Tuesday, August 25, 2020
Titled Liquid Mind XIII: Mindfulness, Wild’s latest album is named for what could be deemed the most popular new age trend to arise over the last few years. However, for the dedicated mindfulness enthusiasts out there, as well as those less familiar with what the practice entails, it’s worth noting that Liquid Mind has long been a leading mindful music trendsetter by crafting harmonious sounds which are intended to promote many of the same purported benefits that mindfulness exercises strive to achieve.
Spanning just over an hour, the album features a total of six soothingly serene soundscapes comprised of slowly-shifting and oscillating major-key chord progressions, which mostly occupy the mid-to-high range. Continually unfolding throughout in a gradually ascending motion, silken chords with softened edges smoothly transition from one to the next. Given that the compositional structure is all ‘release’ and no ‘tension’, there aren't any elements of surprise along the way, which allows for the listener to simply achieve an uninterruptedly passive state of mind. Overall, it’s a listening experience which could be figuratively compared to that of floating like a cloud in the lotus position without pause, nor a tangible destination in mind.
Without getting too bogged down in genre categorization, I’ve always perceived this kind of music to be an emblematic representation of the new age genre, which I intuitively distinguish from the often overlapping yet nonetheless distinct ambient genre. Specifically, Mindfulness is positivity-minded, pure relaxation music that feels like receiving a mental massage or aromatherapy for the ears. And though as a listener I do tend to gravitate towards moodier atmospheres that convey some suspense and tensity, likewise, as someone coming from the perspective of having worked in the spa industry, I’ve found this type of music to be perfectly suited to that environment with its oft-reported therapeutic effect on both clients and holistic practitioners! ~Candice Michelle
Available at Amazon and other musical retail & streaming platforms. For more information, please visit the artist's website.
Monday, August 17, 2020
A thematic sequel to Celtic Fairy Lullaby (2016) and follow-up to A World Away (2018), the band’s latest release, Celtic Fairy Dream, serendipitously parallels the maturing artistry of Sarah Copus, with her angelic lullabies once again shining in the incandescent glow of celestially sailing soundscapes. Comprised of cinematic orchestral and synthesizer arrangements, listeners are treated to the lulling sounds of harp, flute, guitar and additional multi-layered vocals throughout. Included are several renditions of traditional Irish and Welsh songs in signature 2002 fashion, as the musical sojourner is spirited away to another time and place where ancient lore and mythic beauty comes to life.
Of particular noteworthiness is “The Green Fields of Autumn (Coinleach Glas an Fhomhair)”, a traditional Irish song popularized by the legendary Irish band Clannad. Although both renditions are equally exquisite, 2002 contrasts Clannad’s mainly acoustic and earthier version with one that's more ethereal and shimmering.
My absolute favorite piece on the album is “David of the White Rock (Dafydd y Garreg Wen)”, a solemn 18th-century Welsh musical air and folk song. With the harp central to its poetically lyrical theme, 2002's gorgeous rendition aptly showcases the enchanting instrument, while the soundscape simultaneously exudes both a monastic and romantic atmosphere. Visions of majestic castles and mythical lands emerge from its velvety mists, as Sarah imparts a haunting melody in the beautiful Welsh language.
Another stunning offering from 2002, every composition herein magically unfolds like the turning of sparkling pages of a fairytale picture book. Sure to be embraced by many adults and children alike, Celtic Fairy Dream is another must-have album for fans of Celtic, ethereal and fantasy music in the spirit of Enya, Clannad and Loreena McKennitt! ~Candice Michelle
Available at Amazon and other music retail & streaming platforms. For more information, please visit the artist's website.
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