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Quick Hit: Sanctuary by Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer

Last updated on September 7, 2022

I’ve been fascinated by far-out new age music since I heard one of Andreas Vollenweider’s tracks in a Teen Daze mix some years ago. I also am very into acoustic post-rock and ambient music. So it makes sense that I would eventually come across some meditative new age music that would catch my ear. Sanctuary by Paul Adams and Elizabeth Geyer is that record.

This excellently arranged record is full of flutes, guitars, piano, and pad synths. It’s all the sounds you know and expect from new age, and done expertly. The opener title track tells you everything you need to know about this record: it’s a deeply meditative seven-minute piece that introduces melodic ideas from each instrument carefully and contemplatively. The follow-on “A Forest’s Embrace” brings more, with the field recordings of a forest (insects and birds, in particular) adding a layer of atmosphere. “Forest Light” introduces harp glissandos and dreamy melismatics from a female vocalist; “Graceful Waters” includes prominent sounds of water being walked through or boated through. Beyond these flourishes, the works each feature flowing, carefully constructed interplay of instruments to produce a deeply meditative state. Fans of new age need no introduction to these two artists, while fans outside the zone but who enjoy the works of Ezra Feinberg will find much to love here.