Let SoundPath Light Your Way
Reviewer: John E. Sackett III from New York

When was the last time you were in the Middle East? Recently, a long time ago or never? Get out the most exotic incense you have, light some candles, sit back and close your eyes and let Naaz (pronounced Nahz) take you away upon the wings of her crystal clear voice and haunting melodies to a place at once ancient and new.

And as the incense smoke snakes its way through the air, it will mingle with the visions of exotic and far away lands. Let yourself go. Be prepared. Your body will want to sway with the currents created by Bill Ruyle's hammer dulcimer, tabla and marimba, while Naaz's decidedly, though slightly, dissonant violin nestles its way into your consciousness, creating a sense of freedom. It almost scoffs at the idea of boundaries of any kind.

I recommend this CD for meditation, relaxing background for whatever you happen to be doing, or to create an exotic backdrop for a dinner party. It is not a CD of Middle Eastern music per se, but there is a definite flavor of Armenia and Persia, both of which are Naaz's heritage, in some of the tunes. The rest of the compositions go off on their own, exploring and discovering. They will take you into your own emotions and imagination.

If I were to compare this music to anything it would have to be Loreena McKennit - less Celtic, though there is a slight flavor of this created by Bill's magical and imaginative hammer dulcimer. There were even moments he had me believing he was playing sitar. Though there are no lyrics, the music is very lyrical.

I had the good fortune of attending the CD release party at which Naaz performed a few of her spontaneous compositions. My eyes kept wanting to close so that I could travel, and my body just kept swaying. Watching Naaz perform, it was clear that she was allowing the music to flow through her as well.