Between the Shores of Our Souls Mirabai Ceiba 2012 / Spirit Voyage 40.5 minutes
"Between the Shores of Our Souls" is the tenth release from the duo Mirabai Ceiba, and I have to admit that this is the first of their music I’ve heard. After five or six spins through this CD, I also have to admit that I’m hooked. This is some of the gentlest, most refreshing vocal music I’ve ever heard. Mirabai Ceiba consists of Angelika Baumbach, an American-born singer/songwriter who also performs on piano, harp, harmonium, and singing bowls, and East German-born Markus Sieber who composed most of the music, sings, and plays guitars. They are backed by an impressive list of musicians who play drums and percussion, acoustic and electric strings, trumpet, keyboards, electric guitar, ukulele, and tambour. The lyrics for most of the ten songs are based on poetry by Rumi and Khalil Gibran and are sung in English and Spanish. Baumbach’s voice is light and airy yet deeply passionate, giving the songs warmth as well as substance. Sieber’s voice carries feelings of great sensitivity and tenderness. A duo in life as well as in their music, everything about their music rings true - especially the emotions conveyed. Despite the number of musicians involved, the production is subtle and uncluttered, focusing on the beauty of the voices and the words. From the stunning cover artwork to the last note of the music, this album is just about perfect!
“Between the Shores of Your Souls” begins the album and sets the mood with both voices, guitar, muted trumpet, and keyboard washes. It only took about ten seconds into this song for me to realize I was listening to something really special. “Ocean of My Dreams,” “Become My Life,” and “Inside the Majesty” are based on poems by Rumi, expressing deep love of a more spiritual nature. Most of the accompaniment is acoustic guitar, but there are subtle strings and atmospheric keyboard that underscore the simplicity of the music and the words. “La Luna” is a favorite. The lyrics for this song come from an ancient Zen poem and are sung in Spanish by Angelika with a compelling mix of childlike wonder and earthy passion - this one gets me every time! “Breeze At Dawn” is gently haunting, promising secrets if you don’t go back to sleep. The last track, “Burn of the Heart,” smolders passionately - simply and directly - with more instrumentation than most of the songs, trailing off at the end and closing with a sigh.
This is good stuff, and I can guarantee I’ll be checking out more of Mirabai Ceiba’s previous releases! "Between the Shores of Our Souls" is certain to be one of my favorites for the year! It is available from www.mirabaiceiba.com, Amazon, and iTunes. Very highly recommended!