New Reviews: August 17, 2001

Eleanor McCain
Retriever Records/Madacy Entertainment Group

Eleanor has gifted us with a seamless, fluid rendition of old favoirites and new selections alike on this, her debut album, in a crossover genre that is very personal and timeless. There is a sense of "space" in this recording, very possibly mirroring that nature of her homeland of New Brunswick, Canada. Herein the listerner will encounter ballads, sacred songs, and folk songs, all with a blend of pop and classical stylistic elements and accompanying instruments and supporting singers that enliven the performance and highlight McCain's angelic soprano voice. The result is that aurally this recording is what excellent art film cinematography can be.

Chris Shakallis
Octaves from the Sun: Singing Bowls Explore the Enneagram

Octaves from the Sun is a beautiful document of a sonic exploration from this sound therapist/musician from Sydney, Australia. Tibetan bells and singing bowls are traditionally made from a complex recipe of metals, including meteoric ore known as "sky metal," found in the Himalayan mountains. The intricate layering of overtones produced in their ringing renders the instruments ideal for Shakallis' acoustic realization of an interpretation of the ancient mathematical/philosophical enigma that is the enneagram. While more about the bowls and the fabulous enneagram can be learned from the artist's web site and in the liner notes, there is no experience that compares to the active listening of the resonance between the bells and bowls that is here so finely highlighted.

AR Rahman Zubeidaa: The Story of an Indian Princess
2 CD set including Hits of AR Rahman
Sony Music India

AR Rahman is known as a leading composer of Indian film music, of which this CD is a fine example. With a compelling fusion of western and traditional Indian musical styles and instruments, Rahman's music is simultaneously timeless and current. An ancient beauty exudes from the melodies and voices of this celebrated composer and his performers, which brings to life what otherwise is only a dream. Fans of film music in general and Indian music in particular will adore this album.

Reviews by Jenece C. Gerber.