Album review by Dyan Garris, New Age CD
It’s always refreshing to see a female guitarist, especially one as accomplished and talented as Valerie Romanoff. This lady has the music in her, no question. A multi-instrumentalist and performer, Valerie also co-founded, and is the creative director of, the fabulous Starlight Orchestra, and spends her time between New York City and Sedona, Arizona.
“Healing Music Volume 2,” is a two-disc set by Valerie Romanoff. The second album in her “Healing Music” series, these are long, peaceful, meditative jams. This collection of soul-soothing instrumental songs, which ends up being about two hours of exceptional bliss, is highlighted by the musical categories of what Valerie calls “Still” and “Chill.” “Still” is music for contemplation, relaxation, and inner reflection. “Chill” is music designed for forward moving energy activation.
Within her “Valrock Music” catalogue of music, there is another category called “Thrill,” which is faster, funky (Oh! She is SO good at that), and ignites, raises, and enhances our life force energy. But this particular album, “Healing Music, Volume 2,” is only focused on “Still” and “Chill.”
The point of “Still,” “Chill,” and “Thrill,” is that the varied tempo and intensity of each musical work of art enhances and evokes a different state of being within our emotional bodies. So, in its own unique way, each song becomes a different platform for positive transformation. When we’re able to keep our own individual frequencies and vibrations calm and peaceful, we are able to effect positive change as a collective consciousness on a global level.
On “Healing Music Volume 2,” Valerie performs on piano, guitar, synth. She is joined by Tom Rossi on flute, kora, and percussion (the kora is best described as a “double-bridge-harp-lute”), and Stevin McNamara on sitar, which is a stringed Indian instrument.
Disc 1 on the physical album consists of 8 peaceful tracks, both “Still” and “Chill.” Disc 2 consists of the same 8 tracks, but they are shorter radio friendly versions. Disc 2 additionally includes “The Bend,” “Moving Glass,” and the bonus track, “Pink Skies: Full Suite,” which clocks in at 17:30. The digital download of this album contains 22 tracks, the difference being that some songs on the digital download of the album have both a “Still” and a “Chill” version. What defines the difference between “Still” and “Chill” is the amount and layers of percussion.
For purposes of this review, we are focusing on the radio version portion. Valerie opens this section of the album with “Pink Skies Over Still Water” (Still), which is wonderfully relaxing, perfect for slowly opening each of the heart chakra layers, and then moves on gently into “Pink Skies Over Waves.” Sublimely “Still,” there is nothing here to rock or upset your boat. It’s about floating and enjoying. Love it. It’s a definite favorite.
“Moving Glass,” (also “Still”), masterfully incorporates soft synths into the whole mix, giving it a lovely, fluid ambiance. Very calming. “Prelude Went Beyond” (Chill), is melodic and uplifting to the spirit. Graceful and flowing, it’s a happy jam. “Beyond The Bend,” (Chill), follows, with its cool, funky, “chanty,” “world” kind of groove. It’s another favorite, although they are all truly wonderful. “Backdrop” (Still), is deliciously tranquil, restful, lush, and languid. We move easily then into more “Still,” with the super-relaxing and meditative “Dawn of Tao.” With its Eastern flavor, it’s another masterful mix of superb serenity. This portion of the album closes out with the “Chill” “OM Shanti Shalom.” This is an exquisitely beautiful musical conversation of peace to listen to over and over again.
Highly recommended for relaxation, stress relief, meditation, yoga, and the healing arts, “Healing Music Volume 2” by Valerie Romanoff is a resplendent gift of healing music to the world.
A few additional notes:
1) It’s important to note that there is nothing jarring at all about transitioning between “Still” and “Chill.” Your spirit just flows smoothly, easily, and effortlessly between the two and, in fact, through all tracks here.
2) The album art – not just ‘another Buddha’ – is by renowned Sedona artist Sherab “Shey” Khandro, which I believe is adapted from her full painting named “Our Time Is Now.” Beautiful and perfect for this album.
You can get “Healing Music Volume 2” by Valerie Romanoff at her website: