Steven Halpern

Spectrum Suite

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Spectrum Suite can be marked as the album that began the New Age music movement. (Okay, so Tony Scott's Music for Zen Meditation preceded it by eleven years.) With this album, Steven Halpern introduced free-form music, melodies not tied to a discernable rhythm pattern. The mind, once freed of rhythmic anticipation, can then relax. The album is divided into two parts: side one covers the colors of the light spectrum, which Halpern says are linked to a musical key (of which there are seven, not counting sharps and flats); the second half includes five pieces about light radiance, rainbows, and attunement. On the first half, Halpern uses the clarion-like electric piano exclusively. You'll hear many lovely harmonies, octaves played one atop another to build vibrations, and embellishments that will inspire you to ex-haaaale. (Undoubtedly, this album has been played in more massage sessions than any other.) On the more fanciful second half, Halpern adds the acoustic piano, synthesizers, drones, and an electric flute played by fellow New Age music pioneer Iasos. One can take the colors to another level: most seem to think that visualizing the colors of the spectrum and listening to the music in the correct key will help energize and balance the body's energy centers, called chakras. More than a historical treasure, Spectrum Suite still radiates magic. It's timeless.

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