Voices from Heaven is a disc from Runar Halonen and Tron Syversen that purports to promote healing and, as just the first few minutes of the long three cuts wash over me, laving ears, lightening spirit, engaging intellect, and relaxing somatics and perceptics, I very much believe it. And, sigh!, I'll probably get booted from the Critic's Cynical Beer Hall And Ego Trounce Collegium, but I hafta confess that I, too, was once a healer (still am…occasionally), interned in holistic medicine via biokinesic applications from John F. Thie's classic Touch for Health volume. My mentor in downtwon L.A., now gone on to her transition, was a woman astonishingly adept in muscle testing and applied kinesics. She cured my 27-year affliction of asthma in 1-1/2 months, granting me a vastly more enabled life (asthma's an incredible pain in the ass). So unusually savvy was her methodology and acumen that, following a late 70s participation in a Whole Life Expo at the L.A. Convention Center, Buckminster Fuller, the guest of honor and a gentleman of wisdom, had wanted to visit the clinic and investigate my mentor's low-key acclaim but, alas, found himself sabotaged by prior engagements. Bucky, grandson of American Transcendentalist Margaret Fuller, was interested in everything, and it was, after all, by his own words, a stellar voice which had spoken to him as he contemplated suicide at age 32, and thus healed him, changed his life, and ours, forever. The reparation of wounds comes from many sources.
I've been an adamant advocate of holistics since my asthma was defenestrated and haven't seen an AMA doctor in well over 30 years. With luck, save for a broken limb or somesuch, I never will again. Finding myself rightly overawed by the modern application of old and sometimes ancient sciences otherwise sabotaged by corporate megalomaniacs and various vicious mercantilists, I've looked into a wide array of alternative healing methods. Doing so, being a music lover, it took little to convince me that sonics can be quite important to wellbeing. I, however, differ from such catholicized conservatives as John Diamond and his aery-faery peers and aver that ALL musics heal in one fashion or another…yes, even heavy metal (sorry 'bout that, holistic Republicans, I'll do my penance some other time).
Voices from Heaven most definitely hits on profoundly more elemental levels than, say, Black Sabbath or Amon Amarth—metal is, after all, little more than rebellious nervous surface manifestation antagonized by post-Industrial Revolution pollutants (yet oooooh so satsifying!)—and addresses, I think, though neither musician on this CD explicitly says so, from the level of the minutest cellular tier on up to the farthest reaches of soaring pineal chakra extension, everything in between benefitting in allocated measure. Runar Halonen is the vocal melismatic of the pair—a phylum of more oceanic David Hykes I think you could say—while Syversen (here) is the keyboardist. The two work hand in glove to immerse the listener in infra- and extraterrestrial planes, uniting a good deal more than just somatics and energetics but also the knots and kinks in reincarnatorial tracelines (there is, after all, a good deal more than the here-and-now involved in human life, as even Shakespeare averred).
Artistically, I suspect coinciding affinities with the mellifluous side of Klaus Schulze, Baffo Banfi, Robert Schroeder, and other synthesists as well as mellow-siding space musicians (Xisle, etc.) will attract progrockers and similar adventurous spirits to bathe in the opiate waters of this disc. There's a good deal more, intelligent listeners know, to music than the sturm und drang of heavysiding, which indeed heals but on a far more carnal level. Voices dives literal miles beneath all that, pushes gently aside the artificial frenetics and urgencies to re-cement each individual to his or her fundament. One could, and probably will, easily fall deliriously asleep to this work and still have the subtle effects work their magic despite.
Wanna know where all this started? It was Gregorian chant…except the version of chant that resembled Voices rarely got the chance to manifest itself in proper fashion, even with the glorious misfit de Machaut. Cats like Halonen and Syversen are making up for that—belatedly, sure, but that's no fault of theirs, everything on this idiotic planet is staledated by centuries, and artists, like justice, can only wake sentient beings in their own time. Still, holistics, medicinals, spiritualisms, whatever, all that matters, as Oscar Wilde put it and as Schopenhauer would agree, is bad or good art. This is very good art, but one must possess at least a rudimentary sense of aural capacity and variance to know that.
And then, of course, there's the sensualist approach. Play this music as background ambience to your next liaison with a lover, and I guarantee the outcome will be more than satisfactory. Certain creations lend themselves to the erotic: John Klemmer's Barefoot Ballet, The Necks' Sex, and a variety of hedonistic CDs not all that unlike this one when one considers them. As the Tubes astutely inquired in their Remote Control period: "What do you want from life?" Answer that question and you're already halfway home.
Okay, now was this review sufficiently unorthodox to unhinge even Milarepa or what?
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2014, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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