Terry Oldfield graces us with this superb CD specially designed for a full Yoga class. Soft mantras and deep flute mixed with light nature sounds make Yoga Harmony perfect for an invigorating yoga setting as well as an engaging CD you will want to listen to over and over again.
“On his latest album, multi-instrumentalist Oldfield plays an assortment of flutes (alto, bansuri, bamboo, and panpipes) and other yoga-like instrumentation (tabla, tampura [the easily recognized drone-like East Indian instrument], Tibetan bells and singing bowls) in recording an album that is supremely relaxing and meditative. With a sprinkling of electronic keyboards (used for shading more than outright instrumentality), Oldfield crafts eight instrumental tracks over a nearly sixty-minute span. His use of echo and sustain with his flutes, in particular, fits perfectly with the vibe of the album, as their notes and reverberating bells and bowls lend the music a contemplative and peaceful air that seems to permeate the air.
“While the presence of the drone-like tampura and singing bowls lends a distinct East Indian/Tibetan flavor to the music, Oldfield balances this with his judicious yet sparse electronics and his soulful and lilting flute play. As a result, Yoga Harmony clings more to the new age/meditative music genre than it does to world or world fusion. Still, those who favor more angelic and/or ethereal flute recordings may find this too anchored in Buddhist/Indian/Far Eastern musical sensibilities, although I had no such problem. From the haunting first selection, “Earth and Sky,” through to the album’s semi-jazzy concluding track, “The Essence” Oldfield shows restraint and artistic subtlety that is, unfortunately, often lacking in new age music. Such is not the case here, as each song blends the artist’s flutes with his equally sparse yet perfectly executed synths, ethnic percussion and bowls/bells, along with that uniquely East Indian drone-ish tampura on a few tracks. Some songs offer even more exotic flourishes, such as the addition of Indian cymbals and sitar on the fragrant and sultry “Pilgrimage,” which also features some overtone chanting and a contrast of alto and bamboo flutes or the seductive Indian drums which beat out a slow but sultry rhythm in the middle of “Mountain Path.” – Wind & Wire