“Voice of the Ancestors” is the long-awaited third installment in Grayhawk’s “Shamanic Trilogy”. It is dedicated to his son, Christopher, who died from neuroblastoma pediatric cancer just 3 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday in 2007. The album urges us to listen to tradition, nature, and spiritualism. “Voice of the Ancestors” is a visionary conclusion to the trilogy – proving yet again that Grayhawk is one of the finest New Age music artists of all time.
Grayhawk received a degree in music composition from the University Of California, Los Angeles. He has worked as a film composer on movies such as Superstition, Killing Time, The Witch, Gold Plunder and Down Under. He is a certified shiatzu practitioner/healer and psychic reader (Tarot).
This episode of Dream Mixtape is dedicated to Grayhawk. Here you can hear the songs “Transcendent Soul”, “Voice Of The Ancestors” and “Peace Prayer”:
The 1990s gave us many great albums, but Grayhawk’s “Shaman Journey” (1992), recorded with Paul Horn and David Darling – and “Blissfull Magic – Spiral Of The Celtic Mysteries” (1995) are pillars in music history. While other New Age music artists have released 100-150 albums, Grayhawk only needed these two to establish him as one of the “best of the best”. “Shaman Journey” recently won the Silver COVR Award in the Iconic Music category. “My personal journey of mourning has brought me back to a creative space,” says Grayhawk. “My grief has found a new expression with “Voice of the Ancestors.”
There’s something about Grayhawk’s music that instantly takes hold of the listener, all through the album. Listening to only one song doesn’t seem like an option. The album opener is called “Transcendent Soul”. Wouter Kellerman’s flute and Amy Shulman’s harp sound divine. From the very first moment, we also notice Grayhawk’s synths and sound design. There are so many layers of sound to appreciate, so many details. The song is a homage to the transcendent soul, reincarnation, and spiritual awareness.
Then Grayhawk takes us to Cambodia, to the 10th-century The Banteay Srei Temple – which is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Grayhawk, Kellerman and Shulman are joined by dan bau master Hai Phuong. It is incredible how the temple comes to life before our inner eye, as if a fog is lifting. This is a place of worship, and the spirits of the ancestors are here whispering words of wisdom. It is a phenomenal piece!
Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau
Now we find ourselves in Vietnam, among the guardians of the goddess Thien Hau (also known as Mazu in China). She is the protector of seafarers, ensuring their safe return. It is apparent that we are in the presence of a powerful deity; The atmosphere is electric. I love its meditative qualities.
The three first songs lay the foundation for the title track. Accompanied by world-class artists Windwalker, Brad Dutz, David Vito Gregoli, Karen Olson, Jill Haley, Kirsten Vogelsang, and Randy Crenshaw, Grayhawk deliver a jewel of a song. Or song is perhaps a too weak word; It is more like a state of mind, a trance. It has a slow build-up, taking us deep into a world filled with magic and mysteries. Voices whisper from other dimensions, and it is never clear what is the beginning or what is the end. It is only 8 minutes long, but its ambient melody could go on forever.
The first “Peace Prayer” is an acapella version. It is designed to be nonsectarian so that the listener can invoke his or her personal higher power. The song features the amazing Darlene Koldenhoven and Randy Crenshaw. As the acapella fades into the 10 minutes long “Peace Prayer”, we are introduced to a multi-language version of “Peace Prayer”. It combines English with Hebrew, Farsi, and Arabic. The Hebrew and Arabic lyrics and vocal performance are by Ofir Engel A.K.A. Queen Ofir, and the Farsi lyrics is by Bahman Mojallal. The result is breathtakingly beautiful. It is a prayer that bypasses all language barriers, demanding peace to all of humankind. If only world leaders would listen.
With “Ambient Meditation” we get time to reflect on what we have just witnessed. The song has a lovely touch of improvisation. We hear Windwalker Dorn on Native Flute and Vito Gregoli on guitar, mixed with Randy Crenshaw’s vocalizations and Grayhawk’s usual synth wizardry. After two profoundly existential pieces, this is just what we need. In the end there’s a short version of “Peace Prayer”, underlining the album’s message. This is from the Hebrew lyrics: “For friendship in the whole World / Magical vision of Love!”
In conclusion: Finally we have a new album by Grayhawk! From beginning to end, the conclusion to the “Shamanic Trilogy” is nothing short of a sensation. There are so many details and so many layers of sound that the replay possibilities seem almost endless. The title track and “Peace Prayer” are destined to become New Age music classics. Just like the previous albums in the series defined our genre in the 1990s, this album redefines the music of today and takes it to new heights. “Voice of the Ancestors” is, in short, a masterpiece for the ages.
Score: 98/100 – see our scoring policy
Make sure to visit Grayhawk’s Deep Space Music page for more information and music samples.
To learn more about the Christopher Gibney Foundation, visit christophergibney.org