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Ashland musician garners 7 award nominations

"Sweet Sacred Mystery," the newest CD release from local singer/songwriter and recording artist, Nancy Bloom, was recently nominated for seven 2007 NAR Lifestyle Music Awards: Best Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best World Album, Best Ambient Album, Best Relaxation/Meditation Album.

"Sweet Sacred Mystery" charted at No. 4 out of the top 100 World/Ambient music CDs in June 2006, for radio airplay and internet airwaves, and

6 in May 2006.

Both "Sweet Sacred Mystery" and Bloom's first CD, "Spirits Walking the Wind," were created in collaboration with local virtuoso musicians, most of whom are recording artists in their own right. From her original inspirations in response to Nature and to Spirit, the music Nancy writes finds its final form with the heart and talent of these artists.

The themes of this new album are peace, unity in diversity and the Soul's connection with the Spirit and with Nature. According to Neil Anderson, former vice president of Columbia Records and BMI, Sweet Sacred Mystery is "A hauntingly beautiful, hopeful album embracing many spiritual traditions."

"The music is a carrier-wave for empowering words. Music, the universal language, speaks to the heart of us all," says Nancy.

"Often words and melodies arise together in the creation of my songs," she says. Yet she admits that some of her melodies come to her in tongues or vocables, the non-language sounds that Native Americans say are the only true language of mountains, rivers, the sky.

Then she reshapes their sounds into lyrics, or leaves those songs as they first emerged, singing their melodies in "Spirit tongue."

Nancy's lifetime of journeying to and living in wilderness settings, and her 30 years of work as a spiritual healer and counselor, as well as her 35 years of spiritual practise inform all she does, including her music.

At the age of 30 she dedicated her life and all her talents to healing, not realizing that one day her music would become one of her most healing arts.

"Sweet Sacred Mystery" features Pat O'Scannell, music director of the Shakespeare Green show, on woodwinds; Lila Sklar (who for a while played violin on a trapeze in Cirque Du Soleil) on Gypsy and East Indian violin tracks, and Ani Williams on Celtic Harp. Richard Williams plays keyboards, guitar, shakuhachi, bouzouki, sarod, and drums, and other exotic instruments, and world music luminary Benjy Wertheimer plays Tablas. Sam Kurz plays Native American Flutes. Shakespeare Festival actor G. Valmont Thomas provides spoken word in "Deganaweda," a song about the Native American Peacemaker. Thomas, David Gabriel, Heather Hutton, Kelly Botak, Arian Goodwin and Jeff Painter provide harmony vocals. Olaf Soderback and Heloise Lochman play Gypsy accordion. Richard Williams and Ani Williams co-arranged with Nancy on both albums, which were mixed by Ron Davis. "I gratefully share these award nominations with all of them," says Nancy.

Both Nancy Bloom's new release, "Sweet Sacred Mystery," and "Spirits Walking the Wind," her first, which features many of the same artists, can be found at Soundpeace, The Music Coop, and American Trails Gallery in Ashland, and at Sacred World in Jacksonville, as well as at Stewart Mineral Springs. One can hear and order both albums and all individual songs at Nancy's website: . For more information call 541-488-5795.