Tranquility: Music For Yoga & Meditation Various Artists (Vanguard)


Catalogue Id:
VCD 79744

It's a reasonable question to ask why any yoga practitioner should require a music CD to help find inner silence. In a world awash with background sounds - muzak, 'lift music', shopping mall playlists - does meditation require its own soundtrack?

As, sleevenote writer and yoga devotee Sam Graham points out, however, "the use of music to accompany yoga and meditation is neither new nor inappropriate". He then quotes author Shruti Pandit, who comments "Music is in fact magic, and it would not be wrong to observe that its notes and rhythms cast a hypnotizing spell on the one who listens to it."

Certainly the music included in TRANQUILITY is magical: reflective and hypnotic, it develops quietly and organically, climaxing with only the occasional crescendo of sound to puncture the stillness of the mood (these occur on such tracks as Rejoicing by Oregon and Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Invisible City Of Bladensburg by John Fahey).

The music of Oregon comprises the majority of tunes assembled here - eight out of 14. The interplay between the group's Ralph Towner (on 6- and 12-string guitars), Collin Wallcot (sitar and tabla), Glen Moore (bass, flute, piano) and Paul McCandless (oboe, bass clarinet, horns) provides the perfect fusion of Eastern and Western musical ideas.

The oud playing of Hamza El Din, which opens the disc with the call to worship Fegir Nedan is as starkly beautiful as any in his repertoire.

Guitarist Peter Walker comes out of leftfield with his ruminative American folk raga exploration of Lennon/McCartney's Norwegian Wood, aided and abetted by flautist Jeremy Steig and ex-Bob Dylan collaborator Bruce Langhorne (playing tambourine and bells rather than his usual electric guitar).

What lifts TRANQUILITY above the run-of-the-mill New Age relaxation compilations is the quality of the performances. All of these tunes and musicians are first class and, because of this, the album also makes great, late-night listening.

By John Crosby


Track listing


Side 1

  • 01 Preview Fegir Nedan (Call To Worship) - Hamza El Din

  • 02 Preview Shahadag Og (Believe!) - Hamza El Din

  • 03 Preview The Gondola - Hamza El Din

  • 04 Preview Grazing Dreams - Oregon

  • 05 Preview Cry Of The Peacock - Oregon

  • 06 Preview Serenade - Oregon

  • 07 Preview Rejoicing - Oregon

  • 08 Preview Norwegian Wood - Peter Walker

  • 09 Preview Bianca - Peter Walker

  • 10 Preview Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Invisible City Of Bladensburg - John Fahey

  • 11 Preview Dark Spirit - Oregon

  • 12 Preview The Silence Of A Candle - Oregon

  • 13 Preview Timeless - Oregon

  • 14 Preview Slumber Song - Oregon

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