This is a three CD collection featuring some of the artists
of the New Earth label. The focus of
this collection is to provide relaxing, soothing music for use by bodyworkers,
ie. masseuses, physical therapists, Reiki practitioners, shaman, and anyone
working in the “healing touch” modalities.
The choices for these CDs were based on the three themes the
producers had in mind, one disk for relaxing, one disk for healing and one disk
specifically for Reiki. All of these CDs
are re-releases of previous works of the artists, and are gathered here in one place
for the listener to appreciate as a collection.
The first disk, focusing on “Relax” is a 55:31 minute piece
by Al Gromer Khan and Amelia Cuni . It
is titled “Monsoon Point and was originally released in September of 1995. Al Gromer Khan is probably best known for his
superior sitar abilities, having been formally trained by the Khan-i-Gharana
family of sitarists, a family which dates back to Mughal India. On this piece, Mr. Khan plays electronic
keyboards of his own composition, which is accompanied by the accomplished
Dhrupad singer Amelia Cuni.
Dhrupad is said to be the oldest form of vocalization/music
originating in North India. It has become the basis for the classical
form of Indian music, and its roots are said to be found in the recitation of
sacred Sanskrit texts.
Traditional Dhrupad is in two major parts, alap and
Dhrupad. Alap is vocalization without
words, and is the meditative part of the traditional compositions. The second part, Dhrupad, is usually chanted
accompanied by a two headed barrel shaped drum called a pakhawaj. The alap portion usually builds the raga and
the dhrupad part becomes a worded chant in rhythm cycles. It is a very complex construction of
composition, and to be a Dhrupad singer requires years of practice and a
lifetime of devotion to the art form.
Al Gromer Khan provides a composition here that is soft,
floating, never intrusive and allows for Ms. Cuni to fill the spaces between
the keyboard accompaniment with her mellow vocals. I believe the piece never progresses beyond
the alap form, allowing this to be a completely meditative composition.
To some people, dhrupad may be an acquired taste. If you are not familiar with this form of
music it may seem foreign to the Western ear.
However, Ms. Cuni’s skills make this an excellent example of the art
form. Mr. Khan has provided a background
somewhere between Eastern and Western music styles, giving enough “Eastern
Influence” to allow Ms. Cuni to not seem out of place, yet having enough
“Western Influence” to allow the "Western" listener to find some hold
on the music.
The style is floating, soft, like a still pool on a calm
day, allowing Ms. Cuni to produce gentle ripples on the water. This is not traditional Dhrupad, which is why
it works well to the Western ear. But
the composition successfully achieves what it sets out to do; set up a
background of meditative music to allow the client space to meditate and the
bodyworker to calmly apply his trade to the client. This is a very lovely and effective work
provided by both Al Gromer Khan and Amelia Cuni.
The second CD is entitled “Shamanic Healing” is by
Kamal. This CD was originally released
in January of 2000. Considered his best
by many, the focus of the CD is, as the title suggests, healing.
The CD contains seven tracks, for a total time of 60 minutes
of music. All are a blend of keyboards,
vocalizations, flute (including bamboo and Ney) and various accompaniments by
digeridoo, chimes, percussions and santoor.
The backup artists are Om Kellenkamp on Ney flute, Ramadan on santoor,
Ariel Kalma on bamboo flute, and Dr. Didge Dolphin on digeridoo.
The flavor of the music is spiritual, not really specific to
any cultural style, but reminiscent of Native or Eastern music with a very
Western touch. The tracks are soft,
melodious and pleasant to the ear. It
allows for meditative journeying and simple relaxation. The final track, "Completion” is a 3:32
track of “sea sounds”, waves gently lapping the shoreline, and is a lovely
finish to this collection. The
individual soundscapes highlight the artists’ excellent abilities with both
instruments as well as composition.
This is a lovely collection of compositions by Kamal. The CD does what it sets out to do; provide a
healing atmosphere for bodyworkers. It
works well in the healing modalities and again, is another good choice for this
The third CD is “Reiki Touch of Love” by the artists Anuvida
and Nik Tyndall. This is a re-release of
their work from January of 2000. This is
a collaboration by German born guitarist Anuvida and German composer and
keyboardist Nik Tyndall. On this CD
Anuvida plays the Kiboe, a harplike instrument Anuvida devised and some “electronic devices”, Nik
Tyndall works the synthesizers and added environmental sounds.
This CD contains five tracks for a total play time of 52:05
minutes. The focus of this CD is to
provide background accompaniment to the healing art of Reiki.
The two artists combine their talents to provide gentle,
floating soundscapes that allows the client to relax and focus on the
attentions of the Reiki practitioner as the healing modality is applied. The kiboe provides the placid melodies while
the keyboard provides soothing backfill.
The titles “Entering the Mystery”, “Gently Floating” and “Blissful
Arrival” are suggestive of the feeling the artists successfully convey with
this work. There are elements of water
and other "environmental sounds” which adds to the soothing nature of this
music. Each piece smoothly melds into
the next, never lifting the feeling of the music from the listener.
This CD provides the final piece for this excellent choice
of works to make this compellation complete.
Overall, the CDs do exactly as the title of this box set promises, to
provide a soundscape for an “Essence of Well-Being”.
If you do not have any of these CDs, this is an excellent
opportunity to obtain all three in one set.
These are excellent representations of the artists’ abilities, being
among the best of the works produced by these artists. And if you are a bodyworker, or seeking musical
backgrounds for your meditations or for relaxation, this set is an excellent
choice. And finally, it is an
introduction to the artists of the New Earth label.
by MA Foster