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MP3 Bryan Kessler & Steve Jones - The Journey Begins

Created for massage, meditation and relaxation with a unique Hawaiian sense of place and peace.

10 MP3 Songs
NEW AGE: Healing, NEW AGE: Environmental

HONOLULU - Two of Hawai''i''s multi-talented musicians and composers - Bryan Kessler, formerly of the Hawaiian-Style Band, and Steve Jones, well-known local jazz musician and producer - have spent the past two years nurturing the development of a unique and special CD that should quickly find its niche - "Hawaiian Healing Journey." Unique, because this is the first Hawaiian CD specifically created to accompany and enhance the experience of a one-hour massage, meditation and relaxation. It is special because "Hawaiian Healing Journey" creates an experience for the listener to join an inviting ''i''iwi bird on its journey through Hawai''i''s beautiful landscape - from the heavens at dawn to the pristine shore, from hidden valleys to a sacred heiau, into the womb of the island''s magical and mystical, mist-laden rainforest, and then soaring back into the heavens over majestic mountain peaks into the light of a new day.

"My wife, Lee Ann Jones, is the general manager for the Hawai''i office of RAJA International Hawai''i, Inc. which teaches the Hawaiian art of lomilomi to Japanese students," said Steve. "She said there were so many New Age CD''s out there, but nothing that was truly Hawaiian and specifically meant to accompany lomilomi. And that''s how the seed of this idea was planted."

Jones and Kessler started brainstorming and decided that if they were going to do this, they were going to do it pono, the right way, and they embraced the project with a passion to create something truly unique, Hawaiian, and healing. It was also important, according to Kessler, to remove the "human element" as much as possible to keep the project one that focused on nature in its pristine glory. The idea of following the flight of the ''i''iwi came from a meeting with local artist Patrick Ching. The paintings of Hawai''i landscapes and native birds in Ching''s studio captured the duo''s attention immediately as having exactly the right "feeling" of what they were trying to convey with music. The CD cover features the ''apapane, an endemic species of honeycreeper that inhabits Hawai''i''s forests, one of the landscapes we visit on our musical journey. Ching also introduced Jones and Kessler to the adaptable ''i''iwi, another honeycreeper that travels throughout the islands'' vast terrain, and not just within one specific environment. Upon hearing that, a lightbulb went off in Lee Ann''s head, and the CD''s journey now took flight with the help of the ''i''iwi. "And the music just started to flow after that," said Kessler.

However, that doesn''t mean there weren''t a few "turbulents" along the way. As Jones and Kessler composed, they brought CD tracks to RAJA for the lomilomi practitioners to use while working and provide feedback. After a series of hits and misses with their critical focus group, the final product emerged as a perfect 63-minute accompaniment to the art of lomilomi. Jones and Kessler soon realized this would be something helpful for all massage therapists, people who meditate, and anyone in need of relaxation. "Hawaiian Healing Journey" is ideal any time one needs to unwind and escape from the hectic pace of daily life.

"We were told the CD should have a warning label like some medications - ''Do not take if driving or operating machinery. May cause drowsiness.''" joked Jones. "But seriously, this is not one of those CD''s we would recommend playing in your car - it really puts people to sleep!"

Jones and Kessler brought in a group of talented artists to make their vision for "Hawaiian Healing Journey" a beautiful reality: Kit Ebersbach (keyboards), Ruth Komatsu (nose flute, recorder), Noel Okimoto (percussion), Maila Gibson (voice), Ken Emerson (steel guitar), Kumu Hula Blaine Kia (chant), former Miss Aloha Hula Regina Maka''ika''i Igarashi (narration), and Pono Jones (laughter). Kessler and Jones perform on guitars and bass, respectively, and Jones'' wife, Lee Ann, also served as creative consultant on the project.

This is a journey of Hawai''i''s haunting depths and enticing treasures, where one can get blissfully lost and found. This journey is meant to take one on a spiritual and visual journey as well as an auditory one, but it is also created to go perfectly with massage, meditation and relaxation, from a gentle start to the more intense, and finally, the feeling of light and weightlessness at the end. And yet, this journey is not meant to end there, but, as with lomilomi, the effects are meant to stay with you...to heal, to relax, to center yourself throughout the day.

The CD jacket and liner notes also show no less care and consideration for detail. The cover is a montage of artwork by noted local artist Patrick Ching, seamlessly joined by graphic artist Faye Mahealani Jones with assistance from Craig Okino. The rest of the attractive 12-panel package provides the visual and written images the CD conveys through its musical imagery. The versatile Robert Pennybacker authored a poem for each leg of our ''i''iwi''s journey, and graphically-enhanced photography by Michael Keola Jones, Douglas Peebles, and David Malin provide glimpses from a bird''s eye view. Faye Jones captured the vision of Jones and Kessler superbly with her masterful graphic work.

The street date for "Hawaiian Healing Journey" is October 21, 2003. It will be available at all major record stores, as well as at selected spas and boutiques, and on https://www.tradebit.com. With the holidays approaching, "Hawaiian Healing Journey" is the perfect gift, alone, or accompanied by at-home spa products like candles, massage oil, bath salts, and even herbal teas. The CD is recommended in a soon-to-be-released book about Hawai''i spas by well-known health and travel writer Sherrie Strausfogel - in a chapter about spa-ing at home. "Hawaiian Healing Journey" is perfect for use at home, by massage therapists at spas, in meditation, at medical and dental offices, and other locations where relaxation is an objective.

This is the premiere CD release on the WIRE AND WOOD MUSIC label. A series of five "Hawaiian Healing Journey" CD''s is planned.

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