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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

CD Review: Tami Briggs - The Healing Journey

Tami Briggs – The Healing Journey
2007, Musical Reflections

Tami Briggs is a national speaker, composer and recording artist. She is a pioneer in the field of harp therapy and works with such prodigious organizations as The Mayo Clinic and the American Institute Of Medical Education. Briggs focuses on compositions that aid in relaxation and healing, and holds a certification from the International Harp Therapy Program. She has authored one book and produced fourteen CDs of relaxation based music in the course of her career. Her most recent release, The Healing Journey, continues in the spirit of relaxation and healing that Ms. Briggs has brought in her prior 13 releases.

The Healing Journey opens with Inspired By Love, a mystical exploration of time and space in musical terms. It's a nearly six minute improvisational-style composition that both benefits and suffers from a lack of structure or melody. It's very serene and relaxing (which is the point, I guess) but musically unsatisfying. Ditto track two: Angelic Whispers. This song climbs and falls along the scale seemingly without a care for where it might be going or where it's been.

Soul's Longing starts out on a more promising note, seeming to loosely pursue a musical idea at the outset but falling victim to the same sort of melodic and structural disconnect noted on the first two tracks. Tami Briggs finally connects somewhat on Opening To Hope. There is a quiet, urgent longing for freedom that trickles through this song. Opening To Hope actually makes a serious attempt and remaining on the instrumental story it starts out with, and succeeds for the most part without becoming too diversionary or distracted.

Stepping Stones continues the migration to some fort of form and is actually quite a lovely composition. Incredibly reserved, it's beautiful the way sunlight off a brook is beautiful: In fleeting flashes that are both more and less than the original after the fact. Anam Cara: Soul Friend starts out as a halting progression that slowly becomes more cohesive, perhaps paralleling the early stages of a new friendship in its tenor and tone. Bright and moderately tuneful at the beginning, Anam Cara goes through fits of disorganized noodling at times but mostly keeps the form and line of the song intact.

I Know Where I'm Going is one of those new-age/easy listening songs that is written to sound purposeful and resilient and ends up sounding neither. It's a return to the nearly-unstructured beginning of The Healing Journey. Once again it's relaxing, but fails to leave an impression on the listener.

Likewise Surrounded By Angels, a throwback to the sort of disorganized melodic manipulations popular in late 1980's and early 1990's new age instrumental music. Transitions haltingly attempts melody and structure and almost finds some purchase on the latter, whereas Reflections, the closing tune, doesn't even try.

Tami Briggs came into this CD trying to create a relaxing experience based on her education and therapeutic focus. I will leave it to folks smarter than I to debate the efficacy of music therapy beyond palliation, but it is clear that she has succeeded in creating a series of relaxing aural tableaus. From a music perspective this recording is suspect. There are moments here where musical creations spring forth from her fingers, but much of the material here in artistic terms are doodles; incomplete ideas. So for relaxation purposes or meditation or perhaps even healing, The Healing Journey may be worthwhile for you. As a musical creation there's not much here to dig into

Rating: 2 Stars (Out of 5)

You can learn more about Tami Briggs at You can purchase a copy of The Healing Journey at

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