Michael Stribling | Paradise Lost

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Paradise Lost

by Michael Stribling

"Paradise Lost" solemnly commemorates the displacement of the Native American peoples at the hands of the "white man" in three acts, or movements: paradise, in the "before days"; the coming of the white man, and the resulting conflict; and requiem.
Genre: New Age: Ambient
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1. Prairie Dawn
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2. Guardian of the Plains
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3. Forest Heart
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4. Eagle Above, River Below
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5. Hunting Party
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6. March of Destiny
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7. Approaching Storm
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8. Vision Quest
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9. Paradise Lost
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2:40 $0.99
10. Lament for the Land
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11. Hymn for the Fallen
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12. Return to the Spirit World
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Paradise Lost solemnly commemorates the displacement of the Native American peoples at the hands of the "white man" (primarily of European descent).

The first section portrays the Land as the Native Americans enjoyed it for generations, and it celebrates Paradise in all its diverse splendor—a dawn on the prairie, a look at the land through the eyes and heart of a Guardian of the Plains, the heartbeat of the forest, the soaring vantage point of the eagle, the steady flow of the life-giving water, and the strutting prowess and power of warriors on the hunt.

The second section starts with the approach of the white man, on their march to destiny, and the Natives' awareness of an approaching storm of conflict with those who would take their land. A Vision Quest follows, where the people seek wisdom to guide them. Ultimately, there is the inevitable show down between two opposing forces, and the battle for supremacy and possession of the land.

The final section laments the tragedy of Paradise Lost, and pays homage to those who battled and lost their lives and homes. In the end, from a higher perspective—whether young or old, whether slain in battle or passing peacefully in their sleep—at the end of a life cycle all souls return to the spirit world, from whence we all come and to which we all return.

This project was inspired in part by a couple of movies, "Last of the Mohicans" and "Dances with Wolves", which provide a different view of Native Americans than most movies of the last century. While Native Americans are not the only displaced people in the history of humankind, I have a particular affinity for the first nations of this land ... and for their Paradise Lost.


Reviews


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John P. Olsen / NewAgeMusicWorld.Com / NewAgeMusic.nu

Michael Stribling tells of Paradise Lost
In the millennium before the nation of America was founded and a new way of life was envisioned, Native Americans lived brave and free throughout the land. History tells of the conflict and injustice imposed upon indigenous people thought to be hindering this new way of life, but in fact Native Americans were already living the proverbial American dream in sacred lands they viewed as paradise. Michael Stribling has released an album to commemorate the past while honoring every Native American who lived and died protecting their sacred homeland. To me, Michael’s dedication struck a familiar chord concerning our present values and the high price we readily pay to keep the diverse ethnicities comprising the America of today free. Paradise Lost is Michael’s seventh in an enduring lineage of New Age Electronic albums making an impact in the genre, winning awards and universal acclaim during his years as an accredited musician producing outstanding ambient music. His electronic discography like recent The Promise which dealt with life transitions is indeed a success and in my role as review publicist, quickly identified his exemplary artistry in the first few measures, so Paradise Lost is not worlds apart from earlier albums, but is clearly a monumental one as those familiar with his music would agree. Paradise Lost has 12 symbolic songs defined by three movements and while retracing the ancestral life experiences of Native Americans, the perspective I determined from this viewpoint ranged from total relaxation to energetic, so you will find Paradise Lost is not gloomy or somber and I felt more epic in nature. Another point worthy of mention knowing this album recounts the Native American experience, conceptual electronic orchestrations are the expressive medium given during this rendition so a harmonious contrast to more traditional depictions by wood flutes, chanting or bass drums. Prairie Dawn is first of 5 songs to reveal a distant gaze upon the clear majestic landscape and of people living during this historic period, now emerging with a more ambient view of tribal culture where spacious orchestrations echo the expansive lands of our past. French horn heralds in Guardian of the Plains, then strings become like strands of wheat gently moving in the breeze while flute sets the melody upward in flight during Forest Heart. Synthesizer projects an airy windswept Eagle Above, River Below, then growing excitement and tempo ensues while racing among the scenic timberlands in Hunting Party. March of Destiny is first of 3 songs to reference the battle over territorial supremacy and true to song title, a crisp drum cadence is timed in lock step rhythm to a salutary march across the open wilderness while horns make the melodic call to arms then a swirling crosswind of mystery surrounds the more ambient Approaching Storm with blended electric guitar strides and again in Vision Quest where a drifting cloud of haziness finds origins by long extended atmospheric notes. Paradise Lost ( Title Song ) is first of the final 4 songs to represent the loss of humanity and prized territories, shown by contrasting synthesizer runs, an elevated prominence boldly reaches an ascending summit while heightening the majestic image this project in entirety symbolizes. Lament for the Land is more tributary by a solemn narrative that is likened to the soulful Hymn for the Fallen. Return to the Spirit World is a song telling of a higher perspective during Michael’s closing adaptation, and while entering into an ever rising plateau of instrumental ambience, each expansive layer also finds equable ground for every note to build a foundation upon, coinciding with the present unified territories everyone observes today from every corner pointing North and South, East and West.

REVIEWS NEW AGE

Un recorrido musical por las tribus americanas!.
Después de que su anterior trabajo "Songs of Hope and Healing" fuese nombrado como "Mejor Álbum Electrónico" por ZoneMusicReporter.com en 2006, el premiado compositor Michael Stribling nos presenta Paradise Lost, un álbum inspirado en las civilizaciones nativas americanas; un recorrido musical por sus vivencias, costumbres y sentimientos bajo dulces sonidos ambientales y suaves sintetizadores que recrean el mágico escenario que las tribus ocupaban. Paradise Lost refleja y simboliza el dolor causado por el hombre blanco a estas civilizaciones al quitarles sus tierras.

"Prairie Dawn" abre un nuevo día, descubriendo una extensa llanura bañada por un sol rojizo que nace lento en el horizonte. Una unión de poderosos sintetizadores, flauta nativa y sonidos naturales que sitúan al oyente en medio del hermoso y amplio paisaje.

"Guardian Of The Plains" es un recorrido hasta donde la vista pueda alcanzar, divisando con majestuosidad las planicies y escudriñando todos los detalles que se divisan. Lenta y delicada, esta pieza irradia una paz alucinante. Me gusta!.

Tierna y cálida es "Forest Heart". Una maravillosa y despreocupada composición que une una música emocionante de cuerdas y vientos al bello canto de los pájaros, lo que hace que esta pieza sea ideal para la relajación.

Con "Eagle Above, River Below" entramos en un estado ideal, de poder, donde la sensación de libertad rodea por completo al oyente. Una música descriptiva e hipnotizadora que representa a un águila vislumbrando la basta extensión mientras surca los cielos río abajo. Me gusta!.

Una de mis piezas preferidas es "Haunting Party", una composición de ritmo desconcertante e instrumentalmente muy completa, ya que se puede distinguir entre sintetizadores y percusiones, complejas guitarras. Un tema de carácter ligeramente amenazador y con un ritmo estupendo.

"March Of Destiny" es misteriosa y desconcertante. Un brillante y cristalino sonido de teclado silba una melodía penetrante que se acompaña de golpes de acordes por sintetizadores y tenues percusiones, ambos van marcándole una marcha lenta al tema. A partir de esta pieza, comienza una segunda parte más oscura en Paradise Lost. Mi favorita sin duda alguna.

Con un principio amable, "Approaching Storm" se va tornado perversa e inquieta con una melodía pausada y desafiante. Un tema que dibuja un paisaje cubierto por un manto de nubes grises.

"Vision Quest" es la música para la visión introspectiva, la búsqueda del saber. Una composición que comienza con misterio y calma para cambiar a un sutil y hechizante ritmo de incesantes teclados.

La pieza más breve de este CD es precisamente la que da título a este, "Paradise Lost". De ritmo frenético y estado desafiante, esta pieza mantiene una melodía repetitiva que en su cenit se torna furiosa, realzando su fuerza con el estruendo de una batalla campal como sonido ambiental.

"Lament For The Land" es el dolor y la tristeza por lo perdido, la sensación de desconsuelo rodea por completo a esta obra de teclados melancólicos y de escalofriantes aullidos de lobos que acompañan a la abatida música. Profundo dolor!.

Un réquiem a los caídos en la batalla es "Hymn For The Fallen". Una música triste, sumamente triste y con un toque de heroísmo que avanza con pesadez, mostrando una gran aflicción.

El tema más extenso es "Return To The Spirit World", la pieza que cierra el álbum. Más de diez minutos de inconmensurable paz, "Return To The Spirit World" elimina toda preocupación gracias a sus etéreos sonidos sintetizados, melodías que invitan al desarrollo de un ambiente de meditación absoluto. Me gusta!.


Paradise Lost es un trabajo que relata la historia de las civilizaciones nativas americanas con una música electrónica fascinante. Michael Stribling ha cuidado todos los detalles para que la melodía y el título de cada pieza elaboren en la mente del oyente la escena y el instante que se pretende, consiguiendo que este reviva y disfrute del misterio que envolvía a las tribus americanas. Paradise Lost es un CD recomendable.

reviewsnewage.com
19/10/10

Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

Paradise May Be Lost, but This CD Is a Winner
For his sixth album, the always reliable keyboard master Michael Stribling delivers a sonic magnum opus that solemnly commemorates the legacy of the American continent’s first residents and their fateful encounter with newcomers from across the sea.

As befitting the artist’s inspiration for this set, the material is epic, grandiose, vibrant, and, most important, reverential. The music beautifully expresses Stribling’s affinity for the original Native Americans. The CD has the feel of a soundtrack, providing accompaniment to the storied events in this land’s history that became the focus of Stribling’s muse for this project.

The drama unfolds with the sweeping opening themes of “Prairie Dawn” and “Guardian of the Plains,” which convey the expansive majesty of the New World as it must have been under the watchful and respectful care of its indigenous gatekeepers. The sentimental melodies and lyrical textures of “Forest Heart” and “Eagle Above, River Below” further elaborate on the beauty and tranquility of the thriving ecosystem. The propulsive rhythms of “Hunting Party” express the vibrancy of Native American life.

The plot thickens as the Native Americans sense the dark, ominous clouds of an “Approaching Storm” that finally arrives as the white European settlers embark on their proud and determined “March of Destiny,” which features elements of the mighty “Procession of the Avatars” from Stribling’s third album, Another Day in Paradise.

The action culminates in the dynamism of “Vision Quest” and “Paradise Lost,” after which Stribling reflects on all that has transpired with the solemn “Lament for the Land” and the reverential “Hymn for the Fallen.” The proceedings end on a positive note of hope with “Return to the Spirit World.”

Although Stribling has created a formidable musical tapestry with a specific context in mind, the music is so strong that it stands on its own. In fact, the compositions come across as love songs to nature. The album would be a perfect soundtrack for a trip to Yellowstone or Yosemite, or any national park or local nature preserve. This in itself is a fitting tribute to the legacy of the Native Americans, who so revered nature.

All discussions of history, context, and themes aside, the album is a strong reminder of Stribling’s compositional brilliance and musical prowess. Stribling is equally adept at creating bold themes (“Prairie Dawn,” “Guardian of the Plains”), pastoral reflections (“Lament for the Land,” “Hymn for the Fallen,” “Return to the Spirit World”), and groove-laden jazz-rock fusion complete with thumping bass lines and propulsive backbeats (“Hunting Party,” “Vision Quest,” “Paradise Lost”) – all anchored by Stribling’s unmistakable signature sound and conceived in Stribling’s mind and channeled through his fingers on keyboards and synthesizers. Paradise Lost, like its exceptional artist, is an absolute winner.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Paradise Lost" is award-winning composer Michael Stribling’s seventh album and is perhaps his most ambitious project to date. His "Songs of Hope and Healing" was named Best Electronic Album in the 2006 New Age Reporter Lifestyle Music Awards, and each subsequent release has garnered similar accolades. Stribling’s albums often tell wordless stories or depict spiritual journeys and experiences, and this one solemnly commemorates the displacement of the Native American peoples at the hands of the Europeans who traveled to North America and laid claim to the land, often without regard for the lives of the people who were here first. The twelve original compositions are divided into three acts or movements: paradise in the “before” days; the coming of the white man and the resulting conflict and tragedy; and lament, requiem, and resolution. The music is often very symphonic even though it is electronic, and nature sounds are effectively placed throughout the album. Although much of the story being told is full of heartbreak and tragedy, the music does not become overly dark or violent. I have enjoyed all of Stribling’s music, but I think this is my favorite of his albums so far. Few artists are as adept as Stribling in successfully combining ambient and melodic music, and his recordings are always a pleasure to listen to.

"Paradise Lost" begins with “Prairie Dawn,” a piece that depicts wide open spaces and an endless sky. Peaceful and serene, we hear the quiet world as it gradually awakens. “Guardian of the Plains” suggests the majesty of vast open plains, conveying a sense of solitude and calm. “Forest Heart” is very light and gentle, blending acoustic guitar with flutes, then adding French horn and other orchestral instruments. The results are gorgeous and incredibly tranquil. “Hunting Party” is a favorite. Rhythmic and intense, it conveys focus and energy. “March of Destiny” signals major changes and the resulting confusion. The latter part of the piece has a military march sound, but it is more melancholy than triumphant. “Approaching Storm” is ambient and becomes darker as it evolves. “Vision Quest” tells of the people seeking the wisdom to guide them. Also very ambient, turmoil and confusion seem to give way to a sense of direction. The title track includes the sounds of battle behind an intense rhythm that builds as the piece develops. “Hymn For the Fallen” is solemn and reverent, allowing time for reflection and remembrance. The final track, “Return To the Spirit World” is an almost eleven minute meditation on the return to the spirit world “from whence we all come and to which we all return”(quoted from the liner notes). The music is soothing and gently reassuring about the spiritual home all souls return to at the end of this earthly life.

"Paradise Lost" is certain to return Michael Stribling to the top of the new age/adult contemporary charts. Highly recommended!

Serge Kozlovsky / http://sergekozlovsky.com

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky
You’ll find an endless beauty and a sorrow
In searching of forgotten paradise

This is a slightly mysterious music that attracts the listener’s attention from the first chords. Michael Stribling begins to tell his story and he makes it very delicate. His electronic music is full of aerial harmonies and enigmatic polyphony.

What does the newest album by Michael Stribling tell about? As it is indicated on the press-release “Paradise Lost” solemnly commemorates the displacement of the Native American peoples at the hands of the “white man” as they immigrated to North America. Therefore the strong dramatic effect is inherent in this music. Michael Stribling divided his twelve original compositions into three acts: paradise, in the “before days”; the coming of the white man, and the resulting conflict and tragedy; and lament, requiem, and resolution. As a result we can enjoy the epic story which is devoted to the bitter story of the American Continent.

But the music of Michael Stribling soars above the pain and sufferings. The composer allows the listeners to look at past horrors and fears and to realize the emptiness and pettiness of the modern civilization. And the music of “Paradise Lost” is infused with the deepest sympathy and sincere love to the Native Americans who are the true owners of this land and whose spiritual development and state of consciousness were higher than "civilized” white men had.

This music has an undoubted therapeutic effect which helps purify the mind and raise the spirit. And with it I’d like to return to the musical aspects of “Paradise Lost”. Its sound is refined indeed. Michael Stribling excellently interweaves his music with natural sounds. His keyboard parts are very accurate and tuneful.

Maybe the main feature of the Michael Stribling music is that after listening to his album “Paradise Lost” one can be made aware of a very simple thing: your life should bring you joy.

Serge Kozlovsky
http://sergekozlovsky.com