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Shadow, Mist & Light

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Album Review

With Higher Octave's merger into Narada and Narada's current focus on smooth jazz and world music, dreamy, expansive music capturing the classic healing powers of the new age genre is becoming increasingly rare. Which makes Real Music's ongoing commitment to the genre all the more remarkable. The versatile harpist Peter Sterling may draw inspiration from the sacred red rocks of Sedona, AZ — where he gathered the musicians for this project — but the opening cuts draw more on a traditional Eastern ambience, beginning with "East Meets West" (featuring Sterling on Guzheng as well as traditional harp) and the gently percussive "Dance of the Dakinis." Although the vibe is lush, melodic, and relaxing overall, Sterling uses different instruments from track to track to achieve a captivating variety. "Eldorado" features John Dumas' native flute and Robin Miller's electric guitar, while "A Night to Remember" and "Wanna Hula" includes Richard Hardy's subtle soprano sax touch (Hardy plays pennywhistle and alto and bamboo flute elsewhere). The ultra-romantic, Latin-spiced "Moon Over Xanadu" blends the electric violin of Dov with the sweet Spanish guitar of Eric Miller. Adding a human element to most of the tracks are a handful of gentle backing vocalists, most prominently Tina Malia. William Aura, the longtime house producer for Higher Octave, leader of 3rd Force, and one of new age's first true stars, plays the subtle bassline on "Road to Shambala," as if passing the genre torch to a new generation.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Aspiring Spanish guitarist Peter Sterling turned to harp after seeing Andreas Vollenweider and released his first album just eight months later. Harp Magic...
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Shadow, Mist & Light, Peter Sterling
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