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Soul Dreams by Christopher Boscole
- posted by Dyan Garris on 2/3/2018
Christopher Boscole - Soul Dreams
Christopher Boscole is a classically trained pianist and composer who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music, Master of Music in Studio Music and Jazz, as well as a Masters in Teaching. His eleventh album release, “Soul Dreams,” is quite aptly named, as the solo piano compositions take us on an effortless, delightfully flowing, and soothing journey of almost one hour, on which we are invited on a soul level to transcend the physical and elevate the spirit.

The twelve piano solos found on this album are mainly neoclassical in style, yet at the same time dimensional in nature. There is a lot of easy, natural flow and liquidity here, and in my opinion Christopher’s style brings in some additional facets to our general concepts of “New Age,” solo piano, or traditionally classical music.

And along with the visually attractive album cover art, the music on “Soul Dreams” is exceptionally beautiful as well. Dreamy and peaceful, with some of it possibly improvised, as that is one of Christopher Boscole’s many musical talents, the compositions are fluid and light, transporting us so very easily to a voyage that is beyond ourselves.

The album begins with the lovely and melodic, “New Hope.” This is an ultra-dreamy, truly delightful “soulscape” of sound. Supremely relaxing, flowing, and tranquil, here we are drawn enticingly and willingly into the rest of the “dream.” “New Hope” is followed by the genuinely enchanting “Polyana,” with its gentle, tender-hearted vibe. These are two tracks you may find yourself listening to over and over again.

Track 3, “Heart Traveler,” is passionate and emotional but with a light, calming melody. This feels like it could be conveying the journey of one heart connecting somewhere in the ethers with another heart, melting together into one perfect harmony and one love. In any event, there is much to love here all around.

Not to be overlooked in any way are “Happy Day” and “To See You Again,” which are both quite captivating and enchanting. However, of particular note, and in the vein of “Heart Traveler,” the song on track 6, “Empathy,” seems to capture perfectly how we might feel to be heart-connected with someone else. This is my absolute favorite song on the album. It’s rich, expressive, and hypnotic, with emotional depth and breadth. Plus, it is deeply relaxing, as is also the very authentic feeling, “The Question.” And the tranquility and peace we discover in “Soul’s Journey” on track 8, reminds us that the journey of the soul goes on, even if we may not quite understand the answer to “the question” of what we are doing here or where we go from here.

“Soul Dreams,” the title track, follows on track 9. In alignment with the fluidity of the compositions on the album, the song is quite mesmerizing. And this one is actually a bit “trance-inducing.”

The last three tracks on the album, “Peace of the Soul,” “Mistery,” and “Suite Sunshine,” are more ambient rather than structured. But ambience sometimes has its own definitive structure within. These last three are “shimmery” and “glittery,” perhaps like the sparkling scintilla of our very soul’s essence.

The album, “Soul Dreams” by Christopher Boscole is an effervescent cascade of liquid light and a highly recommended addition to your solo piano collection. ~ Dyan Garris

Buy “Soul Dreams” here.

Official Artist Website:
Reflecting Forward by Ryan Marvel
- posted by Steve Sheppard on 1/29/2018
Sensitive and healing
I sit here in the very beginnings of a new year and hope that 2018 can be more kind to me than the preceding one, like the artist Ryan Marvel, 2017 had been a severe year of extreme change, with many emotional challenges.
Ryan Marvel as thus created Reflecting Forward as a journey of healing, I for one salute that and am most grateful for the sojourn into this album; perhaps I would find the contents as cathartic as Ryan himself, as at this time I sure need it.
This voyage of restorative musical balance starts with the title track, Reflecting Forward is a wonderful example of an artist, who in one track, can sum up the mood of the album and the yin and yang of emotions in just under five amazingly reflective minutes.
Most of the song titles are a simply a single word, no over-elaboration needed here, just the truth of thought. The theme continues with the second piece entitled Forgotten. Memories seem to reveal themselves here with each key played and a sense of letting go can be found within the composition as well.
Conflict sees Marvel employ the technique of dampening the strings; this herald’s the arrival of a more upbeat composition. There is something both very appealing and energetic about this arrangement. At times the performance bursts into musical passages that contain a lush music colour, then back into an essence of apprehension, this is without doubt one of the cleverest tracks off the release.
On Apology we have a more moody composition that creates a delicate pastiche of nervousness and concern, but weaves its quite brilliant narrative so well, that a back drop of honest sincerity can also be found within the weave of this breath taking piece.
One of my favourites would turn out to be Horizons, that’s exactly where we are now; this is one extremely reflective opus, one that is bathed in a deeply contemplative energy. This moment of introspective genius captured my imagination and heart and perhaps one, through the tears, can see new horizons as of yet untouched, this is a song of great hope.
Once reached, there is no turning back; this is the quite brilliant Renewal, a composition that has such a charming flow and resonance about its arrangement. The performance here is sublime and quite empowering too, one that employs a really vigorous but immaculate performance.
Let’s float over the half way line together and listen to the piece Then, Now. There is such a splendid interplay between the past and present here on this composition. This song is almost like sitting in your arm chair and reflecting on what has been and what is now. Marvel has produced a moment of blissful philosophical piano.
Stillness is a piece that has a well of great ambience about its nature, and to that ambience is added a delicate melody from the heart, one that brings comfort and calm. Marvels sensitivity here is moving and something profound to behold; another one of my personal favourites from the album.
As we move into the deeper regions of the release, we come across a track called Reverence. The veneration and respectful performance says it all, the tempo is slow and careful and played with such a level of respect; this is both tender and touching to the musical ear.
At times we all have moods that are less than cheerful; these moments of serious nature will flood our hearts and minds if we allow them to. On the piece Somber, we have a short form composition that illustrates that mood perfectly, the style and execution of this track is clever and insightful, one that also contains many musical rooms of shadows within.
The vastness of the ambience in the track Waiting is delightful, the pause and breath of performance is magical. Ryan Marvel’s skills at producing full flowing solo piano are simply stunning. This is one of those tracks you cannot stop playing, as it manifests such beautiful imagery from each and every note played.
The shortest offering on the album is the light and almost cheeky composition called Hopeful. At just under two minutes you have the perfect remedy for any sombreness you may have had. Marvel creates a sun kissed track that literally sparkles on the horizon and burns your fears away.
The penultimate piece off the release is entitled Nostalgic, I have had many moments feeling like this over the past weeks, many doors have closed, but through this gentle and caring performance we can access the more happier moments of our colourful past. This is beautifully played and carries a feeling of love and respect well within its musical boundaries.
The end is the beginning, the beginning is the end, we have shared many, many moments of reflection on this musical journey with the artist, now he has one more gift for us to take along with us on our way, and this is his parting gift called Beginnings. Marvel delivers a perfect ending piece, one that seems to round up all the emotions of a turbulent year of change and challenge, in a very memorable last performance.
Reflecting Forward by Ryan Marvel is indeed a cathartic journey, one that could be a much needed remedy for our world today. This album allows us to reflective and understand our thoughts, and thus be more thoughtful in the future. Marvel as a pianist has a talent that is rare, he creates a vibrant colourful narrative with his music and has a level of sensitivity that allows us the space to heal through the music, this is one album that you just have to embrace and feel the love from.
Rating: Excellent
Spirit Wheel by Terra Guitarra
- posted by Liliian on 1/24/2018

Terra Guitarra is one of the most popular, best-selling and entertaining world-tinged acoustic-guitar groups in the world with provocative rhythms and exquisite melodies. You should check out their latest album, SPIRIT WHEEL, which is the most spiritual, soft, gentle, healing recording they have ever done. This is exceptional instrumental music with great acoustic soloing, but also soft keyboards, drums, percussion and bass in the background. Four of the tunes include wood flutes in nice interplay with the guitars. This duo considers the newest album to be “medicine” for themselves and their audience -- a meditational, transformational, trance/chill collection designed to help listeners explore their place in the universe. This is the group’s ninth album, and several previous ones have gone to the top of various international charts. The album cover artwork, as always, is a nature/guitar painting by lead guitarist Bruce Hecksel in his trademark style.

Rating: Excellent
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