Saturday, April 6, 2013

Why Chakradancer?

Why is Alain Eskinazi's Brainscapes' 1997 release Chakradancer my fifth favorite album of all-time?

The unsurpassed synthesis of Eastern instruments (singing bowls!), voices ("overtone" singing), themes (sacred and profane), and feelings (sensuality) with Western sounds and technology.

The consistent high level of engagement, of introspection and trance induced by this music.

The sheer beauty and inspiration of each song. I've taken songs individually from the record for music mixes and they stand awesomely well alone, on their own, without their sisters and brothers.

The successful way in which each song is meant to embody and represent the Eastern concept of the human bioenergetic anatomy's main seven energy centers or "chakras" (vortices).

The brilliant integration and pacification of the seven chakras in the form of the eight song, "Voice Inside." Though not necessarily my favorite 'song' on the album, I love and relish the fact that a single, integrating song is used to close the CD. After each of the seven chakras have each had their glory sung and their bath from sound vibrations, the entire human 'system' is celebrated and brought to integration.

The contributions of Higher Octave Music's maestro William Aura in the mastering phase of production. This is one of the best CD productions I have heard--the fact that such psycho-spiritual adventures and delights can be derived from immersing oneself in the sound vibrations of a digitally-mastered studio album is, to me, quite remarkable.

     Chakradancer found its way into my collection via the hundreds of CDs I have had the privilege to explore as an accompaniment to the relaxation environment I try to create in my 18 year practice as a massage therapist, however, this typw of music has been something I have persoanlly been exploring since about 1979 when I began to realize the health benefits of escape, decompression, contemplation, and meditation for restorative purposes. Beginning with Side 1 of Eberhard Weber's 1976 ECM recording, The Following Morning, I have been enjoying, seeking out and critiquing music that has been either written for or collected or re-formed with the intention of promoting peaceful, calm, healing, relaxation, mood alteration, and even brain integration. Chakradancer is one of the finest examples of this music I have been fortunate to have stumbled upon and it is my favorite. It is, for me, a seemless and entirely pleasurable journey into spiritual connectivity--like taking a spiritual bath. The thickly layered tapestries of sound that are woven into one album not only bathe one in their glory but fill the space within and around me. I very much feel that, when surrounded by the music of Chakradancer, I become part of the weave, part of the flow, part of the waves and vibrations that are Alain Eskinazi's preserved presentation of the version of the dance of the chakras that he was inspired to compose and record. For me, a listen to Chakradancer is as spiritually engaging and uplifting as a listen to a Gregorian mass, a Mozart piano concerto, Brahms' 3rd Symphony, Górecki's 3rd Symphony, Samuel Barber's "Adagio," or Ryuchi Sakamoto's "Music for Yohji Yamamoto," and yet the experience is at the same time sensual and full of many deeply rooted human emotions. I guess I would explain this with crediting the spiritual awakening effect as also elevating or enhancing the human senses.
     Over the two decades in which I have been familiar with Chakradancer, its value to me does not seem to diminish. In fact, it continues to grow. (In the Favorite Albums list that I have been working on for the past couple of years, one year ago I had Chakradancer listed in the second ten, two years ago it was only in the top 60.) In my work and in my personal life this album has become like a rock on which I can depend, an azimuth from which all other music can be measured and compared.

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