InSPAration - Various Artists
“Living in our fast-paced, frenzied world can leave us feeling defeated and burned out even before the day begins. It’s no wonder that one quarter of U.S. adults—57 million people—have sought to escape at the sap. Top spas around the world are playing Real Music, and now you can create your own spa experience at home with InSPAration” – From the publisher

Real Music titles have consistently topped Billboard’s New Age charts, and their artists honored with many awards. Musicians such as Gandalf, 2002, and Peter Sterling are quite familiar to lovers of New Age music, as well as therapists, energy healers, and Reiki practitioners. In fact, Real Music currently supplies Four Seasons, Ritz-Carlton, and all Mandarin Oriental Hotels with music for their spas.

InSPAration, the newest release from Real Music, features 13 songs by Real Music artists. Embrace by Govi offers gentle guitars while Take Me Gently Across the River by Gandalf features a haunting, lilting synth melody while soothing guitars and piano rain down from the ether.

At the Wooden Bridge by Paul Machlis, an Irish flavored tune, flows with piano, synth and pipes. The fourth track, Timeless by 2002, has mournful piano with Enya-esque choral synth, while Remembering the Light by Kevin Kern has weeping piano, guitar and synth.

Dance of the Dakinis by Peter Sterling incorporates exotic harp, mysterious wooden flutes, gorgeous female vocalizations and gentle percussion for a decidedly Eastern flavor. (Probably my favorite song on the CD).

Touched by Love by Bernward Koch features wistful piano, while Drifting Through Time by Sayama is an Asian-flavored melody where metal percussion tinkles like a slow rain and offers haunting flutes. (My 7 year old son came in while this was playing and asked “Do you like this song?” and I replied “I’m not sure yet.” I then asked him “How does this make you feel? Is it a happy song?” and he said that this song made him feel sad. So it’s not just me!)

Sailing Away by Govi has a lightly bluesy guitar with soft percussion (bongos?), evoking a mood of hopefulness—as if one is waiting for the sun to rise with the promise of a new day.

Pastel Reflections by Kevin Kern is a softly meandering piano piece, and Feeling It All by Hilary Stagg find etheric harps coaxing release and surrender. (I like this track a lot).

Sacred River by Gandalf is comprised of piano and flute which segues to synth and guitars. The last track, Evoking Wonder by Bernward Koch, has gossamer synth strings with reflective piano.

InSPAration is a lovely collection of gentle music. However, I feel that some of the songs evoke a bit of sadness. (And I don’t think anyone goes to a spa to cultivate sadness!) I feel this is a great CD for therapeutic healing sessions such as massage and energy work—especially if someone needed to deal with suppressed feelings of sadness or loss.

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