Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Singing Bowls of Tibet
Genres: World Music, Classical
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Magical mystery tour of Tibet
Mr. F. E. Perry | UK | 07/26/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Actually this album is by the French-Candian Alain Presencer who has lived in Britain for many years. It was originally recorded in 1981 and features a rather small selection of Tibetan singing bowls, various horns, and Alain's vocal exploits. The quality of the recording is good and some of the singing bowl pieces feature a combination of bowls of good quality. But the pieces featuring vocals and horns awaken incredulity as to their authenticity. For instance, the piece 'Bon-po chant' sounds more like a Jewish funeral song and absolutely nothing like a real Bon-po chant. At the time of this recording very little was known about the Bon-pos and we had only the one recording - on Ocora - soon to be released as a CD. The thigh-bone trumpets on 'Lamentation' are certainly handled in a manner unfamiliar to Tibetan lamas. We are informed that Alain Presencer has visited Ladakh, Sikkim, Bhutan, Nepal and, illegally Tibet. The liner notes also claim that he has 'received instruction' from lamas of the Bon-po regarding the use and significance of the bowls. Therefore, a certain adherence to this Bon-po - pre-Buddhist - tradition of Tibet, here interpreted as being linked to the 'spirit worship' and magical sorcery of Tibet, is insinuated. However, unfortunately, this magical mystery tour seems to unleash the energies of the lower spirit realms. There is a certain pretentiousness in this production, whilst its formal content is more westernised and the bowl sounds are presented in a far more sensational light than might have been originally intended in eastern spiritual practice. The music suffers from a lack of intuition and sensitivity regarding the psychic dimensions of such meditative sounds. However, there is a magnificent gong that accompanies several of the pieces. In its time, and being released in the UK, through the inclusion of voice and the several horns, the album displayed a comparatively slightly larger range of sounds than the comparable albums of Wollf and Hennings - i.e. 'Tibetan Bells'. However, the number of such instruments and the range of sonic textures by the latter, featuring Tibetan bells, bowls and cymbals, far exceeds those on this album. If your interest in such sounds leans towards the superficial, then this is the album for you."
Jim White | Jamaica Plain, MA United States | 09/28/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I love this CD for the musical content, not whether or not the performances are "authentic". It stands up to repeated listening. This CD puts a whole new light on sound as music or music as sound. If I could find another of Presencer's CDs, I would buy it."