This is an ambitious world music album
inspired by the Buddhist philosophy and musical chanting of Sakya Tashi Ling, a
monastery belonging to one of four Buddhist schools from Tibet, the Sakyapa
tradition. They later set up the first Buddhist monastery in Spain.
The orientation is mostly toward Western
listeners, with the Buddhist chanting adding an exotic ‘Eastern’ appeal over
the 14 smooth jazz and lounge tracks.
Our picks include the pleasant piece Emotions
and the soaring I Wanna Fly. The music is generally a mix of pop and New Age
music, architected by Sergio Medrano and Miguel González.
The Sol Creation Records release Poranguí is where fantastical rhythms rise from the earth, where vocals dive off cliffs to be buffeted by didgeridoos and flutes and where electronica seeps through the air like mist. Part shamanic ritual and part sonic wonderland Porangui is where listeners can find their rooted place on earth, fly along with the birds and perhaps on the edge of firelight dance just a little wildly.
Following up on the releases of the original motion picture soundtrack Ayahuasca and Ayahuasca Remixed, the live looping artist, musician and educator with an ethnomusicology background from Duke University, Porangui shows listeners and live audiences with way with meditative sounds and dance grooves with addictive results.
“Everything I do live is steeped in improvisation, in spontaneous sound. A lot of the work I do musically is about connecting to what’s happening in the moment in a given space with a given group of listeners,” says Poranguí. “I try to get a feel for what is in the seen realm and the unseen realm, really tuning into the energetics of the space. That’s where the magic is.”
Recorded at an opening ceremony for Lightning in a Bottle and at the Espiritu stage at Santa Fe’s Unify Fest, Porangui Live opens with an electronica and chant combination on “Ganesha,” and the magic musical carpet ride just takes off from there. The sound of frogs opens “Tonantzin” but is quickly taken over by the twangy goodness of didgeridoo wrapped around some tightly packed rhythms and soaring vocals. Just as wonderful is the delicate and dreamy “Oxum” with its birdsong, water sounds and silky vocals before the rhythms ramp up deliciously.
Porangui notes, “Music isn’t entertainment for me, as the goal is transformation. It’s a bridge to the heart, to a space where we can begin to imagine our best selves. This is crucial as our planet needs humans to upgrade themselves. For me, it’s coming into contact to our role as fire keepers. Technology is merely a different form of the fire we came to master long ago. We have a choice: to burn ourselves and everything around us with the fire of technology or to use it to illuminate the way.”
And, Porangui Live illuminates the way with offering of a percussion and mouth harp combo as a sort of invitation to play with the coyotes that can be heard in the distance on “Otorongo” or the flute lines along with rattles that sound like old bones against a thrum of percussion before evolving into a call to the night sky on “Danza Del Viento.” Closing with a kind of celestial lullaby on “Stardust,” Porangui lets us return to earth and revel in the night sky with loving vocals against dreamy electronica.
Snaring a little nature, riding waves of soaring vocals and hypnotic electronica and letting the mind of the listener slide from track to delicious track, Porangui Live is a kind of sonic sanctuary where listeners might just heal what ails them.
Manuel Iman was born in Seville, Spain. He became involved in music at a very early age. His first recording came in 1975 when he made 14 de Abril with the group Goma. The album was one of the first fusion efforts of that time and has now become a collector’s item. Three of the pieces of this album were included in the soundtrack of the successful film Manuela in 1976.
In 1976 the first seeds of the Andalusian progressive rock group Iman were sown and by the following year, the full band was gaining ground with its live performances. They were signed by CBS for whom they recorded Iman, Califato Independiente. The critics raved over its innovative and subtle combination of Flamenco, Rock and Eastern roots.
In 1980, Camino del Aguila was released, incorporating tropical influences. One of Manuel’s compositions was included in the soundtrack of the French film Frigg force 9.
Iman became a legendary name in Spanish rock and its recordings were re-released on CD by Musea a French record company. In 1997 Sony Music, Spain reissued both albums.
After moving to Madrid in 1981, Manuel became a sought-after creative force in the recording industry and produced, performed and arranged works for artists as varied as Lole & Manuel, Paco and Pepe de Lucia, Pata Negra, Kiko Veneno, Ole-Ole, Los del Rio, Remedios Amaya, Emilio Aragon and many more. He also worked making music for commercials and documentaries.
In 1985, Manuel got involved in the creation of a commercial project, the pop band La Decada Prodigiosa, covering popular 1960s songs (EMI Hispavox), that had outstanding success. The first five albums released sold 2.5 million copies and the band toured Spain extensively for five years and appeared in many TV shows. One of the biggest live shows took place in the island of Tenerife island (1989) where Manuel performed with the band in front of more than 250.000 people.
In 1991 Manuel began work on a solo album, entitled La Danza del Espacio for Productora Andaluza, released in 1992. He worked on music for the video commissioned by Tele Expo (the TV station created for the 92 World Expo) Sevilla entre dos Exposiciones.
Manuel also coordinated and directed a large scale tour entitled Rock Andaluz- Ayer y Hoy in which important names from the past and present were brought together.
In 1995 he moved to Malibu, California, composing and producing music for video and preparing a new album. Called from Spain in 1996 for a new project, Manuel became the Musical Director and music composer of El Circo del Arte show, a successful new project produced by the show business mogul Emilio Aragon.
In 1997 he returned to Malibu and he worked as a producer and composer for Dunrite Productions. In 1998 the CD Reflections was released with Domo Records, an instrumental collection that includes three pieces by Manuel. His music was also included in Music for the Spirit, on Domo Records. Songs from a grateful heart, an instrumental Spanish guitar collection, was released in 1998 (Visions International).
For the same company, he also worked with more artists in the CD Live in Long Beach. In addition he produced another solo album Flowers in the desert (EverSound), released in October 1998, working with Grammy Award winner Roger Nichols and Paul Dieter.
In 1999 music by Manuel was included in the compilation CD Expressions (EverSound) and produced and performed three carols for the compilation CD Tidings of Joy (EverSound), one of them, Little drummer boy featuring his daughter Lucia Iman.
In 2000, Manuel worked on a new album titled Legacy, based and inspired in old Indian bhajans creating a fusion with blues, reggae, Flamenco, Brazilian and African music featuring the collaboration of outstanding musicians from around the world like Dan Moretti, Abraham Laboriel, Madan Gopal, Gita Jaiyaram, Bob Nichols, Jim Monahan, Scarlet Rivera, Nigel Holton, Windy Barnes, Sanjay Talwar and many more, with Nichols again in the mixing and mastering for this project.
In 2001 he produced and arranged Save the Day for Visions International, Untraveled Road, an alternative country CD for Steve Mc Peters and Rich beyond words for Rich Neel.
Manuel returned to Seville and continues to perform and produce recordings there.
La danza del espacio (Aspa Records, 1992) Songs from a grateful heart (Visions International, 1998) Flowers in the desert (EverSound, 1998) Legacy (Collaboration Works, 2000) Your love is my blessing (EverSound, 2003) Sevilla Infinita (Manuel Iman Music, 2018)
Luis Paniagua García-Calderón was born in Madrid March 9, 1957. He is a composer and performer who has been trained in both western and eastern music, especially in the north of India.
As a composer, what interests him is creating contemporary and universal music inspired by elements of both cultures. This search for expression has led him to compose with eastern instruments such as the Indian sitar or the Chinese pipa, combining them with Western instruments and creating an apparently exotic sound world, but which, in reality, transcends any specific tradition to become a personal expression and universal.
Luis Paniagua belongs to a family in which musicians proliferate. At the age of ten he began to play different stringed instruments and percussion. His recording career began very early in the Madrid group of ancient music (medieval and Renaissance) Atrium Musicae, directed by his brother Gregorio. He appeared in the first albums of this group, published in 1968 in the Collection of Ancient Spanish Music of Hispavox.
At the age of fifteen he debuted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. With Atrium Musicae he remained from 1972 to 1982, touring concerts in the United States, Canada, France, Spain, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Finland, Poland and the Soviet Union. His albums with Atrium Musicae weer relased in Spain (Hispavox), France (Harmonia Mundi) and Sweden (BIS), as well as in other American and Japanese labels.
From 1981 on, everything began to change with the creation of another group, Babia, where at last he was able to capture some of the ideas he had already glimpsed by including instruments such as sitar in his interpretations of old European music. The group included his brther Eduardo Paniagua, Luis Delgado and Jesús Creu. They recorded “Oriente – Occidente” (Guimbarda GS – 11152, 1982), a milestone of Spanish fusion music.
Since then he has had an exceptional career as a soloist that includes the composition of music for numerous plays and ballet, live performances and recordings.
The album De Mágico Acuerdo featured the string section of the Symphonic Orchestra of RTVE.
Since 1999 he performs primarily with the lyre and vocals.
His album Nanas de Sol won the National Award for the Best Album of the year 2002, given by the Academy of Arts and Science of Music of Spain.
Luis Paniagua created the term ‘New Ancestral Music,’ a space where the emotions, feelings, inner listening and silence can be actively felt. This music is based on the research of lost aesthetics.
De Magico Acuerdo (Nuevos Medios, 1986) Neptuno (Grabaciones Accidentales, 1987) Planeo (La Fabrica Magnetica, 1991) Árbol De Cenizas (Ashes Tree) (NO-CD Rekords, 1992) La Bolsa O La Vida (Hyades Arts, 1992) Muy Fragil (Hyades Arts, 1993) Soltando Amarras (NO-CD Rekords, 1997) Amaneció De Golpe (Pneuma, 1998) Nanas De Sol (Pneuma, 1999) Bienvenida (Silentium Records, 2001) Rabindranath Tagore. Cuánto Tiempo Dura Mi Viaje (Pneuma, 2007)
Two recent albums focus on music for meditation and
relaxation. This is evocative, peaceful music used by individuals as they practice
meditation, yoga, stress reduction, mindfulness or as an aid to go to sleep. It
is also used at spas, massage practices and yoga studios.
Ann Licater’s Quiet Spaces: Flute Meditations for Mindfulness and Relaxation (Cul de Sac Mystic Productions, 2018) uses a variety of flutes (Native American, alto folk flutes. It is solo flute inspired by southwestern Native American music, with some overdubs that allow Ann Licater to add charming call and response interactions between the flutes.
Multi-instrumentalist Valerie Romanoff incorporates world music to her pieces on Healing Music Volume 2 (Valrock Music, 2017). She separates her compositions into three categories: Still for quiet times of day; Chill for activation times; and Thrill for energetic peak times. Healing Music Volume 2 features still and chill tracks.
Healing Music Volume contains deep Indian roots in the form of sitar and tabla as well as chants and other musical forms. It is a great album for people who enjoy world music and relaxation at the same time. The lineup includes Valerie Romanoff on guitars, piano, synthesizer and chants; Stevin McNamara on sitar; and Tom Rossi on flute, kora, percussion, and chants.
Sitar player Surajit Das was born in Calcutta (India) in a musical family. His aunt, Shrimati Suruchi Das, gave him his first sitar lessons at age of nine. After a few years of training he developed great interest in Indian classical music and received further guidance from the well-known sitarist Prof. Kashinath Mukerjee. In 1983 he obtained his Masters Degree in Indian classical music at the Music University Proyag Sangeet Samity in Allahabad. He gave many concerts, some of which were broadcast on radio and TV in India.
Surajit studied and developed all the ragas known to Prof. Chinmoy Lahere, a well-known classical singer in India, who gave him further guidance. To promote his music, he went on a European tour to France, Belgium, Switzerland in 1988-89 and later moved to The Netherlands where he still lives and works. He gave guest performances at the seminars of Deepak Chopra and recently has been working with Roy Martina.
He teaches the value of his music and regularly performs in several European countries. Surajit is convinced of the peaceful influence Indian classical music has. Except Indian classical music he also did experiment successfully with fusion music and world music.
Surajit has a fusion group called Shanti. The instruments used include sitar, tabla, mantra singing, didjeridu, and keyboards.
Sacred Word is an album by a very successful kirtan performer named Manika Kaur. Kirtan is a type of devotional Sikh vocal music that has become very popular in American new age circles and beyond. Manika has crossed over into the world music field with collaborations with Talvin Singh and other artists.
Manika Kaur delivers pleasant, repetitive ethereal vocals accompanied by lush electronic arrangements and colorful acoustic Indian instruments. Guests include Scottish folk musician James Yorkston on guitar and dulcimer; Jyotsna Srikanth on violin; and Tunde Jegede on kora.
As the title indicates, this is a very relaxing album, targeting the new age music market. Soothe mixes melodic instrumental music with smooth jazz, world music influences (primarily from India) and ethereal sounds.
Two well-known musicians appear on the album: wind instrument maestro Paul McCandless and virtuoso bassist Michael Manring.
The lineup includes Shambhu on acoustic, electric guitars, voice, 6-string ukulele, e-marimba, e-sitar, e-pads; Paul McCandless on English horn, soprano saxophone; Michael Manring on bass; Ravichandra Kulur on bansuri flute; Premik Russell Tubbs on soprano saxophone, wind synthesizer; George Brooks on soprano saxophone; Kristin Hoffmann on voice; Frank Martin on keyboards; Jeff Haynes on percussion; Gurumurthy V on tabla; and Todd Boston on slide guitar.
Album highlights include Ravichandra Kulur’s flute performances and Michael Manring’s bass work and Todd Boston’s slide guitar.
This CD showcases New Age guru Prem Joshua’s versatile multi-instrumental skills. The lineup also includes Manish Vyas (vocals), Jo Shiro Shunyam (guitar), Rishi Viote (percussion) and Chintan Relenberg (bass).
A fine mid-tempo blend of Indian ragas and smooth jazz, the 10 tracks make for a nice mellow and positive mood. The tracks are largely instrumental, and we would recommend the opening track Raja’s Ride and the percussion piece Jungle.
Flow is a supergroup of musicians who have been involved with New Age music for many years. The term New Age is used to describe a wide range of genres, from easy listening acoustic music to electronic meditation music. In this case, Flow performs peaceful and ethereal instrumental music with smooth jazz, folk, gliding ambient sounds and classical music elements.
The four musicians that form the Flow ensemble include guitarist and producer Will Ackerman, pianist Fiona Joy, guitarist Lawrence Blatt and trumpeter Jeff Oster. The group recorded the album in Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont.
The Flow album also features high profile guests, including Tony Levin on bass, Eugene Friesen on cello, Marc Shulman on guitar, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Sam Bevan on bass and Tom Eaton on guitar and bass.
There is remarkable chemistry in this recording. The sum of four talents has produced an exquisite instrumental album that lets the listener relax and dream on. Fans of the Windham Hill Records and Narada Records sound will love Flow.