STEVEN HALPERN
DEEP THETA 2.0
INNER PEACE MUSIC

It is never enough for musician Steven Halpern to just create good music to listen to. He always adds an additional element which is to create music that is healing too – for the body, mind or spirit, or all three. His latest CD, Deep Theta 2.0, is no exception. He creates good, fairly-ambient music that is very solid new age music. Then he added some sort of almost subliminal sine-wave sounds, wave pulses or something that is supposed to help you relax, unwind, meditate quickly and easily, and even heal.

The music is fairly spacey, drifting stuff, just exactly what you would expect from meditation-oriented new age music. The music is comprised of Halpern on Rhodes electric piano (an instrument, back when it was made by Fender decades ago, that was most-often associated with jazz-fusion, you know, Herbie Hancock and the like) and, more subtly, on synthesizer, but also with the addition of three wood flute players. The flutes are ones made out of bamboo -– shakuhachi from Japan and bansuri from Northern India -- played by Jorge Alfano, Schawkie Roth, and Ronnie Nyogetsu Reishin Seldin, who are all longtime performers in new age and world music, and all have their own albums out too.

The tunes, strangely enough, are titled “Deep Theta 2.0 (Pt. 1),” “Deep Theta 2.0 (Pt. 2),” and so on (there are 13 tracks). Most new agers title their tunes like “Purple Heaven,” “Rose-Scent Candlelight,” “Celestial Misgivings” or whatever.

It is hard to say if the background sounds, or what Halpern calls Brainwave Entrainment (sort of training your brain to relax), really works or not. I felt relaxed after listening, just as I normally do after listening to any soft, peaceful new age music, especially when created with soft keyboards and wood flutes. But the music sounded pretty, serene and good for meditation, so what more could you really ask for in this genre.

Halpern has been making music like this for many decades, so he definitely knows what he is doing. And he has worked with a wide variety of good musicians in his career, including flutists (most notably Paul Horn).

This latest album is definitely recommended for anyone who likes new age music on the softer and slightly ambient side (even the flutes float and soar without strictly defined melodies). And if it relieves your headache or drops you into a Zen zone without having to do lots of controlled breathing exercises, then so much the better.