“Directions” by Kenneth Hooper
A magical, intertwined dance of flutes, guitars, ambient nature sounds, and more. “Directions” is sure to soothe any ruffled soul in about a minute of embarking on this journey. Excellent. – Dyan Garris
Where to from here? In what direction do you want to go? “Directions” a 2-disc set, by Kenneth Hooper explores the journey from the outer world to within. It’s a journey to inner peace.
This is 1 hour and 20 minutes of ultra-relaxing music, improvised by Kenneth and Gian Berselli (Astral Wolf Records). 14 different flutes were recorded by Kenneth for this album, including Native American and Chinese Xiao flutes. Gian Berselli performs on acoustic guitars, bass, keyboard, and vocals. Other vocals are by Kenneth and Chelsea Kirby.
Additional instrumentation and effects were added later, such as the soothing ocean sounds we hear on the first track of Disc 1, which happens to be the title track, “Directions.” This is 8 minutes of soul-soothing, hauntingly beautiful flute, soft drumming, and wordless vocals, all adding up to a wonderful, spirit-stirring start.
The 8-minute, “All Who Wander,” opens with soothing guitar, light drumming and other percussion, and a truly beautiful melody from the Chinese Xiao flute. You can really feel this one in your heart. Really nice, mesmerizing, and one for the relaxation playlist.
We can feel ourselves moving forward on the journey with the joyful, “Trailblazers.” Carefree and engaging, we can literally feel happiness and optimism coursing through the body. Wonderful guitar, great flute, and light percussion, make this one another favorite on “Directions.”
Guitar and flute continue their magical, intertwined dance in “Springtime Dreaming.” Again, a light percussive beat carries us along happily to the promise of new life that always comes with that season. Beautiful.
“Within” takes us deeper into the journey. Sounds of nature – soft rain and thunder – mix smoothly with the haunting flute melody and lead us inside. This is 7 minutes of quiet contemplation.
Disc 2 begins with the lovely, “Coming Home.” Ambient water sounds combine with the keyboard, leaning toward a slightly cinematic feel, and again, the haunting and effortlessly beautiful flute. This is extremely peaceful to the soul.
“Graceful Expanse” has an exotic feel that is mesmerizing from the very first notes. Deep and mysterious, this is easily another favorite. “From the Deep” is interesting. Here we can hear the sounds of whales speaking in their special language of the deep along with other oceanic sounds, plus another hauntingly beautiful, slower paced flute performance. No doubt about it. . .we are there. Quite tranquil and meditative.
The 2nd disc closes out with the calming, “Omens of Change.” The perfect close, with mesmerizing flute and wide strings, this is almost trance inducing and effortlessly lifts us to a state of complete serenity. It’s the right direction. And you won’t want to leave.
Get “Directions” anywhere music is sold or streamed.
Ed & Stacey Bonk