This album speaks of a journey that these very special people are taking with us. It is a journey that starts with a simple introduction that leads to a conversation and ends with the metamorphosis of that conversation into a formless beautiful piece of music that contains elements of us all. This CD has been about two years in the making and includes a rare and awesome group of collaborators and friends. They are among our most admired artists and composers and we are thrilled beyond belief to have worked with them to bring you this album.


In 2015, Al and Andy released their album, Surrounding Sky, a collection of 13 ambient and meditational tunes. Surrounding Sky provides beautifully pure ambient landscapes for meditation and relaxation. Diverse and unique instrumentation create a heartfelt and intimate experience. Most recently, this CD was nominated as best Ambient CD of 2015 by ZMR and best New Age CD of 2015 by the One World Music Awards.
It has also received excellent international airplay and reviews.

Surrounding Sky

Al and Andy were honored to have Desert Light be named Best Relaxation/Meditation Album of 2014 by the ZMR music awards in New Orleans. The music of Desert Light was inspired by the spaciousness of America's Southwestern deserts. This tone poem conveys both the intimacy and the grand scale of desert lands. Creating a trancelike calm, this album transports the listener to a meditative space.
We are very fortunate again to include the talents of our good friend Arthur Durkee on piano and Chapman stick. He is also the composer of Shapes and Light, cut two on the CD.
This music can also be heard as the soundtrack to Liquid Crystal Gallery's Desert Light from the fine arts series DVD. http://www.liquidcrystalgallery.com .  The DVD features beautiful photographs by Arthur Durkee that gently change and morph over time. We were taken with the video produced by Arthur and were inspired to start writing music that would support the beautiful imagery.

Music of the Earth, their third album, was nominated by the ZMR music awards for best electronic album of 2013. It finished the year at number 7 in airplay for their genre nationally. This album, unlike their others happened very quickly. Sparked by stunning new instruments, a period of great inspiration followed. These songs belong together and they sound like it. "The production paradigm has changed many times during the duration of our work together" said Mitran in a recent interview. "Al and I have spent considerable time and energy chasing the bleeding edge of technology. While not always easy or comfortable, the possibilities created by the amazing evolution of our instruments are too delicious not to chase'. "Our tools are virtually indistinguishable from magic", Jewer added.


Their 2010 release Japanese Gardens is music from the Liquid Crystal Gallery video of the same name and represents Andy and Al's deepest ambient music to date.


Their first album, Two Trees, was released in 2003 with very strong critical acclaim and airplay to go with it. Debuting at number four on the national new age radio charts and finishing in the top one percent of national airplay that year, Al and Andy became known for exceptional world and ambient music. They enlisted David Darling on cello and Vinny Zummo on guitar to help make their debut truly special.

Al Jewer's second solo CD, River Crossing, was released in 2005 and has met with strong international airplay and great response from the New Age, Meditation and Body Work communities. Featuring 21 original pieces on 21 different flutes, it is a spiritual journey in sound rendered by a master musician.

Al Jewer's first solo CD, Prairie Plain Song, blends beautiful flute melodies with the relaxing sounds of nature - from gentle rain to forest sounds. Featuring hand-made Native American flutes, silver concert flute and the deep, mellow tones of the alto and bass flutes, Al shares his original music and his vision of tranquility with nature. Perfect for relaxation, meditation Tai Chi or massage.

Al and Andy caught the attention of producers at The Oprah Winfrey Show in late 2004 and started composing hundreds of pieces that helped create Oprah's "Harpo Sounds" music library. 


The guys started composing ambient music for release in their upcoming four DVD Fine Art Series from Liquid Crystal Gallery. The ambient video series was produced in 2006 through 2009. They enlisted the help of long time friend and composer/videographer Arthur Durkee for stunning nature photography and beautifully constructed video montage, that when combined with their ambient music created video that was like having an art gallery in your home. Gently changing and moving over time the video creates a tranquil,  peaceful atmosphere perfect for spas, hotels, and hospitals. 
http://www.liquidcrystalgallery.com



Having helped Harpo Productions build their production library, Al and Andy also started writing new music for television and film and launched their own production music library. In 2011 Perfect Choice Music Library was created. Their library currently boasts over 13,000 mixes that are instantly available for download through their custom interface developed for the web.
http://www.perfectchoicemusic.com

Session Photos

Candice Michelle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transmigration is the product of our collaboration with extraordinarily talented friends. An eloquent and diverse musical journey in celebration of friendship and transformation.

Surrounding Sky

Surrounding Sky provides beautifully pure ambient landscapes for meditation and relaxation. Diverse and unique instrumentation create a heartfelt and intimate experience.

Desert Light is inspired by the spaciousness of America's Southwestern deserts. This stunning tone poem conveys both the intimacy and the grand scale of desert lands.

Music of the Earth is dramatic ambient music that's both spacious and intimate. Coming together in a time of great creativity and inspiration, this album captures a special moment in time. This is Al Jewer and Andy Mitran's third release.

Music from the Japanese Gardens, A Walk In Serenity DVD. Original, deep and relaxing ambient music.

Al and Andy's debut release, featuring guest appearances from David Darling, Vinnie Zummo, Arthur Durkee and Jaymes Finlayson.

We are joined by celebrated musicians who helped us craft an album greater than the sum of it's parts. Joyfully original and relaxing, this instrumental music is an honest celebration of brotherhood through music.

As the first release in the LCG Fine Arts Series, A Day in the Natural World takes you on a relaxing journey through nature from sunrise to starry night.

Experience a visual meditation as you pass through several beautiful Japanese gardens. All original deep ambient music composed for the DVD.

Beautiful Southwest desert scenes and incredible abstract land forms provide a reverant and relaxing experience. Original open and spacious ambient music perfectly complements these amazing images.

Both colorful and intimate, the beauty of flowers presented through the colors of the rainbow. Soothing and intimate music sets the stage for peaceful relaxation.

 

 

 

 

 

In 2000 Al Jewer made an appearance on WGN Television's Bozo Super Sunday Show. It was the longest running children's television show in history. Al was there to play Native American flute for a music segment on the show. The host of that segment was Andy Mitran who played Professor Andy, a cast member and one-man-band on the show for fourteen years until it finally went off the air in 2001. Al was invited back to the show when he and Andy decided to get together and write a tune at Andy's recording studio. They performed an improvisation called Ritual Cave which was the first piece written for their CD Two Trees. A friendship and partnership started that has led to well over a thousand pieces of music written for albums, television, film and commercials over the years.

In 2005, Al and Andy were approached by The Oprah Winfrey Show to start writing music for the show.  While producing music for Oprah, they became inspired to create their own production music library. Since then they have released six CDs and four DVDs of original material.

What makes your stuff sound so great? - There are three things we like to think contribute to how great our finished product is.  The "Throw spaghetti at the wall principle",  the "better" button and the obsession hat. 

The throw spaghetti at the wall principle is pretty simple.  It starts with a lot of playing and most importantly, with a lot of erasing. For example, if we are going after a melodic flute track Al will often play through the entire piece sometimes two or three times. We will then proceed to erase ninety percent of it until we have the select few jewels of performance that remain. It's very similar to a sculptor chipping away the unwanted rock to find the masterpiece within. 

We refer to the delete key as the "better" button. The more we use it the better our music seems to become. It's often said that it's not the notes you play that make the music great, it's the ones you don't. We believe in these principles wholeheartedly and apply them every chance we get.

We also have something we call the obsession hat.  On our first session together, we wrote a tune that would make it on to our first album, Two Trees. The piece was called Ritual Cave and during that session we learned something about each other. We are both really neurotic about our production process. There is a point in the piece where all the instruments kind of dissolve and diminish leading to a single bell sound. It wasn't until about four hours had passed of auditioning different bells, layering them together in different combinations and blending them that we realized that neither of us minded taking that kind of time to get it right, even for a simple single event like this. It was clear that from that point forward that we were going to write a lot of music together. Very soon after, we designated the obsession hat. Very simply, whomever puts on the hat during a session has the right to spend as much time on a specific part of the production as he wants.  Make no mistake, though, the obsession hat can appear at any point in the composing process.

What inspires you? -  New tools and sounds can be a real inspiration. We always say there are songs waiting for us in the instruments. That's one of the main reasons we stay on the "bleeding" edge of technology. It increases our reach as composers and is a powerful source of inspiration. I just finished a killer new funk tune and it happened because I was poking around a new funk clavinet synth we have had for a while but hadn't checked out yet. I started hearing some of the sounds and the rest of the piece came together in my mind instantly. Then it was just a matter of performing the tracks and mixing. That tune never would have been created if we didn't have that synth to explore. It is great fun to be inspired this way.

The most relaxing piece of music ever. - The very last selection on Surrounding Sky is arguably one of the most relaxing pieces of music on the planet. It is called Smoke. It is a simple duet consisting of piano and a three chamber drone ocarina.
How do we know this? It became clear to us during our tracking session. Al had just finished recording his wonderful ocarina part and it was time for me to record my piano part. It was about 2 AM and we were in the home stretch of the session. We set our levels and monitoring and Al started recording. I felt really good about what I was playing as it was going down and was taking really long pauses as were demanded by the track. I was really settling into this pass. The next thing I knew I was startled as I jostled myself awake. I had fallen stone asleep! I had hoped that Al hadn't noticed what had happened but when I looked through the window at him he was laughing pretty hard. My secret was out. Humiliated but determined I stuck with the performance and finished out the tune. Afterward, we went in and erased the rustling sounds made during my abrupt wake up. The rest of the track was great, we kept it all.
It says a lot about the level of relaxation in a piece of music when the performers lose consciousness while playing it. Use this as a word of caution! It is strongly advised not to operate heavy machinery while listening to Surrounding Sky, especially the most relaxing cut ever, Smoke.

Surrounding Sky by Al Jewer & Andy Mitran
Article by Michael Diamond

December 9, 2015
Album: Surrounding Sky
Artists: Al Jewer and Andy Mitran
Website: www.al-jewer-and-andy-mitran.com

Surrounding Sky

While many recording artists in the new age genre craft their musical masterpieces in solitude, others prefer the team approach to writing and recording. Andy Mitran and Al Jewer are among the latter, having been musical partners for about 15 years. In that time the dynamic duo created 4 CD’s and 4 DVD’s, which have generated numerous awards and nominations. In 2004 they were approached by producers of the Oprah Winfrey Show to contribute music to their production library, which lead to them composing hundreds of pieces that helped create Oprah’s “Harpo Sounds” music library. From there Andy and Al began composing music for film and TV as well as launching their own Perfect Choice Music Library which now contains over 12,000 mixes.

Having met and spent time with them both at the ZMR Awards in New Orleans earlier this year, where their Desert Light album won Best Relaxation/Meditation Album, I can say that in addition to being successful producers and recording artists, they are both incredibly nice people, and quite down to earth despite the celestial nature of the music they create. The story of how they met and began working together is interesting and dates back to the year 2000. At that time, Andy, who is now a 5 time Emmy winner, was a cast member, one-man band, and the host on a segment of a long-running children’s TV show. Al, a classically trained musician and producer with over 40 commercial releases to his credit was there to play Native American flute for a music segment on the show. As a professed electronic music gear geek, Andy couldn’t help but notice the awesome hi-tech audio rig that Al had brought and masked behind a piece of fabric. Andy invited Al back to his studio to write a tune where an enduring and productive partnership was born.

Andy with Moog

They are both quick to admit that part of the glue that holds this team together is their mutual obsession (they call it neurosis) over the smallest details in the recording process. At that first session, the pair spent four hours trying to find the perfect single bell sound to begin and end the piece with. The fact that they were both fine with this extreme attention to detail made them realize that they could definitely work together. According to Andy: “Al and I are both really neurotic about our music and our process. Our superpowers as a team are mixing, mastering and building great rigs. Firstly though, we are music nerds. There is also an incredible trust we have developed in each other over the 15 or so years we have worked together. We have this arrangement that if one of us is really unhappy about a thing we will dump it because we have come to trust that there are five other alternatives that will work equally well for both of us. This simple agreement allows us to transcend the normal roadblocks that some collaborators encounter.

In our interview, Al shared this about their latest project together: “Surrounding Sky completes a journey into deep ambient that Andy and I began with Music of the Earth and continued with Desert Light. It’s been a great exploration of this genre that we’re so fond of. We have again stretched out with new sounds and new, interesting timbres. I particularly like the variety on this CD, I think we cover a lot of musical ground.” To this Andy adds: “I’m also very pleased with the sonic textures we have developed for these pieces. One of our secret weapons is the triple chamber drone ocarina that Al is playing on some of these pieces.” More on this “secret weapon” later.

Right from the beginning of the first track entitled “Oracle,” the listener is drawn into a serene shimmering soundscape that perfectly reflects the photo of the ethereal Aurora Borealis on the album cover. While Al is well known for his beautiful playing on flute and electronic woodwind instrument, on the next song, “Butterfly,” he also plays EBow guitar. For those who may not be familiar, the EBow is a handheld electronic device that creates infinite sustain when held over electric guitar strings. The effect can be quite haunting, as it is in this song along with Andy’s atmospheric synthesizers, subtle hand percussion, and chimes. After only two songs with eyes closed, I had to check to make sure my feet were still on the ground and I hadn’t drifted off into the ozone.

Al playing Native American flute
Al playing Native American flute

However, an interesting shift towards a somewhat earthier ambience occurs on “Dawn,” the third track. Here Al accompanies Andy’s delicate harp playing with silver flutes and Native American flute. I enjoyed the change up and appreciated the diversity in their music and the many instruments they are both accomplished on. I must say though, that while this piece has a different feel than the preceding ones, it fit perfectly and maintained the album’s gentle flow. The innovation continues on the next track, “Morning Light” as special guest Arthur Durkee adds Japanese shakuhachi flute to the dreamy mix of Tibetan singing bowls, synthesizers, piano, and bass.

The harmonious combining of unlikely elements abounds within the tracks of Surrounding Sky. A good example is on “The World Beyond,” with the juxtaposition of Native American flute and the tampura, a stringed East Indian drone instrument that generally accompanies a sitar, adding a hypnotic and mystical dimension to the music. Another unusual bit of audio alchemy is found on “Traveling,” where along with Andy on marimba, synth, and hand percussion, as well as Al’s electronic woodwind, Arthur Durkee plays a Chapman Stick – an electronic instrument in the guitar family, with either 10 or 12 strings that are tapped with both hands. This piece has a bit more of a rhythmic component than other tracks.

Andy & Al w/ John Diliberto of Echoes radio
Andy & Al w/ John Diliberto of Echoes radio

From there, the remaining 6 tracks provide a continuous flow of expansive soundscapes that recall the classic sound of Hearts of Space and Echoes radio programs. Titles like “Levels Of Peace,” “Regeneration,” and “Suspended” give a good idea of the vibe of the music. They say there is a first time for everything, and for me, hearing ambient ocarina was one of them. In a style very different from the instrument’s traditional usage, Al played long extended notes with lush reverb and effects that perfectly complimented the spaciousness of the track. I couldn’t agree more with Andy when he says: “Surrounding Sky employs some breathtaking spatial relationships.”

The final track, “Smoke,” integrates the triple chamber drone ocarina mentioned earlier, on a track they call their “most relaxing cut ever.” Along with Andy’s ambient piano, the piece makes use of space more than any track on the album. It reminded me of the vastness of the universe and the unimaginable distance between celestial objects. Al’s background as a Reiki master and teacher as well as a sound healer using flutes is evident in the energy and sensitivity he brings to his wind instruments, as well as the electronic atmospheres he creates. I also appreciated the openness of Andy’s piano playing, allowing for room to breathe between notes.

Among the many things that impressed me was the fact that although there is diversity on the album, overall it maintains a cohesiveness that makes it feel like a complete body of work. According to Andy: “This album is very pure and is one of our most focused in terms of genre. It falls squarely in the ambient, meditation/relaxation, and electronic genres.” To which Al adds: “I also love the healing nature of ambient music.” I was greatly impressed by the expansive array of instruments that were used and the unique ways in which they were blended by this pair of gifted recording artists. I found that listening with headphones gave me a greater appreciation of the subtle nuances as well as the dimensionality of their soundscapes. Surrounding Sky is a masterpiece of ambient space music that I can’t recommend highly enough to fans of the genre.

 

Tell me about the whiskerina, I've never heard of it.
The whiskerina is a beautiful wind instrument that can be tuned to various pitches. It is very easy to play and seems to appear on most of our albums. We start with a bottle of our favorite scotch, next we tune (drain) to the desired pitch, roll the track and play. Continue to drain until the perfect pitch is achieved. Tuning is tricky, though. If you tune too much you have to start over with a new bottle. This can significantly slow down or end your session.

 

The Transmigration Story
One thing that I can say for sure is that this album wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the ZMR awards and the wonderful community of artists that it has brought together. Al and I had the pleasure of being nominated for Best Electronic Album for our 2013 album Music of the Earth. At that time neither of us had heard of ZMR. We were honored to be nominated but truthfully a little skeptical. We have been kissed by many frogs on our road together. We decided to go to New Orleans and cautiously check it out that year. We walked into something wonderful and unexpected, a community of artists, many of whom we had admired for many years. We were warmly welcomed and like a kid who has had too much sugar, got really over-stimulated. But when the buzz started to subside we realized how special this group of people really were and how lucky we were to be invited into it. We are ever grateful and wish to thank Ben Dugas and Daryl Portier (the founders of ZMR) for convening this amazing group.

We are big fans of Miriam Stockley and have been for years. We found out that she was going to be in New Orleans for the Awards in 2014. We contacted her to see if we could have a brief conversation sometime during that weekend. Al and I have always wanted to work with her and hoped to invite her to do so. There was a nominee reception the night before the ceremony and we had the pleasure of meeting Miriam and her husband Rod Houison (who is an incredible audio engineer and has the best stories ever) as soon as we arrived. The five minutes we asked her for turned into the entire evening. It was like meeting very old friends for the first time. We quickly found that it was the same with everyone we met that weekend. We met Fiona Joy, Lisa downing, Sherry Finzer, Ricky Kej and his beautiful new wife Varsha, Jeff Oster , Randy and Pam Copus, Seay Harshaw Delgado and her husband Jules, Steven Halpern and David Helpling just to name a few. It wasn't just the artists though; we felt that same connection with Renee' Blanche, Donna Jo Thornton and Beth Ann Hilton. The next year our record Desert Light was nominated and won for Best Relaxation/Meditation album and we met more wonderful people, Jonn Serrie, David Lanz and his lovely new awesomely talented wife Kristen Amarie, Jeff Pearce, Paul Avgerinos, Darlene Koldenhoven, Vito Gregoli, Kimberly Haynes, Michael Diamond, Neil Tatar, Carl Weingarten, Kori Carothers, Candice Michelle, Mary Bartlein, RJ Lannan, and Bill Binkelman. I'm sorry for the long list but every one of these people treated Al and I so well we will never forget and always be grateful.

So thank you ZMR and thank you for helping to make this wonderful album possible. We'll see you this May for another fantastic weekend and a continuation of our Transmigration.
You can check out and buy the music at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aljewerandandymitran

 

 

Al & Andy accepting award for Best Ambient CD of 2015 for Surrounding Sky at the ZMR Awards in New Orleans

Surrounding Sky
Al Jewer and Andy Mitran
Laughing Cat Records
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aljewerandymitran

Surrounding Sky is the follow up to Al Jewer and Andy Mitran's critically-acclaimed 2014 release, Desert Light. Even more rooted in the ambient genre than its predecessor, the duo still retains elements of Native American fusion music (via Jewer's flutes) but here the emphasis is definitely on more spacious musical portraits, incorporating not just flutes and keyboards, but ebow guitar, electronic woodwind, piano, percussion, and other instruments. The result is an excursion into expansive sonic landscapes that carry the listener along effortlessly. The album's music mirrors the cover's arctic sky aglow with northern lights, beauty colored with haunting, subtle majesty.

Bill Binkelman
Retailing Insight magazine

 

ZMR Header

RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board

Surrounding Sky
By Al Jewer and Andy Mitran
Label: Laughing Cat Records

Released 10/6/2015

Set the Wayback machine, Sherman...

We may need a time machine to appreciate this music. For this expansive, breathtaking soundscape is forged in a time before men beat iron and copper together to form modern tools. It comes from a place where massive herds of animals roam the plains shaking the earth like thunder. It is lodged in an era when the sky was so vast and so high that man could only dream of touching it. Surrounding Sky is the combined ambient efforts of Al Jewer and Andy Mitran, two ZMR award winning musicians that offer atmospheric poignancy to the musical scenery. Building upon their success of two previous and widely accepted albums, Desert Light and Music of the Earth, they capture a timeless voice that is ingrained in the mountains, the valleys and the frozen tundra of the planet. This is the sound of the earth.

There is no deep, dark cave. No Pythic mysteries here. The Oracle in the opening track is the turning of the earth. It is the miracle of night and day, sun and moon. Every night darkness comes and promises light. Every dawn promises a time to rest, the night. The music resonates somewhere between warmth and coolness, but it is in balance. There is one thing that this music has in common with the ancient oracles. It opens a channel to talk to the Gods.

Opening with an echo of Native American flute by Al Jewer, the tune The World Beyond is meditative and calming. The drifting nature of the music lets your mind wander over the landscape. You see, or better yet, sense the world from a different viewpoint. One not using your eyes, but your heart and soul. You sense the colors of peace, the cessation of time and the gift of the everlasting.

Traveling features the Chapman Stick of Arthur Durkee, an addition that gives it a comforting, harmonious overtone. As in the previous track, it is not just a matter of moving the corporeal being from one place to another. It is the spirit allowing the freedom to do so and that comes from within. As an aside, it seems to me that the album has a deliberate sense of continuity and I liked it for that. The next track is called Levels of Peace, a much sought after condition that is the quest of every being on this planet. The cadence slows to a heartbeat, the music minimalistic, the drone a warm background. Mitran's simple piano melody is blissfully unobtrusive, yet intricately dulcet. If there was ever a time when mankind needed peace, this is it.

It was dark in my mountain sky. The stars cold and distant. But then a glow came from the east and in minutes I saw a beautiful Moonrise. A shy, white cap at first, but then the sphere grew. A dip in the mountain range before me gave a quick glimpse of the light that was soon to come. The selenium light finally grew to a full, rounded entity and it beamed down and to give my world a bluish cast that was otherworldly. I went outside to witness the marvel and I felt as if I was in another dimension. One of coolness and clarity. I stayed for as long as I could.

Of all the thirteen tracks on Surrounding Sky I have to say that Regeneration is my favorite. I knew it by its opening melody every time it came up in rotation and I hit the repeat button continuously. Every time I heard it, it put me in mind of a video I once saw of crystals growing. It starts out with no obvious movement. Then, it seems to coalesce into something vaguely solid. Then the magic begins. Tiny tendrils reach out to establish themselves and they begin to widen and solidify. The shapes come together to form an intricate web work of crystalline beauty. If we possess a shattered soul, we can regenerate as well. It takes time, of course, but also a determination of spirit not found in inanimate objects.

The final cut is called Smoke. Jewer performs the tune on a triple ocarina, its multiple voices singing softly while Mitran's piano answers in the distance. The quietude is sublime. It gives a sense that the sky is endless and we are lighter than air as we ascend with the smoke, in smoke, as smoke. We disperse, we disappear, but we have become part of the earth forever.

Surrounding Sky is one of the finest meditative albums I have ever heard. I liked all thirteen tracks. I have been playing it for some time and I will probably never take it off the MP3 player. It has become my go to album when I want a piece of tranquility in my busy world.


Rating: Excellent

 

OWM

Surrounding Sky By Al Jewer and Andy Mitran

Written by Steve Sheppard

There is a vast ambient soundscape here that I completely delight in, over the years I have listened to many albums of this nature and guise, but this one could well make its way on to my personal all-time favourite list, it is that good.

Let’s look at this release in a little more depth and I hope you will then see why I rate this album so highly. Oracle starts our meditative journey, this passionate floating slice of genius with the magical flute and sumptuous bass, creates such a delightful start to our sojourn with them both.

Luckily for us here in Cyprus, we still have two more weeks of summer and this track is absolutely idyllic, it’s called Butterfly. The keyboards magically weave a spell around my senses as the creation of a piece that so befits the butterfly that I watch outside my studio window, as it dances to the tune of this composition, in perfect harmony with nature.

We now move onto Dawn. For me and many others, this is an inspiring time of the day; in fact most of my writing is done around these hours, including this review. This is such a beautifully sensual track, that it’s musically like a petal opening for the first time on a summer’s morning in slow motion.

Quite correctly Morning Light follows the preceding composition. The sound of a Tibetan Bowl and then a deep resonating bass fill our musical hearts on this absolutely incredibly moving arrangement, it swirls in and around our very beings and one can almost see the sunrise climb so very slowly into the sky through its refrains.

The spacious and vast composition entitled The World Beyond is up next, and once more Jewer and Mitran have created a place in which to sonically bathe.

The mournful flute here is steeped in ancestral energy and manifests a sense of age and maturity in its notes, music for a journey beyond journeys perhaps?

On Back to the Heart, we have a piece that flutters in with some tempting percussion and proceeds to rumble and move with a slow intent like a distant storm on the horizon of an old day. This deeply moving arrangement creates
such a well of moods and emotions and one could easily meditate to this track alone, perhaps to connect with the heart again, the level of intensity in this piece is outstanding.

So, onto the composition, Travelling, a stunning array of instrumentation gives us a track with great movement, but in an even paced and assured way, the repetitive sense of this piece and the rhythmic percussion makes this a really addictive track to listen to.

We float now into the arms of the next song called Levels of Peace. This is one incredible composition and reminded me of Deuter on his album Reiki Hands of Light. The very ambient and free opening to this song, the careful build and progression, the delicate piano which is in perfect symbiosis with the flute made this my favourite arrangement from the album, I could listen and bathe in this ambience all day long.

Jewer and Mitran have created sheer genius here and on Moonrise, we have a track that literally pulls us skywards into the silver light of the night. I have a task for you dear reader and listener of beautiful music, find a clear dark sky filled with stars, wait for the moon to rise and then lay on your back and listen to this very composition, it’s a harmonious heaven of tones for your very own musical observatory and another favourite of mine.

Now it’s time for something slightly different, as we move to the track Regeneration. This is powerful, deep, resonating far within the emotional range of our musical muse and promotes such a great imaginative ability to manifest images from the music. The intensity builds and the piano almost teases the top of it, like sunlight on a canopy of trees, the keyboards swirl and give birth to a master track of new life and a chance again to flourish can be heard here as well, an absolutely stunning composition.

From regeneration to Transcendental, this starts in such a smooth way it’s almost deceiving, this soundscape hovers in the same way a hot summers day would over the land below, with an intent that is so powerful and all- consuming it is undeniable. The chimes added here just create another layer to this latent composition of great power and oneness, it is simply impossible to leave this dramatic offering and would surely be music for a film score of some description if there is any justice in this world, this is simply outstanding.

We now find ourselves at the last but one piece off the album, the dawn of the penultimate track is upon us and it is called Suspended. A lighter beginning can be found here, but that just expresses the desire of the music to describe the intent of the composition, as we float in bliss of this musical heaven. The waves of melody are indeed like the clouds that drift past above our heads and the sense of being part of that vast expanse suspended from above is so very real.

Our journey of outstanding natural beauty with Al Jewer and Andy Mitran must now end dear reader as we listen to the last composition off the album Surrounding Sky. Our final gift from them is called Smoke. Flute and Piano join forces as they bring us this last offering, the ambience created for this song has a real story for me, yesterday I was meditating and watching the sunlight and light breeze play with the smoke from my incense stick, this music, should I have played it, and I will, would have easily been the soundtrack for that moment.

Surrounding Sky is an album that personally moved me, it is beautiful of course, it is extremely well produced and performed, but it has the energy within it of true artistic expression and in my opinion Jewer and Mitran have created something iconic here in an album that will never grow old and if you wish to also join me in enjoying a rare moment of total musical bliss, why not make getting this album your top priority for today.

 

 


BOOKLET LINK

If you purchased the download version of Transmigration, please download the booklet with liner notes, pictures and more here...
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ae8ojfx90ffvzap/AACC6Ri0HnwK16ze259nm_xGa?dl=0

We Charted #1!

Our Story

It is with pleasure and excitement that today March 4th, 2016 that we announce the release of our newest record, Transmigration. This one has been about two years in the making and includes a rare and awesome group of collaborators and friends. They are among our most admired artists and composers and we are thrilled beyond belief to have worked with them to bring you this album.

This album speaks of a journey that these very special people are taking with us. It is a journey that starts with a simple introduction that leads to a conversation and ends with the metamorphosis of that conversation into a formless beautiful piece of music that contains elements of us all.

One thing that I can say for sure is that this album wouldn't exist if it wasn't for the ZMR awards and the wonderful community of artists that it has brought together. Al and I had the pleasure of being nominated for Best Electronic Album for our 2013 album Music of the Earth. At that time neither of us had heard of ZMR. We were honored to be nominated but truthfully a little skeptical. We have been kissed by many frogs on our road together. We decided to go to New Orleans and cautiously check it out that year. We walked into something wonderful and unexpected, a community of artists, many of whom we had admired for many years. We were warmly welcomed and like a kid who has had too much sugar, got really over-stimulated. But when the buzz started to subside we realized how special this group of people really were and how lucky we were to be invited into it. We are ever grateful and wish to thank Ben Dugas and Daryl Portier (the founders of ZMR) for convening this amazing group.

We are big fans of Miriam Stockley and have been for years. We found out that she was going to be in New Orleans for the Awards in 2014. We contacted her to see if we could have a brief conversation sometime during that weekend. Al and I have always wanted to work with her and hoped to invite her to do so. There was a nominee reception the night before the ceremony and we had the pleasure of meeting Miriam and her husband Rod Houison (who is an incredible audio engineer and has the best stories ever) as soon as we arrived. The five minutes we asked her for turned into the entire evening. It was like meeting very old friends for the first time. We quickly found that it was the same with everyone we met that weekend. We met Fiona Joy, Lisa downing, Sherry Finzer, Ricky Kej and his beautiful new wife Varsha, Jeff Oster , Randy and Pam Copus, Seay Harshaw Delgado and her husband Jules, Steven Halpern and David Helpling just to name a few. It wasn't just the artists though; we felt that same connection with Renee' Blanche, Donna Jo Thornton and Beth Ann Hilton. The next year our record Desert Light was nominated and won for Best Relaxation/Meditation album and we met more wonderful people, Jonn Serrie, David Lanz and his lovely new awesomely talented wife Kristen Amarie, Jeff Pearce, Paul Avgerinos, Darlene Koldenhoven, Vito Gregoli, Kimberly Haynes, Michael Diamond, Neil Tatar, Carl Weingarten, Kori Carothers, Candice Michelle, Mary Bartlein, RJ Lannan, and Bill Binkelman. I'm sorry for the long list but every one of these people treated Al and I so well we will never forget and always be grateful.

So thank you ZMR and thank you for helping to make this wonderful album possible. We'll see you this May for another fantastic weekend and a continuation of our Transmigration.
You can check out and buy the music at http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/aljewerandandymitran

 

Album Review of "Transmigration" by Al Jewer & Andy Mitran

Candice Michelle, March 5, 2016

Following a string of highly-acclaimed albums that emphasized a more ethno-ambient style of music, Al Jewer and Andy Mitran turn their attention towards a more world fusion sound with a celebratory sonic journey titled “Transmigration”. Featuring collaborations with twenty-two talented musicians, the compositions traverse across many musical landscapes as they meet up with familiar friends along the way. Nearly all of the tracks feature the duo’s varying ethnic percussion, flutes, keyboards and synthesizers, plus each of the contributing artists’ signature instruments, which include varying kinds of flutes, bass, guitars, brass instruments, ethnic instruments, and a light sprinkling of vocals. The album comes beautifully packaged and designed, with detailed liner notes and a photo gallery showcasing most of the artists.

“Talking Stone” opens the album with the voice of Miriam Stockley, who is perhaps best known for her work with Adiemus and AOMusic. Her familiar tribal-esque vocals lend an energetic and sunny feel to the song. “First Crossing” is among the album’s more atmospheric pieces, as well as one of my favorites. The track features Jeff Pearce on electric guitar, which is beautifully complimented by marimba and subtle accordion. Other standouts include “Cloudwalker”, with Lisa Downing on piano, accompanied by native flutes and singing bowls; the glistening, nocturnal-sounding “Unfolding Path”, featuring Biff Blumfumgagne on violin; the mysterious and gently romantic “Quiet Waters”, with its delicate chimes and cymbals that are joined by Muriel Anderson on harp guitar and Sherry Finzer on alto flute; and the serene, percussion-free closing track, “Even Horizon”, featuring TC Furlong on pedal steel guitar and more violin by Biff Blumfumgagne. Other notable contributions include Jeff Oster’s flugelhorn on the more funk-driven “Council Fire”, as well as Ricky Kej on “Rendezvous”, who lends keyboards to this Indian-flavored piece, which also features vocal contributions by Karthika Lyer.

While “Transmigration” varies between lively festivities and tranquil moments, the overall mood is consistent and uninterrupted by musical detours. Despite the variety of artistic contributions, I was quite impressed by how the album entirely avoids veering off into overly bombastic terrain, or sounding like a mere compilation of wildly varying styles of music. Al Jewer and Andy Mitran have once again crafted an impeccably well-done offering, carving a distinctive new path in this wondrously gifted duo’s growing body of work!

Album Review of "Transmigration" by Steve Sheppard of One World Music

From the moment I played this album on the radio, I started to receive numerous messages asking me about it, it literally burst onto the musical scene and I am sure over the next few weeks will completely take over the airwaves and the world 100 chart with it, it is that good, in fact I would go further, this is an exceptional work of art.

Transmigration was like a home coming for us, it contains the skills of two OWMR presenters’, one former and one current and several artists who I would call friends on it. This quite amazing release started with Miriam Stockley’s vocalizations powering the narrative of the upbeat and indigenous styled composition called Talking Stone, as the journey for us all begins right now.
From the intensity of the last track, we move away from the oracle like talking stone, to the very Portal itself, the performance on percussion here by Mitran really adds weight to the piece, while Jewer on flute draws us into the portal, the movement found in this piece is so very compelling, one literally feels like they are being drawn into an entirely new realm through the music.

That crossing is now engaged, the pathway has been initiated and we find through the track First Crossing, a perfect musical depiction of that very event. Mitran’s ability here as a multi-instrumentalist is stunning, why not also take a careful listen to the very carefully played Marimba and Accordion, aiding our transition to a new realm beautifully.

Once our crossing has been completed, we are welcome around the Council Fire, the elders and ancestors greet our arrival and ask us to take some time by their warming flames of friendship. While we do so we can listen to a flawless track that has some dazzling Flugel Horn by the man himself, Jeff Oster, this combined with more sumptuous flute from Jewer and a slapping bass line from Bob Lizik, make this track a lively, but enticing composition indeed.

So we have made the crossing, we are here; we have transmigrated, so perhaps it’s time to experience this new dimension. Here is a track that really raises the anticipation of new journeys, of new liaisons and called Rendezvous. Utilising the skills of Ricky Kej, Vanil Veigas, and Butto, with the added instrumentation of an eastern feel, was nothing more than a stroke of genius. The extra layer of Karthika Lyers vocals were beautifully textured, to create a composition of real excitement.

Now we have reached a point where we must alter our state once more, create a light body and move between the tick and tock of the clock with the Cloudwalker. Featuring Lisa Downing on Piano, Jewers Native American Flute is incredible, creating such a mood of mystery and imagination as we all float along in a world of surrounding skies.

Red Road for anyone who knows, the term is about walking in honour and in your truth, doing the right thing, this is where we are on your musical journey dear listener and while we take some time to enjoy this respect and new friendships, take in the marvellous Violin of Biff Blumfumgagnge, the soothing Pedal Steel of T C Furlong, this is one piece that literally flows like a summer river.

The energy rises again now as we begin to experience new things and we assimilate the information and energy of these wonderful new understandings and can completely enjoy the musicianship of Mitran and Jewer on this most passionate title track called Transmigration, it also contains some fine acoustic guitar from Vito Gregoli and some gentle all-encompassing vocals from Kimberley Haynes, again Mitran’s percussion is spot on, and brings us a thrilling arrangement.

The day has been long and we have seen so many incredible things, we slept in the forest over night and it was indeed much needed, but even now small rays
of sunlight are penetrating our canopy of natural beauty, and once more it is time to get underway. We can use the energy of Jewer and Mitran to get us moving, we can also delight in the tender tones of the electric piano and flute to illuminate our way, in this deeply empowering, but energising piece called Unfolding Path.

I really hope you’re enjoying this exquisite voyage, we have made many friends along the way, the sun is warming, their chatter comforting, and perhaps this moment should be dedicated to them all. The magical Harp Guitar of Muriel Anderson leads the way; the masterful flute of Al Jewer is quite breath-taking as we enjoy this segment of good company through music in the track Passage.

The beauty of the moment is about to be emphasized here even further, in the piece Higher Elevations. This is really a fun track, almost reggae in the early part and then flows quite naturally into a Jazzy style with consummate ease, we can hear the flair of Kraig McCreary on guitar, while Mike Cichowicz on Trumpet and Paul Von Merterns on Saxophone adds a whole new layer to the track, a composition that literally soars on high, with the wings of love.

Well, there always has to be a time when all journeys end, or do they? Perhaps the road is endless, but for now we can make our way back feeling fulfilled, feeling empowered and energised by the sojourn. This beautifully sensual arrangement will do you just nicely dear reader; the Saxophone of Paul Von Merterns alone is enough to make you drool and the performance by Mitran, this time on piano, is so very wonderfully laid back on the piece, The Intention.

So were here we stand on the threshold of the penultimate track, the end is in site and the doorway home is slowly opening, but our home is guided by our heart and what we see manifesting before us is beyond the like of anything we have ever seen before, the beauty of unconditional love perhaps? On Quiet Waters Jewer and Mitran show why they are such an incredible partnership, the conversation between Sherry Finzer on Alto and Al Jewer on Native American Flute is wonderful, and then adding Harp Guitar of Anderson, you have a born winner from start to finish; this is a truly picturesque and magnificent composition.

Sadly it is time to leave the realm of Al Jewer and Andy Mitran, our footsteps through the woodland of Transmigration are over for now and we must end
with the final track called Event Horizon. There can be no doubt that this was a journey of the ages and ended in fine style with some simply calming multi instrumental genius.

Transmigration is so far my top album of 2016, its one of those you may wait for years to come along, but when it does, you fall head over heels in love instantly. The quality and standard of the musicians contained within speak volumes for their intent, the narrative is strong, and truth be told, there is nothing in this album not to like. I can see big things on the event horizon for Jewer and Mitran with Transmigration and if ever a release deserved it, this one most certainly does.

Al Jewer & Andy Mitran – TRANSMIGRATION, review by Rotcod Zzaj

What an absolutely wonderful set of music to listen to… over an hour of sonic beauty with a supporting cast that’s far too large to be itemized here.
The true keyword for what they’ve produced with their music, though, is – POWER! & you’ll hear that clearly as you listen to one of my favorite tunes for 2016 (already), “Rendezvous“…
if you can’t “pull yourself together” after listening through this five times – you’re too far gone already…
Andy’s percussion work on this one makes it absolutely fabulous, no matter what level of listener you are!
I mentioned their capability and talent at projecting energy earlier… you will hear that boundlessly on “Unfolding Path“…
it’s really nice to hear so many of these artists I’ve been reviewing over the year come together and use their creativity to help a world filled with minds looking for a way; and this album does that, without question.
My personal favorite of the fourteen tunes offered up, though, is the totally enchanting closer, “Event Horizon“… you’ll hear the changes coming!
I give Al and Andy (and their cast of many) a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for this musical adventure, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.99.
Get more information at Al & Andy’s website. - Rotcod Zzaj

"Transmigration ...A Journey with Friends" review by Donna Hughes

Transmigration ...A journey with Friends is a beautiful mixture of New Age, World Ambient and Jazz. Al Jewer and Andy Mitran have collaborated with 22 other musicians and composers to create this diverse collection of tunes.

The titles on the 14 tracks correlate with mile markers that one might encounter while on an inner spiritual journey. The music is a blend of easy, gentle meanderings and bursts of energy which come across as a party or celebration. The entire album is enjoyable from start to finish. Besides piano and many other instruments, the Native American flute is especially relaxing on several tracks. Track 11, Higher Elevations, was one of my favorites in the album.

Besides winning numerous awards and nominations, Al Jewer and Andy Mitran have contributed music to Oprah Winfrey's "Harpo Sounds" music library. These two men have been musical partners for 15 years and have created 5 CD's and 4 DVD's. "Transmigration ...A Journey with Friends" can be found at CD Baby, Amazon and iTunes.

Miriam Stockley

I had the pleasure of collaborating on a track with two wonderfully talented pals of mine Al Jewer and Andy Mitran
and the CD Transmigration has just been released. It features some of the best New Age / New World talent in the US
and I know that they all join me in wishing Al & Andy much success with their new project.

Richard Gannaway

Hats off to Al Jewer and Andy Mitran on their new song collection "Transmigration"!
...Such a prolific duo, and wonderful souls to compliment their talent...

Lisa Downing

Look at what came in the mail today!!!!!! I am honored and proud to be a part of this beautiful new offering by Al Jewer and Andy Mitran!! This is my very first music collaboration and Al and Andy were so patient and encouraging as I set up my first digital studio specifically to participate in this project. Check out "Cloudwalker" which is the piece I contributed to and be sure and listen to the fabulous myriad of talented artists and friends that took part in this collaboration -- Miriam Stockley, Tony Levin Official Page, Adam Ben Ezra, Richard Gannaway, Jeff Oster, Jeff Pearce, Ricky Kej, Karthika Lyer, Vanil Veigas, Butto, Tc Furlong, Biff Blumfumgagnge, Doug Lunn, Paul Von Mertens, Michael Cichowicz, Kraig McCreary, Vito Gregoli, Kimberly Haynes, Bob Lizik, Muriel Anderson, and Sherry Finzer!!! Much gratitude Al Jewer and Andy Mitran!!!

Kimberly Haynes

Thank u Al And Andy for inviting me to b a part of your wonderful project. It was a pleasure.