6 Songs, 1 Hour 5 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

KathyPiano7 ,

From MainlyPiano

"Inner Rhythm Meditations" is a fascinating album by Byron Metcalf, an award-winning musician and recording artist, shamanic practitioner and ceremonial leader whose music career has spanned more than fifty years and covers a wide variety of musical styles and genres. I have to admit that this is the first time (that I’m aware of) that I’ve heard his music. In the liner notes of the CD, Metcalf states that he had been wanting to create an album of relaxed tempos, easy meditative rhythms, and compositions. “My goal was to create a seamless, hour-long voyage, balancing stretches of spacious relaxation with sections of vibrant, energetic composition - a dance between stillness and motion.”

After laying down some percussion tracks, Metcalf felt that the ideal additions to the music would be guitars and flutes. He had been wanting to work with Norwegian guitarist, Erik Wollo, who was enthusiastic about collaborating on the project. An online encounter with Grammy-nominated flute player Peter Phippen resulted in his inspired participation in the project as well. There are six extended tracks on the album - three are collaborations with Wollo and three are with Phippen. Wollo’s parts were recorded in Norway, but the rest of the music was recorded in Metcalf’s studio in Arizona. Metcalf performs on a variety of drums and percussion instruments; Wollo performs on electric guitars, guitar synthesizers, e-bow guitars, electric bass guitar, and keyboards; Phippen performs on shakuhachi and bansuri flutes. The ambient washes of atmospheric sound on each track contrast beautifully with the more earthy drums, flutes, and guitars.

True to Metcalf's original vision, the music ranges from very ethereal, floating sounds to much more upbeat rhythms. The six tracks vary in length from 9-15 minutes, so there is plenty of time to lose yourself in the music, allowing the sounds to soothe and to heal as well as to help you reach a state of relaxed alert creativity. The music was created to help listeners connect to the “pulse of the cosmos” and is ideal for bodywork, and movement practices such as walking meditation and qigong.

"Inner Rhythm Meditations" is an hour of very relaxing yet energizing music - music with a purpose.

CandiceMichelle1 ,

Review from Journeyscapes Radio

Byron Metcalf is a master world percussionist and shamanic practitioner whose musical career spans five decades. On this hour-long excursion, titled Inner Rhythm Meditations, Byron is additionally joined by the two outstanding talents of guitarist and synthesist Erik Wøllo (with whom Byron previously released an album in 2016, titled Earth Luminous) and world flutist Peter Phippen, who has likewise appeared on a number of other outstanding projects. Together this musically brilliant trio weaves a seductive veil of mystery and sacredness throughout the album’s six compositions, which variably incorporate electro-shamanic rhythms, bansuri and shakuhachi flutes, and ambient loops and guitar textures.

“Garden of the Peaceful Warrior” opens the album with warm, enveloping chords and deeply enthralling tribal drumming, as Peter weaves a subtle flute melody in often-suspended notes among the composition’s capaciously lush atmosphere. An earthy, sensual vibe exudes from this piece, as well as throughout the rest of the album, as it seemingly beckons the listener into a trance-like and profoundly tranquil state. The aptly-named “As Clouds Dance” follows next and is perhaps my favorite piece on the album. Here, Erik provides gently soaring and stratospheric elements that perfectly compliment Byron’s warmer and earthier instrumentation to create a soundscape which sounds equal parts organic and electronic. A supremely gorgeous composition that mesmerizingly morphs and progresses throughout, it brings to mind that of watching passing clouds changing shape across the sky, while one’s feet remain firmly planted on the ground to connect with the bare earth beneath them. “Patterns of Awareness” ensues with floating timbres, gently understated flute and deeply resonating percussion at the foreground, as one can hear Erik’s textural ambient guitars in the background. The everflowing and hypnotic synergy of these three key elements continues on the next two tracks, “A Perfect Place” and “The Awakened Heart”, both of which are as equally spellbinding. Closing out the album is the comparatively slower-paced “Presence of Longing”; led by a lulling drum-pulse it provides fifteen minutes of pure restorative bliss.

As a long-time fan of Byron Metcalf’s work, I’m continually impressed by his musical outputs, and Inner Rhythm Meditations represents the epitome of the tribal-ambient style of music that he so frequently visits. In fact, I’m reminded of an equally beautiful album that Byron released with Steve Roach and Mark Seeling in 2004 called Mantram, with its similarly warm, sensual sacredness and seemingly esoteric sense of mystery. Byron’s percussion is simultaneously ecstatic and energetic, yet meditative and peaceful, always producing a visually and soulfully transportative experience. A top-notch album for yoga, ritual and shamanic work, Inner Rhythm Meditations is another masterwork that I will be returning to quite often!

MDiamond ,

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus

While a lot of new age meditation music is ethereal, percussionist Byron Metcalf’s new album utilizes the power of rhythm to create a deeply meditative listening experience that is further enhanced by the exquisite accompaniment of Erik Wollo on ambient guitar and keyboard, and Peter Phippen on Eastern flutes. Byron uses his 20 years as a shamanic practitioner, transpersonal guide, and educator to imbue his music with authenticity based on his extensive knowledge of states of consciousness. Through his relaxed yet soulful rhythms, one is drawn in and entrained to “the pulse of the cosmos.” The album, subtitled: “Music For Expansive Awareness and Inspired Movement,” provides an hour-long voyage balancing stretches of spacious relaxation with sections that is perfect for bodywork, movement practices such as walking meditation and qigong, and promoting a state of relaxed, alert creativity.

The album’s opening track finds us in the “Garden Of The Peaceful Warrior,” where Erik’s serene synthesizer soundscape provides a dreamy ambiance for the grounding energy of Byron’s drumming and Peter’s haunting flute sounds that drift over them. There is a real sense of the meeting place of earth and sky as these elements combine. While the percussion creates a feeling of motion, it is quite laid back and meditative, entraining the listener in the song’s easy flow. One thing I really liked was the skillful way that Byron integrated a variety of drums into his rhythmic grooves in the songs. These instruments include frame drums, bass drums, talking drum, udu, and clay pot, that produce an exhilarating and exotic mix of percussive patterns and timbres.

While there are only 6 songs on the album, they are quite lengthy, ranging from 9 to 15 minutes, which is just right for enabling the listener to lose themselves… or find themselves, as the case may be, in its unfolding. On “The Awakened Heart,” an intriguing combination was the exquisite interplay of a gently percolating electronic sequence and Byron’s earthy drumming over a spacious sonic tapestry, blended with Erik’s repeating arpeggiated chords, and the most peaceful flute passages imaginable. The interestingly titled “Presence Of Longing” brings the album to a tranquil conclusion in this extended 15-minute piece that is the most meditative track on the album.

A central theme that is present in both Byron’s psycho-spiritual work and his music is the role of “intention.” That is something which was strongly felt as I listened to his percussion work… a clear intention behind it that goes beyond merely keeping the beat, and is consciously focused on creating a state of being in the listener. Byron Metcalf’s drumming speaks in a language that is understood by the body and the soul, creating an inner resonance that is visceral. And the masterful blend of creative elements that Erik Wollo and Peter Phippen bring to the mix result in a level of sonic alchemy that I found to be truly transcendental. Inner Rhythm Meditations is musical magic that is simultaneously relaxing and uplifting.

To read a full-length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit: MichaelDiamondMusic.com

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