Grayhawk | Voice of the Ancestors

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Voice of the Ancestors

by Grayhawk

Deeply Spiritual, this sumptuous fusion of flutes, concert harp, Asian and middle-eastern instruments with a choir of multilingual voices conjures up miracles of the peoples of the past that are destined to affect the dreams of our future.
Genre: New Age: Spiritual
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  Song Share Time Download
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1. Transcendent Soul
3:12 $0.99
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2. The Banteay Srei Temple
4:57 $0.99
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3. Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau
6:08 $0.99
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4. Voice of the Ancestors
8:40 $0.99
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5. Peace Prayer (A 'Capella)
1:49 $0.99
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6. Peace Prayer
10:11 $0.99
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7. Ambient Meditation
8:08 $0.99
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8. Peace Prayer (Short Version)
5:06 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
“Voice of the Ancestors” is the 3rd segment of my “Shamanic Trilogy”. With great reverence, I have chosen to illustrate the album with the crone Goddess, “Selene” – a creation of the late, legendary visionary artist, Susan Sedon Boulet. I spoke with Ms. Sedon Boulet in 1989 when I asked her to illustrate the 1st segment of this Triple Goddess series, “Shaman Journey”. She was unable to accept the commission as she was just beginning her treatment for breast cancer. Susan Seddon Boulet joined the Ancestors in 1997 and it is an honor to have her “voice” included with this work.

1. Transcendent Soul 3:11

After the release of “Blissful Magic: Spiral of the Celtic Mysteries”, my life and recording career were dramatically disrupted when our beloved son, Christopher, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a catastrophic childhood cancer of the sympathetic nervous system. Our little boy valiantly fought the disease for 11 months but died peacefully in our arms on December 19th, 2007; just 3 weeks shy of his 3rd birthday. “Transcendent Soul” reflects those moments and the contrasting grief and sense of beauty surrounding this sacred deathing experience.

With the deepest longing and most profound Love, I dedicate “Voice of the Ancestors” to my beloved son, Christopher Emmet Gibney (January 6th, 2005 – December 19th, 2007) who now dwells with The Ancestors.

2. The Banteay Srei Temple 4:54

In the Summer of 2015, I traveled with my family to The Banteay Srei Temple that is part of the Angkor Wat World Heritage site in Cambodia. The temple’s soft red sandstone and feminine “devatas” iconography inspired this piece which features a virtuoso performance by world renowned Hai Phuong on the Dan Bau, a traditional single string Vietnamese instrument. We were thrilled to reconnect with Hai Phuong who had played 11 years earlier on the occasion of my wedding to Quynh Nhu Doan and our wedding reception in the Grand Ballroom of the Victorian era, Hotel Majestic, overlooking the Mekong River in Sai’Gon. Hai Phuong’s exquisite sound was recorded by Ben James in “The Blue Room” studios in Hochiminh City while we monitored the session via video conference at our head sound engineer Steve Shepherd’s studio, Extreme Mixing, in Van Nuys, California. We were also greatly privileged to include the masterful performances of GRAMMY ® Winner, Wouter Kellerman, on Alto, C and Bass Flutes recorded in South Africa. Amy Shulman’s expressive Concert Harp was captured in California bringing to 3 the number of continents where we gathered this sound.

3. Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau 6:10

Continuing our journey that Summer of 2015, we made pilgrimages to the Temple of Bà Chúa Xứ located in the Chau Doc Province of Vietnam and to Chùa Bà Thiên Hậu, "Pagoda of the Lady Thien Hau") in Sai’Gon. The Guardians (angels in western mysticism) can be seen represented outside of Thien Hau’s Temple and act as her eyes & ears for those who pray for her grace, protection and assistance. Again, Hai Phuong’s virtuoso Dan Bau carries “Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau” accompanied by Amy Shulman’s Concert Harp. In composing this song, I created a digital prototype and we have kept the sampled Asian erhu and synthesized percussion which was enhanced with the live Worldbeat Percussion of Brad Dutz.

4. Voice of the Ancestors 8:43

Also inspired by our tour of Cambodia, “Voice of the Ancestors” was originally entitled, “Magnificent Angkor Wat”, and became our title track after an extensive evolution. I conceptualized the piece utilizing my newly acquired Omnisphere 2 synthesizer and scored it for a “flute choir” which Wouter Kellerman recorded in his South African studio. In fact, the flute parts for “The Banteay Srei Temple” are a variation of these themes with a different orchestral texture. Vocalizations for the piece were realized by Randy Crenshaw and Windwalker who also graced the piece with her Native American flute creating a fusion of cross cultural shamanic energy. Listen carefully for Vito Gregoli’s ambient guitar accents. The asymmetric ¾ meter accented percussion performed by Brad Dutz along with my digital percussion results in a compelling undulating rhythmic motion.

5. Peace Prayer A ‘Capella 1:50

Peace to you!
Peace to all people
Throughout the World.

End the warfare!
Let go! Let go of
Hatred and revenge.

Peace on Earth!
Peace to all people
Throughout the World.

6. Peace Prayer 10:08

The origins of my “Peace Prayer” go back to a visioning trek up Huayna Picchu while visiting the fabled & magical Machu Picchu World Heritage site and was further informed by the global paradigm shift brought on by the attacks of September 11, 2001. As a child, I grew up in a culture enmeshed and traumatized by the American-Vietnam War and have continuously sought to understand and reconcile that devastation while seeking and promoting the elusive holy grail of World Peace.

In our contemporary times, fear, hatred, violence and war continue in the Middle East and throughout the World. I do not purport to know the political pathways to a just peace in that region or throughout the World for that matter, but I do believe that we need to continue expressing hope for this best of all possible Worlds in our music and art.

“Peace Prayer” was designed to be nonsectarian so as to allow the listener to invoke their own personal higher power, faith & beliefs. Consistent with my prior multi-lingual works that combined English with Hawaiian (A Tutu Pele Goddess) and with Gaelic (To Ask A Blessing), “Peace Prayer” Combines English with Hebrew, Farsi & Arabic. I am grateful, once again, to have the superlative vocal talents of GRAMMY ® winner Darlene Koldenhoven perform, along with the incomparable Randy Crenshaw, the English lyrics for “Peace Prayer”. Darlene & Randy also recorded the English, Hawaiian & Gaelic vocals on “Shaman Journey” & “Blissful Magic: Spiral of the Celtic Mysteries”.

I was privileged to include the vibrant vocal performances of Ofir Engel and proud to credit her for her collaboration and original lyrics in the Hebrew & Arabic sections. Bahman Mojallal sings the Farsi vocal.

Our orchestral texture was greatly enhanced by the English Horn & Oboe of Jill Haley, Karen Olson’s superb viola and the cello of Kirsten Vogelsang.

(Hebrew lyrics)

Magical sight pure from birth,
Inner soul of humankind.
Peace Prayer in the whole World.
From the heart and soul
Call for love and passion!
For friendship in the whole World.
Magical vision of Love!

(Farsi lyrics)

(Arabic Lyrics

Peace is a butterfly that
Lands in people’s hearts.
Love is the most
Beautiful thing in the World!
Freedom!
Happiness!
Music!
High energy music!
The Love!
Eye spark!
Appreciation for the
Beauty of the World!

7. Ambient Meditation 8:04

Ambient Meditation is a free-form improvisation based on the themes and textures developed throughout “Voice of the Ancestors”. Hai Phuong performs Dan Tran as well as Dan Bau, Brad Dutz’ Worldbeat Percussion enhances my digital percussion, Windwalker Dorn plays her Native Flute while Vito Gregoli accents the piece with his ambient guitar. Randy Crenshaw provides ethereal vocalizations.

8. Peace Prayer (Short Version) 5:03

We created a shorter version of Peace Prayer to accommodate some broadcasting platforms.

Grayhawk: Voice of the Ancestors - Album Credits

All music composed, orchestrated, conducted and produced by Grayhawk

Grayhawk:
Keyboard & Percussion Synthesizer Sequencing performed on an M-Audio Keystation MIDI controller using Apple LogicProX with a Mac Pro, Spectrasonics Omnisphere 2, Korg Wave Station, Kontakt Digital Sampler, Digital Erhu, Digital Bass and Digital Guzheng Zither at
Deepspace Music Studios, Temecula, California

Additional featured musicians and singers:

Wouter Kellerman: C Flute, Alto Flute & Bass Flute
Tracks 1, 2, 3 & 4

Amy Shulman: Concert Harp
Tracks 1, 2 & 3

Hai Phuong: Dan Bau, Dan Tranh
Tracks 2,3 & 7

Darlene Koldenhoven: Vocals (English)
Tracks 5,6 & 8

Randy Crenshaw: Vocals (English), Vocalizations
Tracks 4,5,6,7 & 8

Ofir Engel A.K.A. Queen Ofir: Vocals & Spoken Word (Hebrew & Arabic)
Tracks 6 & 8

Bahman Mojallal: Vocals & Spoken Word (Farsi)
Tracks 6 & 8

Windwalker: Native American Flutes, Spirit Rattles, Medicine Drum & Vocal Enchantments
Tracks 4 & 7


Jill Haley: Oboe & English Horn
Tracks 6,7 & 8

Karen Olson: Viola
Tracks 1, 6 & 8

Kirsten Vogelsang: Violincello
Tracks 1, 6 & 8

David Vito Gregoli: Ambient Guitar
Tracks 4 & 7

Brad Dutz: Worldbeat Percussion
Tracks 1,2,3,4,6,7 & 8

Music recorded, rerecorded and mixed by Steve Shepherd at
Extreme Mixing, Van Nuys, California.

Music mastered by Robert Vosgien at Capitol Studios Mastering, Hollywood, California.

Wouter Kellerman recorded at Kellerman Music by Wouter Kellerman, Ferndale Ridge, South Africa

Hai Phuong recorded by Ben James in The Blue Room Studios,
Hochiminh City, Vietnam

Darlene Koldenhoven recorded by Steve Shepherd at
TimeArt Studio, Los Angeles, California

Jill Haley recorded by Jeffrey Towne at The Music Center, Exton, Pennsylvania

Karen Olson recorded by Nik Chinboukas & Dik Rickard at
Spin Recording Studios, Long Island City, New York

Kirsten Vogelsang recorded at Kirsten Vogelsang Music, Temecula, California

The earliest versions of Peace Prayer were recorded by Bill Jenkins
at Deepspace Music Studios which at that time was located in
Cloverdale, California

Cover Art, “Selene" (c) 1986 Susan Seddon Boulet all rights reserved
www.susanseddonboulet.com

Graphic Design by Matt Strieby - New Leaf Design
Battle Ground, Washington

Much Appreciation to Ha Le & Tuan Le of Viet Cruises for
providing generous location services and hospitality in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Riel Chantana : Cambodian interpreter, tour guide & Angkor Wat World Heritage Site historical docent.

Deepest appreciation to my beloved wife, Quynh Nhu Gibney, mother of Christopher & Bridget, who led us on pilgrimages worldwide to the Temples of Goddess Thien Hau where so much inspiration has been derived. Quynh Nhu Gibney, who is a certified Vietnamese/English Interpreter also provided interpreting services during our transcontinental recording sessions with Hai Phuong. Additionally, like the spouses in many artist families, Quynh has provided exemplary emotional, administrative & practical support towards the production of Voice of the Ancestors.

Thank you to my daughter & student, sister of Christopher, Bridget Ann Gibney who has worked very hard as a production assistant and attended most of the recording, mixing and mastering sessions.

Thank you:

Yassmin Manauchehri: Farsi Transcription & Translation

Huy Duc: Wardrobe Design & production, Hochiminh City, Vietnam

Anh Tai Trinh: Deepspace Production Assistant, Hochiminh City, Vietnam

Tina Do: Wardrobe liaison, Asia - North America

Jonathan Merrill: Transcriptions

David Mulvaney - Bill Keane Studios: Photography

Ed Bonk & Stacey Bonk: LAZZ Promotions: Broadcast Promotions

Beth Ann Hilton: Publicist
The "B" Company
www.thebcompany.com

Suzanne Doucet: Consultant

Al Walser: Consultant

Kabir Sehgal: Consultant

With much admiration to Ricky Kej for his inspiration and artistry in raising the New Age music genre to a whole new level of environmental activism.

With sincere appreciation to The Recording Academy (r) and MusiCares for their generous financial & emotional support during Christopher's valiant fight against neuroblastoma and in the aftermath of his death. For more information about neuroblastoma or to support groups fighting this disease visit The Christopher Gibney Foundation - www.christophergibney.org

Thank you, also, to the administration, staff and students of Del Dios Academy , especially Veronica Anderson-Caine, and the Escondido Union School District where I have proudly served as Music Director since 2005.

"Legendary composer, conductor and instrumentalist, Grayhawk, allows the listener to witness a rare form of Universal Magic on his latest release, Voice of the Ancestors. This fusion of flutes, concert harp, Asian and middle-eastern instruments with a choir of multilingual voices conjures up miracles of the peoples of the past that are destined to affect the dreams of our future. The eight emotionally-rich world-new age tracks are reverent, masterful, and replete with bliss."

R.J. Lannan
Zone Music Reporter

"Deeply spiritual, Voice of the Ancestors is one of those recordings that serves to define an artist's oeuvre, and in this case, it captures Grayhawk's passion and commitment to making the world a much more peaceful place, as well as displaying his affinity for, and love of, other cultures and other peoples of this planet. It's a sumptuously recorded work and beautifully engineered in every aspect. The blend of music and vocals is gorgeous and utterly mesmerizing in its effect. Each artist brings their "A" game to the finished product, united by Grayhawk's almost unreal attention to detail. This is an album that deserves to be heard and appreciated by people all over the planet."

Bill Binkelman
Wind and Wire













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R J Lannan - Artisan Music revies

Voice of the Ancestors
Legendary composer, conductor and instrumentalist Grayhawk allows the listener to witness a rare form of Universal Magic on his latest release Voice of the Ancestors. The fusion of flutes, concert harp, Asian and middle-eastern instruments with a choir of multilingual voices conjures up miracles of the peoples of the past that are destined to effect the dreams of our future. The eight emotionally-rich world-new age tracks are reverent, masterful, and replete with bliss.





Grayhawk
Voice of the Ancestors
Listen and learn

Since 1991 American keyboardist, composer, and visionary Grayhawk has been at the forefront of World/New Age/meditative music stage. He began his career with notables such as David Darling and Paul Horn and continues to this day to augment the kind of music that is thought provoking, reflective, and in many instances, magical. His latest offering, Voice of the Ancestors is a homage to our elders from around the planet whose voices are as strong and poignant today as they were a thousand years ago. Grayhawk’s album is eight tracks of World-New Age music with driving rhythms and clear, inspiring lyrics whose messages should be heeded before it is too late. Synthesizer, flute, harp, ethnic instruments, dynamic vocals, and a lengthy cast of musicians make this recording exceptional.
Transcendent Soul is the opening track and what a beautiful piece it is. Soulful and harmonious, it is a celebration of a rebirth on a plane that is beyond the ken of mortal man. It is the joy of spirit and the commemoration that the journey has just begun for an unfettered soul. South African flutist Wouter Kellerman adds his astonishing talents to the spiritual journey. This track alone is worth having the album.
The dan bau, played by Hai Phuong, is used to enhance the sense of drifting in a sea of souls on the track The Banteay Srei Temple. There are not many places more holy or more mysterious than Angkor Wat where this temple is found. This tune is serene in the way praying is for the sinner. There is a certain kind of peace to be had with the knowledge that your soul is brighter than sunlight and more peaceful than sleep.
Electronics pay a visit as does rattles, drums, and voice in the title tune Voice of the Ancestors. New world join forces with the Old. There are several long cuts on the album and this is one of them. The music gets you swaying and contemplating and never gets too long for enjoyment. Windwalker and Randy Crenshaw’s soft vocals are calming and the music of ambient guitarist David Vito Gregoli is subtle as is the revisit by Kellerman’s flute. This is a complicated piece of music that satisfies on many levels.
The longest cut on Voices of the Ancestors is one called Peace Prayer featuring the voices of Ofir Engel, Darlene Koldenhoven, and Bahman Mojallal. This is an intricate experience. I call it experience because it is much more than just a song. Although many beliefs systems are incorporated in this singular tune, it allows the listener to invoke their own reverences. The central theme, however, man’s search for peace on every level, is a universal principle and the voices on this recording bring our thoughts and prayers together. This particular cut has three variations, all of them respectful entreaties.
Asian, Native American, and world themes come together on the track Ambient Meditation. Windwalker’s Native flute, Hai Phuong’s dan trahn and dan bau, and Brad Dutz’ improvisational percussion coalesces into an introspective excursion. Images form, float by and dissipate as quickly as they are formed in your mind. It is easy to get lost in this atmospheric creation.
The Voice of the Ancestors have been whispering to us all along and it is our responsibility to listen carefully to what they say. They ask us to honor the Goddesses and Gods. They pray we will take care of our world. They ask us to treat others with respect and kindness. Through his music and song Grayhawk reminds us of these simple words. Our actions dictate all. I liked every track on the Voices of the Ancestors. Every note was soothing, every instrument harmonious with the next. This is the power of great music. I highly recommend this album for its pensive, melodious qualities and powerful message.
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Grayhawk’s "Voice of the Ancestors" is the third installment in his Shamanic Trilogy. Beginning with "Shaman Journey" (1992) and "Blissful Magic - Spiral of the Celtic Mysteries" (1995), Grayhawk concludes the trilogy with eight tracks that call for peace in a multitude of languages and cultural and musical traditions. Joined by a who’s who in the new age and world music genres, guest artists include Wouter Kellerman (flutes), Amy Shulman (concert harp), Darlene Koldenhoven (vocals), Jill Haley (oboe and English horn), Karen Olson (viola) and David Vito Gregoli (ambient guitar). Recording sessions took place internationally, contributing to the global scope of the music and creating an inclusive, all-encompassing spirit that flows throughout the album. I admit that I haven’t heard the first two albums in the series, but this one is exceptional. Grayhawk composed, orchestrated, conducted and produced the music for The Grayhawk Consort. He performed keyboard and percussion synthesizer sequencing, as well as on a variety of exotic digital instruments. Even the cover artwork by Susan Seddon Boulet is striking with its depiction of the goddess “Selene” holding a young child. The album itself is a “transmutation of grief brought on by the untimely death of [Grayhawk’s] toddler son, Christopher Rainbow Dragon, who perished from neuroblastoma, a catastrophic pediatric cancer of the sympathetic nervous system.” The album is dedicated to Cristopher Emmet Gibney “who now dwells with the ancestors.” (quoted from the liner notes of the CD.

"Voice of the Ancestors" begins with “Transcendent Soul,” a piece that reflects on the eleven months little Christopher fought his disease and “the contrasting grief and sense of beauty surrounding this sacred deathing experience.” Ethereal flutes, harp, and strings are both peaceful and sad. “The Banteay Srei Temple” was inspired during a visit to the Angkor Wat World Heritage site in Cambodia in 2015. Hai Phuong performs on the Dan Bau, a traditional one-string Vietnamese instrument. Wouter Kellerman recorded his flute parts in South Africa, and Amy Shulman’s harp was recorded in California, making it a piece that was recorded on three continents! Peaceful, graceful and very soothing, it’s a piece I find easy to get lost in. “Guardians of Goddess Thien Hau” also features Hai Phuong on Dan Bau and Amy Shulman on harp as well as percussion by Brad Dutz plus synth Asian erhu and percussion. Mysterious and hauntingly beautiful, there is a quiet serenity in the music. The centerpiece of the album is the three versions of “Peace Prayer.” The first is “A Capella,” which is under two minutes and is a finalist in the 2019 Peace Song Awards. The full-length version is a bit more than ten minutes and features lyrics sung in four languages. The piece was designed to be nonsectarian “to allow the listener to invoke their own personal higher power, faith and beliefs.” Darlene Koldenhoven and Randy Crenshaw sing the English lyrics, Ofir Engel sings the Hebrew and Arabic sections, and Bahman Mojallal sings the Farsi. I’d love to see this peace become a world anthem for peace and understanding! A shortened version of the piece was created to work with more broadcasting platforms and closes the album.

"Voice of the Ancestors" could - and probably should - become a classic in the new age/world genres.
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