When I think of soothing, healing music, my mind immediately goes to contemporary instrumental composer David Lanz.
"Heartsounds," "Cristofori's Dream," "Skyline Firedance" and "Sacred Road" are a few of this musical alchemist's CD catalog.
Throughout the years, Lanz's music has not only been enjoyed by fans of his magical and melodic style, but also used in hospitals and clinics to help patients heal.
Last week I needed some healing, because I had lost my grandfather. And David Lanz's music was there.
In fact, I was able to delve into the peaceful soundscapes of Lanz's new CD "Painting the Sun," which was released a few weeks ago on the Shanachie label.
What a wonderful title. And what a wonderful collection of solo piano works.
Lanz wrote these words in the liner notes: "The sun is not only the center for our solar system and Earth's primary source of energy and light, but has stood throughout time as a cosmic symbol of our life force. ... "
The music on the CD reflects the radiance of those words from the opening title track to the grandness of "Spanish Blue" and the contemplative "Her Solitude."
"The Enchantment" finds Lanz tapping into a similar style of fellow pianist George Winston, and the four-track suite, titled "Hymn" featuring the movements "Sanctuary Rose" rondo in G minor, "Evening Song," "Midnight Reverie and "Daybreak Flower" is best with the lights off and the earphones in.
The highlight of the CD, however, was Lanz's reverent take on Pete Seeger's "Turn Turn Turn (to Everything There Is a Season)."
While that song is so pertinent right now with all the happenings in the world, Lanz's version helped me find gentle peace within the shock and numbness of missing my grandfather.
The CD ends with "Sleeping Dove," music written by Lanz for a spoken-word CD called "Heart of the Bitterroot: Voices of Salish and Pend d'Oreille Women," that features stories from the Flathead Indian Reservation in western Montana.All the arrangements on "Painting the Sun" touched my heart as each of Lanz's compositions in the past, and helped me find some relaxation during the turbulence in the past week.