Thursday, March 31, 2022

Unleashed By Diane Wheeler Dunn




Diane Wheeler Dunn

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The combination of keyboards, flute and percussion give the listener a very compelling and interesting narrative to enjoy on this latest single by Diane Wheeler Dunn entitled Unleashed.

The vibrancy of this Native American Flute Styled performance is so very evident and packed full of colourful segments and textures, the percussive elements added at around the half way juncture; only go to add more layers to an already masterful and crafted presentation.

Diane Wheeler Dunn has been taking the flute scene with a flourish in the last few months, and this rhythmic and almost ritualistic opus will only go to further cement her ever growing fan base.

Soul to Soul By Christophe Goze


Soul to Soul


Christophe Goze

Written by

Steve Sheppard


One of the delights of reviewing music is coming across an album so smooth, so laid back and chilled, that it immediately puts you in a good mood, and sets the course for the day ahead to follow in the same suit, this much can certainly be said for the release Soul To Soul by Christophe Goze.

The guitar of Goze is a magical thing indeed, and on this brand new album it casts a musical spell over all that listen to it, this statement can be backed up by simply listening to the first piece on the album entitled The Nightfly (2022 version), never a more serene yet rhythmic piece have I come across so far this year.

There are also many influences within this album that go to make its attraction even further desirable, as an example the lush coloured tapestry that is Passing Time, a composition with a wonderful sensuality and rhythm, or perhaps the funky electronic textures on the piece You & I, the bass on this offering was also utterly sublime.

This is an album that is impossible not to fall head over heels in love with, Goze’s connection to his instrument of musical love, the guitar is nothing short of palpable, and a certain symbiosis of tone can be found here that constantly keeps the listener connected, as on pieces like Bossa Roma with its easy on the senses Chill Out energies, and the haunting reflective genius of Ti Voglio Bene (Revisited), another moment of chilled global jazz to pacify the desires of the always eager good music aficionado.

Soul to Soul by Christophe Goze is a 14 track album of pure class that will bring the listener a veritable cornucopia of musical delights beyond what you may have ever thought possible, from its wonderfully fluent Jazz ethics, mixed with a global chilled vibrancy, here is an album that demands to be listened to in the most charming ways possible, and one received this timeless collection of smooth and persuasive compositions, will stay within your heart forever.

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Purple Circle By Andrea Sertori


Purple Circle


Andrea Sertori

Written by

Steve Sheppard


If ever there was a pristine composition to come out of the solo piano genre, one that would enthral and entice its potential listenership, then Purple Circle by Andrea Sertori would be the song. Here is a piece that literally dances across your mind and into your musical hearts.

This is one of the most memorable solo performances of this style I have heard this year so far, and its musical box ethic certainly one of the warmest; a waltz of many textures and colours can be found here on this brand new single, Purple Circle by Andrea Sertori.

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Magnificus Deus By Joseph Nimoh


Magnificus Deus


Joseph Nimoh

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Joseph Nimoh has to be one of the best creators of a soothing piano performance around, and here on this brand new single entitled Magnificus Deus, he once more embraces a calm and serene place to bring us a wonderfully fluent new offering from.

Nimoh’s style is all embracing; with each touch on the keys he gifts us a moment of warmth, love and respect, this tender touch has granted us most grateful listeners, a musical moment of an almost classical nature, one that is bathed in an energy of reverence and respect. Simply put, this is solo piano at its very best, and this tranquil new piece should be a big chart climber for the performer.

Timeless By David W. Donner




David W. Donner

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The artistic qualities of an acoustic guitar can never been undersold; it is one of the most creative instruments around, and here on Timeless by David W. Donner we hear that creativity, we feel that profoundness of mood and the subtleties of technique and craft, as all flow like an unfettered river of tender tones towards our own musical hearts.

Timeless is a 10 track album of some of the finest examples of acoustic guitar based and instrumental music your likely to hear, and a better place to start cannot be found than the opening piece entitled Grounded, the smooth underpinned flow of this track is simply blissful, and a perfectly balanced opus to begin our musical sojourn with.

There is a nice instrumental feel to the following offering entitled Horizons, the guitar of Donner drifts from one aspect to another, manifesting differing views and textures, while the delicate keyboards and added percussion are so wonderfully produced to give us that extra dimensional awareness.

The opening of Memorial Day reminded me of another friend in the acoustic guitar field of one Vin Downes. That reflective styled performance is very much in evidence here on what is one of my personal favourites from the album. Through the guitar we seem to be able to stop and pay respect to the past, which has gifted us a future.

That theme is somewhat continued with the pristine and heart felt tones of this next piece entitled Memories. The piano here is some of the most effective and moving I have heard for quite some time, mixed in with the strings, it gifts us always eager listeners something truly emotional to bathe within.

A tabla adds a wonderful Eastern flavour to our midway offering which is called June Gloom. The acoustic guitar and added instrumentation bring us a song that seems to want to burst out of its confinement and into the summer-filled lands of reality, the creative tempo here also gifts us a unique moment with which to sincerely appreciate the crafted genius of the composer with.

A haunting piano begins our next musical journey as the piece Reflections unwinds with care and attention, at times this piece reminds me of an old TV show theme I used to listen to many years ago about a ghost, and as I have already mentioned the word haunting in this paragraph, perhaps that is the overall feeling that I am getting from this personal favourite piece of mine from the album.

111 is our next track and can be found within the deeper parts of this musical lake we can now called Timeless by David W. Donner. For lovers of really sublime acoustic guitar this is the track that you will fall head over heels in love with, there is much here to please your narrative, the slight Latin influences are also helped by the careful and creative percussive additions.

A galactic mood can be found on this next track entitled Nebula Rising, one which contains some beautifully textured synths and guitar effects. The artist has manifested something truly amazing on this piece, in a crafted tapestry of light rock ethic meets space music.

The penultimate piece is entitled Easter Sun, and is indeed a piece to cast away those winter blues too, this is a charming musical offering that brings much pleasure to the ears of the listener, and a sublime performance on acoustic guitar that brings such comfort and warmth, this can also be found here from the artist.

Autumn Breeze is a blissful way to leave the album, in a season that is so moody and boundlessly filled with opportunities to create amazing art, and on this piece David W. Donner does just that, as he leaves us with a fine musical conclusion to a textured and beautiful instrumental album.

Timeless by David W. Donner is an album that will bring much peace and serenity to the listener, each and every track has been lovingly created to bring you the best multi-instrumental performance you could ever wish for, on an album that if purchased, will be a go-to-release of great quality for many years to come for the purchaser.

Passings By David Franklin




David Franklin

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The hardest part of living is letting go of those moments, people, places and occurrences that were so very dear and close to our own hearts, Passings by David Franklin explores that narrative though this fine and fluent instrumental music album and in doing so goes someway to creating a musical panacea for each and every one of us.

One of the delights of this album is the inclusion of additional artists of great quality; one of them starts this album off with Franklin in the undoubtable best fretless bass player around in Michael Manring. I’ll Never Hear My Father’s Stories Again is a combination of moving and emotive soundscapes that remind me of great times with sad tinged side offerings with my own father, that indeed those days are gone and all that is left are fading memories in a warm heart.

There are no less than 15 amazing tracks on this blissful instrumental paradise, and a classy moment of piano by Franklin can be found on the track Laughing In Whispers, while the piece Another Perspective features Alex Franklin, also on acoustic guitar.

Each track on this album is beautifully produced and each also has their own specific mood and energy, like the reflective Perspectives (feat. Michael Manring), a light presentation of a sun kissed structure can be found here, while on Dancing in Memory we have one of the most haunting and emotional offerings off the release, one can imagine walking through dust filled rooms to this track, what was once a veritable hive of activity, now crawling shadows of times long since passed, a wonderful example of lush and emotional solo piano can indeed be found here.

David Franklin closes this intriguing album with A Musical Essay (for music-box) this clever short form composition is a very memorable and unique way with which to end the album.

Passings by David Franklin is an album that allows us the listener draw our own curtains down on our specific passing’s in whatever guise they come in. Personally I found the release almost cathartic in nature, it is a veritable rainbow of colourful, it’s moving and sometimes quite touching creations that each need to be listened to on their own merit, and without doubt one of the most artistic and intelligent albums I have heard thus far this year.

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Metamorphosis By Pam Asberry




Pam Asberry

Written By

Steve Sheppard


The dramatic sense of purpose can quickly be felt within this new single by pianist Pam Asberry and entitled Metamorphosis, change is indeed upon us and all the moods and expressions felt could possibly be summed up in this amazingly open and heart felt composition from the artist.

The symphonic gestures, the string sections and crescendo work so beautifully to build a classy energy of anticipation, hope and success into the proceedings, and all the while Asberry works her magic on the piano, bringing a solid, fluent and passionate performance to the ears of the most eager of listeners; a possible big hit could well be on the cards for the artist on this one, in this most amazingly powerful opus entitled Metamorphosis.

Bluebell River By Ian Cameron Smith


Bluebell River


Ian Cameron Smith

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There can be a no more descriptive time of year to release a single like Bluebell River that at the beginning of spring, and for those of us in the northern hemisphere, we can enjoy this beautiful new single and this magical moment, vicariously through this latest offering by Ian Cameron Smith.

The fluency of keyboards and guitar create such an idyllic atmosphere to revel in, I indeed used to walk in countryside that used to contain a small stream and a carpet of Bluebells, and this music would have been the perfect soundtrack to accompany that event.

Bluebell River by Ian Cameron Smith is the textbook new single with which to crawl out of the cave of winter to, and is a peace filled reverie that everyone should have in their collection

Creekside Prayer By Stephen Darnell


Creekside Prayer


Stephen Darnell

Written by

Steve Sheppard


There is a combination that once coalesced becomes magical and unforgettable and seemingly timeless, this combination of bliss is the Native American style flute, and the willingness with which the artist gives themselves to the moment. On Creekside Prayer, Stephen Darnell has allowed his muse the freedom to roam his musical heart, and thus the manifestation we are all presented with is simply transcendent.

The album is a collection of 12 solo Native American style flute pieces, each and every one you will find has been created by the very soul of the artist, and there can be no better place to start other than the quite emotive and colourful offering entitled All That Remains. Here lays a track that breathes a gentle breeze across the face of the listener, immediately transforming them to another realm entirely.

The depth of this next offering is palpable; one can indeed feel not only its textures, but the vast open and wide expanse that the music and the F# Bass flute used.  Desert Flower is a true multi-dimensional piece, one that depicts a time of day, a heaviness of heat and a slow ever onward growth.

The artist, and that is such a true description of Stephen Darnell, brings us the blank canvas now from which all here was created from, as we give you the title track itself Creekside Prayer. Native American style flute never sounded so good and evokes memories for me of the creek I used to sit by during my time in what is called Native America, through the music I can once again see the dragonfly’s fleeting dance, and a small fish rise to kiss the surface, this is one of the most idyllic performances and presentations I have heard on flute for utterly ages.

Great Mystery is who we stand before now, and this haunting and powerful embrace of nations and cultures, breathes a huge breath of respect and a loving peace into a musical performance that is so deeply commanding and influential. This is a sunrise track, a song to wake to and give gratitude for another day ahead, this anthem styled opus is a major highlight from the album.

The reverential Atonement is next on our playlist; once more the F# Bass flute is used and immediately gives us a structure to our tonal quest. The vibrational intent of this track is profound, and within its unfathomable depths one can find energies of great balance and stability.

I regard myself as a lover of water, be it streams, lakes, rivers or oceans, all are givers and creators of life, especially for us. Here on Pond Reflections we have a fractal mirrored universe to dive head long into, the lightness of performance using the Bm Flute gives us the listener a vista so utterly beautiful to view, and the beauty of this is, with each of our own imaginations and through the music, we can become creators of such events as well.

The seemingly solemn, but heartfelt refrains of our next piece now drift across our senses as we listen to the next offering entitled Beloved. There is an almost timeless feel to this offering that is specifically attractive, the crisp, yet mellow tones gift us a moment of meditative magic to enjoy and delight in.

We now move deeper into the release and as we do so we come across a track entitled Morning Owl, as you might expect pertinent natural sounds join us in a veritable choir of nature. Owl is a powerful animal totem and here the artist evokes the silent wisdom in us all, this is a performance that awakens us not only to another day, but to the potential that may lie ahead, and all around us.

Reflejos de Luna is our next port of call, which I think translated means reflection of the moon. This crystal like presentation is empowering and passionate and fills the listener with a bed of hope to lay upon and a vista of great beauty with which  to use as a backdrop, this is a truly charming musical narrative to enjoy.

We find in the darker regions of our flute journey in a track entitled Embers to the Stars, here Darnell uses an A flat Pueblo Styled flute and gifts us a composition that illustrates a vast cosmic awareness, a star-field so grand and complex, in a performance that is truly stunning.

The penultimate offering is the delightful and most moving A Sharing Moment, and of all the tracks on this album, this one most of all reminds me of Nigel Shaw’s work on his Dartmoor Roundhouse album. The Gm Drone flute is able to wonderfully create a true heart felt convergence of harmonic bliss like never before; this is solo flue playing at it very best.

The conclusion is given to us with this last offering entitled Sea of Tranquillity, a glance towards the moon and all will be found, the depth of this final creation is so very meaningful and deep as only a performance with an F# Bass flute can be. Darnell leaves us with an ethereal composition that draws the curtain down on one of the best Native American styled solo flute albums I have heard for many a year.

Creekside Prayer by Stephen Darnell is one of those albums I have been blessed to hear, and I am so glad that the artist has opened up my senses to this release; it is stunning beautiful and deeply meditative. Here is a solo flute album that when listened to, time becomes meaningless, it has no boundaries or constraints. Creekside Prayer by Stephen Darnell is music from the heart of the artist, to the open mind and unbound limits of your soul.

Monday, March 21, 2022

The Water Of Life By Kerani


The Water Of Life



Written by

Steve Sheppard


Our planet is at an extremely sensitive moment of time right now and delicate and sensitive music like this sublime creation from Kerani can only go to help and heal the wounds inflicted upon our planet. Kerani is regarded highly in the New Age/Neo Classical field, and to me her manifestations of musical craft still to this day remind me of a female Vangelis with those wondrous creations of flourishing colourful soundscapes, and on The Water Of Life thankfully that has not changed one single bit.

Tracks like the anthem styled opener entitled The Water of Life is a fine example of my aforementioned statement. Amazing sweeping symphonic gestures can be found here, and a veritable cinematic soundscape can be embraced and utterly worshipped.

This brand new album is simply packed with beauty and 10 artistically created offerings are available within the album itself, and each and every one a simple world of pleasure to enjoy, like the colourful climatic refrains of the boundless beauty that is The Blue Wonder, or the charming musical narrative of    something we would all love to find, The Fountain of Youth, a piece that within its own construction is a moment of Neo Classical genius and tenderness.

Each story line is a tale unto itself, as a coastal dweller I particularly found Ocean Tides pleasing to the senses, and thoroughly redolent of the subject matter; a track that one could easily drift away on a sea of sonic sound too, whilst the penultimate manifestation entitled Crystalline created a soft edge to my day, from a pristine moment of magical instrumental music, one so clean and crisp, and at a times almost touching the hem of Jean-Michel Jarre.

The album is concluded with the composition The Water of Life – Epilogue and of course the most idyllic and perfect way with which to end the album. Kerani has done it again; The Water Of Life is one of the finest examples of Neo Classical music currently out there, and perhaps we should all take a moment whilst listening to this magical album and realise just what actually is important to our life on this globe, and what isn’t, the Water Of Life could well be a splendid soundtrack to those mental perambulations.


Aionigma By Aionigma





Written by

Steve Sheppard


Aionigma are an Austrian overtone music ensemble compromising of artists Bernhard Mikuskovics, Jodel, Fujara, Rav Vast, and Gerhard Kowarz. The instrumentation is far and wide and very different as well, but here within lies one of the most fascinating creations manifested by a band this year, as we begin our journey through the ages.

Our starting point is a well-known offering entitled Allelujah, this Gregorian chant styled piece shouldn’t be overlooked, as its complex plainchant is a skilful thing to achieve, but it has been done beautifully and contains melody, harmony, rhythm and form with such ease and style.

Following this track is a creation entitled Sungaze, a more gentle start you will not find. Here is a composition that has a delicious rhythm to its progression, with the inclusion of a veritable orchestra of light percussion and instrumentation, this piece gifts us a radiant offering to thoroughly enjoy.

Aionigma is also of great interest to me as I live on an island that is birthed from ancient Greek culture, the word itself is made of 2 Greek words, "Aion" and "Ainigma“ so together translated loosely means infinite secret, that energy is within this quite creative and artistic album, and tracks like Synode are a fine example of that, the translation reflects an assembly of sorts, and through the music one can perhaps feel that begin to build, through the tonal structures one can also sense a meeting or gathering beginning to occur, in what is a quite fascinating opus.

Der Lindenbaum truly encapsulated me, a piece filled with the energies of nature and growth, the light and rhythmic guitar along with the vocals manifested something truly peace filled and listenable, and reflected a folk styled ethic within the creation of its arrangement.

One of the things that truly rooted my attention was the ability of this album to take me on various twists and turns and many musical footpaths along its way, an example of that can be found of the almost dance styled offering of Taklimakan Blues, with eastern influences, and the inclusion of the Jews Harp, one could easily be moving in a caravan across a wide far reaching desert.

There are several unique creations on this album, one would be Draeo, and a Jews Harp leads in to a colourful array of vocal mastery, one which flows with great style and panache into the title track and band name itself on Aionigma. There was something so simply beautiful to listen to here, it encapsulates everything harmonic about Gregorian chants, and bathes the tones into an eternal ocean of timeless vibration and harmony, and this would indeed be one of my personal favourites from the album.

When I first heard this piece it was instantly recognisable, An die Freude was originally set to music by Ludwig van Beethoven using the 4th movement of his 9th Symphony, here on this piece guitar overtones and other assorted instrumentation, give us a harmonic convergence of utter beauty on Ode an die Freude that will long stay in our musical hearts.

The penultimate piece is entitled Wurzhorner, one of the main gains from this album is the research I have had to do during the creation of this review, and from that I can inform the listener that this long form opus of exactly 10 minutes is the longest track off the album. Wurzhorn, means a kind of alphorn, once well known in the Dachstein region, the classical Wurzhorner has a length of 10 bars, two and two bars joined together, shaping in the whole a simple ternary form, so now you know all of that, sit back and listen to some of the most addictive musical vibrations you may have heard on this almost meditative composition.

We can now conclude our journey with the final track off the album entitled Aiono, mostly translated as eternity, although this in ancient Greek would originally be known as life or life time, this is our final port of call on our musical journey with the band Aionigma, it is a wonderfully ambient ending and also a clever track to finish with, as, is it just the end, or, the end of the beginning!

Aionigma by Aionigma has to be one, if not the most original albums I have had to write about for a few years, the productions and performances that are contained within are some of the finest, and should appeal to listeners who had a fond passion for Gregorian chants and folk music across a general musical landscape, and for those intelligent musical seekers who are always searching for something to satisfy their melodious desires. 

Friday, March 18, 2022

Prayer for Ukraine By Rick Sparks


Prayer for Ukraine


Rick Sparks

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


Prayer for Ukraine is the latest release to come our way from Rick Sparks, one that has a wonderful message too, it is a call to prayer and was inspired by the events in the Ukraine in the hopes that there will soon be an end to war.

The single opens with a solo cello, which is soon joined by strings and piano. A wonderfully stunning piece of music has been created here by the artist, it is an arrangement that is truly heartfelt, and this comes across in the music so beautifully, with that haunting melody that will stay with you throughout the day.

Rick has also stated that all proceeds from the single will be donated to World Vision’s Ukraine relief operation, so another good reason to buy the single too, which I feel is going to be a huge success for the artist.

Thursday, March 17, 2022

To An Audience of One By Steve Sheppard


To An Audience of One


Steve Sheppard

Written by

Chrissie Sheppard


To An Audience of One is the debut album from Steve Sheppard, it consists of 7 wonderfully performed and constructed arrangements, four of which were released as singles over the past few months.

The album opens with Riccos Beach with features some additional keyboards from Andy Rogers, I love the natural sound of the sea as the waves crash against the shore, the elements of Cypriot music that remind you of times when the world was a different place, and the laughter of children as the piece ends, bringing us signs of hope for the future. This is a great way to open the album, and gives us a taste of what is to come.

We move on to The Shipwreck of Demetrios II, created about a ship wreck off the coast of Paphos, one that we see on a daily basis as we go for our walks. There is a haunting start to the arrangement as it builds, then as the bell comes in, warning of pending danger as it is about to crash onto the rocks. The sound of the waves continue in this arrangement too, adding to that sense of impending doom, as the track goes back and forth bringing in echoes of the past. This is a wonderful creation that concludes with the sounds of Cyprus once again.

Next up is Wisteria House, now I know the building that inspired this piece of music, an old traditional Cypriot building that is now standing empty, nature taking over the land it stands on again, but through it all, you can still see the wonder that it once was and the trees that surround it growing still. This is another descriptive piece that brings in echoes of the past with elements of the now in an intriguing way, making it one of my many favourites from the album.

Our next arrangement is also the longest one on the album at just over 9 minutes; it is called The Mountain of Adonis, a place we have visited many times. I love the swirling synths; the magic that can be felt from this glorious mountain comes through within the music so well. Listen carefully and you can hear that gentle wind that blows through the mountain too and the wonderful storm that concludes the composition.

We now come to Music for Empty Airports, a piece of music that Steve created during a time as the world struggled with the pandemic and things were closing down, making travel impossible, we were stuck at home, not allowed to leave, not sure how and when things would change, but over time, as we all came to terms with what was happening, there were signs of hope. The world had become quiet, but then one day, we heard a plane fly overhead, something we had taken for granted before, now suddenly the sound became so important, it was a sign that things were changing, and the music in this arrangement truly highlights that so well.

Winter Sunrise is our penultimate composition on the album, with those wintery elements captured so imaginatively in the music. Once again, natural sounds and synths combine, bringing us a piece that gives you the space to sit and enjoy those moments, as a winter sun starts to rise and the birds sing their greeting to a new day.

Walking on the Edge of Occam's Razor is our concluding arrangement on the album, opening with a single singing bowl, that comes and goes in the track perfectly, this is an ideal way to leave what has been a wonderful journey with the artist, as he has shared moments that have sometimes been difficult and other moments of great pleasure, told through his music so perfectly.

This is a wonderful debut album from Steve Sheppard, and leaves me wandering what will come next from the artist. This is an album he should be very proud of, as it contains so many wonderfully constructed and executed arrangements, and is an album that anyone who loves good music that is heartfelt and deeply emotive would be proud to have as part of their collection.

Joshua Tree BY Palm Reading


Joshua Tree


Palm Reading

Written by

Steve Sheppard


I must admit, this is one album that I have been eager to write about, I am indeed an admirer of the works of Skooby Laposky and Charles Copley, a collective known as Palm Reading, they have manifested some of the finest works of ambient music currently in the genre with the release of Joshua Tree.

We will visit four locations on this creative and artistic collection where we start at Mojave Yucca - Bighorn Pass. Creative ambience is truly hard to manifest, but Palm Reading have done so with such style and tranquillity and all the while, giving plant life a voice too. Here is a blissfully peace filled opener that sets the scene perfectly, with synthesized electronic music generated by biodata recorded from plants using a biodata sonification device, as well as ambient field recordings and original acoustic guitar accompaniment.

Music such as this I could listen to on repeat for days and not notice that time had actually passed, you are so very in the moment with the manifestations of calm from Palm Reading. Listen to the short form magic of Beavertail Cactus - Bighorn Pass Interlude, an echo point of ambient brilliance that leads us into our last in current locational creations entitled Desert Parsley - Bighorn Pass, the harmonic convergence obtained here is so serene and flowing, this calming vibrational sanctuary is something one has to feel as well as listen to, and I’m right there, in the field of bliss created.

We now move to another location and spend time with Creosote Bush - Utah Trail River Bed, the natural sounds and hovering synths make a magical moment of meditative happiness on this piece for me, such a gentle and loving guitar adds a light and tender touch, but the almost ethereal electronic energies drift and swirl in a symbiotic dance with a soothing summer wind.

Our brief stay in Utah is done and we now move forever onward, and to visit the Blue Palo Verde - Cottonwood Spring Oasis. Here is a quiet moment of resonance and peace, one only has to wonder why there is always so much strife and fear in the world, when there is so much natural beauty and simplicity of life in abundance all around us, and the performance on this track highlights that aforementioned statement beautifully.

Our second locality at this current setting gifts us a moment to spend time under Goodding's Willow - Cottonwood Spring Oasis. There is a slight elevated vibration here that is so appealing and the rhythmic guitar equally so, but the attention to the mood of the moment stays with us, as calm mood of a oneness drifts from one branch to the other in a truly idyllic performance.

The final location for us to visit vicariously through the tracks of this new release from Palm Reading is a gift indeed as we stand next to the Joshua Tree - Pinto Basin at Sunset Part 1. One has to marvel at this artistic moment of brilliance, there is an almost reverence here that is so palpable and enticing, this is an offering with true depth and Palm Reading not only describe in music the energies of nature, but the entire wide and vast locational scene itself, a true ambient master piece can therefore be found here.

Joshua Tree - Pinto Basin at Sunset Interlude is our penultimate offering, and is the perfect continuation that will be our musical gateway to our final offering entitled Joshua Tree - Pinto Basin at Sunset Part 2. We can almost feel the heartbeat of Gaia within this last piece and is a fine conclusion to this serene and blissful state of locational ambience, where tenderness of touch and a mindful approach to tone can all be found on this most radiant of compositions.

Joshua Tree by Palm Reading has to be the most creative collection of artistic musical creations I have heard for many a year. Not like an album that is a collective collection of differing musical journeys and themes, the locations visited by Palm Reading have given us, an idea of just what nature actually sounds like, and the result of their work is utterly outstanding, I would urge everyone to have a copy of Joshua Tree by Palm Reading in their collections of choice, for this is one musical sanctuary you are never going to want to leave.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

There Is Something By Anantakara


There Is Something



Written by

Steve Sheppard


I have been following and writing about the music of Anantakara for some 4 years now, it all started back with an album called Momentum Lapses, a release I simply adored, but now with this brand new offering I think I may have come across some of the finest work that the artist has thus far created, and entitled There is Something.

This journey of sight and sound begins with the very first moment of brilliance entitled Orpheus Walk, the natural sounds of water describe for me a cave like waterfall, and the gentle progression of electronic based music performed by the artist here is without doubt some of the most outstanding work created by him, and a piece on its own merits that also has a little crossover classical element entwined within too.

This moment of wonderment is followed up by the piece You Are Not Alone, a track with a slight meditative feel to it, an added sense of mystery and imagination also manifests a whole new level of intrigue and fascination into the mix as well. What is so very appealing about this album is that it forces you to sit and listen to each and every second shared by the artist, it is so incredibly inventive.

Magnitudes is our next track location and another piece that creates a sense of electronic craft and guile. Here is also an offering that due to its repetitive energies brings into reality a mood of movement and travel. The tones created here by the artist and the presentation contained within is sparkling, radiant, and brilliantly produced.

The longest piece off the album is a track entitled That Inner Voice; it contains some of the most haunting yet almost angelic vocals to begin its eventual and slow transformation, and onward and into a wonderfully classy electronic music offering. The build and progression here is smart, intelligent and wonderfully arranged, this is a piece I thoroughly enjoyed and would like to call it my special moment of magical musical coalescence.

At the midway marker we come across a truly dark yet enticing composition called Temptation Of Melancholy, here is something heavy and incredibly moody, and I would suggest that the old maxim of it does what it says on the can comes into play here. One can feel the temptation through performance structure and how easy it is to allow oneself to fall into a pit of darkness, in what is a crafted and artistic presentation by the artist.

The meditative qualities of this next piece really shine brightly on the offering Toward Clarity; this would be another personal favourite of mine, much ambience can be felt here, but also the artist manifests a change occurring within his sublime creation. The listener will also be able to touch a sense of awareness here, one that will perhaps lead to moment of clarity from being very present and in the moment, as listeners, you will find yourself listening for each and every sound to come, which in some way proves my aforementioned postulation.

The title track is always a great opportunity to expand and explain the entire concept of the album, and on There Is Something the artist does just that, the energy is raised slightly, but the repeating motifs and slow builds and textures, bring to the seeker a mood of satisfaction and tranquillity, the presentation of electronic wizardry here is not simply clever, it is incredibly well thought out and intelligently performed, and at times reminded me a little of John Carpenter.

Grateful Soul is a wonderful respite of tone and inner realities to completely enjoy, the harmonic vocalisations and slow progressive ambience on keyboards are blissfully balanced. This I would dare to say is a specific arrangement that would be brilliantly placed into a fantasy segment of a movie, the vocals are ethereal and time seems to just drift by whilst in this moment of sublime oneness.

The penultimate offering of this quite superb album is now upon us and entitled Strange Feeling Of Grace, there is a slight elevation of energy here, and the construction of an electronic ambience and minimalism can also be felt in this expertly manifested last but one composition, I felt the electronic presence here of a multitude of directions, in a piece that would literally be ideal to leave on repeat for a circular journey of musical pleasure.

We now bring to conclusion the album with a relatively short arrangement entitled A Sense Of Freedom, and for the first time we sense an energy of a more New Age styled creation, and hovering within the weave of the piece is a mood of renewal and growth, one must applaud the musician for his inventive and creative intelligence to leave the release with a composition of rejuvenation and fresh perspective.

There Is Something by Anantakara is with ease the best work thus far by the artist, he has taken his thoughts and allowed them to grow and expand and create an album of music that is both very easy to listen to, but also brings such serenity and focus into the mix as well. There Is Something by Anantakara is an album that fans of expressive and artistic electronic music will utterly love, and for those who are unsure of the genre, the best place to start.

Friday, March 11, 2022

Ambient Sleep From myndstream


Ambient Sleep



Written by

Steve Sheppard


As an ambient musician myself, two of the things you must always search for in construction of musical composition in this genre are tone and textures, combine those and your almost there. I’m still learning, but it clearly becomes evident that on this three track offering from myndstream is that that have got it completely, as Ambient Sleep is utterly perfect and decidedly soothing, and each tone and texture is like a tapestry of serenity.

This sublime journey of vibrational tone starts with the amazing Carl Borden, I adore his work, Borden has a perfect understanding of that which is needed to create ambience, and his keyboards and ethereal vocals on the track Dreamscapes is mesmeric to say the least, and offers up a sanctuary of peace within which to drift into.

Our second opus of calm is entitled Guuterput and by The Haiku Project, this it is a sublime moment of tranquillity, all be it on a different vibrational tone from the preceding piece, never the less the artist manufactures a very classy haven of bliss. Listening to this track I am minded to fall back upon many memories of classic New Age music from the early part of this century, it is so good to hear such delightful music again.

The third and final visit to this realm of Ambient Sleep comes from another musician I have a lot of respect for as we listen to Tomorrow By Another Name by Michelle Qureshi. Here is an artist who absolutely understands what ambient means, and on this piece has once more manifested something that will be personally dear to my heart for many years to come, such beautifully layered keyboards; such a tender and reflective energy flowing into the mind body and soul can be found here.

Ambient Sleep from myndstream is a stroke of utter genius; take three high quality artists in Carl Borden, The Haiku Project and Michelle Qureshi, give them the subject of sleep through ambience, and the result is three of the best tracks in the ambient construct I have heard for simply ages. We all need a little sanctuary of peace in our world these days, and I would suggest to you that Ambient Sleep by myndstream is a really good place to start.

Neptune Beach By Pete Calandra and Straight Up


Neptune Beach


Pete Calandra and Straight Up

Written by

Steve Sheppard


One of my little known guilty pleasures is a huge helping of Jazz in all its guises, and it is singles like Neptune Beach from Pete Calandra and Straight Up that fill my day with a cool sense of optimism and a joyous calm.

Calandra performs a sparkling style on this new song, a little light funky feel, and a very smooth touch, with a sublime flute along with percussion and organ all added into the mix and this gifts us the very eager listener, something so textured to cherish and brighten our days with.

Many of us are aware of Calandra’s expertise on the piano in his more ambient posture, but here that truly fun and rhythmic side of the artist is exposed for each and every one of us to thoroughly enjoy and chill along with.

Same As It Ever Was By Pete Calandra and Straight Up


Same As It Ever Was


Pete Calandra and Straight Up

Written by

Steve Sheppard


We are once again lucky to be gifted a brand new single by Pete Calandra and Straight Up, this sun kissed offering is entitled Same As It Ever Was. This radiant new offering is like listening to a musical diamond, it is multi-faceted and offers up much to blissfully enjoy.

There is a delicious global vibe within this song that is so enticing and addictive to listen to, reminding me at times of the UK’s James Asher, but more focused and flourishing in its tapestry of tone, there is also a sumptuous guitar segment within this track that adds to the overall percussive and driving keyboards that swirl around it.

Same As It Ever Was by Pete Calandra and Straight Up is certainly something I shall look forward to playing all summer long, as I hope you will too.

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Seasons of Life By Antonija Pacek


Seasons of Life


Antonija Pacek

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Seasons of Life is a wonderful 14 track piano based album by Antonija Pacek, one that creates such a radiance of colours and textures, all of which drift and coalesce around the eager listener with a sense of utter joy, here on this latest sojourn through music we are gifted a special treat indeed.

From the off we dance into the heart of the album with Winter Waltz, this is but one of many tracks that will enthral the listener, the one that encapsulated my soul was the moving and emotive refrains of Rain Drops with oboe, this duo of instrumentation was simply profound.

The piano of Pacek is outstanding; the artist is clearly an intuitive creator of meaningful melodies and structures. Fall Train is a good example of that aforementioned statement, fluent, flourishing, but also tender and thoughtful, whilst Sadness again with oboe adds such a depth of mood and reflection into the proceedings, in what is an incredibly moving opus.

There are many highlights in this album that really deserve multiple listens; the concluding track is certainly one of them and called Spur of a Moment. The tempo of this arrangement is simply delightful, with a happy texture and it’s carefree, but joyous construction, this is without doubt a very classy way to finish the release.

Seasons of Life by Antonija Pacek is a veritable tapestry of tone and warm colours, it is a wonderful collection of 11 main tracks and 3 bonus editions to enjoy, piano on its own, or with added instrumentation, all are thoroughly enjoyable, at times deeply moving, and always fluent and artistic, and Pacek’s delightful skill set manifests one of the most listenable piano based albums of the year thus far.

If you’re seeking music to ease the soul and calm the mind, then Seasons of Life by Antonija Pacek must surely be made part of your musical collection post haste.

Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Here, There and Everywhere By Gary Schmidt


Here, There and Everywhere


Gary Schmidt

Written by

Steve Sheppard


The writing duo of Lennon and McCartney produced some legendary material over the years they were together, but this one has to be one of my personal favourites. Gary Schmidt has followed his last rendition of a major Beatles hit in Let It Be, with another all-time wonder composition, the immortal Here, There and Everywhere.

What is so evident here is the care and attention to detail, and then more so, Schmidt builds on that and manifests an almost mystical element into the proceedings; it is as if, through the performance of the artist, that one is literally able to slip back in time and watch the two geniuses create this super hit, in a presentation that sparkles like the brightest star in the sky, a top notch performance indeed by Schmidt.

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

Shades By Adolfo Viguera




Adolfo Viguera

Written by

Steve Sheppard


Adolfo Viguera is a new artist to me personally, this single entitled Shades, is a fine example of a truly good solo piano performance, mixed with a wonderful artistic texture, to indeed give us shades of light and shadow within this clever presentation.

The repeating motif and the creative build and progression are but two examples of performance and arrangement that the artist manifests superbly. The composition also has a fluent and colourful European flavour at times, and is without doubt one of the most heartfelt, fascinating and deeply interesting solo piano singles I have heard for quite sometime.