Berkshire singer-songwriter Mary Verdi is a lifelong musician who started performing at age 3. Today, she continues to create music crossing the genres of sacred music, pop and country.
Her latest album, “Flight,” is Verdi’s sixth release, and nestles well under the category of “sacred world music.” In a YouTube video launching the record, Verdi says, “I wrote “Flight,” in hopes of surrounding the listener with as much love and compassion as possible.”
In that heart vein, the full-length album was released back in February, on Valentine’s Day weekend, in the peaceful studio sanctuary of Berkshire Yoga Dance & Fitness in downtown Pittsfield, Mass. Verdi will be joined by Eileen Markland (violin/viola), and percussionist John Marshall, on a national “Flight” tour through the United States and Canada. Both Markland and Marshall helped record music for the album, along with Ron De la Vega on upright bass and cello.
The music of “Flight,” certainly hits a sacred note, but in a non-denominational accord. The first track, “Home,” truly does set the tone for the other nine songs the CD’s comprised of. In that track, Verdi sings compassionately in her mezzo-soprano voice: “I know who I am now / I know why you’re here / Together we’ll remember / a world with no fear / Home.” The stringed instruments and gentle percussion add a soulful, soaring feeling to the album, accompanying uplifting lyrics to other songs, with titles like, “Carry On,” “Love’s Sweet Spring,” and “Just as I Am.”
Marshall’s percussion instruments and tempos in particular help the dynamics and tone shift, as his influences include the global drumming traditions spanning from the Middle East to India, to Egypt, West Africa, the Caribbean, and Central Asia. His accompaniment is particularly resonant on tracks like, “Shante” and “Om Mani Padme Hum,” with Markland and De la Vega blending their classical strings in harmoniously with Verdi’s piano and vocals.
Overall, “Flight,” is the kind of album to take with you when you need reflective moments in navigating the journey of life. It can serve as a soundtrack to a meditation or yoga practice, as much as it can to a special time with a loved one or a soothing warm bath. “Flight” can lift you up when the world beats you down.