“Into The Ancient” by Peter Phippen

Album Review by New Age CD and New Age Notes Radio Staff

“Utterly transfixing.” – Dyan Garris, New Age CD

What if we could transport ourselves to ancient times and beam ourselves back then to the present, carrying with us the awesome wisdom of the ancients? I imagine we would find ourselves in a whole new world. Here in this transportive and hauntingly beautiful flute album by Peter Phippen, that seems more than entirely possible.

For those that do not know, Peter was the first non-Native American musician signed to Canyon Records, which released his classic album, “Night Song,” in 2003. His “Woodnotes Wyld: Historic Flute Sounds From The Dr. Richard W. Payne Collection” was nominated in 2010 for a Grammy® in the Best Native American Music Album category.

Here, on “Into the Ancient,” Peter, along with co-producer/ synthesist, Ivar Lunde Jr., have created 12 tracks of music, about 1 hour, that is a captivating combination of flutes, synth, and the extraordinarily interesting theremin.

Many of the flutes Peter plays on the album are either antiques dating back to the Edo period of Japan (between the years of 1603 and 1867), or historically accurate replicas. Because the makers of Peter’s flute replicas did not change them to conform with today’s “tunings” or “playability,” but kept the original measurements, the replicas have a deeply mysterious sound that meshes perfectly with the antiques. The result is incredible.

Peter performs here on a variety of ancient and modern flutes, namely, the antique shakuhachi, contemporary bamboo flute, contemporary pueblo flute, and early wooden pueblo flute replicas. It is the synergy between the ancient and the contemporary instrumentation that gives this album its rich hues, profundities, and distinctly magical vibe. Every track is a deep immersion into the soul, both collective and individual.

The album opens with the very peaceful “Northern Lights,” which immediately puts one into a sacred space without further ado. Following is the completely tranquil, “Blue Skies Eternal.” Here – and throughout the album – we can truly feel the “ancients” whispering to us in every single note.  This piece is so serene as to be effortlessly trance inducing.

“The Old Ways” is mysterious and meditative.  Quiet and reverent, with a bit of drumming, this is also a sacred space of contemplation. Very nicely done.

The wonderfully captivating, “Spirit Guides,” is a favorite. This is just fabulous with its mystical and enchanting vibes. I can’t say enough good things about this piece, which is deeply meditative, connective, and totally otherworldly. A perfect length at 5:38, this is a “must have” for your relaxation or meditative playlist.

“Tears of Infinity” is a creative masterpiece with its scintillating synth and water sounds. The flute is again excellent and melodious, all the nuances together creating a rich and colorful palette that takes us even deeper “into the ancient.”

Here are some other noteworthy favorites on this album, although one should definitely get the whole thing for the entire multi-dimensional experience: “Timeless Sun” is a beautiful, peaceful flute piece you will find ultra-relaxing, and again, meditative. Vellum, for those that do not know, is a kind of translucent paper that often gets layered over other artwork. “Wolf Vellum” is a brilliant artistic piece in this way which reminds me a bit of the “call” and the “answer.” This is very pretty and quite calming to the spirit, as is the entire album.

The title track is captivating, mysterious, and also trance inducing. There’s a beautiful melody here as well as soft atmospheric synth. Love this. The closing track, “Beyond the Veil,” perfectly encapsulates the sheer beauty of this album and its deeply spiritual concepts.

Here, in every note and nuance, we can literally feel the voices of the ancients imparting their wisdom to us. And we are invited subtly and simply to raise our vibration.

I think Peter and Ivar have outdone themselves here. This is an amazing and utterly transfixing album on so many levels.