Between the Stars
2023 / Cul de Sac Mystic Productions
Review by Kathy Parsons
Between the Stars is the seventh solo album by world flutist/composer/producer Ann Licater. Subtitled "flute passages for meditation and inspiration," the fourteen original tracks feature Ann playing eleven different flutes as well as piano and singing bowls. Co-producer Ivar Lunde, Jr., who also engineered the album, appears on several tracks performing on a variety of instruments that include frame drum, synths, guitar and acoustic bass. As I was listening to the album before doing any writing, I kept finding my mind wandering to pleasant places as I looked out the window, and also found that my breathing had slowed and deepened, so I can honestly say that this music really works! I really like Ann's explanation of her intention with the music:
“As with my previous recordings, the flute represents the ‘traveler’ journeying to new places with each breath - allowing the listener to discover a new sense of self, calm and ease. This time the journey is through the cosmos....The album is a 45-minute meditative journey - something I love to encourage since we all need time to center ourselves.”
Between the Stars begins with "Divine Skies," a piece for Native American flute with atmospheric synth washes in the background, gently setting the tone for the album. "Ancient Traveler," a solo for Native American-style flute, strokes and calms the mind. The title track includes bass and synth behind the ethereal flute - again, very atmospheric and serene. "Luminous Waters" is a duet for flute and piano that feels very spontaneous and improvised, sparkling like light dancing on the surface of a calm lake or ocean, completely free and at ease. "Dream Passages" continues that mood in a slower, even more mystical setting that really does feel dreamlike. Synth washes give the background a shimmering aura behind the flute. "Moon Garden," a second duet for flute and piano, is my favorite track. What do you think a garden on the moon would look or feel like? Let the music take your imagination on a tour of this magical place and see it for yourself. "Whispering Light," "Timeless Voices" and "Circling Star" are consecutive flute solos that deepen the soothing effect of the previous tracks. The album closes with "Starlight Lullaby," which features flute, synth, acoustic guitar and bass - pure musical bliss!
Between the Stars is obviously music with a purpose, but it is also beautifully inspiring and relaxing for listening to either in the background or with full concentration. Warm, soothing and very hypnotic, let it transport you to places Between the Stars. The album is available as a CD, download or to stream on Amazon; to stream or download from Apple Music/iTunes; and on many of the streaming platforms including Spotify.
November 8, 2023