Dean Evenson is a New Age composer and musician, best known for intensely spiritual works crafted specifically for meditative purposes. He founded the record label Soundings of the Planet just outside the spiritual hub of Tuscon, Arizona, expressly with the purpose of releasing his own music. He began the company with his wife, partner, and harpist, Dudley Evenson. Their music was founded on love and inspired by traditional Native American sounds. He played the flute, she played the harp, and in 1979 it just made sense for them to start a company where they could release their gorgeously tranquil sounds to larger cities. There, people could potentially be moved to think about things like the environment, other spiritual cultures, and their own well-being upon hearing these organic sounds.
Dean Evenson has been playing the flute since he was 10, performing everywhere from church groups to rock bands. He obtained a master’s in molecular biology, and gained a profound understanding of the earth. But it wasn’t until he met Dudley immediately after in 1968 that he was truly motivated to create and deliver sounds to the world. Evenson’s 1993 album Forest Rain truly captures the spirit of the forest and harnesses its healing powers into one relaxing, coherent album that takes the listener through the various levels of this lush space. “Clearing in the Air” uses luxurious harps by both Dudley Evenson and d’Rachel to personify the clearing in the air after a storm, with Dean’s pipes bursting through like joyous sunshine reaching shaded roots.
“Heart of the Forest” explores the very core of a jungle teeming with life. From low rumblings to ethereal vocal choruses to birdcalls and somber flutes, each life force is represented through different sounds. All merge harmoniously for a truly calming experience that shares Evenson’s reverence for the forest as well as how he benefits from it. “Leaf Well Enough Alone” is more musical, blending Evenson’s compositions with multiple free-form sounds. The way classical violin, Native American flute, and harp flow into each other connotes water imagery, and invites the listener to envision themselves as a solitary leaf being carried along by ancient, powerful waters through a fecund, mystical land. Though separated from the tree, the leaf remains a part of this greater woodland, instilling a sense of unity in the listener and compelling them to join in on the following “Prayer for the Ancient Trees” to preserve the beauty and wisdom of this land.
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