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Album Review: Beyond the Waves
Ann Licater
Cover image of the album Beyond the Waves by Ann Licater
Beyond the Waves
Ann Licater
2016 / Ann Licater/ Cul de Sac Mystic Productions
42 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Beyond the Waves is the fourth release from award-winning recording artist, producer and composer Ann Licater. Referring to the music as a “traveling meditation,” this flute-driven album contains twelve original tracks that are perfect for relaxation, rejuvenation, and inner reflection. I have also found it to be a welcome and soothing accompaniment to various work activities in my office, allowing the music to slip in and out of conscious listening. A classically-trained flautist, Ann Licater has also studied Native flutes with R. Carlos Nakai. With her varied background, Licater easily blends the influences of new age, jazz, and world music into a sound that is uniquely her own. In addition to the assortment of flutes Licater performs on, guest artists bring additional colors and layers to the music with guitar, bass, piano, violin, and more. Dan Ferguson appears on all but two tracks, playing a variety of instruments as well as contributing his production skills. In Licater’s own words: “My passion is creating relaxation music that people can use for self-reflection and inner journeying. This album has more layers which is intended to move the listener to deeper places while opening them up to experiencing an expansive awareness. Each track is carefully placed in an order that supports a 55-minute ‘traveling meditation for well-being’.”

Beyond the Waves begins with “Rhythm of the Stars,” a light-hearted piece for flute, acoustic guitar, bass, light percussion and synth. The playful energy of this beautiful piece is a perfect opener! “Halcyon Morning” is peacefulness set to music. Native flute, piano, guitar, synth, wordless vocals, and gentle percussion create haunting musical magic - this is my favorite track on the album. “Blossoms Falling” is a gorgeous trio for Native flute, acoustic guitar and acoustic bass - very soothing as well as poignant. The title track is a massage for the mind - so calm and peaceful. Mystical and exotic, “Island Garden” has a softly swaying rhythm that enchants and relaxes, evoking images of pastel flowers and warm breezes. “Sailing on Moonlight” is somewhat jazzier, but definitely “cool” jazz that expresses freedom with a minimal approach. “Sunrise Blessing” and “Song of the Willows” are solo tracks that have Licater performing on bamboo flute on the first and Native American flute on the second. (There are some wind chimes in the background of “Song of the Willows,” but Licater plays those, too.) “Ocean Lullaby” closes the album with a velvet-smooth duet for Anasazi flute and piano. By this point, any stress or tension you felt before sitting down with this album should be in a big puddle on the floor! If it isn’t, you really need this music!

Ann Licater has created another flute masterpiece with Beyond the Waves that is sure to be on many “Best of” lists for 2016! It is available from Amazon and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
June 14, 2016
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