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NATACHA ATLAS CAPTURES THE SPIRIT OF JOURNEY
on 30 August 2002
When I heard that Natacha Atlas was basing her new album on Peter Brook's film of Gurdjieff's "Meetings With Remarkable Men" I knew I had to buy it.
I read the sleeve notes before playing, and noted that she wanted to do something "soothing and esoteric". That worried me as I do not believe the two are compatible. On playing I believe I was right. This is not a soothing piece of music, but it is esoteric. The whole album shimmers with the excitement and expectation of spiritual revelation. Gurdjieff used music as a tool to raising consciousness but there are few references in contemporary music. Keith Jarrett's album of Gurdjieff hymns is the major exception, and Robert Fripp's music is heavily influenced by his stay in a Gurdjieff retreat.
Marc Eagleton's influence shines through the production and the use of background sounds enhances the "journey" aspect of the music.
Tracks from this album will be used in countless chill out compilations over the next few years but please buy the album because it only makes sense played from beginning to end, and is a discrete entity. The music and spiritual ecstasy captured by Natacha's voice will seep into your being.
Oh, and by the way, don't be fooled by the false ending to the final track - there is a long pause before the final fragment which suggests triumphantly that the journey had an ending.