Maneki Neko is composer, soundscape artist, and recording engineer Al Mikula. Based in Austin, Texas, Maneki Neko crafts electro-acoustic ambient music for relaxation, meditation, and the healing arts. Mixing influences from his travels, Al debuts his own music as Maneki Neko on his new CD, 'Auracle.' Maneki Neko takes a chilled out vibe, layers it with gently rolling hints of melody, and grounds it in deep, satisfying, resonant beds. The result is music with depth and purpose, music that invites the mind and body to slow down and relax in it's ambient textures. The five compositions on 'Auracle' combine traditional instruments and melodic structures from cultures with long-standing meditative traditions to build soundscapes that aid the 21st century meditator on a relaxing inner journey. Steven Parente, Producer of The SmilingEar.com, describes 'Auracle' as '...narcotic body-numbing vibrations and layers of electronic space sounds that allow the mind to drift into other realms.' Al sums up the philosophy of Maneki Neko's music, 'Sound is a core element in almost all meditative traditions. Sound can really change the way we feel - our heart rate, brain waves, and muscle tension. With my music I try to blend the musical traditions I experienced around the world with ambient sounds that let listeners relax or explore through meditation.' "...The sound design is exquisite and allows for sharp focus with free-form expression. This is an excellent CD from a newcomer to the community. It approaches, achieves and supersedes greatness..." Jim Brenholts "Awareness Magazine" "...Drawing from various world styles with ethereal keyboard work and deft brush strokes of pan flute and Tibetan bells, this sort of relaxing soundscape is a perfect accompaniment to unwind from a stress-filled world." Music Morsels "...With titles like 'Cats Sleeping on Clouds' and 'Drifting Between Stars,' Neko's music promises much -- and delivers on it all...The sounds are luxuriously layered, with bell chimes, pipes, soft percussive taps, and plenty of smooth-as-silk electronics." Todd Beemis, "Indie-Music.com" "Auracle is meditation music at it's grandest...There's something about this music that goes beyond words..." Ron Rudin, "Innerchange Magazine" "What a lovely piece of work. I have been listening to this CD at every free moment, this week & introduced several friends to it, as well." Capt. Christopher, Director "Cheezmuzik" WTUL 91.5FM New Orleans.
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