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Album Review: A Time for Healing
Mike Wall
Cover image of the album A Time for Healing by Mike Wall
A Time for Healing
Mike Wall
2012 / Mike Wall and Open Ear Studios
60 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
A Time for Healing is the second release from Mike Wall, a massage therapist from near Seattle, WA, who is also a musician, passionate nature sound recordist, and “sound chaser.” Throughout the process of making this album, Wall consulted with other massage therapists and their clients as well as his own clientele to ensure that the music would enhance the therapeutic flow of massage and enable deep levels of relaxation. The album also provides a peaceful and soothing background for activities such as reading, studying, working, and meditating, and has been used by counselors during guided visualizations. Instrumentation includes acoustic and electric guitars, Native American flutes, Tibetan singing bowls and bells, keyboards, and gentle nature sounds (birds, flowing water, etc.). All of the music was composed, performed, and produced by Mike Wall. The sound quality is warm and welcoming, and since the music is mostly of an ambient style, it is easy to consciously check in and out at any point to enjoy a more (or less) direct listening experience. Wall is a fan of Indian classical music and influences from that and other world music styles are apparent in his music. While the ten tracks flow easily from one to the next, each is distinctive in its own way.

“Hope” begins A Time for Healing with bird sounds, wordless vocals, Native American flute, guitar, keyboard washes and background sounds. The leisurely tempo and gentle flow beckon the listener to a place of optimism and grace. “Forgiveness” has a quiet beauty all its own. Peacefully shimmering like light on water, this nine-minute soundscape is as refreshing as an afternoon nap. “Compassion” has a beautiful piano lead that is backed with strings, birds, and ambient sounds. Warm and comforting, this is a favorite. “Healing Touch” has a hypnotic quality that soothes as the sounds slowly flow through the mind. “Sacred Journey” contrasts the music of singing bowls with singing birds, and then moves into a more mysterious vast open space. Cello, voices, and ambient sounds transport you to another world. “Awaken” gently brings us back to reality feeling refreshed and renewed. The sound of ocean waves behind the guitar and flute enhance the feelings of well-being and tranquility.

A Time for Healing is a beautiful hour-long retreat for the body and soul. It is available from mikewallmusic.com, Amazon, iTunes, and CD Baby. Recommended.
April 3, 2012