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4 Divine States of Mind by Yuval Ron
- posted by Robin B James on 9/22/2020
Four Divine States of Mind
What you will hear is the four “sublime states” – the Brahma-viharas, a blend of voices and musical instruments from around the world, coming together to create beautiful original music informed by ancient wisdom promoting healing and well-being through sound.

Music is a path of healing and a way of life, simply listening to music has many benefits such as facilitating meditation and deep relaxation, or just enjoying the enhancement of mental focus and openness to artistic inspiration. Medicinally, more is being discovered about the benefits of music therapy for heart ailments, brain dysfunction, learning disabilities, depression, PTSD, Alzheimers, childhood development, and so much more.

Dr. Richard Gold, Executive Producer, was one of the four founders of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and was first introduced to meditation and yoga in 1970. He has studied neuroscience and the evolving understanding of the effects of sound and meditation on the brain.

Yuval Ron, composer, arranger and producer, is a renowned World Music artist, educator, peace activist and record producer. He graduated Cum-Laude in 1989 from the Berklee College of Music. He has continuously researched various ethnic musical traditions and spiritual paths worldwide and has composed TV and films scores as well as original scores for theater productions. He is a multi-instrumentalist, on this album he plays keyboards, Oud and conducts the string orchestration.

Loving-kindness is the practice concerned with the cultivation of benevolence, kindness, and amity, with silent repetitions of phrases such as "may you be happy" or "may you be free from suffering." The practice of loving kindness expresses benevolence towards all living beings, joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance towards the insolent and ill-behaved.

Heard on the first track is the voice of Chloe Pourmorady, a Persian-American composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and educator best known for blending global ideologies and philosophies into her work. The music she writes is innovative and imaginative, influenced by tradition, and yet her sound has been described as "the music of her generation." Her listeners describe feeling elevated through songs of hope, prayers of love, and words of truth.

For the second offering are heard the vocals of Estrella de la Aurora Morente Carbonell, professionally known as Estrella Morente. She is the daughter of flamenco singer Enrique Morente and dancer Aurora Carbonell. She has performed with her father since age seven and recorded her first album in 2001, Mi Cante Y Un Poema (My Songs and A Poem). This was followed the same year by Calle del Aire, and her third album, Mujeres (Women) came in 2006, which her father produced. Her art has dazzled not only the most demanding flamencologists but also rockers like Lenny Kravitz.

To show vicarious joy is to celebrate happiness and achievement in others even when we are facing tragedy ourselves. The foundation for letting joy into our lives is gratitude and the associated savouring of what is good in life such as achievements, friendships or your child’s development. Vicarious joy is the experience of the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being.
"Vicarious Joy" (14:34) (Mudita)
Deva Premal, Vocals; with Pandit Nayan Ghosh, Sitar; Somnath Roy, Percussion; Yuval Ron, Oud; Kamal Engels, Recording engineer for Deva Premal recording; and Raya and Chinmay, Recording engineers for Pandit Nayan Ghosh recording. Music by Yuval Ron, Lyrics from the traditional Sanskrit.

The vocalist Deva Premal explains that the purpose of her work "is to be open to the Goddess of music – to be true to ourselves, as musicians, as 'teachers;' as partners, and ultimately, as individuals – fellow travellers. We accomplish this by not 'trying' to accomplish anything. Our nourishment and life’s work is to create gatherings around the planet where people can come together in celebration and meditation, to work positively towards valuing and rejoicing in the good fortune of others, which in turn increases our own joy in life." She began her journey with a mantra in her mother's womb, as her father chanted to her daily. The mantras continued to be her bedtime lullaby after she was born. Many years later, she heard a friend singing one of her prenatal mantras and was inspired to put together an album. Premal met her partner in life and music, Miten, at the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune, India in 1990, where she was studying reflexology, shiatsu, cranio-sacral therapy, and massage. They have been touring together since 1992, offering concerts and chant workshops worldwide. Premal and Miten recorded The Essence (1998) in her mother's apartment in Germany, where she was born and where she first heard the Gayatri Mantra.

In many Yoga traditions, the virtue of equanimity can be one of the results attained through regular meditation, cultivating an evenness of mind, calmness, and a strong sense of abundance, exaltation that is somehow immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will, an evenness of mind, neither elated nor depressed.

"Equanimity" (14:36) (Upekkha)

Living and breathing music, and rather obsessed with improvement and self development of any kind, Úyanga Bold plays for healing experiences promoting mindfulness and personal transformation. She grew up playing classical piano, and later developed a fascination with exotic instruments, including dilruba, frame drum, and baglama saz to name a few. Known for her otherworldly dynamic voice on film, television and video game soundtracks, along with videos viewed by millions, Úyanga is an internationally acclaimed soundtrack vocalist, vocal arranger and songwriter.

This new album from Metta Mindfulness Music brings a welcome and much needed meditation on the daily expression of loving kindness for healing a wounded world, resulting in increased relaxation and an intimate conversation, with gentle sharing of ideas. The sound is a meditation on bringing people of many cultures together through music in a prayer for universal welfare, experiencing a nourishing quality of interconnectedness, the wish to relieve a being from suffering, wishing fellow travelers on a spiritual journey happiness, to open our eyes to the rivers of goodness in the world and to enhance our sense of gratitude.

May all beings be fulfilled and secure, may they be happy-minded, connecting with others in order to conversely experience renewal, support, and validation. Music can free us all from inordinate reactions to the changes and chances of the world, to help us to cultivate the capacity to be joyful for the joy of others and to experience vicarious joy, all beings sharing that same location.

1 Loving Kindness (12:56)
2 Compassion (11:47)
3 Vicarious Joy (14:34)
4 Equanimity (14:36)

Rating: Excellent
The Bodhi Mantra by Howard Givens
- posted by Robin B. James on 8/21/2020
The Bodhi Mantra
Expansive electronic meditations, flowing smoothly into the infinite beyond. Three songs to bring you bliss, music that brings noble emotions and peace. Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The term mantra is traditionally said to be derived from two roots: "man," to think; and the action-oriented suffix "-tra." A mantra can be considered to be a linguistic device for deepening one's thought or in the Buddhist context for developing the enlightened mind.

The music on The Bodhi Mantra is all electronic, there are no human vocal expressions heard on this album. In addition to the label’s usual downloads in 24-bit Audiophile, CD Quality Lossless (FLAC, Apple) and 320kbps MP3, and streaming audiophile formats, The Bodhi Mantra is available in a collectible 12 inch LP format, including a blue-colored disc, inside an exquisite package design by Daniel Pipitone with a richly printed jacket and sleeve combination. There will be no physical CD version for this release.

The Bodhi Mantra is the latest collaboration of Howard Givens & Craig Padilla, previous titles include Being Of Light (2017), Life Flows Water (2015), and Spirit Holy Rising (2015). In addition to his own work and as a sound engineer/producer for many other artists, Givens has been involved with the Spotted Peccary releases of such Padilla titles as The Heart of the Soul (2012), Below the Mountain (2008), The Light of the Shadow (2006), Genesis (2004), and Vostok (2002).

Relax and receive immeasurable auspiciousness, brilliance, magnificence, and ease as you listen to these celestial sounds. Listen to eliminate the illness and suffering of all sentient beings, to provide all their necessities for health and happiness, and mostly just because it simply sounds sublime. Thanks to the original vows of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, a miraculous force resides in mantras, so that by pronouncing them one might acquire insight without limits. As nebulous as the clouds, these electronic soundscapes are ethereal meditations with many levels of symbolic meaning that allows relaxation by moving you to a tranquil and romantic mood. Practicing meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions ranging from insomnia and high blood pressure to anxiety and low back pain, or just to help you learn to relax in the moment. Synthesizers evoking space-age heartbeats offer a meditation on universal mythology, inspired by ancient dances, and probes the mysteries of the cosmos and glacial chords, soaked in cathedral-like reverb, all to bring profound inner peace and induce unwinding, improving one's mood and leaving the listener revitalized.

The moon rises and the stars awaken. You no longer know up from down. You cannot see the forces that support you, but you trust in them to carry you through. The sound of The Bodhi Mantra can help you learn to relax in the moment. You wonder how far the winds have carried you. Looking back for landmarks, you see none. You are above the endless ocean, and in this twilight there is nothing to see. You fly onward. The Bodhi Mantra is perfect for activities such as walking in the city, taking a break at work, waiting around, and going to sleep. You fly on into the freedom of the blisswave.

1 Prana
2 Serenity, The Peaceful Place
3 Leaving Behind the Now
Rating: Excellent
Yenisei Crossing by Mystified
- posted by Robin B. James on 8/21/2020
Yenisei Crossing: Mystified
Dark electronic textures exploring generative-iterative extra-musical acousmatic and experiential mixed organic ambient spaces. The sound is largely consisting of repeated short segments which sometimes sound something like tape loops, perhaps to be listened to while working, sleeping or doing other things. There is no conventional sense of melody, the tempo and rhythm are not restricted and are not based on heartbeats or traditional dance metrics, so it sounds strange and unusual, which is why it is so highly prized. This sound is definitely rare in any music store, unless you already have considered the growing history of Musique Concréte and experimental composition by the likes of Rapoon or Zoviet France.

My experiences with audio loops were always with a reel to reel tape recorder, a razor blade, and some sticky tape to hold the circles of magnetic recording tape together. It creates an endlessly repeating sound that can be amusing to experiment with. I had the opportunity to ask Thomas Park aka Mystified about his current work, and this is one of the things he revealed.

"It has been said that all music is rhythm, or percussion. If this is true, then I hope to help musicians and listeners alike realize that they can be free of militant or precise rhythms, as I feel that the West has a sort of craze with rhythmic precision that is far from ideal."

That leaves the door open to quite a lot of otherwise unexplored territory. Next I asked him what the album's title means. When I searched for the word "Yenisei" I learned that the Yenisei River flows through Siberia and into the Arctic Ocean, it is the fifth-longest river system in the world. The maximum depth of the Yenisei is about 80 ft, the average depth is about 45 ft. Starting in Mungaragiyn-Gol (Mongolia), it flows north to the Yenisei Gulf in the Kara Sea. To the west is the often frozen Western Siberian Plain, to the east is the chilly Central Siberian Plateau. The Yenisei River basin includes the deepest lake in the world, Lake Baikal. The Yenisei River flows through a large part of central Siberia.

This is what I learned from the composer about his album title's relationship to the Siberian river. "The river “Yenisei” is part of “Yenisei Crossing”, which alludes to a crossing of that river. Why a remote part of Russia? I have had a series of dreams of varying clarity in which I live in primitive Siberia, eking out a living on the chilly plains."

I asked him specifically about the story of the creation of Yenisei Crossing. Please note that Python is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language.

"At the time, a lot was going on with me creatively. I had been working on a series of Python applications that enabled my processor to, mainly, choose a body of samples, treat them in any of certain ways, and then map them out on a live looping console. I could get some unexpected and really interesting loop-based compositions this way."

"The first immediate advantage was that I did not have to spend hours preparing loops for mixing. The Python code took that task out of my hands. Nor did I have to rely on my own rather specific and perhaps predictable choices. The random functions available to me put sounds together in ways I would not have predicted. Sometimes the result was unlistenable, but more often than not it was intriguing, to say the least. Pursuing coded music has become a sort of dream-escape for me, or pastime. Like my nocturnal visions of Siberia, they took me places I never thought I would experience."

The Yenisei River valley is habitat for numerous flora and fauna, with Siberian pine, Siberian larch, and Scots pine, or Pinus sylvestris, which was abundant in the Yenisei River valley before 6000 BC. Some of the earliest known evidence of human enigma can be found at the confluence of the headstreams of the Yenisei Valley, where stelae, or stone monoliths and memorial tablets which date from between the 7th and 9th centuries AD, are still waiting.

The song titles were generated using coded random string generation. The composer suggests that you might think of them as remnants of some forgotten language, or, perhaps, transmissions from space of someone we have yet to encounter.

Subtle music using the generative-iterative method, created for those with a taste for the dark and minimal. It has also been said that the tracks have an inner consistency, that these tracks make a good set, that they work well together and with one another. They are also a bit dark and edgy-- they push the boundaries of ambient. With this new release, we must admit, there is a chance, a possibility, that it will be summarily rejected, and that excites me. Taking chances is something we constantly learn to perfect, in order to build upon, or to plunder our own new treasures from, all in order to find an unexpected new way into our futures. We, the listeners, are at the center of things, sound identities can often be intentionally obscured or appear unconnected to their source, in order to unlock our own completely new possibilities for organizing the music of our future “Great River.”

1. Luszg
2. Xtwz6
3. Oecv4
4. Dze3w
5. Fhovv
6. Oww98
7. Wixwg
8. L31mf
9. P64ii
10. Krr0e
11. Ti7n8
12. S46p5
13. Ex0gy
14. Ex98r
15. Eu9on
16. Emdsu
17. Bszo9
Rating: Excellent
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