Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Light of the Spirit
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, New Age, Rock
Co-produced by Grateful Dead drummer, Mickey Hart, The Light of the Spirit blends cinematic melodies and images from nature to explore spiritual aspects of the life cycle. Featuring an ensemble of musicians and digitally ... more »
Co-produced by Grateful Dead drummer, Mickey Hart, The Light of the Spirit blends cinematic melodies and images from nature to explore spiritual aspects of the life cycle. Featuring an ensemble of musicians and digitally remastered tracks, The Light of the Spirit is an enthralling exploration of melodic imagery and includes the Grammy nominated song, ?The Field?.
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A classic of the new age/electronic genre from KITARO!
Jeffery K. Matheus | Indianapolis, IN United States | 11/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"1987's "Light of the Spirit" was the first Kitaro CD that I ever purchased, and today I look back on it as one of the classic recordings of the new age/electronic music genre - taking it's place alongside the best works of Tangerine Dream & Vangelis. I had first heard Kitaro during a TV appearance and was blown away by his majestic/mystical sound. I can't remember the name of the song played, but it certainly made an impression - I was even quite impressed that an instrumental synth artist was even getting television airtime AT ALL! Next day I went to the CD shop searching from something for this mysterious artist, and "Light of the Spirit" was the first disc to catch my eye. To give a bit of historical perspective, this disc was realeased during what could be called the 'popular heyday' of the (then) budding 'new age music' scene. The fact that this title was originally released by Geffen Records (a major, commercial label) gives some indication as to how popular Kitaro & other new age artists were at the time...Remember when all the records stores suddenly had a large "new age" section?...Remember when you could turn your TV set to VH-1 for a show called "New Visions", where you could regularly see concept videos, interviews, and/or concert clips of such quality instrumental artists as Kitaro, Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Andreas Vollenweider, Patrick Moraz, & Suzanne Cianni?...It's true, there was such a time! What are your chances of catching of catching Kitaro on VH-1 today?..Slim to none!!! (Unfortunately, with all of it's hip-hip, generic pop, & "reality" programming, VH-1 has become virtually indistinguishable from it's parent company, MTV) Luckily, Kitaro's music was based on quality & built to last, and he amassed a dedicated fan-base that has allowed him to continue as one of the few artists to really survive (and even thrive) beyond the commercial heyday of new age music. "Light of the Spirit" was one of the albums that really solidified that hardcore following, and defined Kitaro as an artist. It's amazing how fresh & vibrant it still sounds 15 years after it's release (yes, its been that long!) The album kicks off with the aptly titled "Mysterious Encounter", an ethereal, haunting, keyboard-drenched piece that slowly sucks the listener in with a progressively shifting theme. One thing that Kitaro has mastered (and lesser new age artists seem lacking in) is the art of musical variety - an ebb and flow of different moods that keeps an album interesting for the duration. For instance; while the opening track is hypnotic and flowing, a more intense, percussive, POWERFUL feel is represented by the tracks "Sundance" & "Howling Thunder". (Kitaro began his career with the acclaimed Japanese progressive rockers The Far East Family Band, and that prog-rock influence still shows on tracks like this.) The mellower, more introspective side of the album comes with tracks such as "Moondance" & "The Field" (the latter of which was nominated for a Grammy in 1987.) The title track, "Light of the Spirit", is a piece that fluctuates between a delicate acoustic-based section, and a more forceful section lead by drums and majestic lead synthesizers. This track is also the only one on the album to make use of vocals, in this case 'wordless' female vocals (as a reference point, think of the female singers on Pink Floyd's "Great Gig In the Sky" or "Eclipse".) The singing will not be to everyone's taste, but this piece is so well-done that somehow the vocals did not bother me (However, I do feel that a superior version of "Light of the Spirit" is found on Kitaro's CD "Live in America" an energetic 'vocal-free' recording which streches the song by a few minutes!) As a contrast, "In The Beginning" is built almost completely of layred- keyboards & orchestral percussion, and builds into a grand, pastoral, "classical" feel. The album closes with the sweeping, melodic "Journey to a Fantasy", another track which is built around a keyboard wall-of-sound - but this time with electric guitars & drums adding a little more of a progressive-rock feel. Ah, and it would be remiss of me not to add one more thing - Kitaro's keyboard/synth playing on this album is simply stunning! While Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, & Patrick Moraz all enjoy their rightful places in the "keyboard god" hall of fame, I believe that Kitaro deserves a spot in that hall too - at least an honorable mention! As a synth soloist, Kitaro's creativity, control, and sense of melody is second to none in my opinion. For fans of synth music, "Light of the Spirit" is actually one of Kitaro's most keyboard-oriented albums. While later albums (namely "Ancient", "Gaia", and the new age genre masterpiece, "Mandala") would bring a wider variety of exotic & ethnic instuments to the forefront, "Light of the Spirit" keeps the keyboards front & center throughout most of its running time. All in all, if you are a fan of Kitaro, don't hesitate to buy this one. If you are not yet familiar with this master of his genre...this is an EXCELLENT place to start!"
The Good Stuff Is Always At the Bottom Of The Pile
Marc Ruby? | Warren, MI USA | 04/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I probably own a good deal more Kitaro than I should, but I have never been able to keep from buying discs I haven't seen before when they show up on the resale tables. The unfortunate result is that, other than a few favorites (and a few I can't stand) I really don't have a clear idea of what I've got. The Light Of The Spirit is such a case in point. I bought it about 10 years ago, probably listened to it twice and then forgot it. Now, 17 years after it was issued, I've been listening to it and wondering how I could have let it gather so much dust.The Light Of The Spirit is a 'project' disc, composed and performed as a unit by Kitaro and a large group of fellow musicians. As the title suggests it is more or less metaphysical in content and theme. I was originally tempted to describe the style as 'typical' Kitaro, when I suddenly realized that in 1987 Kitaro was style quite a ways from having a typical streak.In any case it is primarily electronic with enough acoustic fusion elements to keep it from being all out space music. Kitaro has a knack for creating long drawn out melodies that are easily accessible but which never quite cross the fine line into bubblegum. In this album a lot of thought has gone into the composition and arrangement - kind of a cross between meditation and mentation. There are a few exceptions to the general trend, notably the title song, which combines voice, guitar, and Kitaro's inevitable theramin to produce something quite special. Another is In The Beginning, which, once you get past the initial ocean effects turns into something like a new age march to glory. Hard to describe, but great fun to audition.I like this album more than I do Silk Road, probably because the latter has been played, arranged, and orchestrated to death. In addition, The Light Of The Spirit is a surprisingly upbeat album. We a acculturated to think that spirituality is dry stuff, but Kitaro pays little heed to the commonplace. Once could almost have named this album 'Toe Tapping The Way To Nirvana.' Okay, I'm being silly. But this really is one of Kitaro's better efforts."
A meditational journey
Micquan | Nashville, TN | 01/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I just gotta say I love the whole album but one song in particular stimulates the depths of my soul every time my mind hears it and that song is "THE FIELD". Please do your spiritual essence a favor and feed your mind music that is worth feeding!!! You will be glad you did when you see the results of this music and meditation combined!!!PEACE."