Australian music composer Kamal duets with the mysterious and resonant sounds of the humpback whales for Reiki Whale Song, an album specifically designed to correspond to techniques of the ancient healing art of reiki. Kamal’s soft and unobtrusive synthesizer washes forge the link between the depths and the surface, the human ear and the vocalizing of these wondrous creatures. Woodwinds add dashes of light and color, courtesy Ariel Kalma. Practitioners of reiki are likely to respond immediately to the album’s healing frequencies, but this album serves many other purposes, including meditation, drifting off to sleep and as ambient compositions in their own right, as a hypnotically relaxing and beguiling as journey down, down down.
The opening track, “Whale Dreaming” starts out at the surface, with the warm salty rush of waves, foam breaking on the ocean surface, and the distant roar of the mammoth sea creatures. Kamal’s lighter synthesizer pads and Kalma’s flute providing poetic counterpoint to the deeper bass moans of the whales. These whalesongs are among the best, from deep sea recording genius Frank Watlington; they fill the space around you as you listen, until you can almost see the whales right there in your living room, or the ocean of space between your headphones.
“Song of the Deep” blends chimes and throat singing with the bubbly echoes of whale song, creating the pleasant sensation of being suspended in a warm ocean hug, floating beyond space and time both alone and surrounded by guiding voices. The long tones of the throat singing and chanting (here Kamal is joined by throat singing master Darpan) blend imperceptibly with the whales here, making one notice how the sounds the whales make so often echo our own “Om” sound, here coming slowly out from the depths, expanding and then gradually receding in volume. Elsewhere in the album orchestral synths and flute take total control, as on “Out of the Blue,” making it clear that this is a Kamal album through and through, with his own intrinsically unique stamp on the material. He deftly keeps you relaxed in a sense of timeless immersion with or without his cetacean accompanists. With proceeds from sales going to whale-friendly organizations, this album’s good karma is assured.