From the first words “We are embarking on a sacred journey. Walk beside me. Walk beside your true Self. Walk beside your guides. Walk beside your angels. Walk with God into the realm of waking dreams,”, classically trained Soprano Elisa Brown ushers you into a new world, which is the title of her co-created CD. Partnering with Grammy Award winning producer Barry Goldstein and a host of talented musicians with phenomenal credentials, including Goldstein, Brown is a guide into a realm of serenity, spirituality and sensuality. The intial piece is entitled Invocation, which gathers the listener in with misty beckoning fingers. Unable to resist, the listener is slow danced into the Cullins of Rhum, a traditional Celtic piece. As it ends, one can hear the twittering birds as a segueway into the mystical So Much More that contains a zen chant and the reminder that “We are the love, we are the light, we are the vision in the night….we are so much more, than our locked up prison doors. We have always held the key. Now the door is open to set ourselves free.” The etheric image on the CD cover shows Brown holding a glowing key. A child’s sweet voice echoes those lyrics at the end of the song, and then merges with Brown’s. Music For Life is a Latin influenced hip swaying offering. “Now’s the time to sing with joy, with music for life.” Namaste Fever (the Sanskrit word which has several translations, my favorite being “the Highest or Divine in me, recognizes and honors the Highest or Divine in you.”) is a repetitive chant that burrows its way into the listener’s heart and beckons the feet to dance. This would be an ideal song for an improv movement session, as overlapping voices and instrumentation weave sonic silk scarves. One of the most exquisite versions of Ave Maria follows with the intermixing of the words “Mother of the light, fill my heart, hear my prayers.” with the well known lyrics sung in Italian as Brown reaches operatic heights. Butterfly has a lullabye quality to it, as it invites the listener to “dance under the moon” as does the winged wonder named in the song. By far, my favorite song on this CD (so hard to choose, though) is the anthemic Through the Eyes of God that I can envision being performed by large choirs. “Through the eyes of God, I have learned to see, that I am everything and everything is me…I am the song within your heart and I’m waiting just to sing.” The title piece New World has the feeling of wandering in a forest and entering into a peaceful glade in which “a new world, that we’re creating, weaving the spark within the night….to dance and celebrate our light”, is one to be desired and sustained. Fiddle-led Wiggle Your Toes is a lilting piece “Celebrate your life with love. Be the joy that you desire. Wiggle your toes in the water…embrace the joy within you and be grateful all the while.” New World closes with Namaste Integration, a far more peaceful chant than its predecessor that could easily accompany the yoga posture of svasana that closes out most practices as it carries the listener on a magic carpet of sound.
As I listened to Brown’s voice, I was reminded at times of Julie Andrews. No spoonful of sugar, this CD. Instead, New World is a rich soup pot of world music flavors and textures that nourish the listener…body, mind and spirit.