2020 / Myndstream
Review by Kathy Parsons
Deep Peace is the debut album from Laurence Furr, an artist with a jaw-dropping resumé. A PhD. with advanced degrees in organ performance and music theory, Dr. Furr is also a Certified Clinical Musician and a Certified Therapeutic Harp Practitioner, which gives him a great deal of first-hand experience with the healing power of music. His album, a little over an hour of musical bliss, is performed mostly on Celtic Harp with a few of the fifteen tracks performed on Native American flute. Most of this music was improvised in the studio and it is some of the warmest and gentlest music I’ve ever heard. Beyond soothing and uplifting, this is music intended to comfort and heal. It is very easy to lose yourself in the quiet tones and overtones of the harp and the flute, feeling the warmth of the music as it washes over you. I would think Deep Peace would also be a wonderful help for insomnia as well as easing the stress and anxiety of these difficult times.
Dr. Furr works as a therapeutic musician at John Peter Smith Hospital in Fort Worth, Texas. He plays at the bedside of patients in every department and unit of the hospital, and plays both Celtic harp and Native American flute in his 20-minute sessions. Therapeutic music has been shown to slow down and equalize brain waves; it positively affects respiration, heartbeat, and blood pressure; it reduces muscle tension and improves body movement and coordination; and it can regulate stress-related hormones and boost immune function. I found it really interesting that along with playing for patients, Dr. Furr often plays during surgery to help the doctors and nurses with their work. There is an excellent interview with Dr. Furr and Michael Whalen on YouTube that goes into a lot more detail about what he does.
Deep Peace begins with “Quiet Earth,” a beautifully calming piece that sets the tranquil tone of the album. “Red Wind of the East” is a poignant and bittersweet favorite. Phrases that suggest “Greensleeves” weave in and out, but then the melody moves in a different direction. “Grey Wind of the West” is the first of the Native American flute pieces and provides a fascinating contrast to the harp. The simple melody includes open space between some of the phrases and is so soothing! “Green of the Grass” makes me think of walking barefoot on a lawn and feeling the softness of the grass between my toes - innocence and warmth! “Flowing Air” is a lighthearted flute piece that all but dances out of my speakers. “Sleeping Stones” has a mildly Middle-Eastern flavor that is as haunting as it is beautiful - another favorite. The delicate percussiveness of “Quiet Rain” is the perfect musical expression of a refreshing spring rain that sends raindrops dancing on puddles or lakes or gently bouncing off of leaves. “Shining Stars” is a quiet nocturne (night song) for harp - serenity set to music. “Gentle Night” conveys the sweet innocence of a lullaby that wraps around a sleeping child (of any age!) and keeps him or her feeling warm and safe all night.
Deep Peace is truly an amazing album. Even though this music is incredibly soothing, it has deep substance that will never get old or boring no matter how much you listen to it. It is available from myndstream.com, Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites such as Spotify.
November 15, 2020