“Sayake” by Kitaro

Release Date: September 24, 2021

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“Sayake” is a theme song composed by Kitaro for the Togakushi Festival in the spring of 2021.

The Togakushi Shrine, located in the mountainous region of the Nagano Prefecture, is considered one of Japan’s most sacred locations.  For centuries, many worshipers from all parts of the country have traveled to this Shinto shrine to revere this unique power spot.  

Every seven years, the Togakushi Shrine hosts its largest festival.  The theme for this year’s ceremony is “Sayake,” which observes the return to purity in the face of the current world pandemic.  Kitaro, a native to this region, contributed to this sacred ceremony with the creation and performance of this composition.

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Sangeeta Kaur Joins “Front And Center” on Sunday, September 19

Featuring Special Guests Jon Anderson and Jake Shimabukuro
New single “In All Of Time” out tomorrow

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – As the 10th season of the critically acclaimed live music series “Front And Center” concludes, New Age vocalist Sangeeta Kaur joins from Los Angeles for a special performance premiering this Sunday, September 19.

While traveling the world as an operatic vocalist, Kaur was introduced to the power of spiritual mantra as well as the discipline of yogic practices that have influenced her musical expression. Her performance for “Front And Center” showcases her innovation and creativity, merging classical and contemporary music approaches for a performance enhanced by gorgeous visuals, graphics and costuming.

The concert features a guest appearance by Jon Anderson of YES on the world premiere of his song “Sun and Rain” as well as world-class ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro and world class backing musicians who have worked with Wings, Jimmy Buffett and more icons of the industry. The set includes Sangeeta’s original composition “In All of Time” and a stunning rendition of “Les Feuilles Mortes,” set in a virtual magical forest.

“I am excited and honored to share my music on Season 10 of Front and Center!” shares Kaur. “I believe that there are many layers and frequencies in every song. I often remind myself that I have the power to choose the frequency my music will broadcast into this world. So, I hope that my show will promote love, healing, and positivity for those who watch and listen, because right now our world needs so much of this.”

“Thanks to Sangeeta for closing out season 10 for us,” shares Executive Producer Don Maggi. “Her performance and the special appearances from Jon Anderson and Jake Shimabukuro really make it a special conclusion for a fantastic season.”

The Making of “Sangeeta Kaur and Friends” on Front and Center

Due out September 17, just days before the television special begins airing nationwide, Kaur’s new single, “In All of Time,” is stunning proof that the classical crossover/New Age star is transcending all musical boundaries. Kaur, who produced the luminous track along with renowned virtuoso pianist Van Anh Nguyen and celebrated producer/DJ Mark Olsen, has created a timeless, universal love song, one that could be applied to both a beloved human partner and a higher being. Steeped in passion, the song envelopes listeners with its sweeping mix of classical pop, modern electronics, and a widescreen cinematic spirituality, and through it all there is Kaur’s magical voice flooding the senses and enriching the soul. Pre-order the single HERE.

All episodes from season 10 of “Front And Center” will be available on YouTube, including an archival concert by the late legend Glen Campbell, along with several of Nashville’s biggest stars performing from Analog at Hutton Hotel: Grand Ole Opry member Dustin Lynch; Country Music Association Triple Play Award winner Brantley Gilbert; ACM and CMA reigning Vocal Group of the Year Old Dominion; five-time GRAMMY® Award winners Lady A; CMA Award-winning Country duo Maddie & Tae; and nine-time GRAMMY nominee John Hiatt with Jerry Douglas and special guest Tommy Emmanuel

“Front And Center” is a production of Front and Center, LLC and is distributed nationally by American Public Television. Episodes will also be available to watch on the “Front And Center” YouTube page. For more information and to watch prior seasons featuring artists including Santana, Jack Johnson, Shawn Mendes, Sheryl Crow, Seal, Hozier, Miranda Lambert and more, visit frontandcenter.com. Follow “Front And Center” on social media on Facebook @FrontAndCenterTV, on Twitter @frontandcenter and on Instagram @frontandcenterTV.

Episodes of “Front And Center” Season 10:
August 1 – Glen Campbell
August 8 – Dustin Lynch
August 15 – Brantley Gilbert
August 22 – Old Dominion
August 29 – Lady A
September 5 – Maddie & Tae
September 12 – John Hiatt with Jerry Douglas and special guest Tommy Emmanuel
September 19 – Sangeeta Kaur with special guests Jon Anderson and Jake Shimabukuro

About Sangeeta Kaur
Throughout her body of work, Sangeeta – an incandescent performer and multimedia artist whose dramatic vocal range renders listeners in a state of blissful awe – has brought disparate worlds together and has transformed them into something astonishingly unique. Often called a “classical crossover” star, she fuses her background in opera, sacred mantra and yoga with a taste for contemporary pop and a keen narrative sense, resulting in a sound experience that is thrillingly unique and profoundly inspirational. Through a series of award-winning albums – Ascension, Mirrors, Compassion, and last year’s stunning release Illuminance – Sangeeta followed her own muse and bridged genres: thrilling operatic arias, rousing musical theater, enveloping New Age soundscapes, sacred mantra sung in multiple languages, even elements of children’s music and contemporary pop. Sangeeta has collaborated with Peter Kater, Jon Anderson, Narada Michael Walden, Jake Shimabukuro, and will be touring in the coming months in support of her upcoming television special and new music.

About American Public Television
American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles per year and more than one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. APT’s diverse catalog includes prominent documentaries, performance, dramas, how-to programs, classic movies, children’s series and news and current affairs programs. “Doc Martin,” “Midsomer Murders,” “America’s Test Kitchen From Cook’s Illustrated,” “AfroPoP,” “Rick Steves’ Europe,” “Pacific Heartbeat,” “Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television,” “Legacy List with Matt Paxton,” “Lidia’s Kitchen,” “Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen,” “Simply Ming,” “The Best of the Joy of Painting” with Bob Ross, “Live From the Artists Den,” James Patterson’s “Kid Stew” and “NHK Newsline” are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service and distributes Create®TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — and WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.

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“In All Of Time” by Sangeeta Kaur

Album Release Date: September 17, 2021

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Sangeeta Kaur’s new single, “In All of Time,” is stunning proof that the classical crossover/New Age star is transcending all musical boundaries. Kaur, who produced the luminous track along with renowned Australian-Vietnamese chart topping pianist and composer, Van Anh Nguyen and celebrated producer/DJ Mark Olsen, has created a timeless, universal love song. Steeped in passion, the song envelopes listeners with its sweeping mix of classical pop, modern electronics and a widescreen cinematic spirituality, and through it all there is Kaur’s magical voice flooding the senses and enriching the soul. Working with her chief engineer, Gerhard Joost, Kaur recorded her vocals and mixed the track at her brand-new Studio Hill facility in Austin, Texas.

On September 19, “In All of Time” will have its premiere on “Front and Center: Sangeeta Kaur and Friends,” as part of the award-winning PBS series’ 10th season.

| M U S I C I A N S |
Sangeeta Kaur – vocals 
Van Anh Nguyen – piano 
Mark Olsen – programming and drums 
Filip Pogady – violin 
Mark Bassett – cello 
Laurence Juber – guitar 

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AWAKENING by Dave Eggar

Album Release Date: September 10, 2021

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Long before Dave Eggar was renowned as a world class cellist, writing, performing and recording for years with Amy Lee and Evanescence, enrapturing us with his solo intro to Coldplay’s #1 smash “Viva La Vida,” touring with American Idol winner Phillip Phillips and conducting symphony orchestras on tour with Foreigner, he quietly launched a solo career as a composer/pianist, releasing the solo piano albums Serenity (1998) and Angelic Embrace (2002). 

The downtime during the pandemic allowed him time for quiet reflection and a full circle return to the simplicity and purity of his roots – a creatively empowering experience that led to the creation of his new perfectly titled solo piano collection, Awakening. It is Eggar’s fifth release on Domo Records, a discography that includes those first two albums as well as Left of Blue (2005) and Kingston Morning (2010). 

Awakening was produced by Chuck Palmer, a prolific drummer/percussionist songwriter, engineer and arranger who served as orchestral conductor and percussionist on the Foreigner tours. Featuring Eggar working his transcendent magic on a Steinway B, it was recorded and engineered by Davis Hart at Pulp Arts in Gainesville, FL. The album’s impressionistic sunsplashed artwork was created by Robert Redford’s wife, German born multimedia environmental artist Sibylle Szaggars.

| T R A C K S |
01.  Awakening
02. Faded Memory 
03. Through The Glass
04. Beyond 
05. Forest Afternoon 
06. Diamonds 
07. My Simple Gift 
08. Russian Winter
09. Arise 
10. Fallen Leaves
11. Bristol Morning 
12. Coming Home (featuring Avalona) 
13. Earth Story 
14. New Dawn (featuring Priya Darshini and Will Calhoun)

Review by New Age Music Guide
New Age Music Reviews

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ANALOG by Peas : a lo-fi, dub, lounge exploration for a post-pandemic world

Album Release Date: July 16, 2021

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Peter McEvilley began producing downtempo electronic music in Los Angeles in 2003 under the name “Peas.”  His first release, “Filters,” debuted at number two on the iTunes electronic music charts.  It was also top ten on college radio.  The album, which was favorably reviewed by critics, utilized several samples from Grammy Award winning artist, Kitaro.

Following the success of the album, McEvilley was hired to write and produce custom music for film and television for ABC, Sony Pictures, CBS Films, Columbia Pictures, and many more.  He was also awarded a gold record for a song he produced on Hilary Duff’s album, “Imagine.” 

Other notable works include the score for the Japanese anime, “Ninja Scroll,” production work on the “Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind,” soundtrack, original scores for several indie films, and custom music for various television commercials.

His latest release, “Analog,” which comes out July 16, 2021, on Domo Music Group, is described by McEvilley as a “lo-fi, dub, lounge exploration for a post-pandemic world.”  The album was recorded at his new studio in the San Francisco bay area during the pandemic.  With the help of modern recording technology, he worked virtually with several vocalists and instrumentalists from around the world.

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30 Icons Of Echoes : Kitaro

From the top of Mt. Fuji, the 29th Icon of Echoes, Kitaro, arrives. The Japanese electronic composer has created a stream of otherworldly sounds since the late 1970s. We’ll hear a profile of this artist from his days in The Far East Family Band to his emergence as a solo artist and up through Kojiki and his long-lived career.

See the complete list of 30 Icons for 30 Years of Echoes.

Here Kitaro playing live on Echoes from 2001 here.

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Morning Café – An Invigorating Compilation by Domo Music

By BT Fasmer –   June 16, 2021

Fresh as a cup of coffee, the “Morning Café” compilation offers an awakening and stimulating mix of music. Its genre-defying style guarantees that everyone will find something to their liking. It is like a buffet, filled with inspiring and eclectic songs – from Luis Villegas’s guitar and Dave Eggar’s reggae to Dub by Peas – and much more. Bon Appétit!

If you are not used to listening to music in the morning, you really miss out on something good, something that doesn’t have the negative aspects of caffeine. Tami Walker on Lifehack.org writes: “Start your day by listening to positive music or reading a motivational book. This sets you up to have a better day because you’ll have a positive mindset and a good attitude.” So put on “Morning Café” – and perhaps grab a book or two – and you are well on your way to a new and healthy morning habit!

Noches Guitanas
The album opener, “Noches Guitanas”, is by Luis Villegas. It is taken from another restaurant-inspired release, “Café Olé” (1998). The piece has everything; life, movement, warmth, and a cool attitude. It is the perfect soundtrack for a restaurant or wherever you spend your morning. Next out is the extremely talented Dave Eggar’s “Earth’s Paradise” (from “Kingston Morning”, 2010). The reggae vibe further underlines the atmosphere and tells us to adjust our ears and expect variation.

We are still in paradise as “Looks Like Heaven”, by Peas and Vanessa Britting, comes on. Its smooth jazz arrangement and the fast beat are delightful. Luna is represented with two pieces on the compilation. The first is a nice version of Air’s “Alone In Kyoto”, one of the hit band’s most popular tracks. It is breathtakingly beautiful.

Follow Me to the Sun
Dave Eggar’s second appearance is “Follow Me to the Sun”. It is very different from “Earth’s Paradise”, with some world-class cello segments. Also, notice the mixing. Wow, what a treat it is! Talking about mixing, each track has a “remixed” on them, ensuring that the compilation is mastered to perfection.

The last part of the compilation is a bit more dreamy and reflective. “The Field” by Tao of Sound has a nice flute and rhythm. New Age music fans will feel right at home, or should I say – in the field. It is always easy to envision being out in nature when listening to Tao of Sound’s music. Then there are Spanish guitars on the menu; Benedetti & Svoboda’s “Moresca”, before Luna’s second piece comes on, easily one of the best here: “Back to You”.

Peas’ “Low Pass Dub” binds this part of the compilation together, adding that coolness that “Morning Café” is all about. Another winner is Dino Malito’s “Tienshan”, the second track on his highly popular 2018 EP. If you are listening on Spotify, notice the inspiring Song Canvas – as seen to your right. Fantastic!!

The last dish on the menu is something quite different. Steve Anderson’s “Beau Soir, L. 6” rounds off the album beautifully and prepares you for the day ahead.

In conclusion: You know the feeling when you are sitting in a café and enjoying a surprisingly tasty meal – and you think; in this kitchen, they are doing everything right? I had the same feeling the first time I heard Domo Music’s “Morning Café”. It is a caffeine and fat-free, 100 % positive start to your day. The word eclectic is often overused, but here it is spot on. The mix of reggae with chill, dub with New Age music and classical, is just that. Eclectic, in the best sense of the word. “Morning Café” also shows the value of expertly curated playlists and not something put together by a CPU.

There is no shortage of album and playlists which promise to make your mornings better – but the winning formula here is the mix of upbeat AND meditative pieces. It is a little bit of everything, yet its core is not pop or reggae but instrumental pieces. It is cool, but it is also relaxing. Not many releases have this quality. You don’t want your mornings to be too loud or high energy either, making your batteries run out long before lunch.

You know what they say; breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Accompanied by “Morning Café”, your day is off to a great start. Highly recommended!

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Kitaro & Hiroki Okano perform The Winds Of Heaven

Kitaro and Hiroki Okano perform at the Tenkawa Benzaiten Shrine in Yoshino, Nara, Japan on November 3rd, 2019

Echoes.org Review

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Hiroki Okano’s Emergence From Awai: Music For Helio Compass 2021

Album Release Date: May 21, 2020

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Emergence From Awai: Music For Helio Compass 2021 is a 50-minute grand musical score by Hiroki Okano featuring AKIRA∞IKEDA

“This 2021 version of the HELIO COMPASS music series is now the fifth collaboration with Hiroki Okano, Japan’s leading ambient music composer. Through this project, we have strived to craft unconventional musical works by rendering the one-year movement of the entire solar system to a grand musical score. The fourth work, entitled Quantum Leap Breeze: Music For Helio Compass 2020,stirred up the global ambient music scene. Even though this recording spans a lengthy 50 minutes,many radio stations in the U.S.A. aired the work in full, while in the U.K. it reached number 13 on the ambient music chart. We are delighted to see this series blazing a new trail in the world of music. 

This entire composition features an arrangement of sounds every few seconds. Each and every sound perfectly coincides with this year’s astronomical events, such as the twenty four seasonal divisions and the moon phases, as well as planetary alignments. Opening with a sound to ring in the Vernal Equinox,the music goes on, past the Autumnal Equinox halfway through its course, to complete a full-circle journey from the year 2021 to 2022. As one single breath is likened to a human life, this one piece of music represents the one-year cycle of the vastness of time and space.

Thanks to AKIRA∞IKEDA, the Kyoto-based musician who collaborated with Helio Compass in this recording. The entire composition strikes the perfect balance between the sounds created by these two talented artists. The music they perform is harmonized with the sounds of nature, such as songs of Japanese bush warblers in Kitayama, Kyoto; the babbling of a brook in Yakushima; insects chirping in the Three Mountains of Dewa; the sounds of sudden showers in the tropic and waves in Maui; and the songs of whales. It is as though their music resonates the spirit of all life on Earth.

Since the beginning of the year 2020, we have been facing unprecedented challenges, such as natural disasters, the Covid-19 pandemic, and political and economical tensions. It is certain that these moments signify a major turning point globally. We are pleased to release the 2021 version,envisioning our new future in which humankind will work in cooperation on this planet, in our universe” – Hiroki Okano

Music by Hiroki Okano, featuring AKIRA∞IKEDA
Natural sound designed by Hiroki Okano
Natural sound recorded by Hiroki Okano, AKIRA∞IKEDA, Satoru Nakada, Hiroyuki Nakano
Recorded by Hiroki Okano, AKIRA∞IKEDA
Mixed by Hiroki Okano
Mastered by Hiroki Okano, Daichi Yuhara (Studio You)
Additional musicians: Miwafuku, Junko Okano
Concept designed by Kaichi Sugiyama 
Illustrated & Designed by Emi Sugiyama
Translation by Sayako Kidokoro (TRUNK)  
Collaboration Partner: Ecological Memes Global Forum 2021 
Emergence From AWAI: Regenerating Human-Nonhuman Relations

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New Age Music Guide reviews Seda Bagcan’s Mantrance Joy

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If you want to take your meditation to the next level, look no further. “Mantrance Joy” is an upbeat and ecstatic collection of remixed mantras from Seda Bağcan’s previous albums. You will sense right away that this is an album made with the listener in mind; there are even extended versions of each song included. Seda Bağcan has delivered a phenomenal release filled to the brim with joy, rhythm, and fantastic mantra melodies.

Seda Bağcan‘s musical life began at a very early age; when she was six, she had her first concert experience accompanying the Ankara Radio Turkish Music Orchestra and Choir. She was seven years old when she began taking piano and harmony lessons, at the same time, she became a member of the Ankara Music Association’s Children’s choir. Since 1990 she has been practicing Hatha Yoga, Ashtanga, and Jivamukti Yoga. She is a yoga teacher and a performing artist who conducts yoga classes. During her yoga performing sessions, she discovered mantra music.

In her albums, recorded with dedication and love, Seda aimed to mingle Turkish music sounds with the mantras. As a result, a perfect musical compilation of Seda has been accomplished in her first album, “Sunrise” and then the second album “Remember“. In 2012 she released her third album, “Sufi Soul Neyim“. About “Mantrance Joy”, Seda says: “If we want to stay healthy, we must stay in love, joy, peace, and enlightenment.  These vibes can help protect us against any illness or unwanted events.”

Wahe Joi
The album opener is called “Wahe Joi”. The mantra of ecstasy sounds ecstatic in every sense of the word. The arrangement is a delightful and highly danceable mix of electro and trance. Seda Bağcan’s magnificent vocal is our guide in this divine soundscape. There’s even a violin somewhere in the background. And most importantly, it is highly meditative.

The “Har Har Gobinde” mantra breaks down the barriers of the past. I love the trance intro and the super optimistic sound of the mantra. The steel-string instrument is also a nice touch, connecting us with the past. And wow, what a treat “Triple Mantra” is! It is so dark and enigmatic, but Bağcan is lucky here to guide us along. There’s a hint of house music, too but at center stage is the ancient-sounding flute. “Triple Mantra” is bold and inspired.

Mul Mantra
Moving on, the quick and refreshing “Mul Mantra” makes the heart beat faster, while the glorious “Adi Shakti” has a nice pop vibe. The “Guru Ram Das” mantra is fantastic in any context, and Seda’s version is beautiful beyond words. Its larger-than-life sound feels deeply healing.

The ballad “Wahe Guru Wahe Jio” is the unforgettable album closer, giving the listener a warm feeling that lasts for a long time. But don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself:

As mentioned above, all mantras have an extended version – making this into a true treasure chest for new and old fans!

In conclusion: Artists often call their music a gift to the world. That is often, at best, an overstatement. Listening to “Mantrance Joy” though, that such a statement seems to be an undeniable truth. It really is a gift! It is impossible to feel sad while listening to “Mantrance Joy”. Indeed, I find it hard to sit still when playing the hyper-modern versions of these ancient mantras. Get ready to feel some genuine mantrance joy!!

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