What can you say about a cat who says his mission statement was to create audio perfume? I give him points for trying to get your attention. What he does make is next stage new wave where he’s doing something more than noodling on the synth to create a mood. This set leads you down actual passages in your mind as it guides you along on your head trip. Not ambient, not really new age, not instrumental or jazz, it just might be something new along all these lines and it sure does make for a great relaxation record. Timing out just at the right length for the average massage, this just might be the perfect gift for your massage therapist if you wish she’d finally update that Relaxation Company stuff.
A powerful, refined blend of acoustic and electronic music, Into Forever is timeless. Frequently, the composition is spare and spacious, giving us pause to appreciate the beauty of silence defined by sound. From low resonating notes to high-flying overtones, the acoustic and electronic elements organically unify to create a deep and meditative recording. This is the perfect remedy at the end of a long day, or anytime a little relaxation is in order.
Into Forever is German composer Frank Steiner, Jr.’s third release on the Real Music label, following I Ching Symphony (1998) and Touching Silk (2004). Very soothing and calming, the seven tracks were composed, arranged, produced and performed by Steiner on a combination of keyboards that play a full range of orchestral instruments, piano, voices, and atmospheric sounds. Of this music, Steiner says, “I wanted to create an acoustic perfume, a soft musical fragrance to help listeners relax and unwind.” I would say that Steiner has succeeded very well in his goal. I must caution you, though. Don’t try to wake up to this CD! I had it in my wake-up alarm a couple of mornings and slept rather blissfully through the whole album! The tracks range in duration from just under five minutes to just under fifteen, so the music has plenty of time to evolve and develop at a very leisurely and organic pace. More ambient than melodic, this music is wonderful while working, reading, meditating, and any other quiet activities that welcome a calming influence. As is the norm for Real Music releases, the production quality of this album is stellar.
Into Forever begins with “Love’s Whisper,” a beautifully orchestrated piece with an Asian flavor to some of its themes. The atmospheric background gives the feeling of floating freely in deep space while the piano provides a gentle and unstructured melody line that expresses warmth and contentment. “Floating Petals” is almost a piano solo, with light strings accompanying. The slow, graceful melody beautifully depicts the random movement of weightless flower petals going wherever the water takes them — I love this track! “Divine Fragrance” is a 15-minute ambient masterpiece. Very ethereal and at a tempo similar to deep breathing, this lovely piece will gently ease you into a tranquil state of mind. “Lead Me To You” is piano with hypnotic ambient sounds that include the sweet chirps of small birds — magical! “Sparks of Love” is my favorite track. It begins with the sound of the ocean with light string washes here and there. When the piano enters, it adds a very simple but wonderfully heart-felt melody to the ambient strings, allowing each note to float on a soft cloud of sound - so peaceful! “Mystery’s Invitation” is another beauty. Much darker than the other pieces, it carries a strong feeling of mystery (hence the title, I’m sure!), but not of dread. It’s a great ending to a great album!
The official release date for Into Forever is March 13, 2012. Amazon is taking advanced orders now and Real Music has the album available for download. This is a beautiful album if you enjoy music that is on the ambient side. Recommended!
Frank Steiner Jr.'s latest release called Into Forever is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to spending a little over an hour relaxing and letting the stress of the day flow out of you through each of the seven tracks that comprise this album. On the back cover of the album Frank states that he wanted to create a "musical fragrance to help listeners relax and unwind." After listening to this CD several times I have found the music contained herein to be a contemplative and peaceful selection of songs that gently washes over your consciousness allowing you to drift along with Frank's soothing piano playing which is the foundation of all the music that you will find on this album.
There is an ethereal feel to the music throughout all of his compositions that gives you the feeling of floating on waves of light after you have acclimated yourself to the world that Frank has created through his songs. This process doesn't take all that long and before you are even half way through the first track called “Love's Whisper” with its rich emotional sounds you will find yourself dislodged from the day to day grind and for the next hour you will find yourself wandering the tranquil soundscapes that Frank creates with his piano.
It is obvious that the music on this album was composed and recorded so as to not break the mood and the flow of the CD. Each song seems to fold into the next maintaining the same serene qualities as the song that came before it. I very much enjoyed this fact because I was not jarred out of the soothing cocoon of stillness that wrapped around me with the first song and continued right on through the last track called “Mystery's Invitation.” Many times these albums will be used in their entirety as background music for Reiki or Massage sessions, sleeping or for meditative purposes and it is critical that the mood is maintained. Frank has done an excellent job of immersing the listener in an environment of peace for the entire 60 odd minutes that this album plays.
The tracks on this album range from the shortest which is 4:58 up to the longest which is 14:59. Most of the tracks are of the six minute or longer variety and the only reason that I mention it is that the tracks tend to be perfect for allowing Frank the time to effectively create these peaceful landscapes. Oftentimes on shorter songs you feel like you are just getting started when the song comes to an end. With these longer compositions Frank is allowed the time to develop the song and engage the listener more fully in the experience which in turn deepens the overall effect of serenity that pours over you as you listen.
From the gentle synths that ebb and flow behind Frank's piano on songs like “Sparks of Love” to the bird sounds that ever so gently appear on “Lead Me to You” or the tinkling wind chimes on “Love's Whisper,” Frank has created a gentle and comfortable realm where the insistent call of the physical world is left behind. You will find that Frank's music wanders the ground between ambient and new age while executing each style effortlessly and with a masterful touch on the keyboards. The sound quality is impeccable and his music has a captivating flow to it that instantly engages the listener. You will find much to love about this album and when you are done listening to it the first time you will probably go back for seconds or thirds as the music allows for multiple listenings without ever becoming tiring. This is an excellent effort by Frank Steiner Jr. and is certainly recommended by Ambient Visions.
…More ambient than melodic, this music is wonderful while working, reading, meditating, and any other quiet activities that welcome a calming influence. As is the norm for Real Music releases, the production quality of this album is stellar.