Saturday, March 20, 2010

In review--Heart Opener

Gentle Thunder
Opening the Gate
Gentle Thunder Productions, 2007

Grammy-nominated multi-instrumentalist and composer Gentle Thunder’s Opening the Gate provides an excellent outlet to celebrate the Spring Equinox. GT’s masterful and enchanting performances on Native American flute and hammered-dulcimer not only open a gate to the heart, but the contrast between the two instruments creates some interesting dynamics, though all of them gentle and peaceful.

GT, like Aleut-Seminole multi-instrumentalist and composer Mary Youngblood, also channels spirits, mainly of Grandmother Earth, though I’m picking up on Wolf Spirit too, not to mention bird spirits. Both musicians also provide a mother-like nurturing environment for their listeners. Acute sensitivity for their instruments and listeners comes through and it’s a real pleasure listening to recordings of this spiritual caliber. And it is always an honor to review music with healing power. I need to get out of the way, and let the review write itself.

I listened to Opening the Gate three times, once in the afternoon with the sun pouring through the windows on the last day of winter, last night before going to sleep and this morning upon awakening. All three times I felt an opening in my heart and I felt uplifted away from my usual heavy thoughts. GT’s flute clears out those upper chakras and the gentle rhythms she plays on the hammered-dulcimer bring a lively quality to my space. The music feels profoundly relaxing, more so than new age recordings I have listened to over the years. Her music reminds me of other authentic heart performers such as Will Clipman, William Eaton, Sharon Burch, Youngblood, Marjorie de Muynck, R. Carlos Nakai and Nawang Kechog. And I encourage anyone reading this to pick up Gentle Thunder’s recording. These days it’s crucial to lift your vibration and this recording will do just that.

I have listened to hundreds of recordings over the years, and as far as healing music recordings go, Gentle Thunder's Opening the Gate leaps to the top of the list.

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