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Album Review: Sanctuary
Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer
Cover image of the album Sanctuary by Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer
Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer
2022 / Lake Front Productions
61 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Sanctuary is the third collaborative album (plus a few singles) by American composer/ multi-instrumentalist/ singer/ songwriter Paul Adams and Australian composer/ singer/ songwriter/ pianist horn player Elizabeth Geyer. Both of their previous collaborations, Imaginings (2015) and Deeper Imaginings (2019), were awarded and/or nominated for several prestigious awards, and I would expect the same for Sanctuary. The liner notes of the album include a collection of Paul's poetry that reads especially well while listening to the music. Elizabeth is credited with piano, vocals, production and inspiration, and Paul is credited with guitar, electric sitar, oud, dobro, ethnic and Native American flutes as well as production and cover photography.

I think the story behind the album is interesting: "It was one windy morning in Illinois two years ago which sparked the idea for Sanctuary. Elizabeth was meditating in a dark room to stave off a blinding migraine while Paul practiced native American flute downstairs. Something about the combination of the wind and the low gentle phrases Paul was playing was curiously grounding and she began to feel better. Wondering what was different about these sounds from other gentle music they'd created and explored, it was the comforting reassurance of a constant low anchor that seemed to be holding the dreamy, soaring, floating textures. Put simply, music that flies without ever flying away."

Paul explains further: "Elizabeth and I wanted to make an album that would help us all deal with the deepest levels of stress and anxiety, that was also artistically rich. Music offers that sanctuary which also inspired some of my poetry within. We exchanged music files between the USA and Australia adding our instruments. The songs germinated and seemed to grown on their own. We followed their direction."

The nine tracks on the album range from five to almost eight minutes in playing time, transitioning easily from one track to the next. A lower-range droning tone flows throughout the music in various forms and some of the pieces include the sound of water. Intended for meditation and healing, the music is very ambient, smooth and calming. Who couldn't use an hour-long sanctuary of soothing music that replenishes the spirit and relaxes the soul? I would imagine this album would also be an excellent tool for helping people with sleep issues. As I write this, I find myself looking out the windows at the trees and green beauty outside while taking deep breaths that refresh and calm. Sanctuary is truly one of the most relaxing albums I've listened to in quite a while. Indulge yourself and see how much better you feel!

Sanctuary is available from PaulAdams.org (CD and/or download), Amazon, Apple Music/iTunes and streaming sites such as Spotify. At the moment there are three gorgeous videos on YouTube that can also be viewed on Paul's site. The poems and photography are also available from PaulAdams.org. This album is truly an immersive experience!
July 4, 2022