitled Morning Paradise, a sensitive way to end the album indeed, a gentle percussive beat and a soothing piano, whilst the Violin of Nancy Shoop –Wu creates a wonderful sun kissed opus to end with, in a song with a positive vibration that will live on forever.

Full Bloom by Nancy Shoop-Wu is an album that has all the hall marks of a really great new age/contemporary instrumental album, each performance, by a plethora of talented artistes is a pleasure to listen to, and each and every song manifests a whole world of peace on their own. Full Bloom by Nancy Shoop-Wu is an outstanding example of what an artist can achieve when their personal musical muse is full flow, and the result is a collection of compositions that are graceful, melodic and masterful in everyway. 

Monday, October 25, 2021

Whisper By Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy




Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy

Written by

Steve Sheppard


It’s strange how music brings back resonances of the past, thoughts of how things once were, and then it eventually releases and heals them, music is indeed the panacea to cure woes and change moods. I remembered whilst listening to this release, several moments that were incredibly tough times for me that flooded back, music on the album helped me let them all go, here is an album that was created through one, if not the toughest time for us all, the pandemic, and one can with ease feel and enjoy its soothing tones throughout, easing the cadence of the day.

Whisper by Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy is one of the finest works of an ambient structure to have come across my desk in a long, long while, listen to the opening piece, the proud title track Whisper, the gentle acoustic guitar of Levy enhances the sublime soothing flute of Teng, this is one of those tracks to simply stop what you’re doing, listen, and just be in the moment with.

Sweet Jack is our next port of call; the soft keyboard chords create a wonderfully serene musical back drop, whilst both artists once more manifest something so beautiful, that time ceases to exist when one listens to its beautiful refrains.

There is a wonderful piece on this album, one that flows like a rich vein of honey on a summer’s day, and this moment of beauty is called Birgitte on the Steps. The calming energy of this track reminds me of the good old days of Deuter’s rich tapestry of tone. There is a warm and meditative quality to this arrangement that simply cannot be denied.

The fascinating and deeply mysterious Watching Us From Other Worlds is up next, the hovering intensity here is sublime, the textures added by Levy on acoustic guitar here are clever and crafted, and add such a weight to a track that seems to drift across the horizon of the night sky, and thinking about that, this song would be perfect to have playing whilst gazing upward to the stars.

I have been longing to say this for a long while, but winter is coming, and it is, as I write this I can see the coat tails of October disappear into the distance, and the footfalls of November growing ever stronger.  Winter Prayer is a delicate offering to the season of change and rest, and one that brings a warming performance to the heart and soul of the listener.

As we move ever onward we come across a composition entitled Genesis. The multi-instrumental nature of this piece was utterly transfixing; this may at first appear to be a piece with a minimalistic nature, but Teng’s flute creates a floating dimension of sound and tone, which coalesces with this creative backdrop of a musical narrative.

On She Dances With the Sea we have a track with such depth and emotion, Teng’s flute is masterful here, leading the dance across this ocean of instrumental music with such consummate ease, one could almost feel a slight Celtic motif here too.

Our penultimate track is one of my personal favourites and called White Buffalo; Buffalo alone is a very powerful animal totem, the White Buffalo doubly so. The spiritual energies of this track drifted across the plains to touch the very heart of the ancestors themselves, in a composition that is deeply felt, the harmonic convergence of tone here was stunning, on a track that you could leave on repeat for hours and not even notice that any time had passed at all.

The final offering from this brilliant album is called Gammapana and what a sublime way to finish the album. This release has taken me to realms of peace and tranquillity I hadn’t touched for years, and this final creation has such a vastness to its construction it would be easy to get lost within its beautiful mesmeric realms.

Whisper by Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy is a manifestation of utter class, here is an album that could fit into a multiple of genres and still come out top on each one. Whisper by Suzanne Teng & Gilbert Levy is an album that was born from the chaos of the pandemic, created to bring hope and calm, and the final result is a release of outstanding natural beauty, this is ambience at its very best.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Desert Winds (Re-Imagined) By Louis Colaiannia


Desert Winds (Re-Imagined)


Louis Colaiannia

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This happy new piece created by Louis Colaiannia is a multi-instrumental ball of happiness, about to roll down the hill of sublime creation, and is called Desert Winds (Re-Imagined) and was originally released back in 2009, but Louis has taken a new look at it, and I’m glad he has.

This new offering from the prolific composer is destined for big things, the cheerful energies and melodies that emanate from it are just what the world needs right now.

Desert Winds (Re-Imagined) also has a vibrant percussive beat in the mix, along with a light brass section to elevate the vibration of the song, all in all, this is one of those singles that will get stuck in your head, and you will be whistling it for ages afterwards, which means usually, a huge hit is on the cards for the artist with this one.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

I Felt By Andrei Poliakov


I Felt


Andrei Poliakov

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I Felt by Andrei Poliakov has to be one of the most unique solo piano singles I have heard for quite some time, it has a haunting quality about it that makes it so addictive to listen to; the repeating motif on the piano draws the listener in and introduces them to several clever segments within what is an already crafted arrangement.

Poliakov has a real talent for creating music that manifests a wonderfully fluent cinematic mood, this song could with ease be used in a movie segment, as it creates a moment of thought and reflection that each and every listener will simply love, and thoroughly enjoy.


No Plastic Swear Now By Leila Kaiyr & Devan Ekambaram


No Plastic Swear Now


Leila Kaiyr & Devan Ekambaram

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This new single has a powerful message contained within that I can completely support, I live near the sea and often we find a ton of plastic bottles and food containers floating up and onto the shoreline, it’s disgusting, selfish and lazy.

No Plastic Swear Now by Devan Ekambaram featuring the talents of the quite breath taking Leila Kaiyr was written and composed by Isai Vannan and is an anthem for the now, to protect the future of the globe, and brilliantly done one must add.

The harmonies and vocals in this song are incredibly powerful and so stunningly fluent, and they add a whole ton of weight to the message of the composition, this is a single, which needs to be listened to, understood and acted upon, right now!

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Letting Go By James Asher


Letting Go


James Asher

Written by

Steve Sheppard


James Asher is a name known for fine percussive works in the new age and global fusion genres, but his touch on the keys is also impressive, and here on this very chilled arrangement we have a melody to ease the stresses and strains of modern day life away.

The fluent keyboards and light percussion sets a tranquil scene, the chords and musical backdrop also have a sensitive mood to their construction, one that will ease that furrowed brow.

Letting Go does exactly what it says on the can; it is a new single released by James Asher to help promote those moments when you really just need to kick back, put your feet up and be calm, and I must say, this new single suits that purpose wonderfully.

Sadness By Antonija Pacek and Sanja Romić




Antonija Pacek and Sanja Romić

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


There has been much to be sad about over the past couple of years, but now as I listen to the single entitled Sadness by Antonija Pacek and Sanja Romić, I can feel all of that emotion being brought forth, allowing me to release it to the world, not holding on to the emotion that it had brought to me.

The wonderful piano of Antonija Pacek combined with the oboe of Sanja Romić make a very powerful tool to move the emotions. I love the mournful sentiment within the arrangement, but one that constantly has that hint of better times to come.

This is a sure winner for the artists, and a must listen to by anyone who loves music that will move them deeply.


Stay By Claire Lawton




Claire Lawton

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


I must admit, I did not know what I was expecting, but as soon as I heard the first few notes from the single Stay by Claire Lawton, I was delighted. I love the simplistic style used to create this arrangement that is so delicately played, something not easy to do, but that Lawton has done with absolute style.

Stay is a beautiful solo piano arrangement that takes you to a place of inner serenity, somewhere you will want to stay, somewhere piece filled and totally relaxing: this is just what I needed to hear, life has been crazy busy, and I just needed to take some time to slow down the pace and relax, and this was the perfect piece of music for me to listen to as I did so.

If you love piano music or just music that makes you feel good, then this is for you and should be a big hit for the artist.


NOVA: An Acoustic Journey By Juliet Lyons & John McLean Allan


NOVA: An Acoustic Journey


Juliet Lyons & John McLean Allan

Written by

Steve Sheppard


This has to be one of the most interesting and fascinating albums, especially a collaborative one, that I have heard for quite some time, so let’s take two artists in Juliet Lyons & John McLean Allan, remove the instrumentations their best known for, vocals and Bagpipes, and then let the muse run free, the result a wonderfully crafted and smoothly created album that anyone can enjoy.

On the borderlands of instrumental music, there lays a land where talented artists go to manifest unique and new music, and from this musical realm of calm comes NOVA: An Acoustic Journey, the opening piece is a fine place to start, and a masterful piece of build, construction and progression; John McLean Allan on a crisp and melodic guitar and Juliet Lyons talents on piano and synths can be found, right here on Luminous Radiance.

Chaco has a mysterious ethereal feel to its arrangement; one that drifts through the woodlands of creative tone on a late autumn day, the guitar of McLean Allan manifests warmth in performance here, which in partnership with Lyons on both flute and piano, brings us something so moving and at times quite emotive.

On Stones and Circles I drifted back to my days of roaming the English countryside, coming across many standing stones and circles in places I never knew existed. This though is a wonderfully light and thoughtful composition, one that has a progressive energy built within its complexities; a talented performance on both keyboards and acoustic guitar can be found here.

How interesting, I have just completed several reviews where the subject matter of Northern Lights has been in vogue, perhaps a hint for me to see them one day? However, this is one of my personal favourite pieces off the album, I would class this as good old New Age music, it comes right back from the early years of the genre, reminding me of artists like Phil Thornton. This piece is so beautifully arranged and performed, what is there not to love about it.

Vedana is our penultimate offering and probably one of the most uplifting tracks off the album, there is a real energy here of a feeling so strong, a sense so appealing, that one is in total harmony with not only the music, but perhaps even life itself, a wonderfully powerful, and fluent presentation by the artists here.

The concluding track to the album is called Emergence and the delicacy of Lyons on Piano is simply idyllic, and John McLean Allan on acoustic guitar took me right back to the days of Tony Iommi on the track Fluff. This was a splendid way to end what has been a total charming album indeed, and most certainly one I will be spinning again, as I hope you will too.

NOVA: An Acoustic Journey by Juliet Lyons & John McLean Allan is exactly what it says on the can, an acoustic voyage, and once aboard this craft of tone and timbre, you never wish to disembark. This is one of the most listenable albums I have come across for months, it has a gentle and calming sense to it, that manifests a blissful sense of wellbeing, and that is exactly what we all need right now.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Upon the Corner of the Moon By Laurence Furr


Upon the Corner of the Moon


Laurence Furr

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is a power behind music that is so meaningful, so tender and focused, it can be created by an artist to do so much good, to calm the minds and hearts, and to bring tranquillity to the weary body, these observations could easily be said about the musical performances by Harpist Laurence Furr, whose Harp is an instrument of peace and serenity, and many who have listened to his mesmeric works have felt a healing energy flow from his arrangements.

We once again travel with Laurence on a new journey, this sojourn is called Upon the Corner of the Moon, it is some of the most blissful acoustic music your ever likely to hear. The title track is a dimensional portal to a whole world of calm; the performance is so fluent and settles the listener down with ease in seconds.

The beauty of this next piece is self-evident, from the very first touch on the Harp we are taken to a place of great serenity, a slow upward progression is taken to a lush and vast vantage point, where one can sit and just be; Furr’s presentation here is both melodic and sun kissed, on the track Jacob's Stairway.

Following on the back of his massive hit album Deep Peace, Furr has continued that energy and manifested a further layer of calm within the weave of this new release, and on Where Angels Tread, we have a light but more rhythmic composition that literally floats all around us as we listen.

The Weight of Beauty is our next musical way station, and another moment to float in the arms of the angelic realms of serenity; this song is a fine example of ambience personified and quietude exemplified, listen to the gentle almost pristine melody within this track, it is so very pretty that one could with ease, imagine this being music from a magical jewellery box.

As we reach Garner Fields, there is a slightly deeper energy to be found, a slight minor flavour is added to this recipe of attractiveness, a piece that reminds me of an old style new age track, perhaps performed by an artist like Patricia Spero back in the lazy hazy days of the early part of this century.

A more rhythmic approach is taken here on Genoveva's Dance; one could easily feel the movement and sway within this composition, combined here was a clever energy of happiness and reflection; mixed all together in a truly radiant opus of sound.

As we step into the second half of the album we come across one of my personal favourites from the release called The Turquoise Door, apart from being one of my favourite colours, we have a piece here that suggests a doorway to an inner dimension of tranquillity, and Furr’s performance is the mechanism with which to get there, and then enjoy it’s contentment, a very meditative piece indeed.

About 10 years ago I spent some time in the Midwest, whilst there I spotted the title to this song Fireflies, sadly I’ve never seen them again since, such delicacy and such beauty all rolled into one, and that is exactly what you get from Laurence Furr’s performance on this rich and colourful composition.

The title of this song gives us a Celtic hint as we roll down the footpath to McDermott's Pub, a jolly piece indeed, one where a collective energy of happiness can be found, and perhaps a visual image of rolling green hills and blue seas from the window of the pub too.

This next offering is entitled Angels Landing, it is so pristine, so elegant, this could have easily been created by the wings of a butterfly, it is such a soft and warming arrangement, one could easily lie in the arms of an angel and simply drift off to a land of preverbal perfection and harmony; there is something about this piece that feels almost transcendent.

The deeper waters of this album have been found and as we glide on this rippling oasis of musical charm we come across a piece, so reflective and deeply moving, and called She Handed Me Her Harp. Music is such a great healer and this is one of those compositions that may well release the emotions and enable the listener to simply let go.

The shortest track off the album is also our penultimate offering called Green Fields of Ireland, now here is a piece with a Celtic motif and one can simply now enjoy the charm of a land, where green meadows and hillsides seem to roll on forever.

Our final gift from the artist is called Matthew's Heart, this could well be a dedicational piece and if so what a charming way to leave the album, with a track that offers up such positivity and intent, played with a heart full of love and respect.

Upon the Corner of the Moon by Laurence Furr is one of those albums you could leave on repeat for hours, and in doing so, manifest some of the calmest energy in a location as you would ever wish to find. Here the artist has brought into being one of the most ambient and certainly most calming releases of the year thus far. Laurence Furr and Upon the Corner of the Moon is a release that when purchased, will bring many hours of calmness, stillness and composure, to any household that has the good sense to do so.

Thursday, October 14, 2021

An Approaching Storm By Derek Wille


An Approaching Storm


Derek Wille

Written by

Steve Sheppard


A new musician arrives on the radar for me, and I am excited to be able to take in the latest Myndstream artist in Derek Wille, this being his debut album one has to say it’s an incredible start for the composer, as something dramatic and melodic this way comes.

A subject dear to my heart is embraced through An Approaching Storm, and indeed the title track gets us underway with an exciting ride of solo piano. This is a masterful performance, creating a perfect depiction of a huge storm heading our way, sometimes pulling back as if the thunder can be heard rolling in the distance.

There are many beautiful moments of musical craft on this new debut album by Wille, the musical narrative of Last Kiss could have been taken from a David Lanz song book, it is so romantic, whilst Cold Day has that depth and sharpness that brilliantly illustrated the subject matter.

One of my personal favourites was the smooth and tranquil tones of Green In Blue, here is a composition of great quality, in my view this is one of the most illustrative and expressive moments of solo piano I have heard for quite a while, this is a wonderfully reflective and emotive composition, one could sit and watch the sun set to this piece, and still want more.

This eleven track album is filled from top to bottom with incredibly illuminating solo piano performances, and topped off by the concluding offering entitled Waking Up Late Morning. One could visualise pulling the curtains back after waking, and watching the sun break through the clouds, creating a perfect opportunity of a brand new day to this ending offering.

An Approaching Storm by Derek Wille is one of the most visionary debut albums of solo piano I have heard for simply years, if this album is anything to go by, a bright future lays ahead for Derek Wille, one that will touch hearts, ease minds, and bring a wide smile of contentment to lovers of really good music everywhere.

Auroral Magic By Chakuna Machi Asa


Auroral Magic


Chakuna Machi Asa

Written by

Steve Sheppard


A new album arrived on my desktop to review, and one so interesting that it took me back in time in many ways, musically and spiritually. Auroral Magic by Chakuna Machi Asa touches base with a simplicity of sound and tone, but in doing so creates a healing energy that flows through the vibrations of the album, and the gentleness of the tracks creates an idyllic surrounding you will never wish to leave.

A prime example of the end of that last statement of mine, is the first track off the album entitled Blood of our Ghost, listening to the artist imploring refrains and tender vocals was a sublime scene setter, the natural sounds simply beautiful, but a relevant focus for all that is truly real, one could with ease see the singer manifesting a moment of sublime oneness by a mountain stream with her guitar.

If we glance to our left we can see a new energy building and this composition is called Elven Magic, this is a truly powerful opus that has a blissful addictive quality to its construction, in an almost Lord of the Rings style. We can through the music feel the essences of a ceremony beginning to build perhaps.

On Planet Xeron we have a completely different style of composition, one that mixes an ambient nature with a sultry chilled rhythm. This reminds me of a lucid dream I had once, a mixture of cultures were there in a circle of peace and positivity; a smooth flowing beat with a delightful soothing vocal can be found in this mesmeric offering.

This must be one of the most unique albums I have heard for many a year and once again change is offered through this next song entitled Dancing Reflections. The water sounds here gives us a clue that there is a duality within this musical narrative that is being discussed, the shimmering qualities of light on the ripples of a lake perhaps, and the pianos repetitive but scaled performance bring us a clever dance between the sun and the water, utterly transcendent and transfixing

From one element to another now as we reach the track The Wind, this has to be one of my favourite pieces off the album, a meditative offering indeed, and I could have used this exact piece whilst I was meditating by the pool only yesterday, I gazed at the way the wind played with the branches of the palm trees, and closed my eyes in meditation as the sound of the wind drifted through its proud green leaves, this specific track would have been perfect for that occasion, a piece deeply bathed in the stillness of the moment.

I can always tell when I have been literally hooked by an album, I had forgotten to save my work thus far, and we are over half way through the release, always a good sign for me, so with that done, let’s continue to move forward and into the piece called Time Womb. This is another clever offering; there is a throbbing beat here that perhaps given the subject matter one could expect, then an added layer of keyboards and electronic wizardry, this combination craft-fully may well be exploring all facets of life and its impermanence.

On Blue Moon we have a different energy here completely, the keyboards create a tentative mood, there is an energy of a possible creation that seems yet to have formed within this realm, but is expected to do so, the use of pause here is sublime, creating further anticipation within the composition, that makes it for me one of the most artistic offerings from the release.

Interestingly enough I am host of a space music show on One World Music Radio, and mostly the music that flows there is of an electronic nature, but I am going to include this one on my next show, as Space Shift has a beautiful compositional structure that manifests for us a vast realm and spacious dimension with which we can wonder through, perhaps we are even exploring ourselves within the role of the grand universe itself, a splendid combination of vocalisations, keyboards, synths, and a galactic awareness so very powerful, a truly special track indeed.

The longest creation from the album is up next and called Our Escape, A delicate onward movement of keyboards and chants can be found here, and reminded me in part of some of the Reiki chanting I use to once do. The simplicity of the keyboards here are perhaps showing us the way from suffering and into unconditional love. This is one of those songs that there is so much contained within it, that I would advise multiple listens, each one will be fresh, but still utterly enjoyable.

The gentle flow that is The Whale Song is up next and is without doubt the most melodic offering from the album. Here we have a track that tells us that the whale is completely at home within its own environment, and thus the composition manifests a harmonic resonance that is both deep and knowledgeable to reflect that. Chakuna Machi Asa has manifested something here that is so inspiring and fluent, a pieced filled with the wisdom of, and gratitude that, Whale energy can teach us, simply beautiful with every note played.

Our penultimate track is a dedication written for the artist’s stepfather called John. The natural sounds and gentle keyboards bring us an idyllic location to just sit, be and reflect; regardless, it is a beautiful composition with which to honour him.

Our final gateway to this musical reality is the title header and of course called Auroral Magic, this song will have a multitude of possible meanings for all those who listen to it, each of us has our own magic we may choose to bring forward, it is an invitation to bathe in the pool of hope whilst listening to it, and one must say the perfect way to leave a wonderfully flowing and heart felt album.

Auroral Magic by Chakuna Machi Asa has to be one of the best New Age music albums of the year so far, it is so creative, so wide in its musical narration, and vastly abundant in its rich tapestries of colour and tone. Auroral Magic by Chakuna Machi Asa is an album that has been crafted from the fires of artistic brilliance, and forged in the flames of pure class, and without doubt should be on everyone’s must have list.

Beginnings By Lisa Cullum



By Lisa Cullum

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


It was such a delight to listen to the latest single “Beginnings” from Lisa Cullum today; it was the perfect way to start my day, the refreshing tones of piano with a light orchestral arrangement eased me into my morning, helped me slow the pace down, so that I could simply sit and just be at ease for a while, as I made my way into the day.

This new single from Lisa was written in loving memory of Saylor Rose Kerlin, a young child who tragically lost their life in an accident, and has been released through the Yellow Rose Records label, and is just what I have come to expect from Lisa, her performance style is always so delicate and performed from her heart.

A beautifully written and performed piece of music by Lisa Cullum that should be a huge hit for her and one that I know listeners who like good music that is performed with a delicate touch will enjoy. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Emerald By Al Jewer & Andy Mitran




Al Jewer & Andy Mitran

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There can be few partnerships I have more respect than those of Al Jewer & Andy Mitran, this combination is a winner from the word go, and I have been following their musical releases and progress ever since 2003 and the album Two Trees.

Here on this illustrious new single entitled Emerald they are joined by Hans Christian and his trusty Cello, and his contribution manifests such beautiful melodies, all on a bed of tranquillity.

The smoothness of this blissful piece is so soothing; it also gave Mitran a sparkling opportunity to excel with the Marimba, which he does with great ease and style, while Jewer’s flute is the main stream of narrative within the new single, the musical maestro if you will.

This is one of the most beautiful compositions I have heard from this combination of talented artists, and I sense a thumbs up, and a good chart position to follow soon for Emerald by Al Jewer & Andy Mitran.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Song Divine By Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli


Song Divine

By Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli

Written by

Steve & Chrissie Sheppard


Song Divine is a wonderful new release, written as a Rock Opera in style; it tells a story through music that is based on the book Song Divine: A New Lyrical Rendition of the Bhagavad Gita by Lissa Coffey. It is a double album with 18 wonderful soulful compositions that give us the conversation between Arjuna (sung by Alexander Perez) and his friend Krishna (sung by Deepak Ramapriyan).

It is important to listen to the introduction, as it will set the scene perfectly for you to follow the story as the music takes you on your journey through the music.

The album opens with Arjuna questioning the battle which is set to occur, but he is conflicted, fighting goes against his beliefs, these are people he knows not his enemies, so he asks his friend Krishna for advice. What follows through the music is how this conversation plays out.

From the very opening track we are pulled into this vast story and our sojourn begins with the heart felt questioning mind of Life’s Lament. Throughout this creative, and one has to say amazing new work, we hear absolutely stunning performances by both Perez and Ramapriyan, on no less than 18 quite breath taking opuses of grandeur.

As we weave our way through this collective of creation, we are gifted beautifully fluent performances, the gifted and inspiring Know Who You Are is a powerful composition of truth and realisation, with stunning vocals from a man who has been described as the Elvis of India, Sonu Nigam, one also has to enjoy the Beatles feel within this offering as well.

Each and every track has been beautifully produced and performed; a fine example of this crafted and artistic approach is the soulful One Thing I Can Do (Karma Yoga) a track about devotion and self-control, and the deep waters of pieces like a personal favourite of ours, Arise, Arjuna can be felt deep within your very soul; the symbiotic performances by Perez and Ramapriyan are so clear and insightful here.

The music within this album is also vibrant and at times crosses many genres and invents new ones as it goes like the almost funky Lotus in the Pond, tip of the hat to the amazing Kimberly Haynes here. On Meditation we have a reflective arrangement that has that power of love built deep within the weave of the song; this would also make a sublime single from an abundant sublime collection of great pieces.

One constantly feels like they are moving through segments of time and tide with this album, and of course indeed we are thanks to this creative creation of Lissa Coffey, offerings like I AM, a song of removing obstacles from your path or the vast and incredibly powerful Brahman, a track illustrating everything, with a crafted mix of rap, funk, soul and a delicious Tabla.

The transcendent colours of pieces like The Secret are an utter delight to listen to; it’s like being transported to a picture perfect garden of much balance and happiness, this can also be found on compositions like Spark From Me, at this point it is really important to tip the hat to Vito Gregoli for his stunning work of electric guitars here.

There is a rich elevation of intensity and empowerment when we reach the classic rock opera composition of The Vision, another personal favourite of ours, the driving percussive beat and guitars stoke the rhythm of the piece, but the calming harbours of sublime vocals manifest a perfect lead into the following anthem entitled Devotion, a ballad of supreme quality and emotional resonance.

We are driving fast now into the deep regions of our story and musical sojourn of plenty, we can find peace and tranquillity here and also wonderfully soulful pieces like Field and Knower, or the rhythmic and almost reggae like composition entitled Rise Above the Guna.

The startling beauty of nature and music combined can be found in the vibrant creation of The Tree. This track gives us a truly funky vibe, an important message that a journey is drawing closer to its conclusion in this veritable land where the leaves of paradise lie.

As we move ever onward we come across Divine and Demonic, a heartfelt plea for us all to remain focused on all that is good, how to become fearless with a pure heart and dropping the baggage of ego and negativity, this is one of the most incredible presentations in a dualistic performance that performs both the light and the dark sides of life.

The penultimate offering OM TAT SAT is now upon us and creates an illustration of various types of humanities and faith, the lush mixture of major and minor chords here was sublime and the elevation of intent very impressive, as can be said about the concluding track of the album entitled Liberation, our journey has ended, but has it, or does it ever, a song of something we personally have been working hard on lately, removing and becoming free, by removing attachments. Here lies the perfect ending composition, one that will leave the listener with just one option, extending the forefinger of the dominant hand and pressing replay.

We must give a mention to the musicians who also appear on the album that we have not mentioned yet, Liyakat Ali, Ajay Prasanna, Visvambhar Seth, TJ Troy, Gregg Bissonette, Neelamjit Dhillon, Sheela Bringi, MB Gordy, and we hope we have not missed anyone else out.

Song Divine by Lissa Coffey & David Vito Gregoli is a fascinating album that is a must for anyone who likes good music, a great story and who is moved by fantastic musical performances.

Monet's Garden By Dean and Dudley Evenson


Monet's Garden


Dean and Dudley Evenson

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I sighed a sigh of blissful relief when I listened to Monet’s Garden, ah the sweet refrains of good old classic New Age music are not dead, but alive and thriving thanks to this amazing new release by Dean And Dudley Evenson. To start with pull up the picture of the album cover, press play, and simply enjoy the moment, it is quite beautiful.

My past came flooding back to me whilst listening to this album, the full and rich colours of nature cried out across the barren wastelands of popular music and eased my soul, a place of sanctuary was immediately found in the opening piece Water Lily Nymphs; a mystical flute and a gentle refrain from the harp, this will be a place I will never wish to leave.

One of my favourite pieces off the album is this next one entitled Wisteria Foot Bridge, the beginning is very Floyd and Crazy Diamond in its early stages, it was that added sense of mystery that hooked me in, one could easily see the bridge within my own meditations. The hovering multi-instrumentational nature of the piece was idyllic, and simply perfect in all that it had to offer; how clever was it to change flutes midway in this track, I cannot remember that being done before, and in doing so giving the track sublime depth.

Ah Golden Tones, this is a halcyon moment of great beauty, a chiming of a bowl, the far away flute, and the hovering instrumentational brilliance of this arrangement, makes this a veritable tapestry of many colours, one could almost make out the figure of Monet himself, standing just by the bridge perhaps, gaining inspiration for one of his many wondrous works of art.

There is a charming delicacy on the track Splendid Irises, which gives rise to a slight ethereal energy within its musical narrative, I felt a certain familiarity here with some of the artists I used to adore back in the early part of the century, perhaps the Golden Age of New Age music in Europe, with artists like Nigel Shaw, Llewellyn, Medwyn Goodall and Kevin Kendle, the latter created his own Garden based release. This for me brought the whole album in to a sharper focus, and the brightness of the colours of the album now glowed like an August sun.

I simply love leaning out on my balcony and listening to the pigeons and doves, those natural sounds fit so well with my environment, and also usher in this next piece by the duo called Water Garden. Dean and Dudley have a true symbiotic partnership, their flow of sublime oneness drifts in a wonderful meditative state within this track, the flute changes and so does the depths of compositional structure, taking us into a wonderful land of texture and tone.

One of my favourite birdsongs can be heard at the start of this next piece, the Lark, so charming, so warming, and so calming, and that statement is utterly perfect for this next piece called Spring Impressions. The lightness of this song is transcendent and tranquil, the flute and harp seem to manifest an early April landscape where peace can be found, and sanctuary gained.

The tale of a mystical and magical place is up next as we listen to Enchanted Garden Path. The chimes, flutes and hovering intensity of the piece give us a state of mystery and imagination to enjoy. The pauses, natural sounds and deliberately slow tempo manifest a perfect meditative offering, a composition where one could with ease, simply float on a bed of unbridled tone across this wonderful garden of Monet’s

The harp sets the scene perfectly here on the track Field of Flowers; this is a sun kissed opus of great beauty, and that is also what is so very special about this album, even if you placed Monet’s Garden to one side, through tracks like this, and in all honestly each and every composition, one could with ease meditate within their own chosen place of serene bliss.

I had listened to this song a few times before, so it was nice to once again hear Pond Reflections. I used to spend a lot of time in nature and near waterways when I lived in England, so now that I live in a land with precious little water they are even more special to me. Pond Reflections is just that, a cleverly created reflective moment of sublime new age music, one that will allow you to gaze into your very soul, and perhaps even beyond.

Cascading Willows is in the deeper labyrinths of the album and at the start I think I picked out the dulcet tones of a blackbird, a creature I haven’t heard for many years sadly. Here the harp and flute work a magic all of their own, and manifest energies of a sun drenched afternoon by the water, under the shade of a beautiful willow tree; the music is the master creator here, and paints a tableau of the slow but permanent state of nature’s free spirit.

I have several singing bowls in my music room, and this penultimate track makes me want to walk upstairs to play them, it is utterly idyllic, the tones of the added flute creates for me a perfect meditational offering.  On Play of Light, the shadows, the softness, the movement of shades of light, are all created by this quite breath taking last but one offering, a piece that for me highlights the transformative energies of light, and the quality of it, especially in Autumn.

So we arrive at the end of the album, our final gateway to the release, it is as if we are transported to a time free from form and the ravages of ages, and we can sit with the artist (Monet) on an Evening in Giverny, and just simply be, and of course how could there be a more perfect way to leave one of the most beautiful new age albums of the decade thus far.

Monet's Garden by Dean and Dudley Evenson is one of those rare albums that I will just put on at random times when my spirit needs it, and just drift in a state of uncomplicated bliss whilst doing so, oh how I would love to be at this location, perhaps one day, but for now, this experience can be gained vicariously through the genius of both Dean and Dudley Evenson, who, by creating Monet’s Garden, have manifested a soothing tranquillity to be found within us all and more. If any album deserves an to be an award winner, this one does with ease.