Enlightenment comes in many forms, and most of us spend our entire lives in pursuit of it, one way or another. This week’s edition of At Water’s Edge explores the act of seeking enlightenment across cultures and spiritual disciplines via the music of Toaster, Paradiso & Rasamayi, Bruno Sanfilippo, Palancar, Juta Takahashi, Open Canvas, Symatic Star and Jack Hertz and JIHEL.
We start today’s program with a recent addition to the Stillstream library, Paradiso and Rasamayi. This team, based in Boulder, Colorado, are using their music to help create healing and wellness in themselves and in their listeners. This is a fine place to start seeking enlightenment…
Paradiso is a master didgeridoo player who discovered his instrument in 1996; he also plays the keyboards and shamanic percussion. When he first discovered didgeridoo, he felt lost and without a life purpose, and found that this sacred instrument transformed his life with the energy of inner peace and pursuit of the healing arts, and he now lives to share that path and experience with everyone he meets.
Rasamayi is a singing bowl master alchemist. She has overcome profound disabilities including major depressive disorder and endometriosis, and is inspired to share with the planet the wellness, joy and spiritual healing she has discovered through healing music.
Bruno Sanfilippo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and has lived in Barcelona, Spain since 2000.
In 1988 he graduated from the Galvani Conservatory [Buenos Aires] with a degree in musical composition [piano].
He founded ad21 a platform/store that focuses on ambient |minimalism and contemporary musical forms.
In recent years, he has made soundtracks for feature films and has performed live & multimedia events at different stages and festivals. His live performances usually consist of performing improvisations on piano with strings, or with electronics/laptop.
He has contributed music to several compilation albums and has collaborated on numerous projects with such noted artists as Mathias Grassow, Max Corbacho and Alio Die[Stefano Musso]
Sanfilippo’s works are available at Databloem [Netherlands], Stashed Goods [U.K], Cue Records [Germany], El Culto [Germany], Xavier Record [Japan], HORUS CyclicDaemon [Czech Rep], Discogs, Amazon, CDBaby, Hypnos Recordings and Spotted Peccary [U.S]
“Graffiti Sutra” – Palancar – Enlightenment (2009)
Palancar is Darrell Burgan, a Texas-based electronic/ambient musician who has recorded under his own name as well as under the name Palancar.
He’s also recorded as part of several collaborations, including Cluster Balm, Copal River, Labrathisattva, Flute of the Fallen Tiger, and released music with Lucette Bourdin. He’s played live quite a bit under the Palancar project, as well as part of the mindSpiral and Different Skies projects.
Finally, he was the founder and owner of Earth Mantra Netlabel, a Creative Commons based ambient label, and Spirit Canyon Audio, a vendor of exotic music soundware. He also was the founder of StillStream, this very radio station–now part of Electro-Music.com.
He has released many albums, nearly all of which are available online that you can listen to freely under Creative Commons,
“Theophany” – Toaster (Todd Elliott) – Theophany (2013)
Toaster is Todd Elliott, a one-man electronic music performer based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and our live guest for next week’s At Water’s Edge program! We’ll learn more about him next week; in the meantime, this is the title track of his recent release, available on Bandcamp.
Theophany, from the Ancient Greek (ἡ) θεοφάνεια (theophaneia, meaning “appearance of god”), refers to the appearance of a deity to a human or other being.
O lovely Luna, pause in heavn’ly flight,
veiled in shadow, tarry here awhile
and spend a turn in mortal human plight.
Of radiant aspect hint with tiny smile,
lending heaven’s breath while yet thou breathe,
celestial visage move with human face.
In infant laugh we now Divine believe
that through ourselves a Gift brought to this place.
For ours is heaven, and heaven always here,
in every atom Love serenely move,
and one brave presence all the earth doth cheer
for all is Love, and Love doth in you prove
from shining eye doth all grand heaven shine,
your presence here revealing all Divine.
(music under narration is “Luna” from Kuutana‘s Dreamscapes Vol. 1, available on Bandcamp. The artist name actually means “Moon Sword” with Kuu being a finnish Moon god and -tana the short form of Katana, a Japanese sword.)
“Enlightenment” – Juta Takahashi – The Door Into Winter (2007)
Japanese composer Juta (Jutaro) Takahashi was born in Miyagi, Japan in 1959, and then spent his childhood through his teenage years in Aomori. While a teenager, he was introduced to and became strongly influenced by progressive rock and synthesizer music that was considered to be avant-garde at that time. He went to Tokyo for school, and that’s where his music career started.
Although he was originally a guitarist and played rock music along the lines of King Crimson, which valued improvisation, he gradually devoted himself to electronic music. He now lives in Sendai, Miyagi and produces music using synthesizers and computers as an independent musician. Most of his inspiration comes from electronic/ambient musicians such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Vangelis and Pete Namlook. Though his music is largely beautiful, calm, emotional and melodious, every so often we can hear a suggestion of the aggressive sounds of his original musical background. He prefers analog instruments to digital ones, and his music composition mainly consists not of programming but improvisation. His first commercial album was released in August, 2007, and he has since released nine more.
Open Canvas, aka Gregory Kyryluk, has created ambient music under a number of project names over the years, including Within Reason and Alpha Wave Movement, and releases music on his own Harmonic Resonance Recordings netlabel.
The debut release on Harmonic Resonance Recordings was the 1995/96 release Transcendence and the release of new titles continues to this day. Recordings have been diverse and incorporate elements of ambient, dub/tech/minimal, jazz, world music(Dub/Arabic/Indonesian), new-age, film and progressive rock music.
Shambhala was released in March of this year, and is one of those amazing long-distance collaborations, this one between Symatic Star (Simon Walsh) and Jack Hertz.
Shambhala, a mystical kingdom beyond the snow peaks of the Himalayas, has long been recorded in stories from Tibet and Mongolia. Some sources include folk stories, Tibetan Buddhism and pre-Buddhist – Bon Shamanism. A land described as a hidden valley with a line of enlightened kings guarding the highest wisdom, for a time when all harmony in the world outside will seem lost. According to some legends the King of Shambhala and his warriors will then emerge vanquishing the forces of evil and establishing a golden age.
The tracks on this album represent five selected themes from Shambhala stories and can be interpreted as representing both a physical journey to an enigmatic land and as an inner journey.
Dedicated to a Free Tibet
“The Forgotten Sanctuary” – JIHEL – The Forgotten Sanctuary (1979)
Jihel is a new Stillstream artist and comes to us by way of Sillage Intemporel netlabel.
The Forgotten Sanctuary was originally released in October 1979; it was remastered and reissued in 2011 as a collection of titles recorded between 1975 and 1979. All of the tracks on the album are shorter versions of works that were played live on stage.