The downside of living in the twenty-first century is that media constantly remind us of everything bad that is going on in our world; from social unrest and war to pollution and climate change. This is one of the reasons why listening to Christina Tourin’s new album Geodepédie – Hidden Light has such a profound effect. Here, everything is in perfect harmony. From the inspired compositions to the exceptional performances, Geodepédie – Hidden Light offers a sublime listening experience. The many classical inspirations make sure that the album is for everyone, from a general audience to harp connoisseurs and music scholars. Geodepédie – Hidden Light is easily one of 2023’s finest New Age music releases.
Christina Tourin began playing harp at the age of four. She received music and education degrees from the University of Vermont and also studied harp at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria and at McGill University in Montreal. As one of the foremost leading educators of the harp, she founded the International Harp Therapy Program, which has training centers in multiple countries and languages with Therapeutic Harp Practitioners from 32 countries serving on five continents. Geodepédie – Hidden Light is her first album since Iona Inspirations (2010). Other noteworthy albums are White Rose (1991) and Echoes of Angels (1997). You can see her complete discography here.
Geodepédie – Hidden Light
The title track opens the album. And what an opening it is! The title is a blending of the word “geode” with the suffix from Erik Satie’s Gymnopédie. It is a heartwarming piece that takes elements from Satie’s classic and makes it even more bright and light. On this track we hear harp by Christina Tourin and Lies Joosten, plus vocalization by Buvana Gerlach. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself putting the track on replay; it is amazing!
A key track on the album is Music is Love. Notice how it balances different emotions, from romantic love to gratitude and happiness. Music may capture it all, which this piece expresses delightfully. Passacaglia – Handel’s Healing Harp underlines the many classical inspirations and the fact that we are listening to one of the very best harp players of our time.
Brigid’s Green Mantle
Brigid’s Green Mantle is inspired by an ancient Celtic poem retold by Ella Young about Brigid being allowed to build her humanitarian ideals through the land of Ireland. Brigid’s good nature can be felt as much as heard throughout the track. Next out is the Scottish traditional tune Land O’ the Leal. Thanks to Tourin’s harp, we get a glimpse of heaven. It is a melody often used by musical healers when playing harp in hospice settings.
This part of the album is more contemplative and dreamy. First, we Walk Through the Sunflowers, which also features lovely synths in the background. The sunflower is a symbol of hope, peace and love. Then we indulge in enjoyable recollection of the past on Reminisce. It is a beautiful composition, even among the many classics featured here. Next out are the traditional Swedish Sommarpsalm and Islandic Northern Lights, a brilliant and almost seven minutes long piece. We can see the brilliant northern lights before our inner eyes.
Grieg’s Morning Mood
Tourin’s version of Grieg’s Morning Mood is a lovely, gentle and warm. As I write this, I’m actually very close to Edvard Grieg’s home Troldhaugen in Bergen, Norway, and it is a piece I know extremely well. I can confirm that Tourin captures all the subtle nuances of Peer Gynt, Op. 23. The light synth strings in the background are also terrific! Largo – Vivaldi’s Version continues in the same atmosphere, but with a bit more drive. Midoriko Kawamura, a student of Christina’s, has written Arigatou, I for You, l for the Voluntary Humanity program in Japan. It has that kind of melody that makes time stand still while the listener hangs on to each note.
Amethyst of Avalon
I have always been captivated by how music portrays gemstones and metal. In New Age music, we have a rich discography of such releases. Notice how Amethyst of Avalon captures the violet and purple qualities of the quartz. The gentle vocalization makes it shine even more. This song is dedicated to her granddaughter, Avalon Nalu Tourin.
The eight and a half minutes long As Above so Below is another key track on the album. It is filled with a sense of wonder and amazement for this beautiful blue planet and our place in the cosmos. The gentle melody and light synth arrangements are breathtakingly beautiful. I like how As Above so Below develops, and how a new melody starts around six minutes. It is a very interesting listen.
The album closer is called Colors of the Season. I’m impressed by how the lovely melody seems to contain the colors of all the seasons, and how it brings out the colors of the season the listener is experiencing. It is a hallmark of great art that it speaks to you wherever you are–and not just telling something about what the artist is experiencing at the time of creation.
In conclusion: “Light must come from inside. You cannot ask the darkness to leave; you must turn on the light,” Sogyal Rinpoche said. Listening to Geodepédie – Hidden Light by Christina Tourin shows that light, music and love come from the same place within us.
Listening to Geodepédie – Hidden Light it is easy to focus on the gorgeous harp and the sublime compositions, but I will also underline the other talented artists who contribute to this fantastic release. Especially the synth players, Peter Sprague, Suzanne Doucet and David Eastoe, make sure that there is a pleasant variation in sound and give the album vide appeal. That the listener will recognize melodies from classical music ensures that there is something here for everyone.
Geodepédie – Hidden Light by Christina Tourin is, simply put, a masterpiece.
For more information and music samples, visit playharp.com/listen.