- Sacred Myst CD
I’m excited to announce the completion of my first solo CD “Sacred Myst”! It is available at CDBaby at http://cdbaby.com/cd/vyolamyst and you can listen to samples of the tracks there. There will be a CD Release Party in Ashland, Oregon May-June 2013 when I return from Costa Rica.
The process of recording this CD was done with sacred intention. I dedicate this to my late son Jason Foster, a talented musician and composer who has inspired me to record my music. The pieces are sacred music improvisations of viola and voice inspired by the Divine Feminine. There are no lyrics, and my voice is used as an instrument, with 4-5 part harmonies. More about the CD below.
About “Sacred Myst”:
1. Sacred Myst:
I started the recording session with the intention of creating a connection with the Divine. It was completely improvised. I started out with the gold crystal quartz singing bowl, to capture the crown chakra connection with the B note. I added the first voice part, then the viola part, and then the second voice part that was enhanced by a large frame drum resonator. All tracks were first takes, no repeats, to keep the original connection fresh. I’m really happy with this piece, because I never tire of listening to it, as it connects me to the Divine every time I do.
This is one of three looped pieces (with Mantra and Clarity) that “came in” as musical improvisations in 2002, and I finally got to record them professionally. I recorded the first “loop”, then added harmonies and frame drum and finally the improvised voice track over the loops.
During my Priestess training at the Goddess Temple of Ashland, my teacher Graell Corsini asked me to play an improvised piece to her improvised dance at the Goddess Festival in Glastonbury, England summer 2012. I couldn’t attend in person, but she inspired me to play a piece dedicated to the festival of Lammas, which is about abundance of the harvest. The piece was intended to instill a feeling of abundance in our lives. It has many classical elements, including Middle Eastern and Celtic music.
I have been listening to this looped piece since it “came in” 10 years ago as I was listening to the hum of a Jacuzzi tub, hearing multiple harmony parts. It has a Latin swing to it. When I sat down to record it for this CD, each loop came in easily, with no need for retakes. I started out with the first voice part, adding additional voice harmonies one by one. Listening to the looped vocal harmony, I improvised the viola part in one continuous track.
Trust is essential to manifesting what we want in life, and I wanted this theme in my first CD. This was an in-the-moment improvisation of my viola to the ringing of the quartz crystal singing bowl in G, for the throat chakra, which resonates Truth and Trust for me. I wanted this to be a long piece, to immerse in contemplation. After I recorded the viola part, I listened to it in the studio and spontaneously decided to add the other-worldly echoes from the waterphone halfway through. The waterphone puts me in a place outside mind, and the viola keeps the theme of Trust with no mind limitations.
This looped piece has the feel of being clear, seeing through the mist, letting go of past limitations. I decided to do this with only voice and no other instruments to maintain this feel with angelic voices. It “came in” as improvisational parts, one by one, in loop fashion. The solo voice line is improvised over the looped harmonies.
This is one of two pieces, with Streams, that was co-created with Ben Sheppard, a dear musician friend who has been on a journey of sound healing with me since 2001. We recorded the three singing bowls and added my voice, then his throat-singing harmonic vocals that create the low hum. It has a nice balance of the Divine Feminine and Masculine energies, that we use to manifest, and a sense of being transformed by the sounds. Ben recorded and mastered this piece in 2005 through his Harmonic Alchemy Productions.
This beautiful weaving of my viola and voice was improvised to a mbira composition that Ben had channeled from his spiritual African teacher who had recently passed away. A talented multi-instrumentalist, Ben added bouzouki (a Celtic/Mediterranean guitar), percussion, and throat-singing harmonic vocals. We co-improvised this piece to capture the feeling of Flow, to follow our flow, to manifest what we want in our lives.
Cover art: Jason Foster
Photo of Vyola Myst: Rocky Garrotto
CD Design: Tara Kemp
Recorded, mixed and mastered:
Tracks 1-6: Sonic Sojourns, Ashland, OR
Tracks 7-8: Harmonic Alchemy Productions, with Ben Sheppard on vocals, bouzouki, mbira, and percussion
- Journey CD
1 – Garden of Soul (Bluegate, 2003)
2 – Discovery (Bluegate, 2003)
3 – Journey (Bluegate, 2003)
4 – Little Jewel (Bluegate, 2003)
5 – Sirens (Ben Sheppard/Michelle Herrera 2005)
6 – Transformation (Ben Sheppard/Michelle Herrera 2005)
7 – Streams (Ben Sheppard/Michelle Herrera 2005)
8 – Dragonfly (Ben Sheppard/Michelle Herrera 2005)
9 – Move (Michelle Herrera 2005)
Vyola Myst, Michelle Herrera ©2009
This album is my magical journey into music that connects me with the Divine. The pieces with Bluegate are live improvisations, that has my viola and vocal harmony. The pieces with Ben were recorded in a studio and are also improvisations with my viola and voice. “Move” was one of my multi-track recordings that “came in” spontaneously as I sat down to record.
Bluegate is Christine Tulis, Ben Sheppard, Michelle Herrera, and Kem Stralka; songs were co-composed