Friday, January 4, 2019

Music Review: Healing Music Volume 2

Acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Valerie Romanoff has succeeded in delivering the ultimate two-disk relaxation album. Comprised of seventeen tracks, Healing Music Volume 2 is a two-hour serenade rife with delicate textures and brilliant guitar work. Most clocking in over five minutes each, these songs are designed to keep the listener in a peaceful mindset from beginning to end. The free-flowing nature of this music promotes a sense of openness and clarity and promote an uplifted state of mind.

Having studied music since childhood, Romanoff has always been driven to create atmospheres with her extensive knowledge of different instruments and genres. She categorizes her work into a spectrum that she likes to call “STILL, CHILL, THRILL,” all of which she uses to determine what kind of "life" or vibe each track will take on. She describes “STILL” as music for times of reflection and relaxation, while “CHILL” encourages active thought, and “THRILL” ignites energy during energetic peak times.

Staying within the realms of STILL and CHILL, disk one of Healing Music Volume 2 features eight of Romanoff's full-length compositions. “Pink Skies Over Still Water” showcase Stevin McNamara’s beautiful sitar playing as well as Tom Rossi’s ethereal flute. Paired with Romanoff’s guitar work, this trifecta comes together to create a piece with plenty of space, atmosphere and overflowing joy that continues on into “Pink Skies Over Waves.” Further down the list, “Om Shanti Shalom” has more of a groove than most of the other songs do. It is carried by solid percussion and her guitar playing layered on top of some ambient synthesizer work.

Disk two offers nine tracks which are radio edits of the songs on disk one, providing a compact version of the compositions from the previous disk. Concluding the second part of the collection is the bonus track “Prelude Went Beyond.” A celebration of love, it includes Tom Rossi once again on the kora as well as McNamara on sitar. Loaded with layers of strings and a variety of ornamental flourishes, the listener is left with a warm glow of motivation and positivity.

With this second album -- and a variety of notable singles including one with beloved yoga master Tao Porchon-Lynch -- Valerie Romanoff emerges as an exciting new voice to follow in the arena of World and New Age music. Her lively social feeds, especially Instagram, offers a daily dose of positivity and good energy.

For more information on Romanoff and a list of her upcoming talks and live performances, visit Healing Music Volume 2 is now available anywhere music is sold or streamed, as well as on her Bandcamp page.
- Samantha Garcia

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