“Threshold” is the debut album from Crystalline Dream, a meditative musical project by multi-instrumentalist Richard Ross. Comprised of eleven tracks spanning fifty minutes, Richard provides an array of flutes, chimes, gongs, Tibetan prayer bells, piano and synthesizer, as well as percussive instruments. Musician Korey Ross also lends touches of both acoustic and electric guitars.

“Threshold” opens the album with low drones and velvety tones, creating a spacious atmosphere full of warmth and light. Subtle shades of pastel are further colorized by gentle flute and chimes, as faint angelic voices emerge forth like sunlight peering through a morning fog. This paradisal quality continues into the next track, "Ethereal Gauze", a mysterious piece characterized by gentle bells and electro-organic textures which evoke the quietude of nature. "Solar Flight" employs gentle keyboard textures, sparse melodies and relaxing drones, as gauzy timbres impart an ethereal quality alongside the composition's more grounding tones. "Evensong" possesses both an underpinning of Celtic nuance and Eastern mysticism, accompanied by subtle chimes, melodic flute and minimal guitar strokes. Harp sounds also lend a Celtic whim to "Inner Peace", a composition that imparts a sense of fantasy wrapped in pure peace. My favorite composition on the album is perhaps "West Wind", where shimmering gossamer textures seem to mimic a light rain-shower as the breeze of a flute dances about like leaves in the wind. A three-part medley ensues, beginning with "Crystalline Dream 1", which opens with the sound of meditative gongs. The mood brightens a bit on "Crystalline Dream 2", with its delicate bells and softly emerging synthesizers conveying pastoral images of natural landscape. Darker tones emerge on "Crystalline Dream 3" along with the added touch of an exotic flute, conjointly alluding to a sacred temple hidden deep in the mists. Another personal favorite is "Borealis", where Tibetan bells and rain-sticks are accentuated by dual flute melodies. Closing out this peaceful journey is a reprise of "Threshold", which concludes the album in an uplifting spirit of subtle motion like clouds moving slowly across the sky.

With its deeply relaxing soundscapes akin to Deuter or Liquid Mind, “Threshold” provides the perfect backdrop for escaping to a place of pure tranquility and inner reflection. Given my own background of working in the Spa industry, I would highly recommend this album as a most wonderful companion for massage and energy work, as well as for any number of other mind-body healing and relaxation therapies. ~Candice Michelle

Buy this Album: CDBaby, Amazon, iTunes

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