The Maiden of Stonehenge
Michael Brant DeMaria
2012 / Ontos Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Michael Brant DeMaria has been something of a phenomenon in the healing/new age music realm with four consecutive #1 albums on the Zone Music Reporter charts, three Grammy Nominations for Best New Age Album, and several Album of the Year awards in the Native American, Ambient, Relaxation/Meditation, and World Music categories. DeMaria’s newest release, The Maiden of Stonehenge, takes his music in yet another direction. The music is the soundtrack to a play by the same name written by DeMaria and Stephen Lott, (who also co-wrote the the play Siyotanka several years ago). This time the play takes place in ancient Britain and tells the story of the coming of age of Teagan, a young, disfigured orphan girl abandoned and left to fend for herself. Her journey takes her across the mythic land where she meets wild and wondrous creatures while discovering the healing powers of nature, water, and her own voice. Two of the tracks feature 17-year-old Maggie Crain, who played the lead in the Pensacola Little Theatre production of the play in early 2012. DeMaria composed and performed all of the music, playing a variety of flutes and whistles, percussion, voice, piano, and synthesizers. As with all of Dr. DeMaria’s projects, the music is soothing, enchanting, and powerfully emotional.
“Lost Village” begins the journey, introducing Teagan and showing how callously she is treated by the people of her village. Guitar, flute, and synth washes create a mood of deep sadness and loss. A “Mysterious Stranger” comes to Teagan’s rescue, leading her to the Circle of Stones where she will be valued for her pure heart. The simple instrumentation of flute, guitar, and voices lifts the mood a bit, conveying hope. Teagan and her lifelong friend, the tree sprite, Yup, travel through the “Enchanted Forest,” meeting a hideous trowe, who, after being calmed by Teagan’s soul song, joins them and teaches them the healing power of music. “Moonlight Myst” is beautiful piece that includes piano, flute, and ethereal voices - mysterious yet very peaceful. “Web of the Wyrd” picks up the tempo considerably with percussion, flute, and chanting creating a sense of swirling excitement. “Glasfar” introduces The Green Man, part human and part plant, and his song is mysterious and dark yet very beautiful. Glasfar summons the nature spirits to join them in the ceremonial dance of Natura, the place of balance where all opposites find harmony. Hand percussion, flute, DeMaria’s voice, and synth instrumentation bring energy and excitement to this piece. “Spring of Solace” is magical and soothing - ambient and ethereal. “Healing Heart” is somewhat more melodic, but still very ethereal with piano, voices, guitar, and flute - a favorite. “Anam Cara” (soul friends) is hypnotic and bittersweet, as Teagan realizes that she must make the rest of her journey alone and says goodbye to her friends. I hope DeMaria will continue to use more piano in his music, as he has a magical touch! In the final track, Teagan reaches “Stonehenge” and discovers her true life’s purpose. Maggie Crain’s singing and chanting are poignant and touching as Teagan finds her inner strength and power.
Michael Brant DeMaria has created another masterpiece sure to win another series of awards. The Maiden of Stonehenge is available from Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Very highly recommended!
November 18, 2012