What If a Day
N. Sophia Engkvist
Engkvist’s ethereal songs are New Age in style and, with the exception of the title song, are her original writing. Accompanying Engkvist’s vocals are piano, woodwinds, strings, percussion, djembe, Boomwhackers, tambourines, cymbals, chimes, shaker and rainstick, and Engkvist herself, playing quartz crystal singing bowls.
Elements of Eastern music weave their way through some of the songs, with drumbeats that call for movement (“Sacred Song,” “Whatever Comes,” “Valley of Humbleness”), and there is a feeling that ancient chants are being channeled through this obviously talented and passionate musician.
Engkvist uses her voice as an instrument; her pitch is true, and her voice is pleasing, except for the occasional intrusion of a nasal quality and breathiness. The music is deeply felt and moving, and manages to create a sonic environment filled with longing and otherworldliness.
One of her favorite songs, “A Beautiful World,” was written during the first days of the war with Iraq and reflects her thoughts: “Before we all go on, let us take a breath . . .” and perhaps, seeing who we are, we could then offer a hand of friendship, an ear to listen without judgment, as though we had no past, no religion or color, and no fear.