Michael Stribling

Michael Stribling


I compose, arrange, and produce new age music: ambient, meditative, heart music, etc. My music has been compared to Vangelis, Patrick O'Hearn, David Arkenstone, and Paul Winter, to name a few.


I started piano lessons at age 7, and I also studied violin, clarinet, and guitar for a time. But when the Beatles arrived in America in 1964, I switched to drums and never looked back. I earned a Bachelors in Music (emphasis in percussion performance) in 1974, and then promptly went on the road and played drums for a fella named Johnny Mathis. Before that, though, I was a radio announcer in the early '70s for what would now be referred to as a Classic Rock station (Beatles, Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, etc.). Along the way, I did lots of studio work as a performer, composer/arranger, producer, engineer, etc., and I also played lots of musical theater productions.

In 1981, I changed careers and went off to graduate school, leaving music behind, and eventually becoming a licensed marriage and family therapist in 1992. I worked in the mental health field for over 20 years. One of the most memorable experiences of that part of the journey was studying transpersonal psychology with Stan Grof.

I returned to my first love (music) in 2005 after—what else?—life transitions. After all those years and projects, working for others, I finally decided it was time to produce an album "all by myself".

Some of my musical influences (among many, many others) include The Beatles, Jan Hammer, J. S. Bach, Igor Stravinsky, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell, Steely Dan, The Mahavishnu Orchestra, Chick Corea, Peter Gabriel (heck, this could get ridiculously long).

While there have been many life/spiritual influences, here are the most significant ones over the past couple of years: David R Hawkins, Lester Levenson, Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Lao-tzu, Eckhart Tolle (again, among others)

That brings me up to now. I formed Leela Music (leela means "divine play") to undertake a very simple mission: to help others in their journey toward wholeness through the gift of music, by creating works that inspire and uplift the human spirit.

Well, that's a start … I'll probably think of more stuff as soon as I publish this.


Released in August 2010, "Paradise Lost" solemnly commemorates the displacement of the Native American peoples at the hands of the "white man" as they immigrated to North America. Twelve original compositions are divided into three acts, or movements: paradise, in the "before days"; the coming of the white man, and the resulting conflict and tragedy; and lament, requiem, and resolution.

In 2009, "The Promise" held the #2 spot on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 List for two months in a row (October 2009, November 2009) and won the Zone Music Award for Best Electronic Album of 2009. The album follows Everyman's Journey from the hustle and bustle of daily living to the anticipation and promise of the great beyond. Fourteen original compositions cover the gamut of yang and yin, and the transition from life to Life.

Released in the summer of 2008, "Love, Light, and Water" ranked in NAR's (now Zone Music Reporter's) top 10 for two consecutive months (June 2008, July 2008). The album celebrates the hope and promise of new love, the energizing beauty of light, and the sustaining power of water. Fifteen original instrumental compositions form three mini-suites, and all songs are calming and meditative.

"Another Day in Paradise", which was released in late 2007, held the #2 spot for two consecutive months (December 2007, January 2008). This CD is an offering of 11 instrumental compositions that celebrate the basic themes of a typical day in paradise: processions and celebration; morning, afternoon, and evening; the land, ocean, and sky; youth; spiritual/physical union; and dance.

"Out of the Darkness, Into the Light" was released in early 2007. It ranked #2 on the Top 100 List in its first month of release (January 2007).

Michael Stribling's debut album, "Songs of Hope and Healing", ranked #1 on the New Age Reporter Top 100 List (July 2006) and won the NAR Lifestyle Music Award for Best Electronic Album of 2006. This CD is a collection of 12 instrumental compositions that reflect a variety of moods and styles, e.g., percussive, meditative, dramatic orchestral, driving rhythmic, introspective, uplifting "heart" music. Michael was also nominated for Best New Artist in the 2006 NAR Lifestyle Music Awards.

"Journey Within" is a meditative piece that's good for, well, meditating, along with massage, yoga, etc. It was released at the same time as "Songs of Hope and Healing."

Set List

This doesn't really apply, because all my compositions were done totally by me, from solo piano to full orchestra (ah, the magic of multitrack :-). I mean, how do you perform a statue? Don't you just go look at it? Maybe one day I'll consider translating my stuff into a live format (it would take a Yanni-size orchestra), but for now you just have to listen to the CDs :-)