Michael Brant DeMaria, PH.D, is a recent Grammy Nominee making the news lately. Likewise, our recent interview together gave many people an in-depth look into the life of a clinical psychologist, composing musician, poet, author, and dedicator of his Healing Sound Series.
Knowing Michael better now, it’s clear to me his music is an instrumental model in itself, much like his art, books, and poetry, all of which have acquired U.S. recognition, along with international acceptance in Australia, Europe, Russia, and other parts of the world.
In his psychotherapy practice, Dr. DeMaria created ONTOS (Greek for Being) to help people live more meaningful and effective lives by ambient music interwoven as relaxation therapy. I feel The Series can be perceived much like a form of cognitive conditioning, becoming an audible portion of his personal inner message by design, helping one acquire a new perspective and begin a refreshing journey on a path to wellness through calming music.
The River first began the Healing Sound Series, with Ocean his second project based on over 25 years of personal and professional research in the fundamental principals of sonic healing techniques. Ocean was conceived to help hurricane survivors much like himself, begin anew and return to a more peaceful existence.
Where our rivers are a beginning source during their natural paths across the landscape, The River by Michael Brant DeMaria is like a template to discover a new direction, if even for a single day. In addition, while help customarily arrives in the form of understanding words from this highly educated man during his medical practice, Michael’s healing music has a similar philosophy. It is where gentle curves in The River now become the stimulus equivalent for discovering a natural direction in which to travel.
Siyotanka is the third story based narrative that won a Native American Music Award in the Native Heart category, and placed him on the Grammy ballot for Best Native American Music Album, also retaining the # 1 position on ZMR Top 100 charts in December 2009. “The River is an album dedicated to all who listen from the heart” are words Michael used to analyze this first in series. More than familiar with his music, I find this a true description of his work.
Descriptive song titles likewise assist in what you will hear on The River, which relies on Native American Flutes, keyboards, piano, and indigenous percussion to form the reservoir, rising momentum, and infiltrating sunbeams heard in beginning ambient songs First Light, The River & Sunlight.
Journeying is one of the more intriguing songs to me, having a rhythmic percussion and keyboard enhanced xylophone effect that paints a serene picture.
When left to the imagination, Journeying places one in a forest habitat, residing right beside gently lapping water’s edge in a restful moment of singular, peaceful solitude.
The Rain features an indigenous flute solo while a thunderstorm’s echoing claps can be heard in the distance as if releasing every negative thought from afar.
The imagery of light water droplets dispersing transform to create a colorful sunset at dusk, leading into piano and woodwinds calming sounds in a quiet Night Fall.
Moderate keyboard sequences, along with single touches on the piano keys treble octaves make positive reflections in Moonlight & Stillness lightly glow by their conforming ambient phrasing, while indigenous woodwinds direct a more solemn indication to denote the threshold hour of Midnight.
The River’s 10 song origins instinctively find a natural pathway to The Sea where most rivers lead. In comparison to seas partially confined and bound by land, Michael’s directive of these rivers hope to point towards a new concept releasing everyone’s unlimited potential, in relation to the vast open horizons observed in our five greater oceans.
Visit ontos.org here and then sample / purchase on his music page, or CDBaby.com page. Read our interview on our page dedicated to Michael Brant DeMaria. Picture copyright Bigstockphoto.com – WizData.