I should be saying Dr. DeMaria apparently. This guy's an American, a psychologist, and author, a speaker, and a musician. A lot of his music is described as Native American and relaxation/meditation music. A lot of his work is focused into the arts and the power of healing they have.
I don't have too much background on the album itself, but here's a medley video he's got posted for the Grammys to get people interested in the work:
What's a little difficult about this kind of music is the potential to blow out speakers in mixing. "Anima Mundi" is what brought that to mind, because, for as light as the music is, there's a warped sound to the final product as it's coming through. It's hard to make a laptop speaker sound over-powered, but this one did a little bit, and that's not exactly cohesive to a relaxation track.
"Alchera" takes on these crazy nature-ish sounds, with large full breaths, almost sounding like fire, added into the mix. At least we kind of get Australia as a feeling of solid ground. It's more of a journey sound than a kick back and meditate sound, though maybe that's another reason to do so.
A little bit of lightened flutes and soft drumming comes in to "Asase Yaa." Again, it's not traditional relaxation music in my head, but it's enough to get you contemplating life and the whatnot that surrounds it. The Native American roots and influences (can you have both of those?) are evident in the instruments used. Man, I would love to know more about the recording techniques on this.
"Sarasvati" brings in a citar, or something that sure sounds like it. So I think it's pretty clear now that's we're not just dealing with American indian culture - we're getting sounds that are richly a part of different cultures from around the world. This almost even has a darker tone to it, with more minor chords striking our ears.
Have I mentioned how cool the names of these tracks are. "Amazonia" leaves little to the imagination, unlike the others, but it's nice to be prepared for what we're about to hear for a chance. It's got a steady beat and melody throughout, carrying us through the jungle on some sort of journey. I guess I should say rainforest. Even the overlay of flute... pan flute maybe? God it's going to bug me till I figure out what that is. Anywhos, the overlay is high and sweet.
"Ja-neb'a" almost sounds like film score. The piano and base of tones echo each other, building this intensity without ever building themselves. We're almost left with the feeling that there's something coming. Who knows what though...
Again, unfortunately, there's this weird thing about the mix for "Xiaolin." I've checked my levels on my own speakers, and it's just not coming through as it should. The distortion may be purposeful (my fear), but it's too much to really handle and appreciate for a song by itself.
"Zazen" carries it on, but at least backs off the slightest bit as the volume goes down. Ever seen any kind of ancient temple movie or show ever? I think we've found the tracks that accompany them. This one's sort of got us taken to a cave, or something along those dusty lines. It's filled with mystery and intrigue as to what we'll find inside, maybe, ourselves?
This time heading to the far east, we get "Kuan Yin." The Asian influences are so slight and calming, but clearly there if you're looking for them. One of my most favorite sounds ever is an Asian-inspired flute that you'd completely know if you hear it. If used right... just beautiful.
"Ballinasia" kind of keeps up that influence, but lowers the tones a little bit. There's more to contemplate here; more to be immersed in, and even with less to the track itself instrumentally. This is the meditation piece we were expecting.
Calling distant sounds are completely interrupted by these high-pitched bells, or maybe even glass strikes, in "Tarani." Chimes maybe? I think I can't place the sound because I just don't want to. It hurts to hear.
"Kishar" takes us back out into the wilderness, with calls from instruments, reaching out for something. Notice the little liberties I get to take with this kind of music - making whatever conclusions I want about the meanings of the songs and how they speak to the listener? Yup, love writing my own blog.
Finally, we're left with "Danu," which seems to be the entrapment of everything we've heard influence wise. It's a summary of the world musically, but in the most natural sounding way possible.
Added To My Playlist (or, would be, if the album was available on Spotify):
- "Kuan Yin"