\"Angel of the Earth\" - \"The Healing Sounds of the Celestial Monochord\".
A worthy successor to the popular Sacred Chants series of CDs: “108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine”, “Sacred Chants of Shiva” and the “Sacred Chants of Buddha” albums from Craig Pruess and his Heaven on Earth Music label based in England.
“Angel of the Earth” is the debut album from Craig’s new collaboration with sound healer Ilyana Vilensky. It features the incredibly rich and travelling sound of the 56 stringed monochord instrument - a newly developed and expanded instrument designed as a healing instrument (you lie on it!). Its unique overtones and resonant sound are beautifully captured in glorious stereo on this CD.
But that is only the beginning. Both Ilyana and Craig are experienced sound healers, and they have combined their vision and wisdom into creating one of the most celestial albums of the decade. Every sound is acoustically recorded in high definition, and besides the rolling waves of monochord sound, we can hear Ilyana’s unique and mesmerising solo shamanic/trance singing style, Craig’s resonant “Om” vocal intonations, tambura, swaramandala (Indian zither), Native American Indian flute, rubbed crystal glass, lyrical and soft sitar phrases, ethereal voice sustains and gentle prayer bells. All merge seamlessly with the monochord for an other-worldly experience.
Playing the CD is a sonic massage. It is ideal for meditation, yoga, healing sessions, birthing, child’s sleep, therapy sessions, every kind of body work or physical therapy that involves rejuvenation. It is perfect for relaxation, channeling sessions and/or environmental purification purposes. Craig’s baby daughter was born to track 3, “Ocean Prayer” in March 2008!
Wonderful CD artwork features the beautifully spiritual and inspiring mandala paintings of the French artist Marlis Laduree, another visual collaborator with Craig - (www.marlisladuree.com). The CD was recorded, produced and arranged by Craig in the Heaven on Earth Music Studios, Wiltshire, UK. Set in the fields of neolithic Britain, near the ancient stones of Avebury and Stonehenge, the studio overlooks the beautiful landscape.
Ilyana Vilensky is a sound healer from Somerset, England, who has been active for many years as a retreat facilitator, acupuncturist, Reiki healer, singer and musican. As a result of Ilyana participating in one of Craig’s Art of Living courses/workshops (learning the powerful breathing technique unique to the Art of Living - the “Sudarshan Kriya” technique), the idea of a new and breakthrough album was conceived. Other participants on the Art of Living course were invited to lie on the monochord “bed” set up in Craig’s recording studio, and such amazing sessions followed. From inner silence, and that deep meditative state, the recordings followed, and the sound was carefully crafted, and with many miracles and special signs, the CD was born! Its gestation almost exactly matched the nine months of Craig’s and Asta’s new baby daughter, Eleena. (born March 9th, 2008)
Ilyana is currently giving individual monochord, acupuncture and Reiki treatments. For more info, please see: www.celestialsoundhealing.com
Craig Pruess is a multi-instrumentalist, conductor, arranger and composer, singer and record producer with many awards and achievements to his name. He credits his many years of practice of yoga and meditation (and later teaching Art of Living) for his success, balance and enjoyment of his music career and home creativity.
Craig is one of the few session musicians, conductors and composers active in the UK music scene who has integrated three great musical traditions of the world: 1) Western classical and contemporary, 2) Indian classical, and 3) African music. His credits are extensive: two UK number one film scores for “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Bride & Prejudice”, plus art films, “The Mistress of Spices”, “What’s Cooking?” and “Bhaji on the Beach”. He has scored the music for one of the most successful independent TV drama series in UK history (“Peak Practice” for ITV), and arranged and conducted orchestras for Massive Attack, Def Leppard, Bond and Sir Cliff Richard. The latter garnered him gold and platinum records for production honors, with many chart hits, including composing the number one UK chart hit single at the millennium, “Two Worlds” (the double A side to Sir Cliff Richard’s “The “Millennium Prayer” - a million seller).
Craig produced and arranged the first three albums for Sheila Walsh - the first one, “War of Love”, earning a Grammy nomination. He contributed to the John Altman’s score for the EMMY Award winning soundtrack for HBO mini-series, “RKO 281 - The Making of Citizen Kane”. John and Craig have co-created an Indo African Jazz fusion album called “Terracotta”. (soon to be on CD Baby....!).
As a session musician and Indian music consultant, Craig played sitar on the Manic Street Preacher’s number one UK album “This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours” (on the track “Tsunami”). Craig has created the Indian music colors (playing sitar, tambura, swaramandala - zither) for the Johnny Depp film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, the Harry Potter film “The Goblet of Fire”, the Madonna film “The Next Best Thing”, the Heather Graham film “The Guru”, and most recently “Shoot on Sight” with Greta Scacchi. Other keyboard and sitar session work has included Elton John, Mike Oldfield, Katie Melua, Gareth Gates, Selena Jones, Joe Cocker and Japan.
Craig is an accredited teacher for the international Art of Living Foundation, and regularly stages music/meditation concerts/experiences internationally. He has performed many concerts around the world, including for the Dalai Lama in London, at the WOMAD Festival in the UK, Glastonbury Festival, and also for Prince Charles (private concert at the Prince’s home), and in Lithuania, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia, Denmark and the USA. His original ground-breaking albums “Sacred Chants of Shiva”, “Sacred Chants of Buddha” and “The 108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine” are sold in over 80 countries around the globe, with “Sacred Chants of Shiva” selling many millions in the Indian subcontinent.
Born and raised in Westchester County, New York, Craig excelled at instrumental music from a young age, appearing as an orchestral soloist from the age of nine. He attended MIT as an undergraduate, studying philosphy, physics and psychology, and later traveled and became a full time member of the teaching staff at the East African Conservatoire of Music in Nairobi, Kenya (1971-1973), before coming and settling in England in March 1973. For his full professional biography and early background, see his Heaven on Earth Music website.
Besides being a multi-instrumentalist, singer and seasoned arranger, Craig is also a sound designer and sound engineer with a great wealth of experience and technical expertise, which shows in his detailed, integrating and crystal clear recordings. Indian music is a very old and powerful tradition, with intricate knowledge of the connection between sound/vibration and the human body and emotions. Craig has also studied Ayur-Veda, and his approach to music and recording is a totally life integrating and life affirming enterprise.