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INTO FOREVER - Frank Steiner Jr. distributed by real music

Into Forever

“I wanted to create an acoustic perfume, a soft musical fragrance to help listeners relax and unwind.” — Frank Steiner, Jr.

“In listening almost every day for the six months since its arrival, I’ve found Steiner’s new album to exceed his goal, at each listening connecting me to a profoundly wondrous sanctuary of peace. I invite you to share my beautiful experiences.” — Terence Yallop, President, Real Music

"A powerful, refined blend of acoustic and electronic music, Into Forever is timeless. Frequently, the composition is spare and spacious, giving us pause to appreciate the beauty of silence defined by sound. From low resonating notes to high-flying overtones, the acoustic and electronic elements organically unify to create a deep and meditative recording.” —Bette Timm


Michael Debbage
Based on his past recordings, at first blush one was expecting a no edge musical experience somewhat similar to Steiner’s label mate Bernward Koch. There is a certain element of truth to that expectation but as soon as the disc loaded this was the first indication that this was going to be a unique listening experience. With only five tracks present, the shortest track runs no less than nine minutes suggesting that Steiner was in an adventurous mood.

While Momentum opens with the elegant and attractive “Fill the Sky,” the immediate observation was the openness of the high quality production as well as the optimistic moving musical experience. “Fill the Sky” will have you floating in the stratosphere as the keyboards, guitar and light orchestration collide gently allowing you to feel like you can reach for the stars. The album is bookended by the equally impressive “Epiphany” whose light but constant percussion drives the song that uses its entire eleven minute plus musical frame to build and then gently bring us to a breathy conclusion. Add the three additional tracks found in between and clearly there is no filler, making the results on Momentum striking.

Unlike his previous recording Into Forever, though Momentum has some meditative qualities, it does not have the minimalistic qualities of its predecessor. With impressive creations between the opener and closer, Frank Steiner, Jr. has presented his listeners with clearly his most remarkable recording to date. Momentum, while not momentous, is still highly impressive and has sleeper hit of 2015 written all over it.

Dan Cowan
Music Design In Review
Whenever Frank Steiner, Jr. presents a new release, you can be certain that enchantment lies on the horizon. Or, to be more specific, enchantment with an edge of jazzy elegance, multicultural essence, and plenty of examples of beautiful composition work. With a title like Momentum, you might expect a certain amount of energy. In truth, the album is quite serene; the momentum comes in the flood of musical ideas that cascade through the album, featuring a variety of musical instruments and the occasional shamanic texture to create a richly arranged musical space. Piano and keyboards shimmer and sway through arrangements of soft guitar, percussion and orchestration. For example, the opening track “To Fill the Sky” is an uplifting piece featuring melodic piano, an undercurrent of guitar, and breezy beats dotted with kalimba. Like all of the tracks, it wraps you in a cocoon of tranquility; it is perfect for adding a dash of peace to any atmosphere.

Michael Foster
Ambient Visions
With Momentum, which is Frank Steiner, Jr.’s 4th album release since 1998, he has created an intricate musical landscape that moves easily between several styles of music, and yet the flow of the album as a whole feels very homogenous and unified as you move from song to song. Momentum is unusual in the sense that each of the songs on this project are between 9 and 11 minutes long which allows Steiner to really pull the listener into each of the compositions in a way that shorter songs do not allow. The album runs 51:31in length, but is broken down into only five tracks which has afforded Steiner plenty of time to explore the theme presented in each individual song.

The common thread that ties the tracks together is the marvelous piano playing of Frank Steiner, Jr. that seems to stand out in each one. I especially like the mood that Steiner creates on the track called “Out There” which blends a gentle beat that not only is the first thing you hear at the beginning of the track, but offers a steady palette upon which all the other sound elements are layered onto. The piano offers a luxurious and intimate feel to the whole track as if it were something that might complement an evening spent in the company of someone close to you. The addition of strings, guitar and horns to this piece really brings this composition to an emotional high point that the listener is sure to love. The ending of “Out There” is simply Steiner on the keyboard along with the haunting background fading away as he brings this track to a beautiful close.

The song “To Fill the Sky,” with its delicate piano intro, immediately sets the mood for what is to follow on the rest of the album and creates within the mind of the listener a feeling of serenity and well-being that simply makes the music a joy to listen to.

“Swimming with Delphin” is a lovely composition that really shows the versatility of what Steiner is capable of within the songs that comprise this album. The song features the soft beat of a drum almost shamanic in nature, a flute that adds texture to the song as well as a feeling of mystery, a contemplative piano and finally a wonderfully ethereal female vocal that allows the song to become truly mystical in nature. Add in some strings and a guitar and you will see why this track is so deeply poignant and so emotionally moving. Steiner has organically blended all of these musical elements into this impressive composition that is both polished by a deft hand on the instruments and on the mixing board, and yet it still retains a very sensitive core for the listener to extract through multiple listening sessions. While I don’t always like to pick a favorite song from the albums I review, I would have to say that this one really stands out in my mind and is worth repeated listenings to fully absorb what Steiner has accomplished.

Momentum is a pleasure to listen to and even though there are only five tracks, it is obvious that Steiner has invested much of himself into each of the songs on this project. His cohesive artistic vision can be felt on each of the tracks and perhaps that is where the name Momentum came from. His forward motion began on the first song and carries through to the end of the track five. From the contemplative, to the mystical, to the jazzy strains of “Tigam Enome,” Steiner’s musicianship is first-class filled with nuance and delicacy. His music has a way of wending its way into your soul and once there makes itself at home. Steiner is a world class musician and Momentum only confirms that the future is bright for his music and even brighter for those of us who are fortunate enough to discover and listen to his compositions. Recommended by Ambient Visions.

Chris Spector
Midwest Record
A new age/very lite jazz set that puts motion into motion, this impressionistic outing sonically captures various forms of motion in flight nicely. Very much the kind of music that aids mellowing out, Steiner’s music goes places other than in circles and this is music that won’t embarrass you when it bleeds out of your headphones as you walk through a thicket of hipsters. Well done throughout with extra points for inherent thought and composition.

James McQuiston
NeuFutur Magazine
Frank Steiner, Jr.’s Momentum contains five compositions which provide listeners with over fifty minutes of introspection and compelling music. Beginning with the ten-plus minute composition “To Fill the Sky,” his effort starts off with a sedate, twinkling set of arrangements that add disparate elements before gradually gaining tempo, creating something that sits at the precipice of American folk, jazz, and new age music. A narrative is present during this opening that far outstrips vocal music; listeners can take the rising and falling actions as part of an epic journey that contains innumerable stimuli; the track possesses bright and dark elements before Steiner moves to his next work.

“Swimming with Delphin” is a similarly deep and intricate set of arrangements that shift and change just enough to establish a theme that matches the titular action well. Listeners will be sent on a journey through synth and vocal elements. The track picks up and elicits comparisons to schools of fish and larger aquatic animals flittering by.

“Tigam Enome” bridges the gap between classical and current styles of music. The raw passion and emotionality of Steiner’s arrangements are given further depth through the inclusion of vocals. While the track stands out, “Tigam Enome” is threaded through by the same thematic elements that have been presented throughout the entire title.

Momentum concludes with “Out There” and “Epiphany,” two tracks that unite despite possessing wholly different foundations. “Out There” has a flair for more Latin elements even as a nod to modern electronic artists like Kraftwerk and Klaus Schulze can be discerned, while “Epiphany” provides an emphatic ending to the album as well as a pulling back of the veil concerning where Steiner may take listeners on later releases.

Top Tracks: “Swimming with Delphin,” “To Fill the Sky”
Rating: 8.7/10

CD reviews

Chris Spector
Midwest Record

What can you say about a cat who says his mission statement was to create audio perfume? I give him points for trying to get your attention. What he does make is next stage new wave where he’s doing something more than noodling on the synth to create a mood. This set leads you down actual passages in your mind as it guides you along on your head trip. Not ambient, not really new age, not instrumental or jazz, it just might be something new along all these lines and it sure does make for a great relaxation record. Timing out just at the right length for the average massage, this just might be the perfect gift for your massage therapist if you wish she’d finally update that Relaxation Company stuff.

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CD reviews

Chris Spector
Midwest Record

What can you say about a cat who says his mission statement was to create audio perfume? I give him points for trying to get your attention. What he does make is next stage new wave where he’s doing something more than noodling on the synth to create a mood. This set leads you down actual passages in your mind as it guides you along on your head trip. Not ambient, not really new age, not instrumental or jazz, it just might be something new along all these lines and it sure does make for a great relaxation record. Timing out just at the right length for the average massage, this just might be the perfect gift for your massage therapist if you wish she’d finally update that Relaxation Company stuff.

Kathy Parsons

Into Forever is German composer Frank Steiner, Jr.’s third release on the Real Music label, following I Ching Symphony (1998) and Touching Silk (2004). Very soothing and calming, the seven tracks were composed, arranged, produced and performed by Steiner on a combination of keyboards that play a full range of orchestral instruments, piano, voices, and atmospheric sounds. Of this music, Steiner says, “I wanted to create an acoustic perfume, a soft musical fragrance to help listeners relax and unwind.” I would say that Steiner has succeeded very well in his goal. I must caution you, though. Don’t try to wake up to this CD! I had it in my wake-up alarm a couple of mornings and slept rather blissfully through the whole album! The tracks range in duration from just under five minutes to just under fifteen, so the music has plenty of time to evolve and develop at a very leisurely and organic pace. More ambient than melodic, this music is wonderful while working, reading, meditating, and any other quiet activities that welcome a calming influence. As is the norm for Real Music releases, the production quality of this album is stellar.

Into Forever begins with “Love’s Whisper,” a beautifully orchestrated piece with an Asian flavor to some of its themes. The atmospheric background gives the feeling of floating freely in deep space while the piano provides a gentle and unstructured melody line that expresses warmth and contentment. “Floating Petals” is almost a piano solo, with light strings accompanying. The slow, graceful melody beautifully depicts the random movement of weightless flower petals going wherever the water takes them — I love this track! “Divine Fragrance” is a 15-minute ambient masterpiece. Very ethereal and at a tempo similar to deep breathing, this lovely piece will gently ease you into a tranquil state of mind. “Lead Me To You” is piano with hypnotic ambient sounds that include the sweet chirps of small birds — magical! “Sparks of Love” is my favorite track. It begins with the sound of the ocean with light string washes here and there. When the piano enters, it adds a very simple but wonderfully heart-felt melody to the ambient strings, allowing each note to float on a soft cloud of sound - so peaceful! “Mystery’s Invitation” is another beauty. Much darker than the other pieces, it carries a strong feeling of mystery (hence the title, I’m sure!), but not of dread. It’s a great ending to a great album!

The official release date for Into Forever is March 13, 2012. Amazon is taking advanced orders now and Real Music has the album available for download. This is a beautiful album if you enjoy music that is on the ambient side. Recommended!

Michael Foster

Frank Steiner Jr.'s latest release called Into Forever is just what the doctor ordered when it comes to spending a little over an hour relaxing and letting the stress of the day flow out of you through each of the seven tracks that comprise this album. On the back cover of the album Frank states that he wanted to create a "musical fragrance to help listeners relax and unwind." After listening to this CD several times I have found the music contained herein to be a contemplative and peaceful selection of songs that gently washes over your consciousness allowing you to drift along with Frank's soothing piano playing which is the foundation of all the music that you will find on this album.

There is an ethereal feel to the music throughout all of his compositions that gives you the feeling of floating on waves of light after you have acclimated yourself to the world that Frank has created through his songs. This process doesn't take all that long and before you are even half way through the first track called “Love's Whisper” with its rich emotional sounds you will find yourself dislodged from the day to day grind and for the next hour you will find yourself wandering the tranquil soundscapes that Frank creates with his piano.

It is obvious that the music on this album was composed and recorded so as to not break the mood and the flow of the CD. Each song seems to fold into the next maintaining the same serene qualities as the song that came before it. I very much enjoyed this fact because I was not jarred out of the soothing cocoon of stillness that wrapped around me with the first song and continued right on through the last track called “Mystery's Invitation.” Many times these albums will be used in their entirety as background music for Reiki or Massage sessions, sleeping or for meditative purposes and it is critical that the mood is maintained. Frank has done an excellent job of immersing the listener in an environment of peace for the entire 60 odd minutes that this album plays.

The tracks on this album range from the shortest which is 4:58 up to the longest which is 14:59. Most of the tracks are of the six minute or longer variety and the only reason that I mention it is that the tracks tend to be perfect for allowing Frank the time to effectively create these peaceful landscapes. Oftentimes on shorter songs you feel like you are just getting started when the song comes to an end. With these longer compositions Frank is allowed the time to develop the song and engage the listener more fully in the experience which in turn deepens the overall effect of serenity that pours over you as you listen.

From the gentle synths that ebb and flow behind Frank's piano on songs like “Sparks of Love” to the bird sounds that ever so gently appear on “Lead Me to You” or the tinkling wind chimes on “Love's Whisper,” Frank has created a gentle and comfortable realm where the insistent call of the physical world is left behind. You will find that Frank's music wanders the ground between ambient and new age while executing each style effortlessly and with a masterful touch on the keyboards. The sound quality is impeccable and his music has a captivating flow to it that instantly engages the listener. You will find much to love about this album and when you are done listening to it the first time you will probably go back for seconds or thirds as the music allows for multiple listenings without ever becoming tiring. This is an excellent effort by Frank Steiner Jr. and is certainly recommended by Ambient Visions.

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