Quickly something: I am very much delighted to start posting my reviews in Musickafe.com with Circle of Light. The reviews published before this date are a copy of my blog posts written for newagevibe.com where I started my music blogging. Not wasting time, am diving into my review on Circle of Light.
Natalia Christianna's feminine, motherly voice starts the album with utmost dedication to Hari Om... the Eternal Divine Sound, setting the mood of the album, which is one of merging with Divine in music. The album features two version of the well known Buddhist mantra Om Mane Padme Hum. I have listened to the Craig Pruess's version of the same mantra in Sacred Chants of Buddha and it's one my favorites, while his approach is more of the traditional Tibetan style, these two versions, try to approach the mantra from the Yin and Yang perspective and by adding a kind 'new thinking'. Particularly the Yang version of the mantra is quite powerful:
This Mantra is a connection with the deep waters that run slow......also reaching, yearning for union.....tantra
Put this Mantra on loop to connect with your deep inner strength of love.... to draw universal love towards you as you in turn radiate love to all
~Notes on Yang version by the artists
The above quote is very true to the word. Om Mane Padme Yang does really very much radiate with love energy.
Lovers of Krishna Dass, will find a few interesting tracks in this album. At first, listening to Radhe Guru Mantra, I mistook it that it was Krishna Dass singing, but it seems, it's actually David Pendragon after reading the album credits. Apart from Shree Krishna Govinda sung by Christianna , Krishna Mahamantra and Radhe Guru Mantra are the two Krishna chants that can keep the Krishna Dass fans spell bound, introducing them David Pendragon's soulful bass voice.
Om Mani Ashram is one of the highly meditative track featured in the album, alongside Santour Mantra. With soft background music, humming and a hardly visible mantra chant that beautifully merges with the silent landscape of meditative experience, Om Mani Ashram is for those who like the new age tranquility rather than new age party-remix versions of mantra.
That being said, the track Om Shiva is one for the latter kind of new agers -- those who want a modern version of the bhajans and satsang to take to the point of losing their 'ego' to identify with divine. The old bhajans were meant for that purpose, and the track Om Shiva in my opinion is well composed to meet the modern taste. Though sounding like a party-remix of the old bhajan, it doesn't destroy the essential quality of bhajan-devotion but I had my friend who listened to it complaining that the tracks distorts the mantra. Opinions vary widely!
To conclude, I'd say this one of the many beautiful new age sacred chants that I listened to. I will keeping going back to listen to this album time and again, though I have a quite a large music library (and like gmail, growning). And that's you count an album's success, you keep listening to it in spite of buying new ones. Though I haven't spoke to the artists featured in this album, at this time, I can feel that they are meditative and have good vibration that they transmit through their music.
No one is perfect and by the same law, no album too.... I did find in some of the tracks, the desire to make the West meet East, ended up with some kind of 'newage-madness' making the East to meet with West, instead. Notably the 'Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram......Ram Ram Ram Ram Ram......' background humming in Radhe Guru Mantra and the fusion of western beats in the title song Circle of Light, which could have been better with the gentle loving voice of Christianna alone. But these are minor things that maybe overlooked, depending upon your personal taste.
Thanks and my love to the producers of this album for bring out such a beautiful healing music, an album worth every cent!
Sometimes I wonder if I’m just justifying album name or track name with the music (with my imagination extended when they don’t justify, naturally). Thank God! Louis Banks saves me from such guilty feeling. Wonder how? Simple. As simple as listening to his album Love is in the Air: Music for Romance - II and read my post calling it RomanceLess (RomanceNONE better and apt!)
Some of my readers like my writing when I proscribe an album than when I prescribe. And sure enough, they are going to have a feast with this post. The album has 9 tracks in all and I listened to all of them questioning my own knowledge (experience) in romance: BTW, is there any other meaning for the word Romance other than intimate sharing between lovers? I’m still young, passion in blood, and am not out dated (also open to any *new ideas*). Has any ‘New’ thought on Romance emerged out lately without my knowledge? Hopefully, none other than Louis Bank has invented any new meaning — a new kind of romance that is stripped of all romance, as seen in his music album.
Except for the track Alluring Enchantress, all others border no where near any romantic feel. You wont believe it Mido, some tracks terrified me , on the contrary. What a ghastly vocalese! (Seems the new definition of any romantic whispers in Louis’ music lexicon)
When I was disappointed with a few tracks (and terrified by some), I jumped over to listen to Love is Like a Melody. When you call a track with such a beautiful title, wouldn’t it attract attention? Yes, that’s the trap. But Louis needs to know when he composes such irrelevant music for the theme the album (track) claims, it does drive away his listeners (I, for that matter, am already Out).
One of my friends (a dear one) visited my home the other day with his lover. To make their time pleasant, I accidentally played this album. While he was happily forgetting himself in her, I heard him shout on me ‘HellYouStopit’ and I ‘Stoppited.’
If you want my one word review for this album, let me repeat again (if you didnt notice it carefully):
One of my friends gifted me “PURITY” by Mythos (no special occasion though!), last week. She is a crazy fan of Mythos and wanted to know how I feel about Mythos’ latest album.
I read the liner notes of the album “Mythos provides a multi-layered musical experience that can be listened to on many levels.” And my own experience listening to this music album affirms that Purity is indeed mutli-layered (like a delicious cake!!).
Track Icarus caught hold of my senses at first listening than any other tracks. I like the fast beats and passionate keyboard music of this track. Next to Icarus, I liked Surrender, which I love much for the deep-moving guitar tune. The album features 11 tracks, most of which are bordering on ambient with “no noisily attention grabbing” pieces and can be listened to in many planes. Paul Schmidt’s guitar tunes are too good and touches heart, while Bob D’Eith’s Keyboard composition awakes many a forgotten emotions.
Mido, I listened to Purity, first, while I was busy doing my web designing work. The music worked out well; I did my job perfectly without getting disturbed by the music (no wify nagging for attention!), yet felt the music as a good companion to do my work all alone. Later, I listened to Purity while resting and found it deeply rejuvenating. Over the week, I listened to Purity again and again and found my liking increase with my increasing familiarity with the album (Shakespeare must be wrong to say “familiarity breeds contempt!).
In short, my love for Purity is Not “love at first sight”, rather, a love that grew and matured with time—-an everlasting relationship.
Phil Thornton&Hossam Ramzy are doing a good job in making available the rich tradition of Egypt through music. I’ve listened to their Immortal Egypt album and found myself transported to Egypt. I marvel at their music sense. But I’m not going to write about Immortal Egypt here nor appreciate their music sense, rather, write about Eternal Egypt, another album by the same pair.
Normally, when I make a purchase at Amazon, I tend to ignore the customer reviews at the time of purchase and after I listen to the music album, I’ d come back to same page and read what others got to say. (You call me crazy? you can. But I don’t want my opinion about any music album based upon on others review at any cost! Naturally, sometimes, I end up buying somethings worthless.) Eternal Egypt is one of this “somethings” that naturally happened out of my habit. After listening to this album which has 6 tracks in all, I felt I share a review of an Amazon customer:
My personal thought is that any connection between the music on this album and anything that might be considered anciently or eternally Egyptian is in the imagination of the creators….
I found the music boring and monotonously predictable and, after nearly 51 minutes, was immensely relieved to hear its last dying throb diminish into blessed silence.
Could anyone comment more pungently? “dying throb diminish into blessed silence.” I feel this album deserves such a comment. The album hardly convinced my music taste and I found the rhythm used in the album to be highly repetitive in almost all tracks. Paradoxically the track Desert Rhythm has no rhythm at all! Isis, as i told in my previous post, is a magnetic name that attracts my attention. But Isis Unveiled seems the least interesting music track of the album. The only track that meets up some expectation is the Land of Pharaohs (not without minuses, though).
Mido, while I’m so critical about this album, one thing that made me wonder is the another review of a buyer:
If you’ve ever wondered what it must’ve been like to visit a pharaoh living in ancient Egypt, this recording will help you get there!!!
!!! three exclamations? Wow! opinions differ so much. But still I cannot take back my comments. I believe them correct: this album is a utter failure!!!! (dont count the exclamation. I at least need one ‘!’ more than the other!)
Atlantis has an aura of nostalgia and it serves as the source of inspiration for many creative workers down the ages. It is a highly debated myth-or-real kingdom of Greeks. As a Utopian, highly developed society (lost anyway!), it has inspired me to some extent. Now into the musicality of Henri Seroka’s Atlantis, Myths and Legends. Henri Seroka is a Belgium born composer whose fame spans in many fields in music and as many might know he is the composer of famous International films like Alice, The Art of Love and Ataturk.
The Album features 10 tracks and the names of these tracks are worth mentioning:
2. Lost Souls
5. Forgotten Dreams
8. Eternal Roads
9. Troubled waters
10. Lost Temples
Atlantis is a dream lost, a very beautiful dream that you love to remember but as every dream it disappears leaving some reminiscent for nostalgic pleasure. The music album represents this reminiscent. Starting with the track Atlantic which sets the mood for this album, the album ends with a haunting vocal in Lost Temples. Track Atlantic borders over the ambient genre and when listened with leisure, it takes you to the lost dream. Except very few tracks: Alpha and Hermaphrodite, I found the album inspiring and makes up to the name it is titled. Forgotten Dreams and Lost Temple are the two tracks that I wish to discuss at some length.
Forgotten Dreams is a medium tempo music that mingles native rhythm, flute, a couple of clapping sounds and other electronica which gives the beauty of a pleasant dream. But, it’s not the dream that you remember, it is a “forgotten” dream and comes with a natural mood of “longing for something.” And this ’something’ is very subjective, and Mido, you can easily identify your longings in this ’something’.
Lost Temple, as I said in the beginning, is a haunting vocal melody. It reminds me of an Opera performance that I listened to in Mongolia. It was some 7 years ago and the voice followed me everywhere and echoed in my ear. I wished I could hear the same kind of performance back in my country but couldn’t. Lost Temple satisfies me in my search for that haunting voice all these years. And the music perfectly blends with the theme of a lost temple.
I recommend this album for my those who are in a musical quest.
For long, I wanted to write on the theme of love. Yesterday, when I browsed through my music library, Hariprasad Chaurasia’s ‘Elements: Wind’ caught hold of my eyes. I felt an irresistable urge to listen to this album and to share the same with you.
The album features 5 tracks and the track names are little longer yet meaningful:
1. The Breath Of Life: Cosmic Wind - Prana, The Breath Of Life Pranayama
2. The Winds Of Love: Romantic Air - Perfumed Breeze
3. The Winds Of Heaven: Windsongs; Maruts - The Sons Of Heaven
4. Spring Air: Sweet Breeze of Spring - Melody Of Spring
5. Cosmic Swirl: Vata - Hymn To Prana
Each of these tracks is a treasure in music expression, and as I said earlier, I’m interested in writing about the theme of love. So, it’s the 2nd track that I’m going to write on today.
Romantic Air is very close to a Love Epic in 14.20 min. It nourishes the heart with wordless tales of love. For about five minutes, a single flute dominates the track. After a meaningful silence for a few seconds, music from two flutes embrace each other as if they are inseparable lovers.
(dont mind a little philosophy here! I’m not taking any digression.)
In love there are two states– a state full of questions and the state full of answers. The latter is the maturity of love where answers alone exist. It’s not that you have found answers to your questions, it’s that you’ve dropped your questions, feeling them unnecessary. There are no more the every-lover-asking questions like “do you love me?” “will you be with me forever?” etc… Each lover feels the love of the other unquestioning and feel blissful. It’s this feeling of blissful love that this track invokes in my heart. Music that invokes the maturity of love just by listening.
It’s very close to a love epic, I said earlier. Yes, very close and yet not an epic, for the track has some interludes in Veena which doesn’t mix up well with flute. The strong vibration of Veena’s string pitiably distorts the romancing flutes. A Sitar would be better its place or at least a less pronouncing Veena.
Apart from this little ‘noise’, I felt the track very lovable that it's one of the best tracks that I recommend to listen for love theme.