Michael Stribling | Union: Music for Lovers

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Union: Music for Lovers

by Michael Stribling

A collection of 11 original, new age compositions celebrates physical intimacy, emotional closeness, or just quiet time with that special someone.
Genre: New Age: Relaxation
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. New Day Dawning, Pt. 1
4:57 $0.99
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2. New Love
3:22 $0.99
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3. Letting Go / Afterthought
5:15 $0.99
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4. Seven Faces of Home
7:18 $0.99
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5. Longing
7:59 $0.99
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6. Veiled Dancers
5:10 $0.99
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7. Union
15:00 $0.99
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8. Expansion
6:46 $0.99
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9. Afterglow
5:08 $0.99
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10. Quiet Conversation
7:57 $0.99
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11. At the End of the Day
2:18 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Michael Stribling’s tenth release, "Union: Music for Lovers," creates a warm and soothing musical atmosphere for physical and/or emotional intimacy or simply some quiet time with your special someone (even if that someone is yourself!). The eleven tracks were compiled from six of Stribling’s previous albums, and although it isn’t officially a “best of” collection, it features some of his most beautiful and expressive work to date.

Stribling is an electronic keyboard artist who has been releasing albums on his own Leela Music label since 2006; I’ve reviewed all but the first one. A multi-instrumentalist from the age of seven, Stribling earned his Bachelors in Music degree with an emphasis on percussion performance in 1974. He played drums touring with Johnny Mathis for a time as well as performing in jazz bands, philharmonic orchestras and doing a lot of studio work in various capacities. In 1981, he left the music field and went to graduate school, eventually becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist and working in the mental health field for many years. He returned to music in 2005, and the rest, as they say is history! Stribling formed Leela Music (leela means "divine play") to undertake a very simple mission: to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit.

"Union: Music for Lovers" begins with “New Day Dawning (Part 1),” a piece that suggests the tranquility of a sunrise and the promise of a new day. (This version was not previously released.) Graceful and very relaxed, it sets the mood for the album. “New Love” is more orchestral (electronic) with an ethereal sound the feels much like the magic and wonder of making a profound connection with someone. “Letting Go/ Afterthought” goes a bit darker and more reflective. Almost ambient at the beginning, the piece becomes a piano solo that seems very simple at first, but expresses a complex mix of emotions; the more ambient orchestral sound returns for the closing moments. “Seven Faces of Home” is one of my favorites. A bit more on the smooth jazz side, the leisurely tempo and gentle melody evoke feelings of warmth and comfort. “Longing” has been a favorite for many years. Throughout the piece, a playful little melody dances in and out of the foreground but is always there. The bass drum sounds like a beating heart as strings and other instrumentation create a poignant and hypnotic mood. The liveliest of the eleven tracks, “Longing” is still my favorite. “Veiled Dancers” is exotic, mysterious and very sensuous. “Union” is fifteen minutes of musical heaven, allowing the listener(s) to float on a cloud of serenity - relaxed and worry-free. “Expansion” and “Afterglow” extend the blissful peacefulness for another twelve minutes - ambient and ethereal. “Quiet Conversation” gently caresses the senses with feelings of the closeness of shared moments - possibly talking about nothing or about everything. “At the End of the Day” brings this lovely album to an ambient and very contented close.

What a treat! Michael Stribling hints that this is the first of his themed compilations, so it will be interesting to see what he does next! "Union: Music for Lovers" is recommended!
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Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Union: Music for Lovers is a collection of works dating from 2006 to 2011 by electronic keyboardist Michael Stribling. Featuring eleven compositions spanning seventy-two minutes of soothing romantic bliss, the album is intended to create an environment of sacred intimacy and closeness with that special someone. While a lot of music of varying styles often gets tagged as “new age” (such as is the case with many contemporary instrumental or solo piano recordings), I would regard Michael’s music as epitomizing the truest essence of the new age musical genre, such as it relates to a specific brand of relaxing and instrumental synthesizer-based music that rose to its highest prominence in the 80’s and 90’s. Among some notable recording artists in the field to whom I’d compare Michael’s style are Llewellyn, Merlin’s Magic, Midori and Raphael.

One of my favorite pieces on the album is the opening, “New Day Dawning (Part 1) – a meditative soundscape of silky smoothness. Guided by a light, sparse melody comprised of aquatic notes, subtle tabla drums provide a gentle rhythm with a touch of Eastern mystique. Another personal favorite is “Seven Faces of Home”, which opens like a gentle breeze seemingly sweeping the listener up into the sky. Further introducing a subtle piano melody set to an airy mist of chords, sparse bass tones lend an additional layer of depth, as the collective musical elements effectively convey a notion of soaring through billowing white clouds illuminated by the sun’s rays. “Longing” is another favorite – a somewhat magical, fantasy-like piece that seemingly bears a touch of the Far East. Here, a high-pitched flute is set upon the composition’s main repeating metallic notes, which are soon accompanied by a light tapping rhythm that eventually leads up to a mesmerizing swirl of harp strings and glistening chimes. Curiously, this concluding part of the song makes me think of a mythical Chinese dragon taking flight overhead. Another particularly lovely piece is the 15-minute title track, “Union”, which features a dreamy melody of synthesized reed and wind instruments throughout. Continuously drifting along, the composition’s movement seemingly mimics the gently rocking motion of a boat, as the listener might perhaps imagine themselves sailing out at sea beneath a starry sky.

Perfect for baths, bedtime, massage or any other number of therapeutic past-times and practices, Union: Music for Lovers is a wonderfully selected and arranged compilation by an artist who seeks to heal and inspire through sound. Despite the thematic concept and intention of this collection, the music herein is tasteful, wholesome and won’t leave anyone blushing, therefore making it appropriate for any type of environment. Nevertheless, this album would make an especially suitable Valentine’s Day gift or listening selection for couple’s massages!
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