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Michael Stribling | A Better Place

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Leela Music website

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United States - California

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New Age: Contemporary Instrumental New Age: New Age Moods: Type: Instrumental
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A Better Place

by Michael Stribling

14 instrumental new age tracks, soothing and reflective, celebrate the joy of love, growth, healing, and nurturing relationships.
Genre: New Age: Contemporary Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. First Light
2:19 $0.99
2. Looking Up
5:36 $0.99
3. Winter Encounter
2:03 $0.99
4. Dream Waves
6:48 $0.99
5. Self Seeking Self
3:03 $0.99
6. Just a Moment
7:31 $0.99
7. Repose
2:20 $0.99
8. A Better Place
6:46 $0.99
9. Soliloquy
2:34 $0.99
10. Reassurance
3:53 $0.99
11. Quiet Certainty
4:31 $0.99
12. Dust Yourself Off
8:09 $0.99
13. Time for Bed, Sweetheart
5:42 $0.99
14. Ever Onward
4:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Reviews


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Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck

Michael Stribling Uses All His Talent To Make Musical Magic
A Better Place is Michael Stribling’s latest release. It is the first release since 2011. The goal of this music is to
enhance the human condition. After listening to the album straight through, I would have to say that is achieved.

Stribling offers relaxing sounds that put you in a spiritual place. He uses keyboards to create his musical symphonies and in doing so brings forth a sound that is like a warm summer breeze touching your face or the gentleness of flower petals falling silently to the ground. This is the essence of his music. There are moments of transition that keep things interesting and energetic spurts that let you know he has the ability to step it up a few notches when he decides to and add a little excitement to the mix and make the softer approaches that much more poignant and meaningful.

As it says on the artist website, "The mission of Leela Music is to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit (Leela means 'divine play').” Certainly that is accomplished through the music. Being a diverse listener always helps to be more open to new sounds. There is not a day that passes that I cannot use a good dose of music that takes the edge off, and Michael reminded me of that while listening.

The amazing thing about how this man creates his music is that it’s just him, his keyboards, and various sampled sounds captured by a MIDI, then shaped and molded through Digital Performer and multiple plug-ins. It is electronic-based music, and it comes together quite nicely and sounds beautiful. It takes a good ear and plenty of talent to create music like this.

"Dust Yourself Off” is a favorite. I loved the keyboards and synth sounds; it is a marvelous and very effective combination. "Looking Up” into the skies day or night is a wondrous and spiritual thing; it has been for me my entire life. And this track is the most upbeat, driving, and dramatic take on the entire recording. It’s exciting, like something Vangelis would do for a movie score. The brightness and joy brought forth will bring a smile to you, inside and out.

"Time For Bed, Sweetheart” is a symphonic lullaby. It is pulls you right in like an inviting warm bed on a cold winter’s night. It is purposeful and determined, yet soft and sweet at the same time. I liked the texture and atmospheric nature of this track. It was like a bit of aural heaven for my senses.

As the album closes out, it is a reminder to all of us that life moves "Ever Onward”; as a gentle and happy invitation begins with keys and tinkling bells, you look back at everything you just heard and all the feelings the music was able to draw out of you. Music like this is not only relaxing, its intuitive nature allows contemplation and reflection of what is on the inside, not the superficial daily things. The question is what is really going on inside your head and what moves your soul. In spirit you can find the truth, and the final result is inner peace. I believe that is the goal of what Mr. Stribling strives to accomplish with his music. Thank you for making that a reality for me, sir; I look forward to your next outing of ear candy that translates to spiritual bliss.

Key Tracks: Dust Yourself Off; Looking Up; Time For Bed, Sweetheart

Keith "MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
June 4, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews
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Michael Diamond (www.michaeldiamondmusic.com)

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
I was looking forward to the release of this recording, having greatly enjoyed Michael Stribling’s previous release “Safely In The Arms Of Love,” which I wrote about back in 2011. What Michael has produced here with “A Better Place “is a beautiful collection of imaginative musical compositions that fits perfectly with the mission statement of his record label, Leela Music, to "help others in their journey toward wholeness, through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit."

While the music is created primarily from synthesizers and samplers, it’s not necessarily an electronic-sounding album, but often leans towards the emulation of orchestral instruments. Having said that, there are exceptions such as track 2, “Looking Up,” with its percolating sequencer and bouncy beat. This is one of the happiest tunes I’ve heard in a while, and for me conjured a Tolkien fantasy of Hobbit-folk dancing merrily in The Shire. . One of my favorite compositions is the album’s title track. At nearly 7 minutes in length, it provides ample time for the listener to be enfolded in its lush layers of orchestration and slow dreamy flow. For me, however, Michael has saved the best for last as the album draws to a close with the upbeat “Ever Onward.” I listened to this track a number of times with headphones to pick up the nuances of the subtle, yet intricate opening rhythmic tracks with their clockwork or music box feel. The expression is so buoyant and positive that it makes a wonderful note to end the album on, leaving the listener feeling energized and optimistic.

One of the strong points for me is the way Michael is able to integrate electronic and orchestral sounds so seamlessly. In addition to his skills as a composer and instrumentalist, the album highlights his keen abilities in arranging and orchestration, as well as being a creative musical storyteller. The music is evocative and quite visual in terms of creating images within the mind’s eye of the listener. I greatly appreciated all the work and inspiration that Michael put into the details of this album and I’m sure that listeners will truly enjoy getting into “A Better Place.”

To read a full length feature article on this CD, as well as others, please visit: www.michaeldiamondmusic.com
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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"A Better Place" is the first album from keyboardist/composer Michael Stribling in several years. I was introduced to Stribling’s music back in 2007 with "Out of the Darkness, Into the Light" and have reviewed (and enjoyed!) six more of his albums since then. After becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist, Stribling worked in the mental health field for many years, returning to music in 2005 during a transitional period in his own life. The mission statement of Leela Music sums up Stribling’s goals with his music: “to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit. (Leela means ‘divine play’).” Stribling’s albums have always been visual and spiritual, but "A Better Place" seems to come from the heart of someone very much at peace with himself and his life. Using keyboards and synths, Stribling creates music that tells a story using a broad range of instrumental sounds and rhythms. The fourteen tracks on this album are diverse and range from ambient and floating to more uptempo rhythms that invite toe-tapping and moving your body to the beat. It is a pleasure to have Stribling’s music as a backdrop to other activities, but I think it is even more effective when listening with eyes closed, letting the beautiful waves of sound envelop you.

"A Better Place" opens with “First Light,” a piece that begins with the sound of birds chirping contentedly and then goes into a peaceful and colorful depiction of early morning light. Fully orchestrated as the birds continue to sing in the background, the music gently coaxes us to a place of warmth and tranquility. “Looking Up” begins with a quietly ambient introduction/prelude that picks up the tempo considerably about a minute in. This wonderful piece overflows with happiness and a carefree spirit - my favorite track! “Winter Encounter” moves in quite a different direction, but is still very soothing and peaceful. The music paints a picture of icy stillness in all of its splendor - another beauty! “Dream Waves” is hypnotic with its smooth, ambient flow - a mind massage! The next several tracks continue in an ambient and dreamy mode with a varied palette of musical instruments. The title track is a bit more dramatic and symphonic, although still very peaceful and warm. “Quiet Certainty” takes us back (or moves us forward) to more melody and an infectious rhythm. I love the titles for “Dust Yourself Off” and “Time for Bed, Sweetheart,” both very soulful and heartfelt pieces. “Ever Onward” is light and breezy, and seems to reflect on the power of love and positive thinking/living - a great way to end the album!

It was worth the wait for "A Better Place," an album sure to take you to a better place, if only for an hour or so! Recommended!
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Steve Sheppard, One World Music Radio

A Breath of Fresh Air
It’s good to see new age music flourishing, and now we have another great album from Michael Stribling, it’s called A Better Place. The album opens with “First Light” which is a real scene setter with its natural sounds and the steady increase of musical narrative.
We seamlessly move onto “Looking Up”, a clever composition with a slow tempo that builds into an almost dance styled piece.
“Winter Encounter” is just over two minutes long, but really encapsulates the beauty of the tones which describe this season so aptly in music.
The use of the keyboards on “Dream Waves” is sublime, they create literal waves of music that simply flow back and forth within the mind’s eye.There seems also to be interplay between tones, as if the higher and lower are completely entwined with each other and mingle seamlessly with ease, the bass here is subtle but perfection.
“Self Seeking Self” is such a deep and moving piece that starts in an almost dream like way, one could almost visualise a scene of a meeting of minds and a combination of self-realization, quiet beautiful indeed.
“Just a Moment” has to be one of my favourites off the album, there is such a slow and delicate build to this piece, that’s enhanced with such panache, with the piano and synths, creating such a delightful combination of melody, it is a truly moving composition that is quite addictive.
“Repose” is the next piece, this track has a delightful ambience to it that floats like a late autumn mist around your senses. It may only be just over two minutes long, but in my view I could listen to an hour of this track alone.
As we slip into the second half of the album, we are greeted by another track of ambient perfection; it’s the title track, “A Better Place”. Perhaps we can see a thread that we have followed from the previous composition develop here, the energy of this piece is somewhat similar, but has a more astral and angelic feel to it and truly feels like one has ascended to new level entirely. This is a total winner.
We move on to a composition called “Soliloquy”. The act of speaking ones thoughts aloud and being proud to do so is upon us. This is a short piece, which in this case is apt and the lightness of this song lifts the energies of uncertainty and doubt. Short but incredibly sweet.
We move onto “Reassurance” with a melody that is so memorable, I defy you not to hum or whistle along with it.
“Quiet Certainty” is the next soothing offering; the gentle layers in this piece are absolutely gorgeous to listen to over and over again.
Now for a determined little track called “Dust Yourself Off”. This is the longest piece on the album at just over eight minutes, in fact it is almost like a suite all of its own. Stribling has created a masterpiece here and you can’t help but get carried along with the narrative, in fact the arrangement is such, that you feel you are in the story yourself and can see the struggle, the falls and the victories, but above all else the determination to drive onwards, a marvellous track indeed.
The penultimate track of the album is called “Time for Bed Sweetheart”. You can almost sing the title to the melody on this one. The mood is very slow and the keyboards draw a veil over the day’s proceedings, there is also a certain element in the piece that seems to be musically summing up the day. Towards the end it even obtains a grandness and power to the composition that brings such a level of depth and emotion to the piece, it is truly moving.
Michael now goes on to sum the album up with an almost cheeky little number called “Ever Onward”. The light refrain here is almost a little Jazzy at times and a little Celtic thrown in for good measure perhaps, a clever way to leave the album.
Michael Stribling and the album A Better Place is a breath of fresh air for the new age music industry, it’s an album that contains great music, great narrative, it’s deep when it needs to be and fun and light when required, all in all this is one of the most enjoyable albums of this genre I have heard for quite some time, a thoroughly recommended recording.
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