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Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/4/2019
One of the best Native American styled albums
Much can be said about Bearheart Kokopelli’s subtle mastery of the flute and on this brand new offering “Vision Quest” we have probably the artists best work to date. Using the guitar talents of the very classy Harald Peterstorfer, the musician has manifested a work of art that is utterly beautiful with every note played.
Our musical sojourn takes place within the comforting arms of an outstanding opening piece called Can You Tell Me, at times emotive, at times moving, but always passionate and colourful. You can usually get a feel for an album after hearing the basis of composition from the first track, and if this is the case, then this is an album that is going to be breath taking, and it is.
Talking to the Ancestors is up next a piece that embodies everything that I would like to do one day with my guitar and my wife’s flute. The performance is rich in texture and incredibly fluent as well, the mournful reflective guitar is matched with such perfection and charming narrative on flute. The slight energy increase in the latter half of this arrangement was noticeable, but beautifully done and strangely enough reminded me of some of the more acoustic work of Led Zeppelin, on a Stairway to Heaven perhaps.
On Follow the Sun we have a slightly different offering, one that has a little mystical sense about its construction. This magical composition sparkled with the brightness of a warm summer’s day, and at times the flute of the artist reminded me of the imploring nature of the UK’s leading flute performer Nigel Shaw. Peterstorfer eloquent performance added such a layer of smoothness and quality to the piece, and Kokopelli’s delicate nature brought us a true stand out composition indeed.
I adore compositions about rivers and here we are, about to walk over the musical bridge and sit on the banks of one as we listen to Crossing the River. The song has a built in sense of slow movement, as if we are there, watching the life giving water flow under our bridge of tone and timbre. This is a clever piece, beautifully played and arranged with some quite complex moments of musical mastery on both flute and guitar to enjoy.
It wasn’t until I played Mojave Sundown, that I realised just how crafting an artist Kokopelli actually is, his tenderness on this track is to be honest, stunning. One can picture in the mind’s eye a sunset with ease, we’re literally there to watch the artist paint a lush and colourful canvas of calmness and tranquillity, this is one of the warmest offerings on the album, and one that will no doubt be played many times over, as we watch yet another loving sunset.
We are at the half way juncture now and I have realised just what a wonderfully beautiful experience I am having; that would continue with the longest offering of the album called Walking the Sacred Path, something I think I have done for a few years now, as we walk, we create our own energetic footprint. The harmony with which the artist and Peterstorfer manifest this piece is truly a halcyon moment of musical genius. A slight native chant can be heard in the distance and the deft and delicate heartbeat of a drum can be heard on the musical horizon, this is a legendary offering indeed.
The cry of the flute can now be heard echoing through and over the mountains as we watch a Canyon Sunset, something I would love to do one day. Peterstorfer and his guitar now join Kokopelli as the piece seems to create its own reality. For me this track felt like a celebration of life, the happiness when one realises just how wealthy and rich they are, when their gifts are as simple as a new sunrise and a glorious sunset, a wonderful example of symbiosis in musical partnership can be found here also.
There is a powerful eastern element in this next piece that is balanced by a clever western styled performance on guitar that manifests another really clever opus of music. We seemed to cross a few genres here as well; one could feel the blues and a hint of Jazz too. Desert Blues is one of those pieces that you just fall in love with and find yourself whistling around the home randomly, a fun offering, but also one that is quite ambient in its own way as well.
I’m rubbing my hands with glee as the title tracks start to play, this is always a special moment for me, this is the ultimate canvas on which the artist has created the overall narrative of the album on. Vision Quest, a delightful eight minute plus opus, a musical vision so grand and complex, but a composition incredibly well performed by two artists who clearly are in touch with their muses. This arrangement offers up a meditative creation of bliss, one that leaves such a positive footprint of skilful mastery, within the minds eye of us always ever eager listeners.
The penultimate track off the album is the light and heartfelt piece Medicine Song. Bearheart Kokopelli is at his best in creating one of the sweetest melodies off the album. The soothing guitar creates the backdrop for Kokopelli’s sublime moment of stylish manifestation and leaves us with such a wonderful emotional energy of happiness at its conclusion, I could see with ease this composition being released as a single, I am sure it would be a big hit.
We finish now with a return to the opening title, almost, in Can You Tell Me Now. This is almost like summing up the feelings and all the emotions that have gone into making this release possible, a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment can be heard in this last truly beautiful offering.
Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli is in my view his best work by far, the artist has really created something so good here that I hope it will go down as a land mark album for all time to come. I never wanted this journey to end and I hope you won’t either. Vision Quest by Bearheart Kokopelli has to be one of the best Native American styled flute and guitar based albums I have ever heard, and I urge you to make this part of your collection as well, your soul will love you for it.
Rating: Excellent
Compassion by Sangeeta Kaur
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 9/3/2019
A masterpiece created with love
There is a time when an album comes into your life just when you need it most, music will fall from the sky like summer rain, covering you with warmth and a calmness of Compassion, and this is exactly what we are about to experience, with one of the most amazing albums I have heard within the vocal based realms of our new age industry.
Sangeeta Kaur’s album Compassion starts at the best place possible with a wonderfully exciting and thoroughly exhilarating rendition of Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha, the mantra from Green Tara, to help us overcome physical, mental and emotional blockages. I am now on my 5th consecutive listen and each time I do so I become even more emotional, the back drop of the enthral choir and Kaur’s consistent heart felt vocals of this mantra, have brought me as close as to what I would personally call, a spiritual moment of significance.
I have decided to really take my time with this album, as I recommend you do, it’s far too good to hurry, it’s far better to align yourself with it, and just be at one with the love that exudes from it. I would like to offer up a quote from this next song called Rise Up.
“Look deep within your heart,
Let’s make a brand new start,
Keep your head high,
It will be alright”

This is an anthem for the world, symphonically majestic, sublime with its emotional touch, and a message to every single person on this so fearful planet!
Transcendence is a really nice place to be at this moment on the album, it’s a soft and soothing musical narrative with a beautiful backdrop of vocalisations and one heck of a moving violin segment. This song itself is transcendent and it shines in its excellence with a radiating and illuminating light of love, like a beacon across a frozen lake, brings hope and harmony as it comes and goes.
The very opening of May the Long Time Sun took me back in time to the early 70’s and the ever repeating mantra of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. The string section and vocals that would follow are some of the most empowering you’re likely to hear. The song was originally released by Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band back in 1968 and Kaur has taken that, brought it into the modern arena and manifested something truly special indeed.
I was delighted to see the name Danae Vlasse come into my view on this next offering called Song of Compassion, I have a lot of respect for her as a musician and her music, and here with Sangeeta Kaur we are gifted one of the most pristine and most moving songs you’re likely to hear. At times the tones within this piece are utterly unequalled to anything you may have heard before, in part choral, a touch of opera, but vocally transcendent and heavenly to listen to. Listening to an arrangement of work like this makes you feel truly glad that you have been given this human journey to be able to experience a moment of musical magic that is never likely to be repeated.
Om Vajra Sattva Hum and again, right time, right piece of music; I needed this one right now, the mantra of the Bodhisattva, Vajrasattva in Tibetan Buddhism as it purifies body, speech and mind. This also happens to be the longest offering on the album, the intensity and percussion work, partnered with the choir, are in perfect alignment with Kaur’s vocals, bringing us something truly healing and fluent, the male voices within this track I must also add, gave the composition great balance as well.
A statement that is a mantra of mine for years now is up next and called We Are One. This anthem should be the rising call of all who wish for peace on our world. Here Kaur’s vocals are sublime, smooth, yet incredibly powerful as well. The percussion is incredibly inventive and the eventual explosion at just over the half way juncture brought us a moment of magical musical empowerment in a Lord of the Rings film score style.
Se Re Sa Sa is up now, this reminds me of our experience with Kundalini Yoga a few months back in Limassol. That experience was utterly life changing, as is this piece; the mantra, which I may add is beautifully performed by the artist, allows better connections to be made with communications and will also raise a better understanding of peace within oneself as well. The chimes were perfectly placed and the back drop of the choir gave the whole track a truly ethereal feel, while Sangeeta Kaur weaved her magic vocals through this mantra, strings paved the way for the emotions to flow in a blissful river of harmony.
Now I happen to know this is my wife’s favourite piece off the album and called Voices and Crystals, something she is both excellent herself at combining and working with. This is the penultimate track off the album and one that instantly wants me to reach for my singing bowls as well. Here Kaur teams up with Hila Plitmann and in doing so brings us an amazingly breath taking spiritual moment of musical ecstasy. The two simply allow their vocals to work with each other’s energy, and the resulting track is the most ambient piece off the album without doubt, it is certainly the most inventive and probably the most addictive as well.
The last dimension of our musical reality has been reached and the album concludes with the offering Voices of Compassion (Chorus Medley). Here we have a really clever idea, a piece that offers all the highlights from the talents of the Hungarian Studio Choir, the choral melodies run free in this final piece, and what a shining way to end the album indeed.
As the last few notes drifted away in my ears, I sat and pondered, had I just listened to the best album in this genre I have ever heard, something tells me this may well be true. Compassion by Sangeeta Kaur is a masterpiece of a work, given all the fine treatment of a production, with string ensembles, choral work, Buddhist mantras and songs of peace and unconditional love, it really doesn’t get any better than this, and the question therefore is, would I recommend this release? Well I don’t think there is an album I would recommend more, everyone should feel, hear and enjoy the utter beauty of this release as soon as possiible, so why not do it now.
Rating: Excellent
Two Hearts by David Wahler
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 8/29/2019
A collection of brilliance
I must admit I have been a bit of a fan of David Wahler since around 2009, and now some 10 years later, and following up on the spectacular offering Mosaic, we celebrate the release of another moment of musical magic with this new offering entitled Two Hearts.
The album has one of the smoothest starts your ever likely to hear with the composition Always. The lush keyboard melody creates a virtual smile that radiates with love across the universe, a better start you will not find anywhere within in this genre.
After Mosaic, an album that was virtually stuck on my player for months, I wondered just how Wahler would follow that up, I needn’t have worried, this album is in perfect symbiosis with it, and creates a whole new sense of peace and love for us all, just listen to the track I Remember You and you may well understand, a full flowing and rich tapestry of keyboards with a light symphonic backdrop can be found here, this I would dare to say is music of natural beauty with no boundaries.
Paris Rain is another beautiful continuance of the subject matter of love and what better subject can there be? Strangely enough, even though I have travelled a bit, I have yet to visit France and of course Paris. However with this track I can do just that within the music, as any good artist does, Wahler creates for me the perfect picture of just what it would be like to walk in the Paris rain, this is a truly delicate composition, each rain drop falls from the keyboard with such precision and care, in what is a really moving offering.
This next composition is one that I was really looking forward to hearing, it’s called Night Sky of Orion (Remix), if this rings a bell, then you may have in your collection the album that started my Wahler collection with as well, as the original version comes from the album Antiquuis. Wahler crosses the borders of the new age genre here and flows with such beauty into a musical realm known to many of us as chill out. This is such an exceptional offering and with the light percussion and symphonic foundations of the piece in full flow, we are truly treated to something quite amazing.
We are now about to take our first steps across and into the second half of the album but before we do so, let’s enjoy the guitar on this next piece entitled You and Me. The album expresses the emotion of love beautifully throughout, but here on this offering, if you listen with a careful ear, you may hear the sheer intensity of this emotion; the power and grace of love has been recreated here within such a very clever composition, it radiates desire, a sense of longing to be whole again and a passion that sometimes runs very deeply indeed.
A chilling wind greets our ears on this next piece called Love Lost. This is one of two singles released by the artist before the album and for those of us who have experienced the emotion of a love that has been lost, for whatever reason, you will relate to this most heartfelt and moving opus. I freely admit to have had my heartbroken many times, and this specific piece would be the perfect soundtrack for those tragic moments, it is like being lost in a world that just doesn’t seem to care, like you have drifted onto the beach of lost souls!
As a grandmaster of the keys, Wahler is a fine artist and manifests musical pictures that would grace any major art gallery in the world, perhaps like Two Hearts, the title header and the other single I refereed to earlier. Almost the alter ego of the other release, this offering has such a beautiful lightness about its construction and an almost film score ethic flows all around it’s musical majesty, one that lifts you up and raises your spirits.
I found the track Bloom and I found love, I also found something that is an essential part of my life, ambience. I would personally say that this is the most ambient and meditative offering from the album and I could get lost within its love for eternity. The gentleness of performance here is really noteworthy and the serene nature and tranquil base made this for me one of my personal favourites from the album with ease.
A total change in energy now as we come across the next arrangement called One Fine Day. Here is a piece that creates a musical narrative of a beautiful day in the same way as Kevin Kendle did on the track Sundial, he described that piece as the perfect sunny day and a cycle ride along the lanes of that perfection in nature. Wahler does almost exactly that, but expands with the brightness of the piece, so that here you have a graphic colourful narrative of perfection, that is simply a halcyon moment of any day that makes you feel utterly happy with no boundaries.
Our penultimate offering is called Confession, one that starts with a refrain of sadness and despair. Perhaps this is the soundtrack of the truth, something that liberates you, but something that at times really hurts. Wahler’s creation is perfectly created and beautifully produced to allow this musical sojourn in this misty realm of reluctant honesty to develop, to a point when the keyboards seem to just hover and die away, like the pain of telling someone the truth that will end the love that was once there.
We do however finish on a much brighter note; this ending offering is called Then She Went To Sleep. This maybe one of those tracks that you could play in the early hours of the morning, perhaps on waking from a dream, you roll over and look at your partners body in the moonlight, and watch the peacefulness of her sleep, and then you fill the room with gratitude that you’re the person lucky enough to be lying next to her in bed. This is the perfect ending offering and one that will be guaranteed to leave a smile of contentment on your face with its conclusion.
A new David Wahler album is always something to look forward to, he is an artist of great skill and talent and here on this album Two Hearts, it demands to be listened to. Wahler is one of those amazing musicians who in my view has never produced a poor track, and each and every offering on this new release is delightfully performed, beautifully played and professionally produced with one important element, Wahler has poured his heart into this collection of brilliance, and it shows in abundance.
Rating: Excellent
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