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Melinda Given Guttmann

Nine CD's Using Psycho Acoustic Brainwave Music for Emotional Healing, Cognitive Growth, and Creavtive Power
Whether you are making love, suffering from a panic attack, or solving a difficult problem, Tom Kenyon's acoustical music gives you a natural "high" which can enhance your pleasures or resolve your fears.Twenty years ago, while searching for new music by Kitaro, the celebrated Asian composer of the classic New Age recording, Silk Road, I noticed a CD entitled Soma. Soma, described in the Hindu Vedas as a potion created from mushrooms, was considered the first reference to "god inducing" plants (entheogens) in recorded history. The composer of Soma, Tom Kenyon, had been researching how to elicit euphoric feelings in the brain produced by Alpha and Theta waves in his electronic music, by opening neurological passages through the two hemispheres of the brain. I found to my amazement, that unlike many New Age assumptions which I considered foolish, or occult, like the power of wearing crystals, channeling and astrological charts, the music had a profound effect on me instantaneously in sensuous immediacy. The Ultimate Brain, produced in 2006, explores the range and depth of Kenyon's experiments in the last two decades as founder of the Acoustic Brain Research institute. By Melinda Given Guttmann.

CD for "Open the Gates" by Robert Cohen. See: "In Defense of the Cantor in Judaism"

In Defense of the Cantor in Judaism
When music by the famed theater composer Elizabeth Swados appeared on Robert Cohen's new CD, "Open the Gates," we sent the anthology off to Melinda Guttmann for a theater critic's eye view. Ms. Guttman, whose latest book is "The Enigma of Anna O.," is a frequent contributor on Jewish subjects to the NYTW. "Open the Gates" threorizes that the key to the new American Jewish heart may be found in American Jewish composers who are more more reflective of Woody Guthrie or Judy Collins than the synagogue choirs of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Guttmann disagrees, and avers that the most significant American addition to Jewish spirituality is not found in popular music, but the voice of the woman cantor. Here, she reviews three different CDs of modern sacred Jewish music: "Open the Gates! New American-Jewish Music for Prayer," Robert Cohen Producer, 2002; "Sacred Chants of the Contemporary Synagogue," Cantor Rebecca Garfein, Bar Productions, 1998; and "Songs to the Invisible God," Ruth Weider Magan, 2001, Sounds True.

Loney's Music Notes
Music-Theatre and Music CD Roundup
For some months, review copies of music CD recordings have been piling up on Glenn Loney's desk. So he's started to sort them out and make some lists of the best.

Audra McDonald stars in original cast recording of Marie Christine.

CD Roundup at the OK Music Corral
Stacks of CDs of operas & musicals—old & new, orchestras, instrumentalists, soloists, and cabaret artists have been piling up over the summer and into the autumn. Here are listings of some of the more outstanding—or unusual—recordings. By Glenn Loney

More CD and Video Reviews by Glenn Loney
Twenty-five new releases including: Opera Fanatic on Video/Broadway Masterworks Remastered/Call Jennifer Larmore Mister/Chanticleer's Guadalupe Virgin Matins/Salzburg Festival Documents/Thomas Adès' Powder Her Face.

Bert Wechsler
Literally hundreds of reviews
This collection of reviews is a major part of the cyberspace legacy of Bert Wechsler, who was editor of Music Journal for eight years, a music and dance critic for the New York Daily News and New York Concert Review, dance critic and associate editor for Attitude, video critic for video Review, music editor of High Performance Review, dance critic for Der Tanz der Dinge (Switzerland), recordings critic for High Fidelity, and a correspondent for the music magazine Rondo in Finland and newspapers in Norway (regular column) and Denmark as well as other free-lance activities. He was co-author of "Dear Rogue," the biography Lawrence Tibbett, published by Amadeus Press. He was also associate Editor of Computer Buyers' Guide. He was a member of the Music Critics Association, the Outer Critics Circle, The Bohemians, an honorary life member of the New York Mahlerites, and a founder of the Manhattan Festival Ballet and the Center for Contemporary Opera. Although officially retired from performing, he retained his membership in four theatrical unons. At the time of his death on November 30, 1997, he was critic-at-large for The New York Theatre Wire.

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