“A Rose by Any Other Name”
Our world today is, if nothing else, tumultuous. So much so that we tend to forget the ongoing battles that began more than a generation ago and is still raging. I speak of the HIV/Aids epidemic that seems to have slipped from the headlines in favor of the fashion tragedy du jour, the celeb of the week rehab or the ever-critical Tweet. Fortunately, we have people that still dedicate their careers and their lives for the cause that needs the most attention and the most support. On the digital release Music That Matters we find 36 of the most talented and dedicated musicians of contemporary, electronic, New Age and related genres on the planet coming together to draw attention to the cause and doing so with compassion and panache. Veteran musicians such as David Lanz, David Arkenstone and Tingstad & Rumbel joins hands with contemporaries Michael Brant DeMaria, Fiona Joy and Stanton Lanier to name a few. With their generosity and through the auspices of Love Light, a non-profit organization, HIV/Aids, hunger, and impoverishment are brought to light and care is offered to the children of South Africa.
The album opens with the delightful sounds of Australian pianist Fiona Joy on her rendition of Snow Bird. With a little bit of synth and a sweet vocal, the song cools the senses. Legendary guitarist Eric Tingstad offers up a bright tune called Rhythm of the Desert, a combination of sun, sand, Native American voice and great guitar of course that will have you tapping along. Bobo Maley, a song by Susan Lincoln & Craig Toungate reminded me of sweet, chant from a tropical isle. It is hypnotically pleasing and it is from their Openings album. I would recognize the music of master electronic /ambient artist David Arkenstone anywhere. He includes a track from his Echoes & Light and Shadow album called On the Wings of Innocence. To me it is a follow up to his successful album On the Wake of the Wind, one of my all time favorites, but with a more organic style.
One of my favorites on Music That Matters is called To Be Loved: The Prayer of St. Francis by Ashana. Reverential, but blissfully poignant, the old prayer takes on new life. Another much recognizable style is that of Celtic pianist Phil Coulter with his contribution called My Lagan Love. The haunting Irish aire conjures up the thousand and one stories of love unrequited. The spirit is ever hopeful, however. I remember reviewing flutist Michael Brant Demaria’s album Bindu and from it, he offers the song The Way Beyond. The song suggests the beginning of a journey, one that is sure to amaze.
Instrumentalist Chris Spheeris gives us Lanilei. The music is from a documentary, but it segued into an incredible album called Maya. After listening to this, you will want to hear the album. Craig Pruess & Ilyana Vilensky presents an echoing flute tune and vocal called Angel of the Earth. It is a sacred soundscape that is sure to calm and inspire.
Another most noteworthy tune on Music that Matters is November from Jeremy Weinglass and featuring Chris Woods. It is a contemporary song that has old world charm. I thought the track Meditation I from pianist Yuyu Hang very moving, almost as an emotional release. From multi-instrumentalistPaul Adams comes Atmosphere from his successful album Flute Meditations For Dreaming Clouds. The tune represents the overall peacefulness of his album quite well. Kevin Wood submits Mother’s Love: Chill Out Mix. I have come to know Kevin’s music from his albums Sacred and Kindred. Both his albums tender sublime music of reverential beauty and passion. It was good to hear his music again.
If you are just starting to like contemporary and New Age music and you want a compilation album to sample what’s out there, then this is the CD for you. Music That Matters is put together by Kevin Wood, noted instrumentalist and founder of New Vision Music and like-thinking partners. It is interesting to note that anyone investing a mere $9.99 in the remarkable music anthology will get a $36.00 dollar value of great music in return, and 100% of the revenue goes to the charity. The downloadable collection is available at Itunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and Facebook. Get your copy today. It will matter.