“Voice of the Ancestors” by Grayhawk
In any of our individual life experiences, particularly if they are painful, traumatic, or sorrowful, there is always opportunity to transmute that energy into a higher octave, and sometimes profoundly so, in ways that can affect us all as a collective and raise up our spirits. This is what we have here in the album “Voice of the Ancestors,” by Grayhawk (David Gibney).
In 2007, Grayhawk’s toddler son, Christopher Emmet Gibney, died after an eleven-month battle and just short of his third birthday, from neuroblastoma, which is a rare form of childhood cancer. “Voice of the Ancestors” is dedicated to young Christopher, “who now dwells with the Ancestors.”
Grayhawk is a classically-trained New Age composer, keyboardist, and conductor, as well as a mystic, scholar of religious studies, visionary, and “sonic alchemist.” To say that “Voice of the Ancestors” is luxurious and multi-textured is an understatement. Along with Grayhawk, the album features an impressive list of guest artists, including GRAMMY® winner, Wouter Kellerman (flutes), GRAMMY® winner Darlene Koldenhoven (vocals), Amy Shulman (harp), Hai Phuong (dan bau), Brad Dutz (worldbeat percussion), Randy Crenshaw (vocals), Windwalker (flutes, percussion, vocals), Vito Gregoli (guitar), Ofir Engel (vocals and Hebrew and Arabic vocals), Bahman Mojallal (Farsi vocal), Jill Haley (English horn and oboe), Karen Olson (viola), Kirsten Vogelsang (cello).
It’s also worth noting that the mix on this album is stellar. It was mixed by Steve Shepherd at Extreme Mixing! in Van Nuys, California. The music was mastered by Robert Vosgien at Capitol Studios Mastering, Hollywood, California.
The album, “Voice of the Ancestors,” is the third in a “Shamanic Trilogy,” the first being “Shaman Journey,” and number two being “Blissful Magic: Spiral of the Celtic Mysteries.” “Voice of the Ancestors” is forty-eight minutes of exquisite “transcendence” presented in eight sublimely eloquent tracks.
Deeply spiritual and emotionally stirring, the music is reverent, calming, and has a “sacred” feel all through. And why not? Because whether we know it or not, this is a gift of love to us all in many ways and on many different levels. The vibration is “otherworldly,” and yet at the same time resonates perfectly and in an elemental way to the Earth; to the world. While listening and experiencing this music, we are, on a soul level, reminded of our connection to all those who have come before us, those who have departed, and our connection to them whether we knew them in this physical plane or not. This is deep.
Part of the mastery of “Voice of the Ancestors” is in how superbly and seemingly effortlessly conveyed is the timeless, eternal dance between death and life; the contrast between the mysteries of life and death, grief, and the supreme joy and bliss of “beingness.”
Adding to this rich tapestry is the cover art, by the late Susan Seddon Boulet, which is of the Crone Goddess, Selene. This goddess is known as the Goddess of the Moon; a dual goddess of both light and dark. Perhaps one of the messages is that there is purpose, rhythm, reflection, and light in all, no matter how we perceive the darkness or how we perceive the light. And all is symbiotic.
Every track on “Voice of the Ancestors” is extraordinarily beautiful in every phrase, flow, and nuance, and expertly detailed with Grayhawk’s magical, musical paintbrush of love. From the first poignant notes of “Transcendent Soul,” to the hypnotic “The Banteay Srei Temple,” to the mesmerizing “Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau,” we are thoroughly enchanted. These three tracks seem to blend together and build perfectly into a graceful river of life. The title track “Voice of the Ancestors” as track four, draws us further into the “journey,” and with its steady “world” rhythmic beat and deep chants, gently evokes deep emotions of “soul remembrance.”
However, then, “Peace Prayer” is a truly standout composition, and one that you may find quite capable of moving you to real tears and great compassion for the world.
“Peace Prayer” is presented in three forms on the album. The first is a brief a cappella version, which is simply amazing. This effectively opens the pathway for the second version directly following, which is the ten-minute “world” version, combining vocals in English, Hebrew, Farsi, and Arabic.
Supremely flowing, this is its own harmonic convergence, featuring stunningly luminescent vocal performances by Darlene Koldenhoven, Randy Crenshaw, Ofir Engel (Queen Ofir), and Bahman Mojallal. Adding to the deep, multi-dimensional, multi-lingual textures are the English horn and oboe performances of Jill Haley, Karen Olson’s viola, and the cello of Kirsten Vogelsang. The third version of “Peace Prayer” is a radio-friendly version and a perfect way to close out the album.
Sometimes, when we try to find understanding in seemingly senseless acts or events, we may find comfort in knowing that at any time we choose, we can elevate things to a whole different level and come out with something as awesomely beautiful as “Voice of the Ancestors.”
There is so much magnificent depth to this brilliant piece of musical art, and some of that is best left for you, the listener, to discover for yourself, to feel and experience for yourself. Allow your soul to be significantly soothed and embraced by this gift of love.
Official artist website: https://deepspacedisc.com/
Broadcast and Media Promotion:
LAZZ Promotions, Ed and Stacey Bonk
E-mail: [email protected]
Beth Ann Hilton, The B Company
E-mail: [email protected]
New Age CD reviews by Dyan Garris: https://www.NewAgeCD.com