2021 was yet another exciting year to follow New Age music!
Before we move on, let’s take a look at the headlines that shaped this different and, in many ways, challenging year.
Constance Demby, pioneering composer and musician, died peacefully on March 20 at the age of 81. Blending classical, New Age and electronic music, Demby’s compositions have influenced many generations of composers. She was also a close friend to many of us.
Constance performed at events with the Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, and Todd Rundgren, often in dramatic settings, such as the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and Stonehenge. She was also proficient on the hammered dulcimer, tamboura, and keyboards. Her travels to India, Spain, and Portugal, experiences with sound healing, and a love of Gregorian chants influenced her unique musical style.”
Jim “Kimo” West won the New Age Music Grammy at the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards!
Here is the winning album, the magnificent More Guitar Stories:
When Enya.com went offline in February 2020, fans hoped that it would quickly reappear with news about an upcoming album – or at least something interesting for her millions of fans. Days became weeks and months – and a whole year has passed – but Enya.com is still mysteriously down.
As of writing, almost two years has passed… My! My! Time Flies!
All of the eight studio albums of Enigma, originally released between 1990 and 2016, was re-released on vinyl as separate records as well as in an extensive box set in July.
The compilation “Love Sensuality Devotion: The Greatest Hits”, originally released in 2001, was also made available again on vinyl. Both are must-haves for Enigma collectors.
“Sayake” is a theme song composed by Kitaro for the Togakushi Festival in the spring of 2021. The Togakushi Shrine, located in the mountainous region of the Nagano Prefecture, is considered one of Japan’s most sacred locations.
For centuries, many worshipers from all parts of the country have traveled to this Shinto shrine to revere this unique power spot. Every seven years, the Togakushi Shrine hosts its largest festival. The theme for this year’s ceremony is “Sayake,” which observes the return to purity in the face of the current world pandemic.
Successful series often follow the same pattern, again and again. It is safe, and it keeps the fans happy – but such series doesn’t evolve or introduce new elements. Here I believe John Adorney’s “Toward a Gentle Place” series – where “The Touch•Stone” is the latest installment – is radically different.
The series is influenced by the so-called iso-principle and Adorney’s unique sound, but each piece is a fresh take on the idea that is a journey “toward a gentle place”. Since 2017, we have taken 38 such journeys, and each destination feels distinctive and special. We’re happy to report that “The Touch•Stone” is a rock-solid addition to the series, a winner from start to finish.
A wind of change is blowing! The Song Gardeners’ single “Warrior of Light” couldn’t have been released at a better time – inspiring us all to “Stand up! Peacefully, peacefully” for a better tomorrow.
The Song Gardeners have delivered a single that every channel on the Earth should be playing. The days and months ahead will require an army of illuminated warriors, willing to “Stand up! Peacefully, peacefully”.
“Once you become fearless, life becomes limitless,” a famous quote says. Listening to Michael Hugh Dixon’s album “Of Fearlessness”, the same logic seems to apply to how he composes and performs music. There is something unstoppable and infinite about this highly experimental release.
Known as The Brass Whisperer, Dixon performs this 27-minute long piece on the French horn. It might not qualify as easy listening – but take my word for it; “Of Fearlessness” is surprisingly mediative, ideal for creative work and moments when you need bold and unrestrained thinking.
Another Enya.com oddity. the website has since May been “parked free, courtesy of GoDaddy.com!”
One thing is certain; People expect Enya.com to have a website. A well-run page with lots of information, exclusive music samples, and perhaps even a forum, would for sure create more awareness and streams. Instead, we get nothing, not even a notice that Enya.com is down for a reason. Now there are even some shady links on the page!
Love is in the air! We who love New Age music are so lucky: “Our” genre must be one of the most romantic of all 💖
Above picture copyright Shutterstock.