Grace by Matthew Kocel: A Masterpiece of the Soul
Matthew Kocel is a phenomenal composer with a wealth of musical ingenuity that perfectly captures the vibe of renewal and self-cultivation. Kocel discovered his greatest sonic gifts after struggling for fifteen years to achieve stardom as a rock musician. Today, Kocel uses the beneficent properties of music and sound as an aid in his practices of holistic healing. His maestro is achieving recognition as an emerging leader in the world sound healing movement: He recently was made a committee member of the Sound Healing Initiative under the Global Wellness Institute. Kocel’s newest release entitled Grace is an uplifting call to the collective consciousness and spirit of humanity.
Comprised of five enchanting tracks, Grace is a masterfully woven album that is nearly an hour in length. In the great exodus from the world of materialism, Kocel’s symphonious offering has everything to do with reconnecting us to nature by shifting our focus to the here and now. Kocel engineered and co-produced Grace with Mark Fenster, all compositions, vocals, and instruments are by Matthew Kocel except for the tamboura track by Mark Fenster on “Farewell to Atlantis”. In my personal opinion, it would be impossible to describe or interpret Kocel’s masterful work as one would music made for entertainment. It is for this reason that I will proceed to evaluate each track appearing on Grace in a format of instinctive prose.
Grace: Track by Track Review
1-Andromeda – The long journey of leaving the phenomenal world to landing on the island of being within is the first prize that our consciousness must achieve in becoming whole. We are simply observing ourselves and live in the testimony of what was witnessed. The layered vocal harmonics symbolize Mother Nature’s words of encouragement and pleas to leave all fears aside for this is the first step.
2-Farewell To Atlantis – The bridge connecting our conscious and subconscious minds is a memory that cannot be lost. Though we may not know the name of every thought or emotion, these intangible elements are the building blocks of our experience. However, there exists life beyond these worlds.
3-Poseidon’s Dream – Arriving upon the shores of deidentification, we can, at last, see the dreamer in the mirror of imagination. Our spirits can rest awake in this place of timelessness.
4-Borealis – The sound of the chimes alert us to the dawning happiness and inner peace that ascend upon the horizon. It is by the “grace” of all that exists that we are bestowed with the confirmation of our place upon the path.
5-Grace – This place of reemergence is a joy expressed in tears. The chorale of baptism has made us whole. We are reborn in the destiny that calls us. Awakening unblemished to a bright new day.
Thank you, brother, for all that you have done in sharing your wisdom with us! Grace by Matthew Kocel is an initiation that artists, musicians, and even world leaders should experience at last once in their lifetime. It is a simple means of keeping us happy and healthy. Bravo!
Sound Journey with Matthew Kocel
by Amy Holt
Vancouver Yoga Review
20. Jul, 2011
This week was brilliant. I finished the second part of my 3-stage yoga teacher training certification. The highlight? After 8 straight days in class, our teacher Dan Clement arranged to have the Vancouver-based sound healer, throat singer and energy worker, Matthew Kocel, spend an afternoon with us before our 2-day break.
It was marvelous.
After a short intro about his journey and his work, Matthew explained that all matter is composed of dense vibrating energy. Combining the pure sounds of a harmonium, cyrstal and tibetan singing bowls, conch shells, throat singing and mantra, Mattew creates sound that resonates in our bodies at a very tangible, energetic level.
He then invited us all to lie down on our mats and “go on a sound journey” with him.
Words seem so deficient for explaining the depth of experience we all felt. Without attempting to explain and thus limit the range of sensations my peers and I encountered, it was clear that something wonderful was happening. I was being moved by sound, my whole body was light and vibrating.
Matthew’s website is www.omshaman.com I strongly recommend attending one of his sound journeys – you will be amazed by the effects of sound on your body, mind and spirit.
Matthew trained as a massage therapist and attained his Reiki Master Level while in Colorado. He has delved into other energetic healing practices (see his website for more details, as well as music and events). He performs sound journeys routinely in the Vancouver area, as well as one-on-one healing sessions which combine all of his healing arts.
by Brent Cole
Whats Up! Magazine
It's a rare treat to be able to listen to a local artist that is truly and without question, unique. Bellingham's music scene has long been known for its diversity, but no one quite like Matthew Kocel has ever been part of the rich tapestry.
A recent transplant to the Bellingham area, Kocel's sound is derived in a large part from Tuvan or Overtone throat singing a unique style of singing "in which the singer manipulates the resonances created as air travels from the lungs, past the vocal folds, and out the lips to produce a melody" (according to Wikipedia). The sound produced is reminiscent of a didgeridoo, but with a more full and engulfing sound.
On his most recent recording, The Vision, Kocel forgoes any synthesized sounds and focuses on soft, meditative instruments that are used to bring rhythm to the gentle rumble of Kocel's singing. Within minutes of listening to the recording, a sense of relief naturally occurs within the body (the songs are meant to do) to say the songs are beautiful would be to short change their sound. They are a force and a presence on top of a soothing essence.
In truth, no reviewer can describe Kocel with any great accuracy his music is simply something that needs to be heard and experienced. There's a transcendental beauty to Kocel's album that is best enjoyed while in meditation (or, for this reviewer, acupuncture).
Matthew Kocel's disc is a thing of spiritual beauty, bringing a whole new dimension to an already rich tapestry.
Whats Up! Magazine
April 2009 Issue
March 21 - Wise Awakening's Orca Theatre
by Melanie Merz
Matthew Kocel is the Om Shaman. For the last 12 years he has been leading Sound Healing meditations across the country, using throat singing (also called overtone chanting) as his primary instrument. Kocel uses his voice to create "multiple harmonies and healing frequencies" while performing. He lulls audiences into therapeutic states by also playing the harmonium, a set of crystal and Tibetan singing bowls, tuning forks, tingsha cymbals, and a conch shell.
Sound Healing boils down to the idea that everything and everyone is in a constant state of vibration. Sound Healing can help when our vibes are thrown off kilter, or maybe more appropriately put: off pitch. An example would be using the soothing resonations from a tuning fork, or singing bowl, to realign or harmonize our vibrations.
I really wasn't sure what to expect when I walked into the Orca Theater, tucked behind the book/stone shop and the Inner Dimensional Sound Chamber at Wise Awakening on Holly St. Kocel's hour long performance really shouldn't be called a "show." Yes, it was interesting to watch him gently play his array of unusual instruments, but to truly benefit from the "experience," it seemed best to get comfortable, close my eyes, and let the music waft over my senses.
Kocel could manipulate his voice to sound at times like a guttural drone, and others a cultivated purr. At times it surged out in waves, sometimes in docile ripples. No sounds were abrupt or angular; every element rang out clearly and openly. While most of the music was entirely foreign to me, I was struck by one melody that reminded me of church hymns that I'd heard growing up. That song turned out to be the last piece, and Kocel asked the audience to join in. It was curious to hear how each person interpreted what Kocel had been singing. From what I could catch, I doubt that any two people were humming the same melody, but somehow, it worked as a whole.
Before his performance I wouldn't have considered music to have healing power in such a literal sense, but the effect of the experience was undeniable. I walked out feeling relaxed, reinvigorated, and the weight of some of the concerns I'd carried in with me seemed considerably lighter. No doubt the result would be different for everyone, your openness being the most critical factor in it
Mind Altering Music w/ Throat Singer Matthew Kocel
by Cafe Holistic editor Matt Rosenberg, Posted September 7th 2010
This past weekend I had the privilege of attending a Matthew Kocel Event. It blew me away. The sound was so rich in vibration it felt like it was 3 dimensional.
Matthew uses Crystal Singing Bowls, Tibetan singing bowls, harmonium, tingsha, tuning forks, and conch shell with the amazing vocal harmonics of his throat singing and prayers to hold a safe, sacred healing space.
Matthew has mastered numerous healing modalities including Reiki, QiGong, Massage, and of course Sound Healing...
My name is Thom Lich and I am the Asst. Director of Music at Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, CO.
I would like to direct this email to the ministry and music ministry of your church on behalf of throat singer, Matthew Kocel, who I’ve recently had the pleasure of meeting and hearing.
I’ve never offered to write an endorsement of a musician or artist before, but Matthew has a gift that is truly unique and beautiful to experience.
I work mostly with many amazing musicians, and I can use common musical language to describe their music, voice, style or vocal quality to give my ministers an idea of what they can expect if they have never heard them before. Matthew is in a league all his own, and describing his talent is not so easy, so I asked Matthew if I could send an email to all of you to offer my praise and endorsement of his profound gifts.
I will also do my best to describe my experience of Matthew Kocel so that it might give you an idea of what you can expect to receive from Matthew if you choose to invite him to come to your church.
Matthew participated in our Sunday Evening Service in May of 2010. He began by providing 30 minutes of meditation before the service began with his voice, singing bowls and a small organ. I have no earthly idea how he generates the sounds and overtones from his throat, it is mesmerizing and draws you in as only the human voice can. The sound is heard but it is so much more than auditory; it is experienced in the body. You can feel the sound in your chest and head, it’s quite amazing.
Within the service Matthew performed a 5 minute piece that was meditative, soul-stirring and deeply impacting.
Matthew was a pleasure to work with, and he was well received by our congregants. I would estimate that roughly one third of the congregation in attendance walked away with one of his CDs, which is amazing.
If you are looking for a guest artist to provide this kind of experience for your congregants for an event or a service, I enthusiastically give my full endorsement to Matthew Kocel.
Below are links to his press kit and his website so you can contact him directly, thank you for allowing me to support a man who is shifting consciousness in the world with his beautiful gift.
Mile Hi Church