Richard Shulman's Blog

December 24, 2013

Transformation at Assisi – reviews and liner notes

Filed under: What's behind the Music — by richardshulman @ 6:21 am

Richard Shulman
“Transformation at Assisi” is a sacred musical journey conceived and recorded at the birthplace of St. Francis, and is the companion album to “Light from Assisi.”


Click to Listen to Transformation at Assisi

Released Fall, 1992 (CD release Fall 1999)

New Age Devotional/Meditative

This music inspires the seeker of God and portrays the effects of Divine grace available in this extraordinary place. Expansion and wonder are the emotional keynotes here, as the transformative power of grace weaves dark and light into a greater light. Orchestral synthesizers featuring sounds of strings, bells, flute, and horns. Total time 73:56

“..Now, after a two-year wait, the remaining compositions can be experienced on a flawless piece of art called Transformation at Assisi. This new recording creates a profound ecclesiastical atmosphere that I find ideal for introspection. Recreating the sounds of brass, strings, woodwinds, bells, pipe organ, and angelic choruses, Shulman paints a portrait of his wondrous expansion of consciousness…. The 75 minutes of beautiful music… tell me more about the composer’s inner experience than volumes of prose ever could. Although Shulman’s liner notes are profuse and intriguing, it is the grandeur of his music that portrays his extraordinary Transformation at Assisi.”
–Ken Gruen, New Frontier Magazine

Liner Notes
There is a magical feeling in the little town of Assisi, for this is the birthplace of St. Francis. Transformation at Assisi is a musical journey inspired by my experience at St. Francis’ Assisi and is a companion album to Light from Assisi. While Light from Assisi is primarily a portrait of the Grace I found there, Transformation emphasizes my introspective journey towards Grace, replete with its ups and downs.
The inner transformation which began at Assisi continues, with reminders and blessings as I learn to live a life in tune with the Divine. There remain ups and downs as I learn to recognize intimations towards joy and right action which often show up when I least expect them.
Although this is the second release from my trip to Assisi, this album contains the music created during the first two weeks of my stay there.
1. Angel Talk (Arrival)
A lovely way to get to Assisi is by train, passing through rolling hills and round, green mountains. Dotting the landscape are quaint stucco and stone houses, each with its ever present cypress trees.
Periodically we would pass a medieval-looking village on a hill top. “Could that be Assisi?” I wondered. I couldn’t help smiling with anticipation.
The train finally stopped at Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels), the town at the foot of Assisi which has grown up around the church of the same name.  I was to stay here at a friend’s apartment, venturing out each day in search of the sacred.
2. Compassion (First Impressions)
So many of us find a place in this world that triggers a memory, a feeling of home. For some, it may be in nature, a forest, the ocean, a mountain, the sky, the stars. Some of us are moved by great art or the edifices created by man to celebrate the Divine. Sometimes we are moved by a personal moment of understanding between two people, when a seemingly irreconcilable gap is transcended.
To feel the compassion of a being who has “touched the hem of God” and especially to recognize such a compassion living within oneself is a great gift. For those who choose to experience the unconditional love of St. Francis, it can be found at Assisi in great strength and in sweet subtlety.  A feeling of love and holiness pervades the town and surrounding countryside as if the whole town were in a giant sacred cathedral.
3. In the Hills
A walk in the countryside was a perfect way to remember the joy of life.
4. Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels)
When I first walked into St. Mary of the Angels Cathedral I hear a voice within me say, “Look what they’ve done to my little church!” The tiny church, one of those which St. Francis rebuilt by hand, now sits at the crux of a giant cathedral.
Nicknamed the Portiuncola or “little portion, ” St. Mary of the Angels is the Mother Church of the Franciscan Order.  Here St. Francis received a full pardon for all who seek the forgiveness and love of God. There is a feeling of great devotion, sanctity and gratitude here.
5. Dream of the Heart
We all have visions ideas and landscapes within our hearts of dreams we would love to see come true, personally and for the world.
6. Walking Theme
By putting one foot in front of the other I believe we can bring our dreams to Earth. This was one theme that came to me as I walked.
7. Confession
I found that each person I talked to had his/her own experience at Assisi and that my experience of inner communication with St. Francis was at times subtle and easily broken; so I experienced periods of grateful learning, great bliss and then great sorrows when I failed to keep my eye on the Divine.
There were plenty of opportunities for me to become aware of thoughts memories feelings and interactions which pulled my attention from God’s joy.
8. Love of Christ
“Love of Christ, Love of Christ, You are the light in my darkest night,
Love of Christ, Love of Christ, You are my joy and my soul’s delight!”
9. More Angels
At any moment we could rise with the joy and love of the Angels!
10. Heavenly Heights (Upper level, the Basilica of St. Francis)
The Basilica of St. Francis is in three levels, each one a church in itself. Walking into the upper level of St. Francis’ Basilica can be an expansive experience. It’s great height and beautiful frescos by Giotto remind us of a glory we may not normally contemplate.
11. O Light of Christ
“O Light of Christ illumine my heart for I am nothing without You,
O Light of Christ illumine my heart for I am nothing without You,
O Joy of salvation, it brings me tears of joy
O Joy of salvation, it brings me tears of joy.”
12. Introspection/Transformation (Middle level, Basilica of St. Francis)
Built in a Romanesque style with a low rounded ceiling, the middle level church is perfect for looking within and releasing the thoughts and feelings we sometimes torture ourselves with.  St. Francis’ body is buried directly under the altar in a stone sarcophagus (which forms the center of the chapel below).  The atmosphere here is dark and womb-like.  This is a place for going deep.  My experience was that I could delve into past memories and pain, and again and again, feel the grace of God lovingly wash away what was no longer useful to me. I became aware that I needed to let go deeply in order to reach the heights.
13. Oh Happiness
“Oh Happiness I thank you for being with me,
Oh Happiness I thank you for being with me in this world,
You’re always welcome here.”
Looking back on my experiences of getting to know St. Francis and making him one of my beloveds, I now see that the process of letting go of fear and allowing love in my heart and mind is a continuous one. This is my transformation. Being at Assisi was a trigger for me, and in that role, very necessary.  I now find as a musician and in my personal life, the grace and friendship of St. Francis are available at any time and any place, especially when I am forgetting my own needs and praying for others.
There are many doorways to the qualities of God, each quality being a doorway. Francis’ path of impeccable devotion, joy, simplicity, love, charity, faith, and most of all, the willingness to place the Presence of God foremost in every step, is a path which has transformed my life forever.
I believe that an unconscious connection of love and recognition exists among all beings, and that by many paths we each can experience this connection consciously.  I view this album as a doorway through which one may enter into a state of conscious connection with St. Francis.
Experiences I had while at Assisi made it clear to me that my connection with St. Francis has been continuous, although mostly unconscious throughout this life.
The second day of my trip to Assisi, I walked up Mt. Subasio to try to find the Hermitage of the Carceri.  Instead of following the road I went straight up the mountain. After a rest to enjoy the view, I took a path into a wood. Suddenly I felt a great grief, as if I had lost my best friend, and began sobbing and calling “Francesco, Francesco!” I didn’t know what such an outburst could mean but it got me to thinking, and a few pieces of a jig-saw puzzle came to mind.
Growing up Jewish, I had learned nothing about St. Francis, although my mother did have the “Prayer of St. Francis” framed in the basement. Years later I was hired as a substitute organist at a Spanish Catholic church. When the priest took me through a courtyard I asked if a particular statue was of St. Francis. How did I know?
Once in a meditation class the teacher had us meditate on the Christ. I didn’t understand why I had seen the sleeve and then the torso of a Franciscan friar, while some others had had visions  of white light or Jesus.
Is it possible that I was with St. Francis as a Minor Brother and he had been my doorway/teacher, revealing the Christ to me through his example; and is it possible that I, believing in the path of controlling the mind and emotions for the sake of remaining in the joy of God, had never fully grieved the loss of my beloved teacher when he died? Is it possible that I had returned to Assisi unknowing, for the purpose of releasing this grief? These are the thoughts which cam to my mind that day.
Whatever the answers are to the above questions, it is clear that my trip to Assisi enabled me to feel my direct connection with St. Francis, and likewise, realize my connection with all of creation. These connections are not affected by events in time but remain always now available. It is my sincere hope that this album will prompt you to re-experience your own relationship with the Divine.
“All-Highest, glorious God, cast your light into the darkness of my heart.
Give me right faith, firm hope, perfect charity and profound humility,
with wisdom and perception o Lord so that I may do what is truly
Your holy will. Amen”
St. Francis
Much Love and Many Blessings,
Richard Shulman
DEDICATION: To lovers of God everywhere.
Executive producers: Pierre Nadeau, Scott Petito, Richard Shulman, Mariola Barilli
Producer: Richard Shulman
Engineer: Scott Petito
Art Directors: Pierre Nadeau and Diane Couture
Design: Pierre Nadeau and Diane Couture
Cover Photo: Pierre Charland
Basic sequences were recorded November 1989 at Assisi, Italy using a Korg M1 music work station and a Mac Plus computer with Performer software. Mixing and mastering were done at NRS Studio, Woodstock, NY in July and August, 1992.
Special Thanks:
To Ron Young who initially brought me to Assisi and suggested this project /
To Pierre Nadeau, Diane Couture, Scott Petito and Mariola Barilli who have generously invested their time and money to bring this album to fruition /
To Lou Caimano for his excellent production suggestions /
To Rocco Macri who opened his home and heart to me during my stay at Assisi /
To all of my dear supporters who have bought and loved this album and Light from Assisi; you have helped me continue my work.
Thank you!
total running time 73::58
Transformation at Assisi is a sacred musical journey conceived and recorded at the birthplace of St. Francis, and is the companion album to Light from Assisi.
Do Not Drive while listening to this music.
RichHeart Music

First Rites (Music for 1st level Healing Touch) Liner Notes

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First Rites 
Richard Shulman 
Sounds of Healing Based on Healing Touch First level work. 

ImageListen to First Rites

First Rites is synthesizer music for healing, spontaneosly composed and recorded on 11/7/96 in the healing room at the Adirondack Center in Amsterdam, NY. 


Dedicated to the One Source of all healing, inspiration and music. Special thanks to the angels – masters of music and healing – and to Sally Mann, Karen Tabor and Myrna Dennison, Healing Touch practitioners who supported the recording of this music, and to Connie Stardancer Hanham who helped us make the connection. 

Orchestral Synthesizers; Spontaneously composed for healing work in cooperation with Healing Touch practitioners. One sixty – two minute piece helps the listener to gradually open the heart and receive blessings of healing and inspiration. 

“Acclaimed healer and musician Richard Shulman presents over 60 minutes of uninterrupted vibrational healing, spontaneously composed using layers of soothing synthesizers. Its effects are immediate…the uplifting, heartfelt energy penetrates the mind and fills us with a sense of ecstasy.” 
–Music Design in Review 

Richard Shulman is a composer, keyboardist, and recording artist who dedicates his music to the expression of love and the awakening of inner joy. A former student of Chuck Mangione and Marian McPartland at the Eastman School of Music, Shulman uses his skills as a jazz, classical, and healing-music keyboardist to create music to assist groups and individuals in experiencing their own spiritual essence. Richard tours doing solo and group concerts and has produced eighteen albums on his label, RichHeart Music. His orchestral recording, the award winning “Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled” is based on the fulfillment of dreams of the heart. His best-selling album, “Light Music: To Clear and Align the Chakras” is popular with massage therapists and creative people. 

June 1, 2010

Liner Notes from Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled

Filed under: What's behind the Music — by richardshulman @ 5:47 am

Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled

for Orchestra, Piano, Choir and Soloists

for more info

Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled

Listen to Camelot Reawakened

Orchestral Music by Richard Shulman, performed by a 35 piece orchestra consisting of members of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, a 20 member choir, and soloists conducted by Robert Hart Baker

Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled was recorded live in concert on Jan. 12th 2002, and in closed session on Jan. 13th at the Diana Wortham Theatre, Asheville, NC

Listen to Camelot Reawakened

The Story:

Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled is about the fulfillment of dreams of the heart for individuals and society, and it’s creation has been a dream come true for me.

In the mid 80’s, I awoke one morning hearing an extraordinary symphonyinside me. “I could never write this down.” I thought, and the music stopped. I felt a profound sadness and then vowed to be prepared the next time I heard such inner beauty.

During this time period, a healer I was working with showed me that I could create “Musical Soul Portraits” for people. Invoking music “for the Highest Good” of others has allowed me to hear, express, and record music of Divine Connection for those I work with.

I became interested in Camelot while working on the Keeper of the Holy Grail CD, which explores our inner sacred reality as the Holy Grail. A visit to Glastonbury, England in 1995 further awakened me to some of the strands of connection between Camelot and my own life.

A year later in September 1996, as I closed my eyes in preparation to compose a musical soul portrait, I saw a vision of a sword descending from the heavens directly in front of me. I opened my eyes and asked my client, “Did you see what I saw?” She said, “I have one word for you: Camelot.”

The Musical Soul Portrait performed that evening carried a power and beauty which expressed a dream of Heaven on Earth fulfilled. I knew I had been given a gift and a beginning.

It became clear to me that this piece was about a dream of the heart — a dream of Heaven on Earth, that flowered for a time in Camelot and has continued to grow in the hearts and minds of many people. I made the commitment to follow the inspiration to its completion

Over the next three years, dozens of clients came to me with a connection to Camelot. While playing for them, I became aware of entering sacred moments. Within these moments I heard music related to the original “Camelot session.” Each person carried a piece of the “jigsaw puzzle” of a harmonious society and it was reflected in their soul’s music.

I also found “Camelot music” showing up in many of my recording sessions. I began to collect and catalog these melodies. Working an hour or two most days, in my “spare” time, these melodies gradually came together as a piece for symphony orchestra, piano, choir and soloists.

When the score was about 80% done, I approached Robert Hart Baker, conductor of the Asheville Symphony Orchestra, with a printout and a synthesizer mockup of the piece. He offered to work with me and we eventually scheduled a concert on Saturday, January 12, 2002, followed by a recording session the next day, with a 35-piece orchestra.

Writing for orchestra had actually been easy and fun! Now my challenge was to have the confidence to work with other people as director of the project. I learned to “keep the faith” in the midst of all kinds of fears, and found a generosity in many people who helped me do what I never could have done on my own. Amazingly, different people told me how to do the publicity, how to fill the hall etc., and I found that the only way to get everything done, without being overwhelmed, was to do one step at a time.

After the concert, “One step at a time” continued as I edited and mixed the music. I saw and honored how this way of being opens me to a dance with Life: doing what needs to be done, and then enjoying the response. This gives me an opportunity for the next step.

Portions of this story first appeared in the December 2001 issue of Spirit in the Smokies, with the thoughtful help of its editors. See their Web site:

Behind the Music

Listen to Camelot Reawakened


The first movement opens in a mist. In and out of this mist weave various instruments, leading to a simple, clear statement of the first main theme by the tenor voice and piano. This is the theme of the Dream of Camelot.

It signifies the dream of our hearts. A brief interlude is followed by the return of the theme of the Dream with the full orchestra.


The second movement is a procession of the cast of characters in the Camelot of all of our lives. In truth, the characters of our lives are all royalty. Our cast of characters is creating a dream together. The initial thought is, “Wow, we’re going to manifest this dream. Let’s celebrate!”


The celebration is an expression of that hopeful energy, but it also brings us to the point of recognizing that there’s work to be done.


The celebration opens the doorway to memory. With memory we are able to start to look at what has not worked in the past when we have tried to follow our dreams. The fourth movement is about acknowledging what happened, feeling the emotions, and letting go of the patterns that didn’t serve us. Then we remember the dream, which opens us to new hope.


This song is a message of hope, of being willing to face whatever fear seemingly blocks us. In that choice, we remember our deeper nature as Love. There is still a good bit of the journey for us to go on, but without love we go no further.

Lyrics: Remember the Love that We Are

I choose to be present here,

No matter how dark life seems around me now;

I’m choosing to face the fear,

The fear I believed in ’til now.

There’s a plan, there is a dream,

There is a truth waiting to be seen;

Let the promise of ages come forth.

Hear the call of the ancient song,

Speaking of visions we’ve held so long

Of Peace on Earth and a way to be

That honors the way of the heart.

In the midst of the fear, in the midst of the pain,

I will hold fast, love will remain.

Love lives in you, love lives in me

Showing the way for us all to be free.

There is a peace shining within,

Below and above, there is a Love;

Let all the Love shining between

Every soul, let it be seen.

Remember the Light in the darkest of nights,

Remember the dream, keep it alive;

One step at a time, lettting go of the fear,

Finding the truth that makes it all clear;

Finding the strength, looking inside,

Healing our wounds, nothing to hide;

The peace from inside will bring Peace on the Earth,

Honoring all, knowing our worth.

Now is a new reality;

Together with love we change our destiny;

Loving peace is already here, acting in each of our lives.

From the same place we all come,

Each one unique and a part of the one,

The One that is in everyone,

Is the Love that we feel when we love anyone.

Walking a path of the heart (as a living prayer),

Joining together what once seemed apart,

Whatever we choose to become,

In our diversity we are still one.

Life shows a new way to be,

Each choice a new opportunity,

To let go of what seems to be

And remember the Love that we are.

Remember the Love that we are. Remember Love.


In the fourth, fifth and sixth movements, we’re looking at the past, releasing the baggage of it, choosing to face whatever we’re afraid of, and then moving forward. The sixth movement expresses a love that truly encompasses everything, even our past. Out of the past come tremendous gems of experience and learning. These gems can be used to create the

reality we want. Woven into this movement is a beautiful song of grace and self-responsibility by Lucille Olson. The melody of “Our Thoughts Are Prayers” is played by the violas just after the piano enters, about halfway through the piece. The lyrics are:

Our thoughts are prayers, and we are always praying;

Our thoughts are prayers, be aware of what you’re saying.

Keep a higher consciousness, of love and thankfulness;

And know that God is always here, and every thought remains a prayer.


When we enter into the labyrinth, we face ourselves. And the ones who can face themselves are truly heros. This piece honors those who bear the gifts of self-knowing. Such gifts are for the world, as well as for themselves.


The eighth movement is about taking all the pieces that we are and integrating them with purpose, creating empowerment. This is power with wisdom and love working together — an empowerment of service to the greater good.


The Dream Fulfilled is a loving paradigm in which all beings are living in their joy and in their highest reality. This music expresses a sweetness of life “better than we could imagine,” which is what life really can be. Every person who follows their dream opens a doorway for the next person to follow theirs. And as each dream comes into fruition, more and more of the collective dream can be accomplished. And the vision that each of us has for the most beautiful world imaginable, can happen.

The original Dream of Camelot theme returns towards the end of this movement, interwoven with themes from all nine movements. It is a beautiful vision — Camelot Reawakened: A Vision Fulfilled

“Every person who follows their dream opens a doorway for the next person to follow theirs. And as each dream comes into fruition, more and more of the collective dream can be accomplished. Ahd the vision that each of us has for the most beautiful world imaginable, can happen.”  – Richard Shulman

Listen to Camelot Reawakened

Orchestra Personnel

Violin I

Mary Byrd Daniels


Inez Hullinger Redman

Ralph Congdon

Niamh Tuohy Clarke

R. Alexander Spainhour III

Pamela R. Robbins

Violin II

Salvatore Venittelli


Debra L. Anthony

Ashley G. Pless

Krisztina Krivatsy Stern

William Henigbaum

Melissa P. Alderman


Margery S. Kowal


N. Jan Daugherty

E. Douglas Vaughan

Kay Gilbert


Frances B. Duff


Patricia Koelling Johnston

Brigid S. Reckmeyer


Nils Robert Egerstrand


Eliot D. Wadopian


Martha H. Kitterman



Barbra Duvall Baker


Yuki K. Harding


Harry H. ‘Chip’ Hill


Shannon Thompson


Rod J. Gornto


Terry A. Roberts


Mitzi Hall

Rex Gallatin

Thomas English


T. Mark Clodfelter


James Sparrow

Timpani & Bass Drum

Jeremy T. Hoots

Percussion & Drum Kit

Byron Hedgepeth


Lee Thomas

Tenor, Movement 1

Bill Melanson

Baritone, Movement 5

Donna Michael

Alto, Movement 5

Duncan Wickel

Uilleann Pipes, Movement 7

Richard Shulman

Piano, Movements 1–9

Additional overdubbed tracks

Richard Shulman

Choir Personnel

Ruth Sieber Johnson



Geraldine Ludeman

Francie Rose

Shamora P. Pate Duffie

Celeste Lauren


Darleen Benson

Wendy Woods

Linda Giltz

Rosemary Lackey

Althea Gonzalez

Mary Miller Stair


David Hoffman

Mark Small

Lee Thomas

Forrest Green

George Peery


Bob Di Diego

Ed Scott

Jack Hall

Richard Sackett

Additional Choir overdubs

Amy Rae Stupka

Celeste Lauren

Special Thanks for your Generous Support

Robert Hart Baker, Herb & Celeste Shulman, Christine Westfeldt, Peggy Hiatt, Gayle Hurst, Celeste Lauren.

Thanks to Marcia Heusted, whose Musical Soul Portrait initiated this project, and to all who have worked with me who have a connection to the dream of Camelot…. Samuel Welsh, for reminding me of the Holy Grail. Stephen Smith and Tom Bates for sage mixing advice… to Lauren Gdovin at RichHear Music, our friends at New Leaf and Music Design, and to all our listeners who have helped this dream to become realized.

Camelot Reawakened: A Dream Fulfilled

Composed, Orchestrated and Produced by

Richard Shulman

Conducted by

Robert Hart Baker

Score and Part Preparation:

Joseph Norris

Bowing Copyists:

Joseph Norris

John Williams

Richard Shulman

Musician Contracting:

Sally Keeney, ASO Operations Manager

Hall Liason:

Steve Hageman, ASO Director

Recording engineers:

Stephen Smith

Dick Kowal

Thomas Bates

Editing and Mixing; 2/11 – 6/11/02

Richard Shulman

Reverb Programming

Stephen Smith

Mastering: 6/9 – 6/14/02

Soundsmiths Mastering

Stephen Smith – engineer

Cover Photography:

“Magical Mystery Tor”

by L’aura Colan portrays the Michael Tor in Glastonbury England. ©1992 L’aura Colan/Photonica

“An eleventh century monk prophesized that the Holy Grail would be found where the rainbow crescent cuts St. Michael’s line (which runs 235 miles across southern England and has a monument to Michael every 30 miles).  Through camera refraction of the Sun’s light, the white beam appears to conjoin with St. Michael’s line and is cut by a rainbow crescent. A Vision Fulfilled.” – L’aura Colan

Photo Portrait of Richard

Larry White

Other Photos

Donna Michael and friends

Heron Productions

Graphic design:

Bonnie Down

Bonnie Designs

Other related RichHeart Music titles include:

Keeper of the Holy Grail, Music to Walk the Labyrinth and First Rites – Music for Healing Touch

©, (p) 2002 RichHeart Music, BMI (all rights reserved)

419 Creekside Dr., Asheville, NC 28804


April 7, 2010

Enhanced liner notes for New Beginnings

Filed under: What's behind the Music — by richardshulman @ 3:23 am

New Beginnings

Richard Shulman – Piano & Adriana Contino – Cello

New Beginnings CD cover

New Beginnings is a delicate balance of cello and piano, inspiration and listening, and of freely flowing improvisation with exquisitely composed melodies.

To listen to the CD

Liner Notes

By Richard

I first met Adriana Contino in 1987 in New York City when I was in the process of writing a piece for cello and piano for Theatre of the Heart, a wonderful performing collective of dancers, musicians, and singers.

At the time she was a freelance cellist, playing in many local orchestras.  I was immediately struck by her fiery enthusiasm, which would become amplified as soon as she began to play.  After we performed and recorded “First Light,” we continued to get together for musical exploration sessions.

In these sessions, I learned about writing for the cello, and she was learning about improvisation. Our time together quickly ended when Adriana was hired as Principal Cellist for the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in Germany.

Two years later, Adriana called, telling me that she had been continuing to improvise,  that she was coming to visit New York for a couple days, and asked if I could  set up a recording session.  Excited, I wrote a new piece for us and arranged several others for cello and piano. Once she arrived, we scheduled a rehearsal and went into the studio the next day. In our two-hour session we recorded five improvisations, four of which appear here, and three of my own pieces.

In the New York City style of doing our best every time, magic happened in the music as we explored the delicate balance of following the inspiration while listening to each other at the same time.  And moment by moment we discovered our New Beginnings.

To listen to the CD

Tracks with descriptions

New Beginnings 4:28

A bright melody of discovery –  Shulman

Gustav’s Lullabye 3:27

An improvisation became a beautiful lullabye. – Contino/Shulman

American Native Prayer  3:31

An improvisation honoring North America’s Native people and the necessity of our reconnection to Mother Earth and All that Is. – Contino/Shulman

Mom 5:59

A song of forgiveness and understanding – A remembrance that when I take responsibility for my own consciousness, the door of Love opens within me. – Shulman

Improv. 1   11:53

An exploration…  – Contino/Shulman

Song For Smitty 9:38

A tribute to a beautiful friend – an improvisation on a theme by Adriana. She talks about Smitty: “James Smith was a street person. He raised the spiritual level of the upper West Side of Manhattan. Known as ‘Smitty’ to all those he shared his beautiful life attitude with – he stood, propped on his crutches, in all weather and all seasons. His life contribution continues to shine through all those who he deeply touched.” – Contino

Friendship Renewed 1:56

And happily so – Shulman

* * *

To purchase the CD as a digital download

To purchase the CD

Recorded 9/1/89 at Manhattan Recording Company, NYC, A.T. Michael MacDonald, Engineer.

Mastered 4/21 & 22/03 at Soundsmiths Mastering, Stephen Smith, Engineer.

© p 2003 RichHeart Music, BMI and Continuo Music.

RichHeart Music

PO Box 6731 Scarborough, ME 04070-6731

888-699-3682, 828-658-9604



Cover Photo of the Smoky Mountains

by Janet Finnegan

© The Creative Source

Design – Bonnie L. Down, Bonnie Designs

* * *

To listen to the CD

Additional resources:

There is another recording of “Mom” with the Richard Shulman Group (Alto sax, piano, bass & drums) on the CD “Open Spaces.” There is also sheet music available on the RichHeart Music web site and by calling 888-699-3682 for “Mom” written for cello & piano, for jazz group, and an orchestral version written for jazz quartet with orchestra.

There is also sheet music for a longer version of “Friendship Renewed” arranged for violin & piano, as well as a chamber group version.

The lead sheet for New Beginnings is also available here.

March 12, 2010

Keeper of the Holy Grail by Richard Shulman and Samuel Welsh – Liner notes to the album

Filed under: What's behind the Music — by richardshulman @ 6:48 am

Keeper of the Holy Grail: Sacred Attunements through Music

Richard Shulman & Samuel Welsh

Liner notes from the album.

Keeper of the Holy Grail CD cover

To Hear the Album click here

Liner Notes

The Grail Quest

by Samuel

The Quest for the Holy Grail, the emergence point of the infinite into the finite, presumes the Holy Grail is outside of us and that we must struggle through a myriad of dangers to find it.

Perhaps the search has always lain within.

There are many wonderful Old World children’s stories that speak of mighty quests for magical birds and stupendous treasures. After a lifetime of searching, the hero or heroine returns home, only to find the treasure or animal of immeasurable value in their own back yard. It had always been there, but the hero/heroine was not prepared in the beginning to see it.

During my personal quest for the Holy Grail in May and June of 1993, I visited many ancient sites in Wales, England, Scotland, and Ireland, in search for the Sacred and the Divine.  Then early one morning in Scotland, in the twilight between sleep and wakefulness, I heard repeated in my mind three times, “You are the Keeper of the Holy Grail.” Upon fully awakening, my intuition then unfolded for me the ever expanding truth that we are each Keepers of the Holy Grail. Deep within our hearts and souls we keep the Holy Grail vibration as part of our core essence. The Holy Grail, the Divine Mother essence of love, acceptance and openness to the infinite Light and Grace of the Divine Father is ever present within us all. Our spiritual awakening involves in part becoming conscious that we hold the Holy Grail essence within our beings, no matter by what name we call it, and that we can cherish our role as the Keeper. And, I believe in the final stage of our spiritual evolution, we come to know that we are the Holy Grail itself, the outpouring of the Love of Source, the union of Heaven and Earth. We come to the end of the search and discover the divine treasure has always been within us.

The intent of the Keeper of the Holy Grail album is to convey through music and spiritual vibrations the different energetic aspects of the Beloved so that the listener can move into feeling the Presence of Source. Source has been and shall ever be with each of us. This truth can only be realized through feeling and not through the filters of logic and thought. Each spiritual attunement embodies a frequency designed to energetically allow one to feel the love, power, and presence of Source. Richard Shulman has channeled music which harmonically expresses the spiritual energy of the attunements, allowing one on a deep level to hear and feel their essence.

When the musical attunements are played in the order they are listed, each attunement is designed to create and hold the energetic space for the next one in the series.

This album was created in the same manner as our previous one, Ascension Harmonics: Sacred Attunements Through Music. I directed each of the spiritual initiations into Richard’s heart chakra, and he channeled the music he felt expressed that energy. After Richard worked the raw music into a polished form, we met again in the recording studio and as the album’s music was recorded, mixed, and mastered, I channeled the spiritual energies of each attunement onto the master tape.

At that point the music and the spiritual attunements were unified on the master tape.

The spiritual empowerments encoded within the music on this album represent my Quest for the Beloved. I have wandered far in my life, looking for love and grace, always outside of myself.

Only since1987 did I begin to realize the path led within to the very center of my being. Finally came the knowing that I had always been Home. If upon hearing and feeling this album you also discover that Home is where the heart is, then , O Keeper of the Grail, take your love out into the world which so desperately needs it…. There are so many who have forgotten the treasure they carry… and it is time for us all to laugh in joy again.

To Hear the Album click here


or what to do if this album triggers issues of separation

By Richard

Recently I was providing music for a meditation weekend and had the opportunity to participate in a contemplation on “What is God?”.  When I tuned in, I was surprised to hear the word “responsibility”.  This insight lead to the following reflection:

“What am I creating in this moment?”  Am I creating myself as a cocreator of Divine expression?  Am I creating myself as a victim of forces outside of myself preventing my Divine expression?

During the past year, as preparations for the recording of KEEPER OF THE HOLY GRAIL accelerated, I’ve had increasing opportunities to choose the focus of my mental and emotional energies.  Discernment of energies in the world and within my consciousness, along with the discipline to act on my understanding have been tremendous tools in reformatting my consciousness from distractions, including perceived personality conflicts, anger  accusation,  self doubt and self created misery, into the focus and receptivity necessary to bring Divine ideas into manifestation.

Sometimes in the midst of such a distraction, the most I could do was objectively watch the craziness.  Most important has been my willingness to ask for and receive help from the angels, Masters my own Higher Self when I feel I’m getting off track.  Also important for me was the recognition and appreciation of the help that arrived through people.

I have found that when such distractions grab my attention, it is usually old patterns of thinking-feeling-behaving coming up for recognition, healing and release.  By allowing the feelings to be present without squashing them or buying in to the mental pattern behind them, I begin to see more clearly.

These experiences have led to an increase of my ability to hold a space of compassion for unbalanced forces acting in myself and others.  This holding of space is the release of judgment of good and bad in favor of the ability to make choices to create a reality I want.   Then comes the question “What do I really want?”

What I want first is my own inner peace, and to feel my connection of love with myself and ALL THAT IS.  What I want is to participate in the Divine expression of my soul for the good of all, including myself.  What I want is to be able to see and feel the Divine Plan unfolding, Love and Joy increasing, and the conscious awareness of Divinity on every level including the physical.  What I want is to play my part in the mutual creation of a world that is joyful, free, and responsible, and I’m happy to start with me!

The Musical Attunements

The intention of the Keeper of the Holy Grail is to assist the listener in feeling their own sacred nature through music and the spiritual energies encoded within the music. Below, Samuel describes the spiritual energies infused in the songs, and Richard the qualities expressed through the music

To Hear the Album click here



This song embodies the vibration of divine love, present on the Universal Level and manifested through the heart.  It is the unconditional love of Source which by its very nature expresses both compassion and forgiveness.

The spiritual frequency of love infused in the song can activate the love vibration within the listener through resonance. If you can feel Divine Love within yourself as you listen, it is because that Love is already present witin your being. Nothing has been given to you that you don’t already have. All the spritual attunements in the Keeper of the Holy Grail are designed to activate your Divine qualities through resonance. If as you experience the musical attunements you heel lovable and loving, magnificent and expanded, sacred and holy, then know it is only your own True Nature that you are experienceing.


Existing within the heart of all of us is a place of Divine purity untouched by the vicissitudes of life.  Within this purity reside qualities of peace, unconditional love, inner joy, and a feeling of coming home.  From the recognition of being home, a love-reality opens, expressing as our fondest dreams coming true.



Our spine is the energetic core of our physical being through which the cosmic and earth energies flow. To be truly filled with spiritual Light means we have opened this sacred core and allowed the Light to freely flow. This song’s spiritual attunement activates and opens the energy centers up and down the spine. As a result, a tremendous infusion of spiritual Light into the physical body occurs. For those acquainted with the chakras, this attunement opens the 7 majoy chakras as well as the chakras above and below the body.


The “Sacre Couer” is the central focus of our vertical alignment between the Great Central Sun and the core of the Earth, the bridge or Sacred Corr-idor between Heaven above and Heaven below.  The music expresses the expansion of the vertical core and the radiation of inner joy which flows forth from this expansion.



The Holy Grail was a mystical symbol for the Divine Feminine aspect of our Being.  One description of the Holy Trinity is that of the Divine Father, the Divine Mother, and Divine Child. And, it is the Divine Mother’s vibrational aspect that is embdied in the song of the Holy Grail. I experience the Divine Feminine as soft and allowing, enveloping and holding the space for the manifestation of our divine consciousness in physical form. It is the Divine Feminine that accepts, allows, and receives the presence of the Divine Masculine.

The Holy Mothers were asked to be present during the recording of the song and to infuse the Divine Feminine essence into the music.


To me the Holy Grail is the purified human personality in total alignment with the Divine.  Here is a humility of recognition and surrender to the Divine along with a dignity of knowing that one is Divine in essence and birthright now and all-ways.  Humility and dignity heal the illusions of arrogance and unworthiness, and there is a divine quality that can heal every illusion. Through life experience, our quest, we can learn to weave these qualities into a chalice of energetic mastery. This is the HOLY GRAIL, which is able to receive and hold the nector of Divine Grace within our being.  This music reflects the love of the bride of Spirit  which is our true receptive nature.  An inadvertant  quote in the music gave me confirmation of the holiness of this piece.



The Divine Child aspect of the Holy Trinity was invited in and asked to assist in the encodement of the Christos frequency into the song. The Christos frequency of Love is universal and available to all of us when we tune into it.

The Divine Child Christos aspect represents the holy union of the Divine Father and Divine Mother.  It was profoundly manifested through Jesus, who helped set the template for the embodiment of the Christos frequesncy in the flesh. Personally for me, the Divne Child essece carries the qualities of joy, innocence, playfulness, strength, centerdness and above all else, love without judgement.


I AM a beloved child of the DIVINE.  I AM Original Innocence personified.  I AM inner purity manifesting in physical reality.  This song is a lullabye to the Divine Child in all of us. (I AM refers to the individualized inner essence of our Being.)



The Divine Father aspect of the Holy Trinity was asked to be present during the final recording and to infuse the Divine Masculine energy into the song.  For me, the Divine Father’s energy represents “love in dynamic action.” It is very powerful, unquestionably vital and carries the qualities of wisdom, courage, will and grace. The Divine Father embodies the strength and support you can draw upon when you feel in the state of need. For those sensitive to energy, notice near the end of the song that the Divine Mother (Holy Grail) essence once again appears to be joined by that of the Divine Child Christos. Then the Divine Father essence returns to unify with the Divine Mother and Divine Child; for a brief moment, the essence of the Holy Trinity is present.


This energy reminds me of Moses, Elijah and the great patriarchal prophets, and musically it turned out to be great fun, a fantasia of creation with no end.



The Divine Plan for the Earth, held by the Christos and Forces of Light, is dynamic and yet embodies those qualities recognized as the foundation of the Golden Age: forgiveness, compassion, unity, love and freedom.  In the same sense that a plan for a port of arrival allows one to steer a ship to its final destination, the Divine plan for the Earth provides a spiritual map for souls on earth, a goal towards which we can orient ourselves to manifest the highest outcome for the planet and ourselves.

During this song’s recording, the energy space was held for the encodement of the Divine Plan for Earth along with the music.  The Christos and spiritual forces overseeing the Divine Plan were asked to assist in the encodement of the Hologram energetically onto the music track. As I was encoding the Hologram, I heard “We are the Divine Plan,” and I was clearly shown we are its unfoldment.


“Life can be fun!” and the Divine Plan is infinitely malleable as we co-create Heaven on Earth with Spirit.  Every drama is an opportunity for a healing or a blessing.  You may hear a little Beethoven and a little Mozart in this piece before it returns to the theme of the Sacred Heart, which holds the love through which the wisdom and power of the Divine Plan can manifest.



I experience the Holy Spirit as the formless flow of Source from which all physical matter is created. It is soft, malleable and yiedling, and like liquid love, can be poured into any form. The Holy Spirit is always with us and coursing through us, although we are usually unaware of its presence.

The spiritual attunement encoded in this song helps to open the energy centers of the body (the chakras) and increase the flow of the Holy Spirit through our Being. When the flow of the Holy Spirit becomes strong enough, its presence becomes palpable and undeniable. Another important aspect of this attunement is the act of surrender, of letting go and letting God handle the details.


One night as I was working on completing the orchestration for this piece, I found myself deeply inspired by the sweetness of the music.  In this open state I became aware of a blissfull energy spiralling into my body from above my head.  I held my body, mind and emotions as still as possible to receive this blessing fully.  The gratitude I have for this Holy Presence in my life is tremendous.   May the Presence of the Holy Spirit  ever increase in your awareness and life.



When the spiritual energies described for the previous seven songs are experienced together as one, the result is grace. I know of nothing sweeter than the feeling of grace. It involves for me the full experience of my Divinity, the sensing of my oneness with Source, the knowing that I am loved and supported.  Grace is the sacred and sweet essence held in the Holy Grail, and always and continuously available to us, once we fully realize we are the Grail’s Keeper.

For the recording of this song, the Masters and Guides that hold the field of grace were invited in, as was Prime Creator and the Beloved. Then, the essence and quality of infinite grace was asked to be imbued into the music.


In preparation for each of my composing sessions for this project, I worked with my Higher Self to clear and raise my vibration so as to bring through the most beautiful and sacred music possible.  There were many times that it seemed as if I would never break through to a higher consciousness.  At those times, I was able to give myself one consolation: that the Infinite Grace of God is greater than any problem or illusion I seem to be stuck in.  By calling forth and being willing to receive Infinite Grace I was able to refocus my attention and move forward with the session.  I invite you to demonstrate Infinite Grace in your own life as well.

As a composer, I love to take people Home.  It is my sincere desire (and Samuel’s also) that you experience through the music and spiritual attunements of KEEPER OF THE HOLY GRAIL the remembrance of your Divinity and Oneness with all of Life.  May we all come to know ourselves as Divine within and beyond form.  And may we, created as cocreators in the image and likeness of God, through the Infinite Grace of the Divine learn to create Heaven on Earth for the Highest Good of ALL.

Recommended Steps

To receive full benefit from the musical attunements, the following steps are suggested:

1. Relax in a comfortable chair.

2. Bring your focus to your heart and visualize there, a doorway to your Divine Self.

3. Imagine yourself passing through that heart doorway and merging with your Divine Self. When you feel united, move onto the next step.

4. Make the following request, “Beloved Divine Self, I ask you to transfer the appropriate energies, frequencies, and awareness from these musical attunements to all levels of my being. Please use the energy and the music to assist me in fully feeling and experiencing my love, my divinity, and my unity with Source. I ask that this be done now. So be it and so it is.”

5. Begin playing Keeper of the Holy Grail. We recommend you listen to the musical empowerments in the order recorded and to listen to the entire empoerment series at one time to receive maximum effect.

6.  After you have listened to Keeper of the Holy Grail, once again focus on your heart doorway and feel yourself merge with your Divine Self.

7. Make the following request, “Beloved Divine Self, I choose to always be filled with love, compassion, and grace. I choose to move into the full realization that I am a Divine expression of Source. I ask for the integration of the appropriate energies, frequencies and awareness into my Being, that will assure the manifestation of these intentions. I ask that this integration be taken to completion. So be it and so it is!”

Richard Shulman

Composer, Arranger and keyboard musician (piano & synthesizers).

Samuel Welsh

Co-creator and encoder of the spiritual attunements.

Producer – Richard Shulman

Concept – Samuel Welsh

Art Director – Samuel Welsh

Graphic Design – Bonnie L. Down

Cover Painting

“Benedicta Viriditas” by Cheryl Yambrach Rose

Ink Line Drawings

Margaret Adragna Lee

Special thanks to the SOURCE of ALL THAT IS for musical inspiration, spiritual attunements, and the support to bring KEEPER OF THE HOLY GRAIL to the world, to the innumerable Masters, Angels and beings of Light and Love who assisted us, and to: William G. Ligon, Richard Heap, and Erik Offner for moral and financial support • Dave Moore for astute financial advice and assistance • Mary McChrist for helping us infuse the Holy Mother essence into the song of the Grail • Pat Nelson for the creation of the stargate • Joseph Cutrufello for the star energies encoded in “Infinite Grace” • Lauren Gdovin for moral support and running the business while Richard and Samuel were lost in the time-warp of  recording • Dorje Funk for surprise catering • Michael Bitterman for his laughter, coffee, and studio • Robert Frazza for his excellent work in recording the orchestral music • Scott Petito for his superb recording, mixing and mastering and for his “Infinite Patience” • all the musicians, who gave 100% to the project • and to Norma Milanovich, for holding the vision and for providing support on many levels.

Sacred Heart 12:17

Sacred Core 12:51

The Holy Grail (The Divine Mother) 5:50

The Divine Child Christos 8:31

Ark of the Covenant (The Divine Father) 9:42

New Jerusalem / The Divine Plan 6:33

The Descent of the Dove / Holy Spirit 6:34

Infinite Grace 11: 44

Total time: 72:02

Piano & Keyboards – Richard Shulman

Flute – Barbara Rizek

Oboe – Joel Evans

Clarinet – Richard Reiter

Bassoon – Elizabeth Romano

French Horn – Harry F. Ditzel

Flugelhorn & Trumpet – John C. Thomas

Bass Trombone – Genn Kenreich

First Violin – Rachel Handman

Second Violin – Betty MacDonald

Viola – Ruth Shilling

Cello – Yvonne Cable

Bass – Susan Powell

Vocalist, Divine Child Christos

Amy Fradon

Vocalists, Infinite Grace

Amy Fradon

Leslie Ritter

Mark Rust

Please Note: Do not drive or operate heavy machinery while listening to this music.

Orchestral Recording Sessions

Midnight Modulation, Saugerties, NY April 9th – 14th, 1997

Music Recorded, Mixed and Mastered

NRS Recording Studio, Hurley, New York

April 2, 28-30, May 1-2, 6-9, 1997

Recording, Mixing and Mastering Engineer-Scott Petito

January 13, 2010

What is “Sky Jazz” by Richard Shulman

Filed under: Talking about what there are no words for (Music) — by richardshulman @ 2:47 am

To Listen to “Sky Jazz”

Sky Jazz is a term I use to describe a genre with roots in jazz, classical music and music for healing and meditation (It is also the title of my recent Jazz trio release on RichHeart Music with Mike Holstein on bass, Sonny Thornton on drums and myself on piano.).

However, the primary cause from which this “Sky Jazz” arises is the intent that this music serve the healing and well being of the audience. The expression of Beauty and the balancing of Action and Peacefulness are added predilections in this music.

In my early development as a musician, I found that certain players and albums inspired a recognition of “Yes, that’s what I want to do too!” These pieces that inspired me usually had some element of harmonious expression and passion towards spirituality along with a language which integrated the most heartfelt elements of 20th century neo-classical music and the rhythms and improvisational nature of jazz, emphasizing straight eighth styles for the most part.

So the roots of this music include:
Paul Winter Consort – “Road”
John Coltrane – “A Love Supreme”
Miles Davis – “In A Silent Way”
Charles Lloyd Quartet – “Forest Flower” (with Keith Jarrett)
Keith Jarrett – “The Koln Concert” and “Belonging”

As a piano player I was influenced by the following (in addition to those above) and took those elements which most inspired me from:
Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Lysle Mays, Thelonius Monk, and Marian McPartland.

As a composer I have been influenced by Schumann, Schubert, Brahms, Beethoven, Bach, Copland, Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, Von Williams, Mozart, Reich, and a host of others.

Love of spirituality and transcendent beauty has molded choices in my music, but more than anything, my music is informed and defined by my relationship with the inspiration which guides me and serves as my Muse.

The above paragraph describes the process of the creation of almost all of my music, no matter what genre or category afficianados may place it in. The term “Sky Jazz” refers to the sub category of my music which has jazz influences and which comes out of the merging of my life as a jazz pianist/composer with the streams of my meditative and classical music.

To Listen to “Sky Jazz”

November 17, 2009

Light from Assisi – The consciousness behind the music: Enhanced liner notes for the CD

Filed under: What's behind the Music — by richardshulman @ 3:23 am

Light from Assisi, by Richard Shulman
Light from Assisi, by Richard Shulman

To purchase the CD

To listen to the Music

Prologue to the liner notes:

A Personal Connection with St. Francis

Growing up in a Reform Jewish household I had no awareness of any connection with St. Francis, EXCEPT that my mother had bought a calligraphic rendering of the prayer of St. Francis (Lord make me an instrument of Thy Peace) and it was on a wall in our unfinished basement, where I often played with my chemistry set.

Until I went to Assisi, I had no direct awareness of St. Francis, although some hints reveal themselves in hindsight. When I first moved to NYC I occasionally had a job as the substitute organist in a Spanish Catholic church in Brooklyn. I loved the exalted sense I felt from the services, not understanding a word spoken, but being enraptured by the mystery and atmosphere. One time the priest asked me to follow him through a court yard after the service so he could pay me and we passed a statue in the courtyard. I asked the priest, “Is that St. Francis?” and the priest gave me one of those looks that perhaps meant “what planet did you just land from?” and after a moment, said “Yes.”

A couple years later in a non-denominational meditation group, the teacher had asked everyone to tune in to “The Christ.” I was quite surprised to see first, a sleeve, and then the torso of what might have been St. Francis. Later in the sharing, I learned other people had seen Jesus or white light, so I wondered if I had been off track…..

In 1988, Ron Young, a healer I was studying with, invited me to participate in a trip to Assisi. I had just bought a new synthesizer that had a string sound that I realized could serve as a wonderful vehicle to transmit unconditional Love, and I looked forward to using it at a meditation retreat in a sacred space.

A week before the trip I was at another meditation weekend and the facilitator showed “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” Franco Zeffirelli’s film of St. Francis and St. Clare, and I sobbed through the whole video. Synchronistically my heart had been opened by my connection with St. Francis through the movie, so when I arrived in Assisi a week later I was able to experience the vibrational legacy that he and Clare left in the very stones of the city and wherever they had been.

When the meditation group convened in Assisi, Ron asked me to play for the group and a river of Love and Blessings flowed through the music as I had never experienced before. St. Francis was supporting and enhancing every note and prayer for good, and although I didn’t see him, I felt his overlighting presence.

Here are the liner notes to Light from Assisi:

Richard Shulman
Light from Assisi


My first experience of the magical city of Assisi was in November 1988 as part of a meditation group. The atmosphere of Assisi, combined with our meditation work, opened me to an ecstasy overflowing with Divine Love. Visiting the various holy places, I felt such grace and healing that I when the teacher suggested I return to record music, I leapt at the opportunity.

A year later I arrived again with my synthesizer and computer, determined to express these feelings, this vibration in music. Each day, for two and a half weeks, I would go to one of the holy places, absorbing what I could of the atmosphere I found there. Then I would return to my keyboard, tune in to the place I had just visited, and play the music I heard from within. At the end of my stay, I had two and a half hours of raw music. This album is the first of two releases from these recordings.

About the music

This album is a reflection of my personal experience at Assisi, yet I believe that the music touches something universal, a place inside all of us that feels like “home.” I believe that somehow the deepest and most beautiful personal experiences can be translated into a mutual human understanding even within our diversity. We all have frameworks in which our spirit can blossom. The blossoming is in the music and in my personal experience surrounding it. The ability to blossom is in all of us. For me, the blossoming is what really matters.

St. Francis and his followers used to greet people they met saying “May God’s peace be with you.” I have done my best to bring this same peace to you in the form of music. I invite you to share the peace and the wonder I experienced at Assisi.

It is in the music. Listen…

To listen to the Music


More about the music…

For St. Francis, 1&2
The Spirit of St. Francis pervades all of Assisi and the surrounding countryside. Francis and his followers indelibly changed this town into a sacred place. For the pilgrim, or seeker of God, there is an ineffable sense of peace, a feeling of blessedness so strong that the very stones seem to be praying.

Song of St. Clare
For me this little melody portrays the joy of simplicity in which St. Clare lived (St. Clare, Francis’ first female follower, founded the second Franciscan order).

For St. Clare
A musical portrait, expressing Clare’s yearning for, and fulfillment in God.

I imagine that this was a frequent sentiment among the “Poor Clares” (St. Clare’s cloistered community).

Trip to the hermitage

Of the many wonderful sites in and around Assisi, the most intriguing to me are the places St. Francis chose as retreats for his personal prayer and meditation. The remainder of this album is a musical portrayal of a spiritual journey to one of these places, the Hermitage of the Carceri.

The Hermitage is situated on the slopes of Mount Subasio, about an hour’s walk from Assisi. It consists of a cluster of small buildings constructed over a cave called the Grotto of St. Francis. In the surrounding woods are other caves where Francis’ first brothers stayed.

The first building one comes to upon entering the grounds contains a small church. Across a courtyard is the structure enclosing the Grotto of St. Francis. Several small chapels on the upper level prepare the visitor to descend the stairs to St. Francis’ cave. It is a simple room now adorned with a small altar.

The first time I entered this room, I discovered an indentation in the face of the rock wall, forming a narrow seat. I had a feeling that this was a place where St. Francis spent much time sitting in prayer. As I sat in this niche, I felt a wonderful cleansing taking place within me mentally, emotionally, and physically. St. Francis had created a place of grace right where I was sitting!

This became a place of repeated pilgrimage for me, since I wished to taste of this grace again and again. However, the following year, when I had returned to express this amazing experience in music, I sat in the same place and felt nothing.

The fact that I could feel nothing in this place which had been so holy for me left me completely disheartened. It also made me want to get to the bottom of this.

Thus began a period of inner questing. I checked into a monastery for three days and isolated myself as much as possible from human company and any activities which might distract me from my efforts to bring back the feeling of God’s grace.

In the meantime, each day I continued to visit the holy places and on my return, I portrayed my experience of them in music. This process helped me, but I still hadn’t recaptured the aliveness and joy of my initial discovery. I knew something in me needed to be faced, but didn’t know what it was. Turning to prayer, I asked “What is it that is keeping me from You Lord?”

Finally on the last day of my partial seclusion, I decided to take the walk back up to the Hermitage as a final pilgrimage. I asked for two things in prayer: 1. that I would be healed and be given the grace to feel God’s presence again, and 2. that I would be able to express my transformation in music so that others could benefit.

Mary the Compassionate One
A short distance up the road, still within the walls of Assisi, I came upon a statue of Mary. I told her of my plight and asked for help. I felt her grace and knew I had an ally. I felt that whatever happened, her love would not depart from me.

I Meet the Animals
As I was walking, a donkey and two dogs ambled onto the road from an adjacent olive grove and accompanied me for a while. When I tried to approach them, they shied away, keeping to the opposite side of the road. I found myself wishing to be able to talk with them as St. Francis could.

Just then, a nun approached from the same orchard. She pointed to the donkey and said “San Francesco!” and then repeated in English, “St. Francis.” I was reminded that, for the last two years of his life, St. Francis could not walk on account of his stigmata, and rode on a donkey when he had to travel. I felt greatly blessed to be in the company of these beautiful animals, as if St. Francis himself were there with me in the flesh.

The Walk
I continued up the road, asking to be purified so as to reach my goal. Feelings of sadness and hope intermingled within me as I walked.

The Chapel
Entering the Hermitage grounds, I went to the church to rest and pray.

The Grotto of St. Francis
Crossing the courtyard, I entered the building which houses the Grotto of St. Francis. After stopping in each of the chapels on the upper level, I descended the stairs to the cave. Sitting with some trepidation on the now familiar ledge, I asked again, “What is separating me from your presence, Lord?”

I suddenly perceived a dark band covering my forehead. I asked within myself, “What is this?” An answer came inside me, saying, “Doubt.” With this understanding, the band dissolved, leaving clearer vision and much gratitude for the grace I had just received.

Soon I felt a pain in the muscles of my shoulder. Asking for the cause, I heard, “Worry.” This process went on for what seemed about twenty minutes. Each fear or idea which separated me from God came off me like a dark robe, leaving me feeling lighter, more buoyant. As I let go more and more, I began to feel a glorious power within me and all around me, and realized that God’s love had always been present, but I simply hadn’t been aware, wrapped up in my fears, worries, and doubts.

New Robes
I then asked for new robes to replace the old ones. I asked for faith, love, courage, understanding, and simplicity. In the light of my new understanding, the painful experiences I had previously gone through lost their negative meaning for me.

Good-Bye for Now
Coming back to my ordinary senses, I heard some people coming down the stairs. I thanked God and St. Francis, got up, and walked through the tiny doorway out into the world.

Suggestions for the listener

The following exercises draw on a variety of techniques.

Use only those that feel good to you.

General suggestion:
Find or create a period of time when you will be free of distractions. After putting on the music, sit or lie comfortably with the spine relaxed and straight. Take three very slow, very deep breaths, letting go of outside concerns. Then focus your attention completely on the music, allowing yourself to feel and relax into it.

Visualizations to be done with the music:

For St. Francis 1
Picture yourself in a countryside of olive groves and exquisite green rolling hills. It is early morning and the sun’s warmth is just beginning to soften the snap of the lingering cool night air. A mist rising from a freshly plowed field blends the colors of the rich brown soil with the surrounding dark green vegetation. The sky overhead is bright blue with an occasional wisp of white.

You are walking along a path between a deep wood and an olive grove. As you reach the crest of a small hill, you find yourself in a large field resplendent with wildflowers. Take a moment to look at the flowers and savor the aroma of each one.

As you look up, you see at the far end of the field a short thin man in a gray tunic. At first he seems quite ordinary, but as he comes a little closer you begin to notice a kindness in his face and a feeling of quiet joy surrounding him. This feeling reassures you and you meet him at the center of the field in the shade of a single oak tree.

For St. Clare
Picture yourself in a cloistered garden, filled not with the usual cultivated flowers, but with delicate wildflowers. Take time to smell and appreciate these tiny jewels of nature’s perfection.

Across the courtyard, you notice a woman sitting on a rough wooden bench. She is dressed in a white robe and seems deep in prayer. As you approach the center of the garden, she arises and comes to greet you. You sense in her tremendous strength and conviction, and at the same time, deep caring and understanding. She has a gift for you. Allow yourself to receive it.

Calling on the Divine Mother:

Mary the Compassionate One
Most traditional spiritual paths make use of repeated phrases, or mantras to help the aspirant focus on the Divine. This focussed attention can lead to meditation, through which direct communication with our Spiritual Nature is possible.

For many Catholics, the Rosary, or “Hail Mary” is an important part of spiritual life. This prayer can bring one into contact with the energy or grace of Mary.

The following is a slightly altered version of the Rosary which I’m fond of, given to me by one of my teachers, Hilda Charlton.

Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee.
Blessed art Thou among women, and Blessed is the Fruit of Thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, Pray for us children, Now and at the hour of our Attainment.

Using this prayer or the standard Rosary with the music can create a very powerful experience, as the music itself came out of the prayer. Repeat it silently or aloud, slowly, with great feeling for every word.


The Grotto of St. Francis
For a few minutes, simply be aware of your breath. Observe it as it goes in and out, bringing life into your body on the inhalation, and releasing tension on the exhalation.

After a few moments, place your attention at the center of your chest (the heart center). Visualize and feel a warm glow as you breath in and out of this center. If your mind wanders, bring your attention back to the heart center. Gradually allow this warm glow to expand, enveloping your entire body.

While maintaining the openness of your heart center, move your attention to a point on your forehead between the eyebrows. Continue to breathe and feel in your heart while focusing your attention at the third eye or eye of God. If thoughts or feelings arise, continue to breath and gently bring your attention back to the third eye and the feeling of fullness at the heart center.

When the music is finished, take your time to feel yourself in your body. Wriggle your toes and fingers, gradually open your eyes and gently begin to move. You have contacted aspects of yourself you may not have been aware of, so treat yourself kindly as you emerge from meditation, a new, reenergized you.


Richard Shulman


Suggested Reading

On St. Francis
“We were with St. Francis”, Salvatore Butler, O.F.M.
Casa Editrice Francescana Assisi, Edizione Porziuncola

“The Little Flowers of St. Francis”, translation: W. Heywood
Casa Editrice Francescana, Edizione Porziuncola

On Meditation-Spirituality
“The New Sun” Hilda Charlton
Golden Quest, PO Box 85
Woodstock, NY 12498

“Autobiography of a Yogi” Paramahamsa Yogananda
Self Realization Fellowship
3880 San Raphael Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90065

“Be Here Now”, Baba Ram Dass
Crown Publishing, 1 Park Ave.
New York, NY 10016

“The Quiet Mind” White Eagle
Fletcher & Son Ltd.
Norwich, England

We would love to hear from you. Please write us and tell us how you like “Light From Assisi.”

Send to:

RichHeart Music
PO Box 6731
Scarborough, ME 04070-6731



To purchase the CD

November 15, 2009

A Higher Dimension – The consciousness behind the music

Filed under: What's behind the Music — by richardshulman @ 6:04 am

A Higher Dimension – The consciousness behind the music: Enhanced liner notes for the CD

A Higher Dimension CD
A Higher Dimension CD

To listen to the CD

I had been in an intensive spiritual process for the previous four and a half years, studying with Hilda Charlton and several of her students, and had been learning to express the spiritual journey through music.  So when the opportunity came to record, I did bring some prepared music, but mostly I brought my willingness to listen and perform the music of inspiration which I heard inwardly.   I wanted to express the principles I had been learning spiritually.  I also wanted to express the realms of grace I had touched in my spiritual journey.

As the recording progressed, divine qualities would occur to me and with them a musical piece would begin “in my head.” I then played on the piano what I was hearing inside.  Putting the album together was fairly easy as the qualities which became the titles of the pieces and the music had their own logic and progression.

To listen to the CD

Here is my understanding of each of the pieces:

Gates to the Quiet Place 1:08

Preparation and relaxation to begin the inner journey.

Welcome 4:12

Being received into a heavenly realm – a further relaxation into a receptive place to get in touch with the blessing of a higher dimension.

Opening 8:13

The journey begins as we open to the consciousness of Grace and begin to see the landscape of a more harmonious way of being.  We are wrapped in a blanket of light and comfort which allows us space to breathe deeper, opening us to healing, new aliveness and higher awareness.

Forgiveness  8:50

Forgiveness is the key to the realm – the way by which one can stay in higher consciousness in the midst of life.  This is more than merely letting go of the angst.  It is a reframing of consciousness in which one can see the blessing in any situation.  It begins by taking responsibility for one’s participation in the event – how did I draw this situation into my life?  What idea was I holding that the situation is challenging?  Can I receive the gift of this challenge and let go of the illusion that wasn’t working? Can I let myself be “wrong” and allow my thoughts to be corrected by the inner wisdom enacted in the experience?  What is the gift I am gaining from this experience?  Receiving the gift, do I now  feel gratitude?

Devotion 7:35

Starting from gratitude, we enter into the bliss of every breath devoted to the Source of One’s Being, feeling the nourishment of Divine flow  from That Source as God’s Love holds our attention.

Sincerity 1:45

Sincerity is a quality of willingness and intent by which direction is set for good.

Peace 4:06

Peace, the living quality of trust leads to confidence.

Confidence 3:09

Confidence – the knowing that this is mine to do, and I can do it.

Humility 2:17

Humility is the realization and confidence knowing that nothing is done without the Source of All Beingness.  And it is that Source that does it.

Harmony 2:44

The natural result of allowing the Divine flow  manifesting.

Vision of a New Age 7:24

When we do our part with Sincerity, Peace, Confidence and Humility,  Harmony manifests inside and the landscapes of the heart, informed by the illumination of the All  Wisdom, Power and Love of the Divine, mature into Dreams Come True for all involved.

A Melody is Born 4:46

Creation Manifested leading to expanded consciousness leading to more and more beautiful expressions in life.

Home 4:05

Home is Here, at last.  No need to escape to some heaven world, for heaven is here present, now, Love Expressing.

Total Time 60:18

A Higher Dimension was recorded January 29th, 1988, and was the first album where I could say as a musician and creator of music for meditation, “If I die tomorrow I can go happily, knowing that I’ve done this recording.”

How to Listen to “A Higher Dimension”

When “A Higher Dimension” is listened to, it will NOT deliver the kind of emotional punch that a pop song or Broadway Musical song does.

Instead, this music serves as a doorway to a more subtle realm of feeling. In order to receive the benefit from listening, one has to let go of, for a moment, any concerns, worries, misunderstandings, judgements, or irritations that may show up while listening.

This isn’t done by pushing anything away.  For instance, let’s say that a feeling or a memory “comes up” while listening.  Just be with the feeling or memory and continue to listen to the music. Keep your attention (gently) on the music, note-by-note, chord-by-chord, and something will reveal itself.

At first that “something” will seem like “nothing”  — hardly noticeable…. Then eventually you may notice a subtle peace in that “something.”  Just keep following the music.

Eventually, within that subtle peace you may find a feeling of joy…. And within that joy, a love so peaceful and deep and nourishing….

This is “A Higher Dimension.”  It lives in each one of us — simultaneous and underneath our day-to-day thoughts of who we are.

When we discover this subtle realm within us, it changes who we think we are, and when we return to normal life, we are refreshed and healed. It is good to be gentle with ourselves as we return…. feeling our feet and making sure we are well grounded before resuming normal activities!

Love and Blessings,


Credits for the 2009 Anniversary CD release include:

Remastering by Stephen Smith, Soundsmiths Mastering

Cover Art by Reine Laurendeau

Design by Diane Couture

Here below are the liner notes from the original cassette-only release of this album:

Recorded January 29, 1988 at Classic Sound, N.Y.C , on an 1896 Steinway B grand piano using one (1) AKG C422 stereo microphone and two (2) Neumann U87 microphones and a Sony PCM F-1 digital recorder.

No compression limiting or equalization was used.

Executive Producer …………….. Charles Schaller

Producer……………………………….. Richard Shulman

Engineer………………………………. A.T. Michael McDonald

Cover Art……………………………… Andrew Forest

Design……………………………………. Charles Schaller

This tape is dedicated to Hilda Charlton who with great love has shown me the way to a Higher Dimension within myself.

(c) & (p) 1988 RichHeart Music


This album was originally commissioned and released by New World Productions, Charles Schaller, President.

We’d love to hear from you: For our free catalog, to order, and/or to give your comments please write, call, or email us at

RichHeart Music * PO Box 6731 * Scarborough, ME 04070-6731 * 1-888-699-3682 toll free * *



Richard Shulman – A Higher Dimension    RHM 8806


Bar code for the CD Release: 7 23867 88062 1

Here is the current description I am using to introduce this CD to new listeners:

A Higher Dimension is tranquil and inspiring solo piano for meditation healing and enlightenment.  The music expresses a spiritual journey towards mastery starting at the “Gates to the Quiet Place” through divine qualities of the higher realms to “Vision of a New Age” and ending at “Home.”  Masterfully performed, both vibrationally and musically on an 1896 Steinway B Grand Piano, this music brings the presence of the higher realms into tangible feeling.

November 14, 2009

The importance of clarity in expressing the inexpressible

Last week I did my first interview for a column in the new magazine New Awareness which will come out in their December/January issue.  This first interview was appropriately with fellow composer Steven Halpern, one of the first and most effective creators of music for healing and meditation in the New Age genre.

Steven works tirelessly to express with clarity what his music is about and we had a great conversation resulting in over 22,000 characters for an article slated for 2,000 characters!  So for several days Steven and I whittled, cut and distilled the message down to the essence of his work.

I thought that this might be torture for him and expressed this at one point in the process and his reply was that this is not torture but that it is his job!

To find the right words to express what normally is NOT expressed in words is grounding the ineffable into awareness, and although this may not directly convey the actual experience, it can at least point in the direction of gnosis, or point towards grokking the music.

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