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Annette Cantor | Songs to the Earth

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Songs to the Earth

by Annette Cantor

Annette's rich and dreamy voice in dialogue with american indian flute and nature sounds in the drums. A trance fusion of Gregorian Chant and indigenous sounds of the american South West, music for transformation and healing.
Genre: New Age: Ambient
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Gaia Dreaming
10:03 $0.99
clip
2. Water Blessing
8:34 $0.99
clip
3. To the great Mother of Compassion
5:10 $0.99
clip
4. Ave Generosa
7:53 $0.99
clip
5. Healing prayer
9:12 $0.99
clip
6. Forest meditation
8:21 $0.99
clip
7. In Gratitude
8:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Just as that wide open landscape of the Southwest invites the mind to open up to a broader perspective, this new release opens the heart and mind of the listener with it's sensual trance songs. The ancient christian tradition of Gregorian Chant, alive in Annette Cantor's rich, melodical voice, meets the native american flute in a beautiful dialogue, set to cello and an intricate soundscape of ethnic drums.

Trance music for transformation and healing, this album takes you into other realms and leaves you renewed and deeply relaxed.

Ideal for healing sessions, massage, relaxation

Here some reviews:

MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS NETWORK
APRIL 2011

SONGS TO THE EARTH
Url: http://www.annettesings.com/

SINGER ANNETTE CANTOR BLENDS GREGORIAN CHANTS, WOOD FLUTE AND CELLO

Annette Cantor takes two age-old music traditions from Europe (Gregorian chants and cello performance) and mixes them with ancient Native American musical customs (wooden flute and indigenous percussion) forming a unique sound on her recording Songs To The Earth, an album dedicated to our planet and the divine sacredness of nature.

“This music was created specifically for meditation and healing of all that hurts inside -- physically, mentally and emotionally,” Cantor says. “This album was recorded at the gateway of my own journey into a year of deep healing from cancer, and the music accompanied me throughout the process. On my daily walks into nature, I received profound inspiration and renewal, and I realized how much I love this world and appreciate the sacredness of our existence.”

Originally trained as an opera singer in Vienna, Cantor has developed a unique style of soulful emotive expression with her singing strengthened by technical expertise and classical studies. Her musical background includes having performed on-stage and recorded with new age music pioneer C.G. Deuter. On Songs To The Earth she is accompanied by top musicians from Santa Fe, New Mexico: Native American flutist Patrick Shendo-Mirabal (who has performed with his brother Robert Mirabal, Kenny Aranoff, Larry Mitchell), cellist Michael Kott (Sons of Ganesh, Robert Mirabal, Moontribe), percussionist Mark Clark (Cat Stevens, Ottmar Liebert, John Popper), percussionist Mike Chavez (Ottmar Liebert, The Jon Gagan Trio, Jono Manson), and percussionist Gregory Gutin (Sita, Jeremy Bleich).

Annette Cantor’s music can be purchased either as a CD or as digital downloads at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. For more information about Cantor, visit her website at www.annettesings.com.

“I was born and raised in Germany where Gregorian chants represent some of the oldest music in the European culture,” explains Cantor. “Now I live in the Southwestern United States where a thousand years ago flutes and drums were being used. Blending these ancient musical traditions seemed a natural way to bless the earth as a whole.”

Songs To The Earth is not the first time Cantor has brought together venerable, historical musical elements from various cultures. She first explored the idea on the album Sacred Fusion with vocalist Shanti Shivani, who sang East Indian Dhrupad (one of the oldest Hindustani vocal genres) while Cantor sang Gregorian chants with a droning tambura and other instruments from India accompanying them. Cantor says, “I realized Dhrupa and Gregorian chants have similar tonal qualities so I thought they would go together well.” Cantor also collaborated with C. G. Deuter (another German relocated to Santa Fe) on Adore Te (improvisations on Gregorian chants with classic new age music performed by Deuter) and Die Blaue Blume (a collection of German folk songs with accompaniment by Deuter and other musicians). In addition, Cantor has sung and played violin with Deuter in concert and on several of his recordings including Garden of the Gods, Earth Blue and Mystery of Light.

Cantor was raised a Catholic in Germany and heard Gregorian chants in church when she was growing up. In high school she studied Latin which enabled her to interpret the words being sung. She was particularly drawn to the chants of the Gregorian tradition which historically have been open to improvisation by individual singers. The most famous female composer of Gregorian chants was Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th Century German religious leader, early human rights activist and visionary. Cantor, who sings von Bingen material daily, has included Hildegard chants on most of her recordings including Songs To The Earth. However, Cantor also often utilizes wordless vocalizing to help capture the mood and feelings she is presenting.

“The words that Hildegard von Bingen wrote are sometimes prayers, but other ones are like love poems or ecstatic expressions of admiration and adoration of God, Christ, Mother Mary, the church and nature. Hildegard will compare Mother Mary to the flowers or the dew that fell on the grass in the morning as an inspiration to divinity. Hildegard also used a lot of nature images and colors, and evoked all the senses -- hearing, seeing, touching and even tasting and smelling. She might say, ‘When Mary came into the world, she inspired all the spices’ or that ‘the flowers bloomed,’ so that you can almost smell a scent in the music.”

To create Songs To The Earth, all of the musicians recorded together live in the studio. Annette created the basic song structure, within which most of the sections were improvised. “We really had to listen to each other carefully,” Annette says, “but we had a rapport from playing concerts together.” A small amount of vocals, cello and percussion were later overdubbed to round out the sound.

According to Cantor, “Songs To The Earth is my specific contribution to this temple we live in, this planet, this world. ‘Gaia Dreaming’ is a song to the Earth Mother, who, in Native American legends, dreamed the world into being. The next piece, ‘Water Blessing,’ is a prayer for this essential element of life, and the music just flows, very water-like, set to no clear beat. ‘To The Great Mother of Compassion’ is a universal prayer asking for help in dealing with our suffering. ‘Ave Generosa’ is a Hildegard chant poetically praising the principal of the divine feminine. The tune is one of two that features the Middle Eastern doumbek drum giving the piece a more international flavor. ‘Healing Prayer’ has a very trance-like feeling with lots of wordless vocals. ‘Forest Meditation’ is all wordless vocal improvisation with a very rhythmic cello. This piece honors the act of going out into nature and communing with the trees and the wind. ‘In Gratitude’ is another chant by Hildegard and begins with the droning ancient Australian didgeridoo. No matter what our circumstances, there is always something in our lives to be grateful for. Expressing gratitude to the earth has almost become a spiritual practice for me.”

Growing up in Germany, Annette studied singing and violin performance, and was involved in school choirs and orchestras. Her early musical influences ranged from classical (Bach) to jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson). Cantor studied voice at the Vienna Academie of Music and earned a degree in voice teaching. She became involved with the healing arts movement, initially utilizing dance and movement, and after moving to New York City she also incorporated singing into her healing practices. In New York she studied the Alexander Technique, an energy healing practice with the patient developing awareness of physical alignment as they move. She underwent the intense three-year training program and became a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

To get closer to nature, Annette moved to Santa Fe, drawn by the spiritual community she found there “and the good scent of the air.” She began pursuing vocal improvisations, both in healing situations and as a spiritual performer. She sang in front of the Dalai Lama at the World Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles, at the Resonant Wave Festival in Berlin and at a concert celebrating World Water Day in Santa Fe. Her deep love of poetry has been expressed in performances with distinguished poets Donna Thomson, Jane Hirshfield, Drew Dellinger, Roger Housden and Rumi poetry presenter Coleman Barks. Cantor often sings the poems after they have been recited. She also gives voice lessons and workshops which combine her healing practice with patients breathing and singing for therapeutic effect.

Cantor states, “For me it is a dream come true to be able to sing and let my voice be a true instrument, no longer kept in the mental realm of words, but free to express, through pure sound, the yearning, beauty, love and blissfulness of my inner experience. It is my hope that this music will help the listener make the connection with their heart, with nature, with the divine and with whatever is really important to them as an individual.”

The Zone music reporter
The Industry Source for New Age, World, Ambient, Electronic, Solo Piano,
Relaxation, Instrumental and many other genres of Music

ANNETTE CANTOR
SONGS TO THE EARTH

What must have been most awe-inspiring? Sitting in a 16th-Century towering European cathedral with stained-glass windows and flying buttresses, and hearing Gregorian chants? Or sitting on the American prairie many hundreds of years ago next to a teepee and a roaring fire with crystalline stars twinkling in a blue-black sky, and listening to the sounds of a wood flute? Imagine combining those two experiences in today’s world!

Annette Cantor was born and raised in Germany where she learned Latin and often heard Gregorian chants at church. Then she studied opera singing in Vienna before moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she hooked up with Native American flute player Patrick Shendo-Mirabal. Cantor added another European influence (the cello) and two percussionists (who both have played extensively with Ottmar Liebert) that brings in more of the Indian feeling. Annette also does lots of wordless vocalizing. Basically the group already knew each other from having done concerts together, so when they went into the studio they were comfortable to just turn on the recording equipment and improvise off of previously conceived themes.

In addition, this album, as the title states, is comprised of music dedicated to and honoring the earth and all of its parts -- the land, the water, the forests, the people and the planet as a whole.

Take a listen (at annettesings.com or cdbaby.com) to samples and enjoy this unique melding of two ancient musical art-forms brought together in the contemporary world to stunning effect.

-- member review



The Online Magazine for Southwest Style

CD Review - Annette Cantor: Songs to the Earth

Music from the Southwest can be as unique and as versatile as its many listeners, but Songs to the Earth, from Santa Fe's Annette Cantor, really epitomizes listening pleasure when seeking to enjoy the spirits and sounds of the Southwest. Boldly bringing together the beauty of both Gregorian chants and Native American flutes, with just a hint of an Eastern feel, Cantor has expertly produced a work of soothing, spirit-filled songs that are sure to move the soul.

Annette Cantor takes two age-old music traditions from Europe (Gregorian chants and cello performance) and mixes them with ancient Native American musical customs (wooden flute and indigenous percussion) forming a unique sound on her recording Songs To The Earth, an album dedicated to our planet and the divine sacredness of nature.

“This music was created specifically for meditation and healing of all that hurts inside -- physically, mentally and emotionally,” Cantor says. “This album was recorded at the gateway of my own journey into a year of deep healing from cancer, and the music accompanied me throughout the process. On my daily walks into nature, I received profound inspiration and renewal, and I realized how much I love this world and appreciate the sacredness of our existence.”

Originally trained as an opera singer in Vienna, Cantor has developed a unique style of soulful emotive expression with her singing strengthened by technical expertise and classical studies. Her musical background includes having performed on-stage and recorded with new age music pioneer C.G. Deuter. On Songs To The Earth she is accompanied by top musicians from Santa Fe, New Mexico: Native American flutist Patrick Shendo-Mirabal (who has performed with his brother Robert Mirabal, Kenny Aranoff, Larry Mitchell), cellist Michael Kott (Sons of Ganesh, Robert Mirabal, Moontribe), percussionist Mark Clark (Cat Stevens, Ottmar Liebert, John Popper), percussionist Mike Chavez (Ottmar Liebert, The Jon Gagan Trio, Jono Manson), and percussionist Gregory Gutin (Sita, Jeremy Bleich).


“I was born and raised in Germany where Gregorian chants represent some of the oldest music in the European culture,” explains Cantor. “Now I live in the Southwestern United States where a thousand years ago flutes and drums were being used. Blending these ancient musical traditions seemed a natural way to bless the earth as a whole.”

Songs To The Earth is not the first time Cantor has brought together venerable, historical musical elements from various cultures. She first explored the idea on the album Sacred Fusion with vocalist Shanti Shivani, who sang East Indian Dhrupad (one of the oldest Hindustani vocal genres) while Cantor sang Gregorian chants with a droning tambura and other instruments from India accompanying them. Cantor says, “I realized Dhrupa and Gregorian chants have similar tonal qualities so I thought they would go together well.” Cantor also collaborated with C. G. Deuter (another German relocated to Santa Fe) on Adore Te (improvisations on Gregorian chants with classic new age music performed by Deuter) and Die Blaue Blume (a collection of German folk songs with accompaniment by Deuter and other musicians). In addition, Cantor has sung and played violin with Deuter in concert and on several of his recordings including Garden of the Gods, Earth Blue and Mystery of Light.

Cantor was raised a Catholic in Germany and heard Gregorian chants in church when she was growing up. In high school she studied Latin which enabled her to interpret the words being sung. She was particularly drawn to the chants of the Gregorian tradition which historically have been open to improvisation by individual singers. The most famous female composer of Gregorian chants was Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th Century German religious leader, early human rights activist and visionary. Cantor, who sings von Bingen material daily, has included Hildegard chants on most of her recordings including Songs To The Earth. However, Cantor also often utilizes wordless vocalizing to help capture the mood and feelings she is presenting.

“The words that Hildegard von Bingen wrote are sometimes prayers, but other ones are like love poems or ecstatic expressions of admiration and adoration of God, Christ, Mother Mary, the church and nature. Hildegard will compare Mother Mary to the flowers or the dew that fell on the grass in the morning as an inspiration to divinity. Hildegard also used a lot of nature images and colors, and evoked all the senses -- hearing, seeing, touching and even tasting and smelling. She might say, ‘When Mary came into the world, she inspired all the spices’ or that ‘the flowers bloomed,’ so that you can almost smell a scent in the music.”

To create Songs To The Earth, all of the musicians recorded together live in the studio.

Annette created the basic song structure, within which most of the sections were improvised. “We really had to listen to each other carefully,” Annette says, “but we had a rapport from playing concerts together.” A small amount of vocals, cello and percussion were later overdubbed to round out the sound.

According to Cantor, “Songs To The Earth is my specific contribution to this temple we live in, this planet, this world. ‘Gaia Dreaming’ is a song to the Earth Mother, who, in Native American legends, dreamed the world into being. The next piece, ‘Water Blessing,’ is a prayer for this essential element of life, and the music just flows, very water-like, set to no clear beat. ‘To The Great Mother of Compassion’ is a universal prayer asking for help in dealing with our suffering. ‘Ave Generosa’ is a Hildegard chant poetically praising the principal of the divine feminine. The tune is one of two that features the Middle Eastern doumbek drum giving the piece a more international flavor. ‘Healing Prayer’ has a very trance-like feeling with lots of wordless vocals. ‘Forest Meditation’ is all wordless vocal improvisation with a very rhythmic cello. This piece honors the act of going out into nature and communing with the trees and the wind. ‘In Gratitude’ is another chant by Hildegard and begins with the droning ancient Australian didgeridoo. No matter what our circumstances, there is always something in our lives to be grateful for. Expressing gratitude to the earth has almost become a spiritual practice for me.”

Growing up in Germany, Annette studied singing and violin performance, and was involved in school choirs and orchestras. Her early musical influences ranged from classical (Bach) to jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson). Cantor studied voice at the Vienna Academie of Music and earned a degree in voice teaching. She became involved with the healing arts movement, initially utilizing dance and movement, and after moving to New York City she also incorporated singing into her healing practices. In New York she studied the Alexander Technique, an energy healing practice with the patient developing awareness of physical alignment as they move. She underwent the intense three-year training program and became a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

To get closer to nature, Annette moved to Santa Fe, drawn by the spiritual community she found there “and the good scent of the air.” She began pursuing vocal improvisations, both in healing situations and as a spiritual performer. She sang in front of the Dalai Lama at the World Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles, at the Resonant Wave Festival in Berlin and at a concert celebrating World Water Day in Santa Fe. Her deep love of poetry has been expressed in performances with distinguished poets Donna Thomson, Jane Hirshfield, Drew Dellinger, Roger Housden and Rumi poetry presenter Coleman Barks. Cantor often sings the poems after they have been recited. She also gives voice lessons and workshops which combine her healing practice with patients breathing and singing for therapeutic effect.

Cantor states, “For me it is a dream come true to be able to sing and let my voice be a true instrument, no longer kept in the mental realm of words, but free to express, through pure sound, the yearning, beauty, love and blissfulness of my inner experience. It is my hope that this music will help the listener make the connection with their heart, with nature, with the divine and with whatever is really important to them as an individual.”


THE ONLINE GUIDE TO ALL MUSIC
(A DIVISION OF ALL MEDIA GUIDE)

Songs to the Earth
Annette Cantor

Artist Annette Cantor Album: Songs to the Earth Rating:
Review:
by William Ruhlmann

German-born singer Annette Cantor, now a resident of New Mexico, fuses several different musical traditions into the new age music heard on her album Songs to the Earth, which is subtitled "music for meditation and healing." In her vocals, she calls on Gregorian chant, sometimes even singing religiously oriented words in Latin, other times wordless ululations. The singing in itself combines a Middle Ages European sound with tones of traditional Native American music and the music of Asia Minor, particularly Tibetan monks. The accompaniment, spare as it is, echoes all of these elements. Michael Kott plays cello, bringing in the European influence; Patrick Shendo-Mirabal plays Native American flute; and percussionists Mark Clark, Mike Chavez, and Gregory Gutin alternately play in sounds and rhythms reminiscent of American Indians and Indian Indians. Cantor has discovered the similarities in her musical influences, notably the austere quality they share. There is a sense of seriousness that reflects on what the music is intended to deliver the listener from, be it disease or stress. Cantor alludes to her own process of "deep healing" in a sleeve note, reinforcing the sense that the music is meant to accompany a passage from darkness to light, spiritually and physically.



MUSIC INDUSTRY NEWS NETWORK


SINGER ANNETTE CANTOR BLENDS GREGORIAN CHANTS, WOOD FLUTE AND CELLO

Annette Cantor takes two age-old music traditions from Europe (Gregorian chants and cello performance) and mixes them with ancient Native American musical customs (wooden flute and indigenous percussion) forming a unique sound on her recording Songs To The Earth, an album dedicated to our planet and the divine sacredness of nature.

“This music was created specifically for meditation and healing of all that hurts inside -- physically, mentally and emotionally,” Cantor says. “This album was recorded at the gateway of my own journey into a year of deep healing from cancer, and the music accompanied me throughout the process. On my daily walks into nature, I received profound inspiration and renewal, and I realized how much I love this world and appreciate the sacredness of our existence.”

Originally trained as an opera singer in Vienna, Cantor has developed a unique style of soulful emotive expression with her singing strengthened by technical expertise and classical studies. Her musical background includes having performed on-stage and recorded with new age music pioneer C.G. Deuter. On Songs To The Earth she is accompanied by top musicians from Santa Fe, New Mexico: Native American flutist Patrick Shendo-Mirabal (who has performed with his brother Robert Mirabal, Kenny Aranoff, Larry Mitchell), cellist Michael Kott (Sons of Ganesh, Robert Mirabal, Moontribe), percussionist Mark Clark (Cat Stevens, Ottmar Liebert, John Popper), percussionist Mike Chavez (Ottmar Liebert, The Jon Gagan Trio, Jono Manson), and percussionist Gregory Gutin (Sita, Jeremy Bleich).

Annette Cantor’s music can be purchased either as a CD or as digital downloads at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. For more information about Cantor, visit her website at www.annettesings.com.

“I was born and raised in Germany where Gregorian chants represent some of the oldest music in the European culture,” explains Cantor. “Now I live in the Southwestern United States where a thousand years ago flutes and drums were being used. Blending these ancient musical traditions seemed a natural way to bless the earth as a whole.”

Songs To The Earth is not the first time Cantor has brought together venerable, historical musical elements from various cultures. She first explored the idea on the album Sacred Fusion with vocalist Shanti Shivani, who sang East Indian Dhrupad (one of the oldest Hindustani vocal genres) while Cantor sang Gregorian chants with a droning tambura and other instruments from India accompanying them. Cantor says, “I realized Dhrupa and Gregorian chants have similar tonal qualities so I thought they would go together well.” Cantor also collaborated with C. G. Deuter (another German relocated to Santa Fe) on Adore Te (improvisations on Gregorian chants with classic new age music performed by Deuter) and Die Blaue Blume (a collection of German folk songs with accompaniment by Deuter and other musicians). In addition, Cantor has sung and played violin with Deuter in concert and on several of his recordings including Garden of the Gods, Earth Blue and Mystery of Light.

Cantor was raised a Catholic in Germany and heard Gregorian chants in church when she was growing up. In high school she studied Latin which enabled her to interpret the words being sung. She was particularly drawn to the chants of the Gregorian tradition which historically have been open to improvisation by individual singers. The most famous female composer of Gregorian chants was Hildegard von Bingen, the 12th Century German religious leader, early human rights activist and visionary. Cantor, who sings von Bingen material daily, has included Hildegard chants on most of her recordings including Songs To The Earth. However, Cantor also often utilizes wordless vocalizing to help capture the mood and feelings she is presenting.

“The words that Hildegard von Bingen wrote are sometimes prayers, but other ones are like love poems or ecstatic expressions of admiration and adoration of God, Christ, Mother Mary, the church and nature. Hildegard will compare Mother Mary to the flowers or the dew that fell on the grass in the morning as an inspiration to divinity. Hildegard also used a lot of nature images and colors, and evoked all the senses -- hearing, seeing, touching and even tasting and smelling. She might say, ‘When Mary came into the world, she inspired all the spices’ or that ‘the flowers bloomed,’ so that you can almost smell a scent in the music.”

To create Songs To The Earth, all of the musicians recorded together live in the studio. Annette created the basic song structure, within which most of the sections were improvised. “We really had to listen to each other carefully,” Annette says, “but we had a rapport from playing concerts together.” A small amount of vocals, cello and percussion were later overdubbed to round out the sound.

According to Cantor, “Songs To The Earth is my specific contribution to this temple we live in, this planet, this world. ‘Gaia Dreaming’ is a song to the Earth Mother, who, in Native American legends, dreamed the world into being. The next piece, ‘Water Blessing,’ is a prayer for this essential element of life, and the music just flows, very water-like, set to no clear beat. ‘To The Great Mother of Compassion’ is a universal prayer asking for help in dealing with our suffering. ‘Ave Generosa’ is a Hildegard chant poetically praising the principal of the divine feminine. The tune is one of two that features the Middle Eastern doumbek drum giving the piece a more international flavor. ‘Healing Prayer’ has a very trance-like feeling with lots of wordless vocals. ‘Forest Meditation’ is all wordless vocal improvisation with a very rhythmic cello. This piece honors the act of going out into nature and communing with the trees and the wind. ‘In Gratitude’ is another chant by Hildegard and begins with the droning ancient Australian didgeridoo. No matter what our circumstances, there is always something in our lives to be grateful for. Expressing gratitude to the earth has almost become a spiritual practice for me.”

Growing up in Germany, Annette studied singing and violin performance, and was involved in school choirs and orchestras. Her early musical influences ranged from classical (Bach) to jazz (Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson). Cantor studied voice at the Vienna Academie of Music and earned a degree in voice teaching. She became involved with the healing arts movement, initially utilizing dance and movement, and after moving to New York City she also incorporated singing into her healing practices. In New York she studied the Alexander Technique, an energy healing practice with the patient developing awareness of physical alignment as they move. She underwent the intense three-year training program and became a certified teacher of the Alexander Technique.

To get closer to nature, Annette moved to Santa Fe, drawn by the spiritual community she found there “and the good scent of the air.” She began pursuing vocal improvisations, both in healing situations and as a spiritual performer. She sang in front of the Dalai Lama at the World Sacred Music Festival in Los Angeles, at the Resonant Wave Festival in Berlin and at a concert celebrating World Water Day in Santa Fe. Her deep love of poetry has been expressed in performances with distinguished poets Donna Thomson, Jane Hirshfield, Drew Dellinger, Roger Housden and Rumi poetry presenter Coleman Barks. Cantor often sings the poems after they have been recited. She also gives voice lessons and workshops which combine her healing practice with patients breathing and singing for therapeutic effect.

Cantor states, “For me it is a dream come true to be able to sing and let my voice be a true instrument, no longer kept in the mental realm of words, but free to express, through pure sound, the yearning, beauty, love and blissfulness of my inner experience. It is my hope that this music will help the listener make the connection with their heart, with nature, with the divine and with whatever is really important to them as an individual.”




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Reviews


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Helena Dee

GREGORIAN CHANTS, WORDLESS VOCALS, CELLO AND NATIVE AMERICAN FLUTE COME TOGETHER
Annette Cantor has made a name for herself mixing music from diverse cultures and sources. On her latest recording, Songs to the Earth, she sings Gregorian chants from her native Germany accompanied by another European instrument (the cello) and blending these with Native American Indian wood flute performance and percussion. Previously Cantor has done recordings blending Gregorian chants with music and vocals from East India, and mixing traditional German folk songs with new age instrumentation.

If you have ever heard a recording of someone trying to reproduce Gregorian chants from 800 to 1,000 years ago as they probably were heard a cappella in a European cathedral, you know how church-religious-stuffy-sounding it can all be (especially since they were usually sung by men). But when a woman takes one of those chants, sung in Latin, and improvises on it, adds instrumentation and plays off what they are doing, and then expands on into wordless vocalizing where her voice simply becomes another one of the instruments, you realize this is a whole other thing, and it can be quite exciting.

Cantor has a very pretty and mellifluous voice (she trained in Vienna to sing opera). The flutes are played by Patrick Shendo-Mirabal (not quite as well known as his brother, Robert Mirabal) and the cello by Michael Kott (who also has played with Robert Mirabal and a group called Moontribe). By the way, the two main percussionists have both played with Ottmar Liebert for many years.

There are seven songs on the album. The fifth and sixth ones “Healing Prayer” and “Forest Meditation” sound like they feature a doumbek, a sort of goblet-shaped hand-drum from the Middle East.

Songs to the Earth also has the theme of being dedicated to nature and our planet, and praising and worshipping it in it all its glory. As an additional benefit, Cantor planned for the music to be used as a healing instrument (she is a longtime sound healer).
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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
The primal and tribal power of ancient chants and hymns live on in Annette Cantor’s Songs to the Earth.

The German-born and Vienna-trained Cantor combines her powerful and earthy vocalization of Gregorian chants with Native American flute, cello, didgeridoo, tribal drums, and other voices to create a formidable musical alchemy that perfectly symbolizes the raw energy of the planet.

The combination of Cantor’s voice and the other instruments and voices, especially the tribal drums, creates a ritualistic effect that’s almost hypnotic in its pulsating rhythmic beats.

The juxtaposition of the European traditions of chant and cello with the American Southwest sound of the Native American flute especially creates an interesting hybrid that at once conjures age-old mysticism while setting the stage for new realms of sonic experience.

This is a perfect CD for reflecting on your own connection with nature and terra firma.
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