BY TAMMY SCILEPPLI
When was the last time you truly felt relaxed and uplifted?
If the never-ending pandemic’s got you down, and you’re still grappling with those lingering “pandemic blues” – and who isn’t these days – here’s a helpful remedy: How about some healing music for the soul?
Step 1: Find a comfy spot where you can chill for a while, uninterrupted. Step 2: Listen to some anxiety-reducing relaxation music … asap!
National Relaxation Day is Aug. 15. What a great reminder, especially now, that it’s okay to forget your troubles for a while and just kick back. So, whether you practice mindfulness and/or meditation, or get your Zen fix binge-watching Netflix, the key to getting through these weird times without going crazy, is to find some measure of tranquility and serenity as you go about your daily life.
“Relaxation is vital because the mind and body have to rejuvenate from time to time,” said award-winning saxophonist/composer Carl Bartlett, Jr., whose newly formed company Serene New You Sax LLC, is dedicated to helping people everywhere, overcome and, hopefully, eliminate their stress and anxiety (and even lower blood pressure) – naturally – through the power of authentic, feel-good music performed on his favorite instrument.
A Queens native who grew up in St. Albans and later moved to Cambria Heights, the rising musician is debuting his relaxation music digital audio track – aptly titled “Serene New You Sax” – worldwide, this Saturday (the product’s launch day) and just in time for Relaxation Day. And what you’ll hear is a unique recording featuring this spiritual musician’s moving melodies.
Along with relaxation techniques, those soothing sax sounds can really help re-center your mind and spirit. The amazing results?
“The restoration and upkeep of good health; giving you peace of mind, boosting your mood, and positively impacting your outlook on life,” Bartlett explained.
“I am playing all saxophones on the recording, and a few moments of rainstick (which is the only non-sax instrument),” said Bartlett, who describes this transformative music therapy experience as “a distinct and powerful offering, emphasizing timbres that nurture the body’s peaceful mode, providing essential stress relief, deep calm, and happiness.”
In celebration and anticipation of the upcoming launch, he told QNS: “This is going to be a joyous occasion! People are going to vastly improve their quality of life by experiencing the restorative nature of the music.”
QNS caught up with the musical entrepreneur, who was eager to share his backstory and talk about the inspiration behind his unique project.
“The sounds of music have always filled my home and were present in a general way. That surely rubbed off on me,” said Bartlett, whose dad and uncle have their own “renowned” band called Bartlett Contemporaries.
“Although I play many genres, I have a love for Jazz and relaxation music,” he shared.
According to Bartlett – who said he won first place in the USA (second, in the world), in the prestigious 2015-2016 International Songwriting Competition (ISC) Jazz category – the inspiration behind Serene New You Sax LLC, came several years ago when he thought about improving folks’ overall health by providing “a creative and safe solution to help them overcome stress and anxiety.”
That solution is music. “But not just any music!” he insisted. “I’m referencing sounds and ideas constructed in a certain manner that effectuate the body’s peaceful mode and relaxation response.”
He continued: “This music shines because it is a confluence of rich and supple tones, powerful musical intervals, harmonies; a tempo which eases the listener into a state of tranquility, and several intangibles that create an overall deeply calming and restorative soundscape. I composed the music with people’s better health in mind.”
Locally, the Jazz lover has performed at Queens Botanical Garden, as well as Cambria Heights, St. Albans, and Flushing Libraries; he also played at Bayside Historical Society, Bayside Castle, and Bourbon Street (also in Bayside), to name a few. Elsewhere in Gotham, folks would flock to these Jazz venues and others, to hear Bartlett play: Sista’s Place, in Brooklyn – described as one of the last few authentic spots where (back in the day) you could listen to real, great jazz in NYC; Smalls Jazz Club (West Village), and Jazz at Kitano, in Manhattan. His ensemble has also played throughout the U.S., and abroad.
The saxophonist has released two critically acclaimed recordings: his debut album, “Hopeful,” and sophomore album, “PROMISE!”
And here’s a fun fact: National Relaxation Day has been around since 1985 and was actually founded by a fourth-grader, Sean Moeller. Imagine that!
While sheltering in place, Bartlett noted that he was teaching his craft remotely, while connecting with family, friends, and musicians that he hadn’t seen in a while, via phone, Zoom, or Google Meet.
After all, one important thing everyone has learned from this pandemic, is that human beings need others to achieve true spiritual and physical wellbeing. Add some relaxing music, and you’ve got a winning combo!
“One’s health is a serious issue and my sounds will prove that music can indeed bring about healing,” Bartlett added.
“Serene New You Sax” will be available for digital download at: https://serenenewyousax.com/item/serene-new-you-sax beginning August 15 ($10.00). The music track is 35-plus minutes long.