Terry Oldfield has produced music for TV and film and had a very large and impressive credit history to his name. Most notable are his soundtracks for the Emmy award nominated National Geographic specials.
This CD was created with the intention that the listener would find a deeper space for their practice of yoga. I am not a practitioner of yoga, but I did find this music to be worthy of meditation and of finding a deeper space in my own environment.
The CD features Mr. Oldfield playing many of his own instruments. He is a multi-talented musician and this CD highlights these to the fullest. From the various flutes (bamboo, panpipes and bansurito name a few) to various Indian instruments, to singing crystal bowls and chimes, Terry Oldfield incorporates light tones, passionate flute compositions and interesting backfills with a minimal amount of electronic keyboards.
The flavor is a mix of Eastern sounds and harmonies. It allows for personal interpretation, but leads the listener in a specific direction. There are eight tracks on this CD, ranging in time from about five and a half minutes to approximately eight and a half minutes, making almost a full hour of music.
The first track Earth and Sky opens with Tibetan bells, and is a very poignantly played alto flute piece. With just a subtle hint of keyboard fill, it is a slow, expression filled piece that is excellent for warm-ups in a regular yoga practice. However, this is also a fine piece for your meditative practice, and Mr. Oldfield points out on the jacket that this entire CD is also excellent for background to massage.
Aum also opens with Tibetan bells and the drone of the Indian tampura. This provides the backup for another soulful flute piece, very slow, very moving and very deep.
There is a change in the mood with Pilgrimage, with lighter bells and a higher pitched bamboo flute which progresses to a lower pitched alto flute and vocal chanting. Sitar, veena and tampura provide the backfill and highlight the pieces traditional folk music feeling. This is a much lighter piece, but still maintains the intended pace of the music, which is supposed to be slow and deliberate for the yoga practitioner, but again, lends itself to meditation as well.
Yoga Healing features Crystal singing bowls, played expertly by "Singing Wind" and it gives this piece a very different feel from the previous flute tracks. Bamboo flutes are the main focus, along wit the Irish low whistle, and there is the constant drone of the tampura. But it is the bowls that catch your attention here, with the other instruments providing the shadows for the bowls to contrast. This is a wonderful composition and blending of instrumentation.
The feeling of the crystal bowls is continued with The Wave which starts out featuring the crystal singing bowls. It starts slow, and then picks up the pace a bit with the beat becoming the focus, rather than the slow movement of the flute and crystal bowls dictating the mood. The sitar, the pan pipes and Irish low whistle play against the up beat, and this becomes a light and delightful piece. It ends as it began, with the crystal bowls being the conclusion.
Mountain Path returns to the flutes, slow and deliberate. A little over half way through there is the addition of Indian drums to set up a beat, but it never becomes intrusive or overpowering, and the addition of the drums and bells makes what could have been a heavy piece much lighter and airy.
The track Nothingness returns to the soulful flute, again with a minimal backfill of cymbals, bells and keyboard, focusing on the flute composition, expertly played and flawlessly executed.
The final track The Essence starts slow with crystal bowls and the panpipes and about a third of the way through picks up the pace and incorporates Indian drums, changes to alto flute, adds sitar, tampura, and finally vocals. While providing more of a beat, it does not intrude on the feeling the entire CD was looking to suggest.
While it was intended for yoga practice, this CD will fill the background of your home or office with gentle sounds, never grating against your mind and offering a stillpoint to your environment. It is masterfully executed and highlights the wonderful musical talents of Terry Oldfield.
I highly recommend this CD for not just the yoga practitioners but for anyone looking for a peaceful place to wander. maf