Aiming to evoke feelings of empathy with the Buddha’s enlightenment, Chinmaya and Friends play ragas in the Indian Classical Tradition.
Natural acoustic instruments express the inner silence of the Awakened One and Invite you to the depths of music and silence.
MusicDesign – March 27, 2013:
“According to Buddhist traditions, the Buddha became enlightened, was conceived and left his body at dawn on Full Moon mornings. Chinmaya Dunster decided to pay homage to the spiritual nature of this lunar occurrence with Buddha Moon, an album of meditative ragas for healing and transformation. The album, the guitar and arrangements of Dunster alongside Bikram Singh on the bamboo flute, Amano Manish on the Indian slide guitar and claypot/production work from Karunesh. The over-all sound is slow but mildly rhythmic (this would be a good album for yoga), and the soundscape has a very drone-based sound. For a special treat, play this album at dawn on a full moon day and experience it in the atmosphere it was created.”
Corners Magazine – March 27, 2013:
This tender and spacious album of Indian classical morning ragas was recorded in India at dawn on a Full Moon morning in May, the time it is believed Buddha reached enlightenment and also when he was both conceived and left his body. Mostly improvised by four musicians as the dawn moved into day, a deep feeling of reverence for the Awakened One is palpable when listening to the exquisite blend of sitar, tamboura, Indian slide guitar, bamboo flute, and claypot. Chinmaya says in the liner notes, “Long years of training and the use of natural acoustic instruments are our tools, with which we invite you to share this journey into the depths of music and silence.”
“When I took this to Maui with me recently, the woman who’s home I was staying in asked if I had any music that would be good for the massage she was about to give upstairs. I had just given Buddha Moon a first listen that early morning, staring out the window at the lush green garden, transfixed by the scenery and the lovely ragas flowing from the speakers, feeling the music in my heart. Without hesitation, I handed her this CD and not surprisingly, she asked to use it again for a massage the next day. Highly recommended!”
New Age Retailer – March 27, 2013:
“Another wonderful meditation CD from New Earth Records, Buddha Moon was recorded live in the light of a full moon just before dawn. While listening to the hypnotic melodies filled with strings, flutes, and drums, I felt the stress and pressure of day-to-day life drift away—the tension just melted. Just a minute shy of one hour, it is the perfect compliment to yoga or massage sessions. An in-store spin around rush hour will attract many customers tired from a long workday.”
Daily Buddhism LAYoga March ’08 – March 27, 2013:
“With this release, U.K.-born guitarist Chinmaya Dunster teams up with two virtuoso Indian classical musicians for a live performance of two morning ragas. The performances by Bikram Singh on the bamboo flute, Amano Manish on the slide guitar and Karunesh playing the claypot, are gentle and sweet. The recordings are quiet and Dunster parlays a highly respectable rendering of the ragas.
In all four of the tracks here, which amount to a solid hour of excellent meditation and relaxing music, the instruments are acoustic and very organic. The music was recorded live in India at dawn on a full moon morning. This is the time at which, according to tradition, Buddha reached enlightenment. It is also said to be the time at which he was both conceived and when he left his body.
The album is very consistent and has a lot of shakti flowing in the vibrations of each improvised note. The music is fairly simple and straight-forward in theory, but it is delivered with enough heart such that it just doesn’t matter. It succeeds in sustaining a quiet tranquil tone and allows the meditative process to unfold effortlessly. Personally, I felt a lot more of a Hindu-Yogic influence in the performance of the ragas, but the artwork suggests a Buddhist connection. Either way, there is plenty of bliss imbibed here. I enjoyed this CD; check it out.
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed a CD by Deuter, which I said “felt” Japanese due to the style and the instruments he used. This one is similar in many respects, but uses Indian instruments played by classical Indian musicians to give a very strong Indian feeling to the music.
From the cover: “Fusion maestro Chinmaya Dunster teams up with two virtuoso Indian classical musicians for a live performance of two morning ragas. The whole CD remains stately and tranquil, rooted in the meditative atmosphere surrounding dawn on a full moon night. This is hypnotic music to unwind to, to use as a background for a massage, and careful listening reveals a trance-like depth. Timeless.
There are only four tracks on this CD, all of which are between 13 and 16 minutes long. They are all “Moon themed,” with tracks called “New Moon”, “Waxing Moon”, “Full Moon”, and “Waning Moon.” To be honest, they all sound very much alike, and as the cover quote above states, it is very trance-inducing. This would be another excellent addition to a “meditation music” library. There is plenty of pleasing, relaxing background sound without a distracting tune, which is perfect for covering up outside noises while trying to meditate quietly.
I know some people call Indian music “whangy-twangy” due to the unique stringed instruments, and there is a lot of that here. If you are “anti-twang,” then you might want to skip this one. If, on the other hand, you are looking for authentic-sounding Indian music to make your meditations more “Eastern,” then give this one a try. It’s very soothing in my opinion, but it’s not going to put you to sleep.”