An incredible phenomenon may overtake your senses and extrasensory perception when you don’t just listen, but also attune your spiritual intuition, to specific expressions on Peter Sterling’s latest album, an ethereal, inspirational journey he autobiographically titles Mystic Voyager.
If you feel the loving, encouraging presence of angels when you listen to Peter Sterling’s graceful, mystical and melodic harp strums intertwining with Dov’s meditative violin on “Angels Ascending” – and experience a supernatural uplift amidst the ambient glow of Richard Hardy’s transcendent flute and Sterling’s subtle strains on “Wings of Light” - it’s all by the artist’s design. The veteran award-winning harpist is sharing a foundational part of his spiritual development and inviting you to connect with angels just as he has.
“The music on Mystic Voyager is not just about me, but who I represent – the heavenly hosts, angels and divine beings who are using me to play the harp,” says Peter, who chronicled his unique, transcendent encounters and spiritual transformation in a 2013 book titled Hearing the Angels Sing: A True Story of Angelic Assistance. “When I create, I tap into this gift where I have an unlimited wellspring of creativity that allows me to tap into an immense library of cosmic sounds. Working with my angelic support team, I’m able to connect with a higher sphere of heavenly harmonies that come through me.”
From his dreamy, atmospheric opener “Invocation” and sultry and sensual “Cosmic Lover” to the percussive exotic whimsy of the Brazilian leaning “Bahia Del Soul” and the uplifting romantic flair of “Light of Your Love,” Peter finds unique ways to impart the unexpected, transcendent, divinely guided journey he’s been on for the past three decades. His grandmother was a mystic who told Peter about trusting the guidance of his inner voice. In his early 30s, while making a good living as a ski instructor to celebrities in Aspen, that inner voice led him to shift gears and move to Sedona to continue his pursuits as a stained glass and visual artist.
Exploring Sedona’s remote canyons and living out of his van, Peter began experiencing life as a free-spirited seeker. He felt called to retreat into a local forest for 40 days, where he had his first encounters with the angelic realms. His musical origin story is Biblical in many ways, a modern equivalent of how the ancients connected and followed the divine.
One of his trademark instruments, the Celtic Harp, serendipitously entered his life on a fateful day as an answer to a prayer on how best to fulfill his unique life purpose. Toting his harp with him everywhere he went, Peter surrendered himself completely, allowing grace to unfold through him amidst Sedona’s epic scenery and energy vortices. Having only a few lessons under his belt from the seller of the Celtic Harp, the angels took over, guiding Peter’s hands and causing them to move masterfully in only a few months.
Peter’s longtime fans will surely agree with him that the nine magnificent pieces on Mystic Voyager (his 16th overall album) collectively forge a unique and dynamic sonic path that’s very different from the gentle, floating sounds of recent recordings like Sanctuary of Light (2020) and The Winding Way (2021). His expansive vision is to create a rich alchemy of transcendent, elemental and spiritual energy stirred with intricate textures, infectious melodies, lush harmonies and deeper, earthier rhythmic grooves.
To achieve this distinctive vibe, Peter collaborates with what evolved into his largest recording ensemble ever. In addition to the aforementioned Hardy (flute and sax) and Dov (violin), the sessions include essential contributions from #1 Billboard charting smooth jazz guitarist Steve Oliver, Grammy nominated Renaissance flute player David Young and accordionist Mark Danisovszky – all on the lilting “Across the Great Divide”; Grammy winning pianist Darlene Koldenhoven on “Angels Ascending” and “Wings of Light”; vocalists Chianne, Seay and Nina Starsong (who also brings “light language” to “Invocation”); guitarist and bassist Fitz Hugh Jenkins; and drummer Prem Vidu.
Jenkins’s guitar and Danisovszky’s accordion add depth and fresh color to the previously released single “The Long Cold Winter,” a stark, hauntingly hypnotic, largely improvisational composition whose distinctive Eastern European feel fueled Peter’s visual imagination. Collaborating with Sara Pozin, a 20something, award winning Slovenian animator, he co-created a video homage to the courageous people of Ukraine as they continue, well over a year later, to struggle with and survive the Russian invasion. With his mind filled with premonitory visions of refugees freezing in the bitter mid-winter, the harpist felt those angels guiding him, as they have throughout his extraordinary career as a musical and visual artist, to compose and record the song just before the invasion in February 2022.