Michael Brant DeMaria
2009 / Ontos Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Ocean is the follow-up to Michael Brant Demaria’s 2008 release, Siyotanka, and is a stunning new addition to his Healing Sound series. A psychologist and soul guide “by day” and a musician and artist “by night,” Demaria created this music to help himself heal after a series of three hurricanes in 2004-05 destroyed his coastal Florida home and caused him to reevaluate his life. The music on Ocean is much more ambient than the music on Siyotanka, and Demaria composed and performed all of the music himself using piano, synth, percussion, indigenous flutes, and his voice. In the liner notes, Demaria says, “This CD is based on 25 years of research into the world of sound healing. Ideal for massage, yoga, meditation, or anytime the world has become too much and you need to flow again.” Used as background music, it provides a very calming atmosphere, but with full attention the soothing sounds will take you to a place of beauty and calm.
Ocean begins with the mysterious “Surfacing,” which uses water sounds and very deep musical tones that suggest dark vastness and calm. “Open Water” introduces string washes, flutes, and ambient sounds that express an openness and light rather than floating in darkness. As its title implies, “Moonlit Ocean” is about being surrounded by shimmering beauty and dancing light, and being transported by the experience. I really love this one! “Diving Deep” returns to the dark mysteries below the surface of the ocean, with its flickers of light and mysterious shapes and creatures. “Another World” goes deeper with this feeling enhanced by the sound of an “ultra low” redwood flute that sounds much like a didjeridoo. The effect created is that of weightless floating without fear or concern. “Transformation” begins with water sounds and a backdrop of ambient musical sound. Again, the feeling is of peaceful floating. Drums are heard occasionally, continuing to build as the flutes sing of coming change, and then trailing off as the transformation becomes complete. “Horizon” is the final track on this exquisite journey, and the sound of harps and warm, gentle washes of musical color indicate a new beginning and a fresh start.
Ocean is intensely personal yet universal in its themes and scope. Michael Demaria’s words in the liner notes help to explain the journey, yet leave much to the listener’s imagination and personal interpretation of the music. It’s a remarkable musical experience! Ocean is available from Ontos Music, Amazon, CD Baby, and iTunes.
November 16, 2009