"One of the best new age albums released for absolutely years. Perfect performances by all involved, a totally uplifting collection of songs created out of love for the love of us all." — Steve Sheppard, One World Music
"MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED rating, with a (perfect) “EQ” (energy quotient) score of 5.00. ”
— Dick Metcalf
Yoga Flow Suite
A collaboration with Merrill Collins and David Vito Gregoli
featuring Kimberly Haynes, vocalist; Maksim Velichkin, cellist; & Laura Halladay, flutes
“Music is naturally, organically and inseparably connected to life, just as the shapes of DNA/RNA are spirals within our bodies, spirals have movement and constant flow and are an integral shape in nature.” —Merrill Collins, composer
"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."
-- Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck, New Age Music Reviews
"Beauty and true elegance." —Keith Pro, Indie Band Guru
"An immensely rewarding and free-spirited musical offering of relaxation, rhythm and aural resplendence!" —Candice Michelle, Aural Awakenings
Yoga Flow I
featuring Kimberly Haynes Amazon | iTunes | Indie | YouTube | Spotify
Yoga Flow II
featuring David Vito Gregoli Amazon | iTunes | Indie | YouTube | Spotify
Yoga Flow Suite
Amazon | iTunes | Indie | YouTube | Spotify
With human rights in focus and change desperately needed in the world, we want to engage communities around the globe to move, groove, and meditate to the meaning of this song to create greater awareness of the UDHR.
Teach Yoga to this album on Peace Day, September 21, and Human Rights Day, December 10th. Put your public event on the World Peace Event Map!
Practice or teach asanas with intention of activating one or all human rights.
Get the YOGA guide here.
View Press Release
"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." —The Ark of Music
"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."-- Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck, New Age Music Reviews
"This is the epitome of healing music as far as I'm concerned. The album envelopes the listener in beauty, comfort, and an overall feeling of the connectivity that music can bring to us as citizens of planet Earth. —Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire
Trust an artist with the talent, imagination, vision, and ambition of Merrill Collins to be the driving force behind an album as amazing as Every Man, Woman, and Child – Yoga Flow Suite. Working with world-renowned producer and multi-instrumentalist David Vito Gregoli (who co-produced the album with Collins and co-authored two of its three tracks), as well as noted vocalist Kimberly Haynes, flutist Laura Halladay, and cellist Maksim Velichkin (the latter two have recorded previously with pianist Collins), Collins has crafted a triumvirate of approaches to meditative/yoga music, which while obviously disparate in literal nature, somehow exhibit clear cohesion in establishing a central mood of peace and unity.
Quoting from a document supplied to me by Collins "These tracks [the three songs on the album] were created to supply Yoga practitioners with body, mind, and spirit materials to use in the Every Man, Woman, and Child International Peaceday Project. The musical themes provide thought stream of our highest intentions toward global harmony and connectivity." Merrill and her collaborators are doing great work on this ambitious and important project.
The three songs travel different pathways in their approach to everything from instrumentation to tempo to mood to musical influences. However, one thing that stood out to me, and was reinforced after each playing, was the obvious commitment each artist made to this recording and the sincerity, depth of feeling, and expert musicianship they all brought to focus from the first minute to the last.
Track one, "Every Man, Woman, and Child: Yoga Flow – Om Mani Padme Hum" is a twist on the traditional mantra chant. The overriding influence is a blend of soft (not smooth) jazz and new age, as well some elements of world beat. Collins unfurls the melody slowly at first and then gradually ramps up the pace of the melodic refrain, always embellishing it to a certain degree, which is why I hear a distinct jazz influence, as well as obvious improvisation (while always staying true to the underlying refrain). Gregoli plays tabla and electric bass on the track and he is the bedrock for the tempo, yet never escalates it beyond an ear-pleasing mid-tempo pace. The interplay between Collins and Gregoli is not just completely simpatico but a true delight. Haynes's vocals enter the song at about the three-minute mark, and she embraces the spiritual nature of mantra throughout while deftly sliding into the almost cheery jazziness that Collins and Gregoli have already established. Late in the track, Haynes' vocals are multi-tracked so that she counterpoints her loftier wordless vocals with a quickly repeating straight up spoken mantra.
These three tracks are all long, running approximately 20, 20 and 15 minutes in duration, respectively. Seldom have I been held so transfixed by songs of this time length. It is a testament to the musicians, but I must especially mention Collins, who displays such fluidity in her extemporaneous riffing that if you stripped away Gregoli's rhythms and Haynes' vocals, you'd notice you were listening to a truly great jazz pianist.
The second song is "Every Man, Woman, and Child: Yoga Flow – Ambient Journey" and the track features just Collins on keyboards and Gregoli on tambura and sitar. There are no vocals of any kind on the 20+ minute track, which has a more overt world beat influence due to the sitar's presence. Collins' piano is nicely reverbed and her playing is more minimal than on the previous song, and she also adds some keyboard shadings to add a more ambient aesthetic as well. I was again struck by not just the fluid improvisatory nature of the music but how the subtle machinations by the two musicians not only staved off monotony, but added a subtle sense of complexity.
The final piece, "Every Man, Woman, and Child: Yoga Flow – We The People," reunites vocalist Haynes with Collins and Gregoli and also includes flutist Halladay and cellist Velichkin. At fifteen minutes, it is the shortest track, but follows the same format in that the musicians circle each other with their fluid melodies on flute, voice, drone, cello, and piano, like dancers in a poetic ballet. The cello introduces subtle contemporary classical textures, while Halladay's flute more than hints at new age, and Haynes wordless vocals evoke an ethereal mood of sorts. Haynes, Velichkin and Halladay dominate the song early on, with Gregoli's tabla and bass and Collins' piano joining in after the "prelude." If I was pressed, I would categorize this as a mixture of new age and classical, despite the "world" presence of tabla, as that instrument takes a back seat of sorts to the others. At the halfway point, Haynes' vocals traverse into actual lyric territory with refrains of "Every Man, Woman, and Child" being multi-tracked underneath her soaring wordless vocals above the refrain, as well as a separate refrain of "We The People." The track fades out slowly to a beautiful, soothing ending.
Every Man, Woman and Child: Yoga Flow Suite deserves the wide exposures and heapings of acclaim not just for the musical excellence that runs throughout, but because, at its core, it's so well-intentioned and sincere. This is the epitome of healing music as far as I'm concerned. The album envelopes the listener in beauty, comfort, and an overall feeling of the connectivity that music can bring to us as citizens of planet Earth. To that I simply add "Hear, hear!"
—Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire
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”.
— Dick Metcalf, Contemporary Fusion Reviews
From One World Music
Every Man, Woman & Child Yoga Flow Suite is an album that is part of a bigger project, but standing on its own has to be one of the best new age albums released for absolutely years. Perfect performances by all involved, a totally uplifting collection of songs created out of love for the love of us all, and one that I have no problem at all thoroughly recommending.
— Steve Sheppard, One World Music
More reviews here
For those of us that are attuned to it, music is a gift. We can listen to music and be free of our pains and let our minds flow into peace. This is the power of music. One artist that has harnessed this power with a mission of peace is our recent find Merrill Collins and her Spiraling Music.
The composer, pianist, producer, and publisher originally hails from New Jersey. It was at the age of four that she decided to dedicate her life to music. Her parents helped her develop naturally with the sounds that came to her. Her studies led her to Ithaca College School of Music and Humboldt State University where she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Piano, with a minor in composition. Merrill then completed a Master’s of Music Degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music on a full scholarship.
In 1983, Merrill Collins started her independent label Spiraling Music. The goal of the label was to create and share music as part of the essence of life. She is known to collaborate with other talented musicians to expand her musical freedom.
The latest album released is Every Man, Woman and Child: Yoga Flow Suite. It is a 3 song, 55-minute record of spiritual new age music. Each of the 3 songs has its own unique vibration that aims to add peace to your mind. The sonic soundscape washes over the listener allowing freedom of thoughts as an extension to yoga practice. An assortment of musicians was brought in to fill the speakers with beauty and true elegance. That goal is accomplished in a totally relaxing way. The hour will seemingly pass quickly as your mind is allowed the time to be at a state of meditation.
Take the time out for yourself to enjoy this relaxed headspace and the music suite that enabled it to get there.
—Keith Pro, Indie Band Reviews