Created primarily with Yoga practice in mind, Every Man, Woman and Child is approximately 56 minutes of restorative bliss comprised of three compositions, each spanning from 15 to 20 minutes in length. While Collins has been recording for several years as part of a neoclassical new age trio that includes a cellist and flutist, here she collaborates with another established musical pair who beautifully enfold her improvisational piano melodies with a more global sound drawn from Eastern mystical traditions.
Boasting an impressively large collection of world instruments, Vito Gregoli plays many of them on this album, while Kimberly Haynes infuses the opening and closing pieces with her soothingly soulful mantra and folk-style singing. The opening track, “Om Mani Padme Hum”, is a moderately rhythmic piece that features freeform piano notes leisurely drifting amid a fluid amalgamation of guitars, vocals, tabla drums and other subtle instruments. Following next, “Ambient Journey” is a mesmerizingly mellow and brainwaves-altering piece clocking in at just over 20 minutes. The most deeply rejuvenating composition on the album, as well as my personal favorite, it’s characterized by a hazy atmosphere of bells, bowls, sitar, synthesizer and crystalline piano droplets. Finally, “We the People” is another gently rhythmic piece, this time reuniting Collins with her familiar past collaborators, Maksim Velichkin and Laura Hallady, alongside Gregoli and Haynes. Imbued with a touch of 60s psychedelia, the lyrical melody of “every man, woman and child” is repeated towards the end for a celebratory conclusion.
Perfectly suited for Yoga practice as well as other forms of conscious body movement, Every Man, Woman and Child: Yoga Flow Suite is an immensely rewarding and free-spirited musical offering of relaxation, rhythm and aural resplendence! —Candice Michelle, Aural Awakenings
I think the best way to start this off is with an introduction to the Every Man, Woman, and Child Yoga Flow Suite I received from the artist.
Every Man, Woman, and Child is a musical presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This year, Spiraling Music has released a dozen new improvisations on the original ballad, which was the first grassroots expression of the UDHR ever performed for the UN (1987). More recently, the chant version won a Global Peace Song Award in 2016.
So, with the beginning of this three-part suite, I am thinking, stress causes disease and kills and music is the ultimate healer and connector to our higher power and higher self. I do not doubt that today. The connection I have with these wonderful music makers is a gift and I treasure it every time I sit down to listen and write my words.
This is a collaborative effort with Merrill Collins and David "Vito" Gregoli producing together at his studio. The featured vocalist is Kimberly Haynes with Laura Halladay on flutes and Maksim Velichkin on cello. Merrill has worked with these talented people extensively (Merrill’s Trio) and the chemistry is evident in the three suites. Don’t be persuaded to believe that this is an EP or 3 quick tracks, it’s actually 56 minutes in length and has been entered as a full album for the 62nd Grammys New Age category. You will hear flutes, wind chimes, percussion, cello and more on this presentation.
These blessed individuals go from strength to strength with all of the instruments and gorgeous vocalizations of Kimberly Haynes on the “We The People” track. The mixture of instruments is musical divinity taking shape before your eyes, ears, and spirit. It will envelop, caress and stimulate you, all at the same time while creating your mediation bubble for healing.
The Every Man, Woman, and Child Yoga Flow Suite is a masterful performance with significant meaning for a world of confusion and negativity that needs healing in every way. If we the people heal, so will the world around us. Mother earth and its inhabitants have hope and it is music like this that injects us with the spiritual energy that drives us down the right roads to the recovery of humanity from shore to shore.
Thank you, Merrill and friends, for helping us to see the light at the end of the road.
-- Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
Born and raised in New Jersey, visionary-composer-musician, Merrill Collins dedicated her life to music at the tender age four. By young adulthood she’d achieved a Master’s in music from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.
In 1983, Collins would go on to create her label, Spiraling Music, an institution which has been the central hub and publisher of all of music.
A collaborator at heart, she has worked with some equally talented musicians throughout the years. In her own words, “My players often interact with each other like a musical conversation, where each person’s intuition guides their commentaries and input…”
With a sonic passion and a heart dedicated to making wholesome music that is legitimately good for the world, Merrill has seen her talents validated further in her work with the United Nations, UNCHR Human Rights Day, Amnesty International, United Way, UN World Habitat Day, and more.
Her previously recorded works include a library of classical, acoustic and new age soundscapes such as, Sincero, Ethereal Escapes, Minute Of Silence, Cello & Piano Sanctuary, and so much more. Her latest collaboration, Every Man, Woman and Child, Yoga Flow Suite (EMWC, YFS), the soundtrack to a peace-inspiring curriculum by the same name, is a richly relaxing journey into a soothing sonic vortex, and the perfect sound tapestry for one’s yoga practice.
HERE’S WHAT WE DUG MOST…
What you all may or may not know about our small team here at The Ark of Music, is that we are PASSIONATE about great New-Age music, and thus have a modest library of our own. EMWC, YFS, immediately qualifies for said library as track one, Om Mani Padme Hum (featuring Kimberly Haynes), guides listeners across a 20-minute celestial carpet ride of warm, world-tones and soothing vocal mantras. (Think: Snatam Kaur & Deva Premal) The soothing tones of harmonium and sitar open the album’s 2nd track, Ambient Journey (featuring David Vito Gregoli), an aptly titled 20-minute reduction in mental chatter. Refreshingly void of lyrics, this ambient composition opens space for the mind to relax and expel unneeded clutter.
The album’s final track, We The People (featuring Kimberly Haynes, David Vito Gregoli, Laura Halladay, and Maksim Velichkin), comes on softly and slowly with the fiddle’s emotive addiction. Serving as a peaceful rally cry, the track’s title offers much—without saying much. If still enough, the listener—the organism—might just begin to experience how change can happen when it is simply allowed—and in the same breath, how contradictory our toil and hard work can be.
IN CONCLUSION… Deluxe and densely relaxing. A sonic and spiritual respite. What the musical world—as well as the rest of the world—need so much more of today. Merrill Collins’ latest album collaboration, Every Man, Woman and Child, Yoga Flow Suite, continues in masterful fashion her healing voyage of sound in this lifetime. Perfect for your next yoga class. Perfect for unwinding at home. Perfect for that busy commute in the car. If you’ve not yet taken the time to launch your own New-Age/Relaxation music library, here’s your chance.
WHOSE LOVECHILD…? Snatam Kaur meets Sangeeta Kaur with just a dash of jazz-lounge…
From Contemporary Fusion Reviews
On the first [track], Merrill leads into the first Sanskrit chant, “Om Mani Pedme Hum“, with her beautiful piano… as always, she has the “pacing” down to an art, encouraging the listener to join into the beauty of her realization… right at the 3:20 mark, vocalist Kimberly Haynes joins Merrill ever-so-gently, and they take you to the outer edges of joyful existence… now, I’m not a believer in formalized “religion” (of any sort), but I can tell you that this is one of the most spiritual experiences you will ever have… the song clearly speaks wonderfully for the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” (UDHR) that it was created for. As it says in the liner notes, “we want to engage communities around the globe to move, groove, and meditate to the meaning of this song, and jam with us to create greater awareness of the UDHR“.
Our friend David Vito Gregoli joins on Sitar, with Merrill’s keyboards for the second phase, titled “Ambient Journey“… what’s most impressive, whether you’re a novice or seasoned listener, is the “unhurried” feel of both players… David does an intro that runs right up through the 4:37 mark… then is joined, quite magically, by Merrill’s piano, in one of the most stunning (and powerful) sonic collaborations I’ve witnessed (yet) in 2019. You can hear the spirits of the universe speaking through these players, no doubt… if any song merits an award – it is THIS ONE!
The final [track], “We The People", really strikes your heart with the real message the artists (Merrill, David, Kimberly, Maksim Velichkin and Laura Halladay) are conveying… “We the people here by birth , we the keepers of the Earth“… this is my personal favorite of the three [tracks].
I give Merrill and her players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 5.00. What that also means is that this gets my “PICK” for “most influential ambient album”.