Something about Kamal’s music has a universal appeal. Perhaps it’s the fact that the globe-trotter was born in Germany and now lives in Australia. Or perhaps it is that not only is he a classically trained guitarist but also equally versed in the world of synthesizers. Both make for an artist who has much experience to incorporate into his music, allowing him to weave a global aesthetic into his sound. Kamal seamlessly fuses the organic and the electronic, using synthesizers to emulate sounds of the earth.
On Zen Mama, in addition to integrating worldly influences, Kamal considers the spectrum of life in his carefully culled collection of songs for expectant mothers and children. “Jis Pai Bhum Chung (Baby Puja)” is actually an ancient charm performed by Gyuto monks for all things child-related, such as the welfare of children, fertility, and the pregnancy and birth processes. “Baby Puja” does what is sometimes referred to as “chordal chanting,” where monks chant in up to three octaves at once. The result is a song that seems more like a collection of healing sounds, with crisp bells and chimes and an unearthly, vibrating sound that resonates in a truly primal space.
In contrast to the deep rumbling of “Baby Puja,” the title track is a mix of both air and water. The organic sounds are the cries of humpback whales, which add a sense of mystery and a mammalian unison, while cool synthesizers create an ethereal fantastical environment for their cries to float in. With no small amount of grace, Kamal closes the album with his interpretation of Charles Gounod’s “Ave Maria.” Kamal’s version has a beautifully optimistic tone to it, with its lilting strings, but still maintains the sweetness of the song, and gives off an aura of hope, light, and morning that is wholly appropriate for new life. This album is perfect for expectant or new mothers and offers a beautifully healing and relaxing experience.
May 2014 | DailyOm