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Spiritual Haven by Russell Suereth
- posted by Donna on 4/30/2015
Suereth CD Combines Classical and World Elements
RUSSELL SUERETH CD COMBINES CLASSICAL AND WORLD MUSIC ELEMENTS


SPIRITUAL HAVEN is the third recording from keyboardist Russell Suereth. The music will be enjoyed by new age music lovers who gravitate toward sounds with a touch of world-fusion using ethnic elements. Suereth combines classical instrumentation (piano, oboe, bassoon, acoustic guitar, viola, cello and French horn) with a variety of ancient world music instruments (duduk, marimba, koto, oud, krin and native hand drums) plus a little modern synthesizer and hang drum. The music features many woodwind melodies plus rhythms from around the world. Suereth created the music to facilitate spiritual feelings and a sense of peace, safeness and happiness. This musical journey crosses borders, cultures and millenniums. Take a listen and open your ears to some new sounds!
Rating: Excellent
Another Time, Another Place by Robin Spielberg
- posted by Michael Diamond on 4/29/2015
Another Time, Another Place by Robin Spielberg
Although I haven’t had the pleasure until now to write about the music of composer/pianist Robin Spielberg, I’m quite familiar with her name from my being involved in the new age music genre for many years. She is considered among the premier neo-classical/new age solo piano artists and has quite an impressive history that expands into a number of different areas. Robin is a prolific composer with seventeen recordings under her name, as well as appearing on over 40 compilations. Her record sales exceed one million, and this official “Steinway Artist” has had three sold out performances at the legendary Carnegie Hall. In 2014, Robin was invited to give a TEDx TALK on music and wellness.

As the title of her latest CD release, “Another Time, Another Place“ implies, the focus is on the nature of time. The album’s title track reveals the range and depth of Robin’s solo piano artistry with its intricate composition and elaborate detail. What stood out for me was her sense of dynamics throughout the piece, which ranges from quiet and delicate to bold and more ornate. My favorite parts were Robin’s rapidly repeating right hand arpeggios that gave a feeling of spinning through time and space like Alice tumbling head over heels down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. While Robin’s classical influences are evident here, a sweet and airy piece with a slightly Oriental air entitled “Cherry Blossom” leans more towards an impressionistic new age vibe and paints a diaphanous springtime portrait of light pink petals floating in the breeze. One of my favorite tracks was “The Time Traveler.” Like Robin, I am fascinated by this topic and I enjoyed drifting on the song’s dreamy far-away feel.

If I had to choose just one word to name a quality that shines in the artistry of Robin Spielberg, it would be “heart.” In addition to her highly accomplished technique on the piano is a soulfulness that resonates on an emotional level with the listener. While the theme of this album is “time,” the music of Robin Spielberg is timeless.


To read the full length review of this album, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com
Rating: Excellent
Inamorata by David Arkenstone
- posted by Beth Hilton on 4/21/2015
Inamorata Review by Matthew Forss
David Arkenstone & Charlee Brooks
Inamorata
Green Hill

Grammy-nominated, David Arkenstone, collaborates with pop and neo-classical vocalist, Charlee Brooks, on the new pop-inspired Inamorata. Charlee, a Pennsylvania-native, adds a crystalline and angelic tone to the music with delicate and emotive results. Eight of the twelve tracks are original compositions, but a few contemporary covers grace the album. For example, Charlee embraces the Edwardian-influenced theme from Downton Abbey, “Did I Make The Most Of Loving You?,” which contains cinematic brilliance, fluid vocals, and a contemplative mood that mirrors the composition originally-arranged by John Lunn with lyrics by Don Black and the very talented Mary-Jess Leaverland. David and Charlee traverse pop constructions dabbled with dance or electronic arrangements on Sarah Brightman’s “Harem,” Zedd’s “Clarity,” and the main title from the “Game Of Thrones.” Charlee’s pop sensibilities and slight rock elements shine through on “Never Forget,” “Don’t Let Me Go,” and “Great Love.” The neo-classical, staccato string arrangements are prevalent throughout the album, as well as sweeping piano melodies and harmonic vocalizations. There are hints of Celtic Woman and equal doses of Elisa Brown, Sarah Brightman, Enya, Mary-Jess Leaverland with some lesser influences stemming from Ace Of Base and Celine Dion. Nevertheless, David continues to create new and exciting compositions that are full of ambient soundscapes, solid vocal arrangements, and pop influences that are catchy and memorable. Charlee’s voice is a perfect match for all of the compositions on Inamorata. The lilting melodies and harmonies meld fluidly with Charlee’s vocals and the various percussive leanings without any faults. David and Charlee prove that easy listening, new age, and alternative pop music can be fresh and engaging, while providing new life for contemporary covers and show themes. – Matthew Forss

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