2011 / Real Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Enlightened Love is the Real Music debut by multi-instrumentalist/composer Blue Monk. The album contains nine eclectic world music tracks that feature Rajendra Teredesai on bansuri and Native American flutes. Blue Monk performs on piano, keyboards, percussion, and ethnic instruments. From the liner notes: “The music is ideal for therapeutic practices like yoga, t’ai chi, meditation and personal and spiritual awakening, as well as for relaxation and easy listening.” Heavily-influenced by Eastern and Native American musical traditions as well as New Age stylings, some of the tracks are quiet and soothing while others are more upbeat and rhythmic. As always with Real Music’s releases, the sound quality is impeccable.
Enlightened Love begins with “Eastern Sun,” a lovely piece that evokes visual images of a rising sun illuminating tranquil and vast open spaces. Warm and optimistic, it could be perfect in a movie soundtrack. “Letting Go” is much more fluid and relaxed. Piano and gently rhythmic keyboard accompaniments provide a soothing massage for the mind. “Ancient Wisdom” begins quietly, building as it evolves, incorporating a variety of instruments from various cultures as well as chanting voices. The flutes are especially effective in this piece. “Alicia’s Dream” is one of the more ambient pieces, and also one of the most beautiful. Piano with keyboard washes, flute and light percussion make this atmospheric gem a favorite. “Mindfulness” is even more ambient, with ethereal voices and pastel keyboard washes behind the simple piano meditation. “Cosmic Zen” goes darker, but with a peaceful feeling of floating in space. A mix of ethnic instruments with keyboard, voices, and flutes make this a multi-cultural world music selection that embraces many and excludes no one. “State of No Mind” reminds me of a conversation I had with Ray Lynch about twelve years ago about the concept of “headlessness” - being able to stop thinking and to just “be.” This peaceful, slowly-flowing piece for flute and keyboard glides effortlessly and gracefully through time and space, at one with the universe. The title track again blends Eastern and Western instruments and musical traditions with contemporary “new age” sensibilities, creating a unique sound that is both exciting and very soothing.
Enlightened Love is available from www.RealMusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and wherever Real Music’s releases are available.
October 25, 2011