2020 is a year that many would like to forget as soon as possible. But before moving on, let’s take a look at the biggest New Age music headlines of this different and strange year!
But one thing is “same procedure as last year”, Covid19 or no Covid19; Enya is dominating the 2020 list as she did in 2019 – and most year before that 🙂 But looking at the biggest news story of 2020, Enya might not be the most famous New Age music artist on the planet anymore. That is now The Dalai Lama!
The Dalai Lama released his very own New Age music album on July 6th, entitled Inner World. The 11-track album was released in connection with the spiritual leader’s 85th birthday. The Dalai Lama recites sacred mantras and teachings with accompanying music performed on more than 30 instruments.
The album was recorded over five years with Junelle Kunin, a New Zealand musician and practicing Buddhist.
2020 was the year for Andreas Vollenweider’s big comeback! The new album “Quiet Places” was released on October 2nd. He also released a novel called “Reflections of Venus”.
In September, I did an interview with Andreas Vollenweider, where he talks about the new releases, the LIVE@HOME mini-concerts, and life in general in the age of Covid19. Check it out here.
We know for a fact that Enya has been producing new material over the last few years, as confirmed by her sister Moya Brennan in this story. The big question was; would the new album be released in 2020?
In the post, I wrote: “So we will, most likely, not see a new Enya album in 2020. But I hope I’m wrong since it is probably 99% finished, ready to be released if her popularity is falling… ”
Well, I got that one right. But what about 2021?
In June, I brought you an interview with the man behind Liquid Mind – Chuck Wild. Here he talks about his new album “Liquid Mind XIII – Mindfulness” and the healing qualities of music. He started the Liquid Mind series in January of 1988 during a time of personal crisis, to help himself heal from anxiety and panic disorder.
Peter Kater won his second Grammy at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards for the album “Wings”. “I’m so honored and grateful,” says Kater. “Thank you everyone!”
“Wings” displays a fresh new beauty and depth in Peter’s compositions and piano artistry. From spacious intimate passages through gusts of whirlwind delight, this music will enliven and lift you, almost as if you had wings.
Covid19 changed the world of concerts – and New Age music artists had to make the best out of the new reality. In November, George Winston did two very nice concerts online (and one in December too). If you want some recent George Winston live material, check out “Thanksgiving” – which was posted in November..
Enya’s “A Day Without Rain” was released on 20 November 2000. 20 years later Enya’s management hosted an album watch party on YouTube with rare clips.
The story behind “A Day Without Rain” is as follows; Enya took a break from music after having promoted the compilation “Paint the Sky with Stars” (1997). In the Summer of 1998, Enya, Nicky and Ryan Ryan returned to Aigle Studio to record a new album. “The Memory of Trees” (1995) and the compilation were still selling well, so there was no rush to get the album finished. Enya decided to work five days a week, and not seven – which she had when recording “The Memory of Trees”. The result is an album that many fans hold as their no. 1 Enya album. For “A Day Without Rain”, Enya received her third New Age music Grammy in 2002.
New Age music is slowly gaining street cred again, as a new generation of musicians enters the stage. More and more young people discover the genre and the stigmas of the 1980s and 90s are long forgotten.
In October, The New York Times posted a story called “It’s a New Day for New Age Music” Yes, our genre is officially cool again. Yay!
In June, New Age Music Guide had the pleasure of introducing a new band called The Song Gardeners. It features Corrie Dunn, Mary Gospe and Chris Day. On June 18th, they debuted with two original songs, “Love Flows” and “Sabbe Satta Sukhi Hontu” (May All Beings Be Well).
Take my word for it; you don’t have to listen long before The Song Gardeners plant a seed of hope, peace, and love in your heart. Their blessing for humanity is a welcome gift in this conflict-ridden age.
The awards ceremony will be broadcasted on CBS, Sunday, Jan. 31, at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT. Here are the nominees in all their glory:
Jim “Kimo” West – Moonbow
Priya Darshini – Home
Superposition – Quiet//Voice
Cory Wong, Jon Batiste – Prayer
Jim “Kimo” West – Soul Motion
Superposition – Dream//Expanse
Priya Darshini – Loneliest Star
Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Paris Smit – Heart Sutra Song – Gone Beyond
Cory Wong, Jon Batiste – Meditation
Laurie Anderson, Tenzin Choegyal, Jesse Paris Smith – Jigten
Wow, what a year 2020 was! It was not all bad, that’s for sure. Its music will live on, totally virus-free…
Above picture copyright Shutterstock. Enya picture by Bigstockphoto. Used under license.