Update 06.16.2013: I heard the coolest thing yesterday about this album - pretty much made my week. A friend of a friend bought this album and was playing it to help get her through a health crisis. Her 4-year old daughter heard it and now she asks to hear it every night at bedtime, calling it her "angel music". She won't go to sleep without it! That is just amazing to me. You never know when you create a piece of music how it's going to affect people you've never met and it is so rewarding to hear stories like this one.
Angels came about in a slightly different way than Slow Wave Journey. Composed and recorded at the end of 2012 this album really drew inspiration from sacred places that I have been lucky enough to travel to. I find great sanctity in nature and so some of these places may not be considered sacred by any particular people or tradition, yet have that unmistakable vibe.
Angels of Desert Sunrise for instance, was influenced by California desert, Joshua Tree in particular. Joshua Tree is one of those places where it really pays to go off the beaten path. The main road meanders through a beautiful section, for sure, and it is quite popular. On any given day you will see rock climbers doing their thing on well-worn facades along the main road, along with other travelers.
On my last visit there with my wife Cheri, we were lucky enough to be driving a raised forerunner - something I had bought for transporting music equipment in, but luckily, also happened to have metal guards under the engine and transmission, along with higher-than-normal clearance. This allowed us to take an old surveyor road - a dirt road much less traveled and completely unmaintained! It's a fun ride in the right vehicle (and probably a very short ride in the wrong one) but the really amazing thing was the discovery of these huge rock formations made almost entirely of some sort of quartz-infused rock.
Quartz is, of course, crystal. Meditating while sitting on these rock formations was magical. It felt like the earth was realigning our spirits. Truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Angels of Desert Sunrise is my homage to those rock formations in Joshua Tree, and my feeling of what it would be like to be there, on those rocks, at sunrise.
The quartz rock formations at Joshua Tree
Healers of the Stone Temples takes inspiration from ancient temples I visited in Greece, both on the mainland and on the islands. This track includes crystal singing bowls and deeper synthesizer tones combined with the "OM" sound.
La Belle Mirage was inspired by Greece, but in a different way. For the last 2 years I have been playing music for the Santa Barbara Healing Sanctuary. The Healing Sanctuary is a unique event - a group of psychologists, bodyworkers, and healers come together several times a year to offer a transformative 10-day retreat for those in need of deep healing. The concepts and the content are based on the Asklepion healing temples of ancient Greece, which had a focus on using dreams and dream-tending techniques to lead to personal inspiration and healing. I played that piece for the first time spontaneously at one of these retreats and several of the participants really responded to it, so it made it to the album.