Thursday, August 23, 2012


Sacred Dreams: Music For Relaxation and Wellbeing 

From Norway with love: Tron Syversen’s  latest U.S. release is quiet and deep as the blue fjords of his native coastline.

Norwegian producer and recording artist Tron Syversen shares a part of his soul with his latest offering, Sacred Dreams, ten original, gently-lulling pieces that are characterized by serene melodies and scintillating instrumentation with a slight classical ambiance. Not only playing the piano and keyboards, Syverson’s production, songwriting, arranging, and mixing talents are evident throughout.  The album is well-balanced, which is critical to Syversen’s intent to go beyond mere entertainment, and to create music that truly relaxes and heals others as they go about their busy lives.

Essential to this album is the sensually-sweet voice of co-producer Elin Lokken that borders on magical, angelic, and otherworldly; the vocal delivery is primarily wordless hums with varying timbres and tones. Electric and acoustic violins are skillfully provided by Sunniva Bergsane, Ase Haga, and Lise Sorensen. Plaintive acoustic guitars by Glenn Kristiansen, Rolf Kristiansen, and Jorn Takla provide a calming, but engaging result throughout. In addition, Silje Katrine Gotaas plays the cello, and bassist Per Elias Drablos fills in the melodies with pinpoint precision. Additional embellishments on English horn and flute are provided by Henrik Eurenius and Randi Krogvold Lundquist, respectively.  Upon hearing the depth of musicianship present in Sacred Dreams, it comes as no surprise that several of these accomplished artists also play for popular new age group, Secret Garden.

Tron Syversen, producer, recording
artist and founder of Tron Music, has
released nine albums to date.
The gentle “Lullaby For You” opens the album with a fluid flute and sparkling acoustic guitar strumming. Lokken’s distinctive and universal hums make the song particularly relaxing, which is the primary intention overall. The violins fill in the melody and the acoustic guitar provides a warm presence against the piano backdrop. “Dreamland” begins with spritely piano melodies, droning horns and strings, and Elin’s characteristic humming style, a smooth transition from  “Lullaby For You.” The pace picks up with “Cradle Song” bringing livelier acoustic guitar melodies, and the vocals flowing effortlessly with the guitar and flute. The symphonic “In A Silent Place” contains scintillating strings; Lokken hums with a calming and emotive display that is both relaxing and meditative. Here, Syversen utilizes a classical ambiance with a slow tempo and undulating progression that harkens the nuances of Enya. The popular “Moonlight Reflections” (for which there is an accompanying video) opens with acoustic guitar and contemplative piano incorporating the wistful sounds of violin throughout; the effect is akin to medieval European folk music with a touch of classicism and new age.  Acoustic guitar takes center stage in “A Quiet Evening” but the violin, humming, and undulating horns complete the relaxing melody. “At The End Of The Day” takes us home to “Lullaby For You” and “Dreamland” with piano, vocals, flute renditions, and soft guitar strums.  The mix of violin, guitar, and humming on “Twilight Lullaby” is pure, simple new age gold.  The album comes to a close with “All Through The Night” and “Tender Moments” containing equal elements of guitar, piano, strings, and horn with Lokken’s angelic vocal delivery. Notably, the acoustic guitar makes a strong appearance on “Tender Moments,” along with hums that are slightly lower in range than the flute and piano.  Moreover, the acoustic guitar strums are almost harp-like in tonal quality, which accentuates the angelic vocal characteristics to a greater extent.  

With Sacred Dreams, Syversen successfully produces a stunning album of lullaby brilliance that awakens the child-like spirit in all of us. Each piece presents melodies that are sweet and highly tranquil while Lokken’s sporadic humming and wordless vocals provide just the right amount of vocal ornamentation to differentiate each piece.  This album is incredibly subtle and perfectly-suited to calm the mind in preparation for creative visioning work, deep relaxation, or blissfully restorative sleep.  

Writer Kira Jaines states it perfectly when, in a Live Strong article called "Music to Help You Fall Asleep", she advises "Try Classical or New Age music, and keep in mind that lullabies are not just for babies." 

"Highly recommended" for meditation, sleep therapy, relaxation and children’s bedtimes. 

Artist: Tron Syversen
Album: Sacred Dreams: Music For Relaxation and Wellbeing
Label: Global Journey/TK Music Production
Playing time: 57:54.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Vangelis, Oldfield, Anderson Going for Gold!


Explore every aspect of music in the 2012 Olympics via the excellent coverage by New Age Music World blogger John P. Olsen at

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


As at least two tragic mass shootings occurred over the past few weeks, we are left wondering "why" and how these young men become so twisted. While the world points at violence in films like The Dark Knight Rises, we know of course that issues with family, friends, education, healthcare and society also play into people gone very wrong.

One wonders what can be done at an early age to instill in our children the proper respect for others' lives and opinions? How can we build confidence in kids as a buffer against life's emotional insults and injuries, and how can we give them better tools to process it all? While there's no quick fix, I really believe in the power of art and music as a positive tool for therapy and change. And, even if it won't prevent a madman, it can help us to take a more positive POV and heal our angst.

Elizabeth Thoman, a pioneering leader in the U.S. media literacy field, wrote "The time has come to break the circle of blame and start building a movement for a caring culture" on her Center for Media Literacy blog, where she also wrote "There is no one solution to the problem of media violence, nor will we ever totally eradicate violence from our lives or from the media. But there are many steps that each of us can take to reduce the amount and the impact of violent images in our lives and in the lives of our children. These individual acts, along with the acts of others, will add up to widespread social change. We have come to believe that every single soda can we pick up is one small step in saving the environment—isn't our cultural environ-ment equally important?"

Indeed, start small, with young children. The next time you have the opportunity to choose entertainment for children, avoid the proliferation of "Brat-Pop" and open a child's world with music of quality and age-appropriate messages that also builds self-esteem.

"Easy to sing, and engaging for the children, are elements that I think are most often required for the young audience, so that they can join in and feel good about it." -- Bobby Susser, producer


We touched on film and DVD in our last post, so looking more closely at the music front, there are a handful of positive kids music artists out there like Tim Battersby, Hap Palmer, and producer/songwriter Bobby Susser. Susser stresses the importance of music as a confidence-building tool, noting that children are proud to be able to learn and repeat a song, so the simpler, the better for those under 10! Recently he shared the final process behind his new album WO! saying, "When I visited a few schools, to test the songs as I usually do, I was getting immediate feedback, having fun, and making up songs and faces with the kids. When it came to "The Wo Wo Song" I had the melody and the lyrics to the first verse. It was an inviting sing along with "Everybody get ready, we're all gonna sing together." It was nice, and simple...a hit. Easy to sing, and engaging for the children, are elements that I think are most often required for the young audience, so that they can join in and feel good about it."

Here is a starter playlist for the kids in your life, for any time of day. If you don't have children, then you might consider donating positive music to your local school or goes a long way in your community, providing repeated listens by grateful little ears!

Bobby Susser: Award-winning singer/songwriter offers gentle albums on foundational topics like Respect & Confidence, Better Together, Wo! and 9 more! A favorite collection of teachers & librarians!

Lia Scallon: First Little Angels on Earth contains 2 CDs, and the story of five brave little angels, who undertake a Grand Adventure, to visit beautiful planet Earth. With an "all ages" meditation on Disc 2.

Richard Maddox: Pianist and accompanist to dancers, he offers various CDs that tell stories and encourage expressive dance and movement, perhaps a great fit for kids who can't find the right words to share their feelings.

Little Souls Productions An adorable DVD to aid emotional intelligence and well-being. The sisters who founded Little Soul Productions offer a DVD that actively engages children in the learning process and fun yoga, saying "they will experience a deeper understanding of their own authenticity while strengthening their emotional and spiritual muscles!"

Tron Syversen: The newest U.S. release, SACRED DREAMS, is the perfect nap and bedtime music for children. Angelic vocal humming by Elin Lokken is comfortingly maternal against lush instrumentals lulling one into the deep Alpha state. The album was also made to enhance creative visualization in the waking-sleep state, a good concept for older children to learn and for aiding in creative endeavors.

Image (c) Beth Hilton.