Wayne Bethanis’ new album “Measures of Light” is a monumental and captivating release that, as indicated by the title, focuses on the luminosity of music and how we perceive it. Bethanis has delivered an exceptionally well-made album that keeps on giving; It is as if it has a light source of its own. “Measures of Light” is hands down among 2021’s finest New Age music releases.
Wayne Bethanis is a best-selling New Age Piano recording artist, a television and radio host, and has a Ph.D. in Music. Since early childhood, Wayne has been known for his talent at the piano and engaging personality both onstage and through his original music. As a lecturer and teacher, Wayne has published several articles on the arts, lectures extensively, and trained students to compete and win internationally. His dissertation on Mozart was chosen to be housed at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria.
Song for a New World
Hold on to your hat when you hit play on “Song for a New World” – it is LOUD and FAST! But as soon as your ears have adjusted, you will experience something remarkable; A new world of music and meaning unfolds before your inner eye. It is SO bright and very expressive. The arrangement is fantastic and multilayered; piano, strings, drums, and even an electric guitar. But most striking is the magnificent melody. It has a touch of both classical masters and Mike Oldfield. It makes me think; If we are getting a new world – Earth version 2 – I want it to be just like this! But don’t take my word for it; check it out yourself!
Tartary (Tartaria in Latin) was, according to Wikipedia, was a blanket term used in Western European literature and cartography for a vast part of Asia bounded by the Caspian Sea, the Ural Mountains, the Pacific Ocean, and the northern borders of China and India at a time when this region was largely unknown to European geographers. “Legend of Tartaria” is a hard-hitting piece that plays as an EP within the album. There is a whole narrative here, a story of epic proportions. Notice the build-up and the larger-than-life ending with strings; It is breathtakingly beautiful and a statement of Wayne Bethanis’ abilities as a composer and performer. There is no doubt in my mind that he is conquering new territories with his piano.
Tuatha De Danann
As “Tuatha De Danann” comes on, we are still in the realm of myths and legends; Tuatha De Danann is a supernatural race in Irish mythology. As the piece starts, we are greeted by bagpipes and gentle piano. But don’t let the quiet opening fool you; there is plenty of magic in old Ireland too! There is a build-up here that is quite remarkable. Around 1 minute and 50 seconds, the piece takes off, bringing the Tuatha De Danann to life – and, and the same time, showing Bethanis incredible abilities as a pianist. There’s something supernatural going on there as well, that’s for sure!
Sample the album and find it on your favorite streaming service:
The romantic ballad “I’m Always Here” takes the album in a new direction. Its heartwarming sound will leave no listener untouched. It is not just good; it is magnificent! Notice how Bethanis uses silence in the beginning and mid-section, making the composition dynamic and the high points with strings much more interesting. “I’m Always Here” is much less complex than the previous pieces, yet its emotional qualities make it into a very rewarding listen.
The Butterfly Cluster
“The Butterfly Cluster” takes us 1601 lightyears into space, to stars in the southern constellation of Scorpius – or perhaps, on a stroll in the garden, admiring butterflies – it is up to you. I’m fascinated by how the melody moves or flies. Every time I hear it, it takes my breath away (no wonder it is the most popular piece on the album on Spotify). Suddenly we find ourselves in the company of “The Unexpected Prophet.” I love how the listener can sense how “the prophet’s” mood changes, from worrying in the opening to fiery determination in the end.
One of my favorite pieces on “Measures of Light” is “These Years.” Its bright and happy melody instantly connects with the listener, like a well-made movie theme. I like its speed too. Also, notice the arrangement; it is perfect. It is only two-and-a-half minutes long, but it contains so much raw energy that it doesn’t have to be a second longer. “I Will Return To You” is a genuine New Age music piece with sounds of nature and a moving story that for sure could fill books. Talking about exciting narratives, enjoy “The Gods of the Egyptians.” I’m not going to give any spoilers!
In conclusion: When listening to “Measures of Light,” I realized how much darkness there is in art, from angry music, violent movies, and TV series to blood-dripping crime novels. We live in a culture that worships the dark. This is one of the reasons why “Measures of Light” feels like such a breath of fresh air, making us see that we instead should adore the lifegiving light and chase away the darkness. Wayne Bethanis’ album is a masterpiece in every sense of the word; The arrangement is spotless, and he plays the piano like a virtuoso! I must also mention its melodic qualities. Bethanis is a terrific composer, and pieces like “Song for a New World” and “The Butterfly Cluster” instantly found their way to my “all-time” favorite playlist. Their neo-classical sound stays with you for a long time. I will end this review by saying: Let “Measures of Light” illuminate your day!
For more information and music samples, visit waynebethanis.com