Golana,
Feather on the Wind
(Oginali, 2000)

Nature's lullaby drifts through your consciousness like a feather on the wind in this spiritually pleasing selection of songs by Native American flutist Golana. Even if this isn't your usual music, the whispers of Golana's flute will speak volumes to you.

Californian Scott Cunningham (Golana) did not grow up on a reservation; however, his Cherokee heritage surfaces in his music, love for nature and spiritual beliefs. Golana's appreciation for these treasures comprise the essence of his music.

Once Golana's "Closer to You" begins its mournful hum in your ear, you will feel yourself be spirited from the real world to a world of peace and harmony that's ripe for meditation. "All Good Medicine" provides yet another dose of reflective daydreaming, but adds the pulse of a hand drum. Golana elects to praise life with the song of another in "Alleluia," written by Jerry Sinclair.

Perhaps my favourite track on this CD is H. Scott Hartley's "Mojave Morning," which shimmers with sunshine and ripples with the river, although it's an extremely tough choice. After morning wanes, "Soft Winds" rise in another one of the six songs composed by Golana for this disc. As the winds soar at heights beyond our realm, Golana takes us to a higher place of understanding in "Above the Sky," co-written with Armen Chakmakian, a contemporary jazz keyboardist formerly with Shadowfax.

Diving down to earth, the place of his Native American roots, Golana takes us along on a sentimental journey in "Grandfather's Way," an original composition. "Farewell," written by new age recording artist Michael Hoppe, sings a melancholy tune of regret and sorrow that evokes deep reflection of life. "As Long as the Waters Run," another sure-to-be favourite song, breathes a soft sigh of hope into our musical meditations and resurrects the image of a wind whistling across the plains. "Walks Alone Man" doesn't work as a title for me, because this beautiful song is so full of images -- dancing reeds, jumping fish, stars shining, crickets chirping, swaying trees, buffalo and more -- that I wonder if anyone is ever really alone when surrounded by nature. Perhaps, this is what Golana is trying to get at. For his finale, via Suzanne Doucet's "Feather on the Wind," a floating, swirling melody, Golana takes us on one last spiritual quest before we are left with just the thoughts that his music inspired.

New age music fans may wish to note that composers Michael Hoppe, H. Scott Hartley and Suzanne Doucet not only contribute songs, but appear along with Golana on the album.

Through his talent and passion, Golana has captured the wind, and makes it sing and dance for your enjoyment in Feather on the Wind.

[ by Lynne Remick ]



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