Divine Harmonies reviews

Enlightenment & Inspiration
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"Enlightenment Inspiration" - from the 3 CD set "Divine Harmonies"

What should you expect from "Enlightenment Inspiration", Oliver's contribution to the 3 CD set, "Divine Harmonies"? It's an instrumental album in the so-called new age or relaxation genre. Although this is a commissioned work, we should know by now that Oliver never makes any compromises in any of his work! There's definitely a positive spirit in the music, which was well recorded and sounds very nice, indeed! It should be noted that the other two discs in the set are also well done, with Oliver's disc being the more "dynamic" of the three. I know "dynamic new age" sounds a bit like an oxymoron... in it I mean the songs have a bit more "life". There's also a welcome classical edge at times, on this disk.

Inevitably people like to draw comparisons between works and in this case, I can safely say this album has a "flavor" of Heaven's Isle and Chakras; with a touch of the 3 Ages of Magick, but certainly not a rehashing of previous material. There are some real gems on this album that subtly grab your attention and some others that are more gentle and soothing. This leads to a nice blend of music, avoiding the trap some "new age" music falls into, which is being monotonous.

While it is hard to "analyze" albums of this style too much (as the inherent low key attitudes of the music proclude this), I particularly enjoy the wonderful piano parts, especially "Progress of the Soul". This track is a prime example of the style, grace, class, dignity, and musical spirit that is Oliver Wakeman. As the Brazilians say, "Que Beleza!" There are a couple of tracks with a medieval flair to them which really work well to offset the other tracks, reinforcing the variety aspect, while not straying too far from the concept. Other tracks serve well to just relax and let all your troubles disappear, for a while anyway...

Well done, Oliver!

Perhaps a bit hard to find in shops or online, it is available to international buyers through the rwcc shop, it's a great value considering you are receiving 3 well done discs, including, of course, Oliver's contribution! I don't hesitate recommending them for their service, receiving the set in the US in 5 days from placing the order!

Bruce Treadwell - wakemania.org March 21, 2004


'Rock Society Magazine' Review

Dale Sumner, Oliver Wakeman, Harvey Summers

Divine Harmonies (3CD Box Set)

A Musical Journey of Enlightenment Disky Communications

So there I was pulling my hair out after a certain band had cancelled a CRS show so I decided to do a few album reviews and what was the first one I looked at, this box set by three splendid keyboard composers and performers.

All the tension disappeared and if you get chance to listen to any of the three albums on offer you could, as I did, feel completely at peace with yourself and those around you. Sounds corny but how I came about reviewing this set of works and its resultant effect is true.

In essence the comparison is gentle soundscape music that is produced on keyboard but it does have a difference depending on which album you listen to. 'Spirit Guides' is Dale Sumner's input and fans of Vangelis and the like will be taken by this.
The second album is 'Enlightenment Inspiration', probably the more upbeat of the three and brought to life by a musician well known to these pages, Oliver Wakeman. As I have said in the past, Oliver has inherited a lot of his father's technique and can sound very much like him. Pieces such as 'The Tree Of Life' don't have to do much to tweak the mind and create the image of a fairy tale copse where the title might come to life.

'Guardian Angels' comes from Harvey Summers and is the gentlest and, as it suggests, more angelic music of the package. Female operatic voices swim around where harps and deeper voices evoke pictures of heaven. Dramatic? Certainly and the concept of three such albums works extremely well and will please lovers of the soundscape, New Age and even the more laid back prog fan too!

Martin Hudson