Story last updated at 8/5/2009 - 12:30 pm
There's no denying the magical sounds of a harp. They're anything but common, and there's a mystery in all that plucking that eludes to sounds of the heavens.
Mary Amanda's compositions in her 2008 album, "Alaxsxaq," feature her harp and piano talents paired with sounds of the wild such as ocean waves, singing whales and other sounds of Alaska.
Each composition seems to be her musical interpretation of Alaskan elements, such as "Water Is Wide," "Eagle" and "Aurora," to name a few. She uses elements of the music to represent the topic she is writing about. For example, "Bear" features deep, powerful melodies while "Eagle" has a light and airy sound to it, as if floating on air like an eagle would. "Otter" has a sort of playfulness to it while "Fireweed" makes me feel like I'm a bumblebee flying around in a carnival of flowers, as a bumblebee must feel during the time the fireweed is in bloom.
"Eagle" is my favorite track, as it leans away from the synthesizers that are dominant in the rest of the album and really allows the harp and piano to shine.
The album is instrumental, except for the whale vocalizations in track two, eagle calls in track five and the various bird calls in track seven. I'm always on the lookout for good instrumental music that I can listen to while I'm writing; though "Alaxsxaq" has a hypnotic quality that would probably cause me to stare out the window and dream.