Orenda: Breath of Angels
2021 / Journeymakers, Inc.
Review by Kathy Parsons
Orenda: Breath of Angels is the fourteenth album from pianist/keyboardist/composer Dyan Garris. The ten original tracks were created as "contemporary relaxation music" and were inspired by "the need for all of us to breathe, relax, release, and feel peace and tranquility in our individual and collective soul." Two of the ten pieces are remixes from earlier recordings. The album features Garris performing on three different keyboards and includes guest appearances by flutist Sherry Finzer, Juliet Lyons and Rebekah Eden (vocals), Tony Garviz (guitars) and string arrangements by Louis Anthony deLise. Quoting Dyan Garris: "The music has a theme of breath or breathing, soft breezes, like angel kisses, perhaps, and 'lightness' of spirit in general. We CAN effect change in the world by vibrating to and staying in a place of light and love. Music helps. These tracks were designed for exactly this." Five singles were released starting in August 2020.
Dyan Garris is a multiple award-winning New Age recording artist, an award-winning author, and a music reviewer for Zone Music Reporter, NewAgeCD, and Spirit Seeker Magazine. In early 2021, she started a radio station called New Age Notes that features new age, ambient and neo-classical artists from all over the world.
The Urban Dictionary defines "Orenda" as: "a supernatural, divine force within every human being. Always omnipresent, it empowers people to change the world in a positive, loving way. It is also the energy that effects change in one's own life." The world could certain use a big dose of that!
Orenda: Breath of Angels begins with "Every Time You Breathe" which features the ethereal vocals of Juliet Lyons, Sherry Finzer on flute and John Herrera's breathing sounds in addition to Garris on piano and keyboards - a gently-flowing opener that sets the mood for the album. "Another Place" was inspired by the eternal nature of the soul. "No matter where we are, here, there, or anywhere, we are eternal love." Ambient and very peaceful, I find this one especially calming. "Forest Whispers" was nominated as "Best New Age Single of 2020" by One World Music Radio and was inspired by Garris' passion for meditation and relaxation music. Tropical sounds of the rainforest combine with Sherry Finzer's haunting alto flute and Garris' ambient and atmospheric keyboards - SO soothing! The title track was inspired by"the fact that we are always surrounded by love - angelic or otherwise - even if we don't see it or realize such." "Moonlight Breeze" was composed shortly after Garris' husband died and is dedicated to him. Overflowing with love and tenderness as well as ambient warmth, it's one of my favorites. "Water For the Soul" is a remix of the piece from Garris' 2016 Mystic's Nine album. More melodic than ambient, piano, keyboard washes and atmospheric sounds combine to make this another standout. "Timeless Traveler" returns to a very ambient style and was also nominated by OWMR as "Best New Age Single for 2020." Sherry Finzer's flute and Rebekah Eden's wordless vocals send this beautiful piece heavenward. "Home" is a remix from Garris' 2007 album, Release, with added string arrangements by Louis Anthony deLise.
So, if you find you need some calming, peaceful music in your life, Orenda: Breath of Angels is an excellent choice. It is available from Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes, Spotify and others.
September 15, 2021