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This original New Age classic featuring beloved harpist Georgia Kelly evokes memories of ancient Greece and Egypt. Used in massage and meditation sessions worldwide,lyrical duets with electric piano and a secret chanted invocation delight all the senses.
This collaboration between healing-music artist Steven Halpern and harpist Georgia Kelly is a pleasant exercise in aimless musings that relax the soul and clear the mind. Halpern, long recognized for his educational work with New Age music, brings a starry Rhodes electric piano and synth to Kelly's swirling, gentle harp as the two try to recreate the ancient ritual of spiritual healing through music. While Halpern's electric piano may be a bit too drippy-dreamy, his synth is expansive and forms a soulful background for Kelly's plucking. "The Oracle at Delphi" stands out for its droning effect and hint of Muslim chant while "From Eleusis" attracts with a melodious flute sound. Halpern and Kelly create a relaxed atmosphere that, in the hands of these two experienced New Age artists, is enchanting. --Karen K. Hugg
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The edition I got of this CD was not the one you are looking at here, with the eleven wonderful and familiar songs, but an anniversary edition, which is beautifully packaged, and has a gorgeous blue CD. You should know that this anniversary edition has three extra tracks on it. These new tracks are: Terra Shanty, which appears as the fifth track, Ceremony, which is track eleven, and Temple Priestess, which is track number twelve. Terra Shanty fits in easily with the whole, being a slowly paced harp and keyboard mix, with the minimalism that allows each note to connect with the listener...tapping what is familiar, and adding what is suggestive and mysterious, while Ceremony has a heart-like slowly paced deep drum beat, accompanied by a warm, contemplative flute. It is the 12th track on this new anniversary version, "Temple Priestess," which gives me pause. It seems to me, to be out of sync with the rest of the CD; with fingers tapping and beating a drum, along with a woman's voice, a bass, and a touch of synthesizer. These elements add up to a more African sound, than the rest of the CD. I think it lacks the elegant minimalism and restful, introspective feel of the other compositions. This is my response to it, anyway. .
If you want that very restful pace and the languid reveries that the original inspired, you might find this one track a tad intrusive. It is a matter of taste.
Of the three new tracks on the anniversary CD, I find Terra Shanty to be the most intriguing, as it adds something very interesting to "Ancient Echoes," that being a slightly ominous tone, or maybe just wariness, that is eventually resolved in a glissando passage, as Kelly's fingers swirl over the harp repeatedly; a sound that suggests to me transformation and becoming. It is a thought provoking, hold you in your spot, kind of song.
The literature that comes with the CD mentioned that it is a crime...in the sense of karma, as well, to burn CDs, but if you find the original release to be absolutely perfect, you will definitely feel inclined to do a burn, and leave off one or more of the new songs. I made just such a version for myself, and play that when I want that expansive sound that is not controlled and defined by beats.
I like both versions, but it is good to know what you are getting, so do be aware that there are two versions out there.
I had one of my sweetest, most relaxed, and memorable times of perfect rest, while listening to my old tape of "Ancient Echoes," back in the eighties. It was a very stressful time in my life, and I was living in a very hot NYC apartment, and it was one of those sweltering, humid, August afternoons. I decided that I would not try to fight the heat, but instead I drew a hot bath, and put on this tape. I had one of those loooong tubs, and was laying pretty much flat out in it, just giving myself over to the heat and the music, which spoke to me of long lost times,still reaching out to me in heat shimmers, and the bending edge of dream, and undefined memories, almost within grasp. My Persian cat joined me in the bath, stepping onto my chest, and laying there, as he often did. His fur was floating out, all around him, like grey/blue silk, as we both remained motionless for the duration of the tape. To me, this was one of the most perfect moments of my life; the heat, the music, the absolute peace and stillness, the lack of longing for anything, outside of that very moment. The timelessness of this music was a big part of that...it was and is an unbelievable sweetness. Oh yeah, I recommend it!