Annette Cantor

Songs to the Earth

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German-born singer Annette Cantor, now a resident of New Mexico, fuses several different musical traditions into the new age music heard on her album Songs to the Earth, which is subtitled "music for meditation and healing." In her vocals, she calls on Gregorian chant, sometimes even singing religiously oriented words in Latin, other times wordless ululations. The singing in itself combines a Middle Ages European sound with tones of traditional Native American music and the music of Asia Minor, particularly Tibetan monks. The accompaniment, spare as it is, echoes all of these elements. Michael Kott plays cello, bringing in the European influence; Patrick Shendo-Mirabal plays Native American flute; and percussionists Mark Clark, Mike Chavez, and Gregory Gutin alternately play in sounds and rhythms reminiscent of American Indians and Indian Indians. Cantor has discovered the similarities in her musical influences, notably the austere quality they share. There is a sense of seriousness that reflects on what the music is intended to deliver the listener from, be it disease or stress. Cantor alludes to her own process of "deep healing" in a sleeve note, reinforcing the sense that the music is meant to accompany a passage from darkness to light, spiritually and physically.

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