The Cosmic Dance
Burning Truth is a performance art troupe based in Oregon that seeks to “provoke thought movement and imagination, sparking the tender inner fires in all of us.” They feature many different instruments in their music, including guitar, various percussion instruments, the cuatro, cajon, tablas, doumbec, pakhawaj, and didjeridu. This music is an encapsulation of their live performances which are a sensory feast that combines 'Gypsy Fusion' stylings, dancers, environment (they often utilize fire in their performances), and thoughtful lyrics. Their original music is a simultaneous blend of introspectiveness and dance-like rhythms, summing up the meditative yet celebratory nature of their art. One wonders when listening to Burning Truth's music whether or not dancing is as reflective as meditating itself.
Track 1: “Shakti Awake!” – A festive piece for the Hindu idea of Shakti, a manifestation (usually female) of divine energy which dynamically powers the entire universe. The guitar plays a rhythmic chord progression with overtones of hauntingly beautiful leads. Vocals invoke Shakti’s awakening while the drums call her to dance.
Track 2: “The Cosmic Dance” is an almost-entirely instrumental piece that features the many different instruments of the ensemble, especially the guitar and the cajon. Indeed, this piece can be considered a summation of the entire album in its combination of introspectiveness and merriness. The only vocals that enter are a choral-like coda to the first part of the piece which leads into a dance filled with festive undertones. An accelerando showcases the gala of celebration that dance inherently brings to music (and vice versa).
Track 9: In “Journey Back To The Void,” the first instrument heard is the didjeridu, an instrument that provides a primordial ooze-like sound which properly sets up the idea of all of existence moving towards the “void” of the title. Again it begins entirely instrumental, with only the didjeridu and percussion, and accelerates to a soft, humble finish. It is a journey to an other-wordly place.
-synopsis of a review by Melson Varsovia of Bryan Farrish Radio Promotion
The main composer of the music on The Cosmic Dance is Terry the Troubadour. He can most often be found at festivals and fairs playing his romani inspired music in one of Burning Truth's dynamic live "Fire Dance Theater" performances.
However, Terry didn't always dress up in a top hat and tails and play gypsy music for beatiful fire dancers. In his earlier years, he was content to sit around a camp fire in his jeans and fleece jacket and play his folk-rock songs for family and friends. Then, in January of 2005 he moved from the rugged mountains of Montana to the misty, magical Oregon coast where he met fire performance artist, Luminara.
When Luminara first danced with her fire poi under the moon light while Terry played his guitar, they felt a resonation within. This would be the spark that would ignite Burning Truth, inspire their latest CD "The Cosmic Dance", and transform Terry's music into something truly moving.
While at a gathering in Portland, Terry heard a haunting sound that gripped his heart like two lovers in a firm embrace. It was a gypsy minor scale being played on a mandolin. “This sound awoke something inside of me, an ancient memory perhaps,” says Terry. The gypsy scales would prove to be a perfect match for fire dance.
Now, the music has evolved into a sound that is completely original – and has come to be known as “Gypsy Rock Fusion”. Some say it sounds like flamenco, others say exotic rock. But it's more than that, drawing on Gypsy influences from Spain to Hungary and beyond.
Terry the Troubadour has traced the ‘Gypsy Road’ to its’ roots, enabling him to capture the feelings and attitudes of the Romani people and their music while adding a modern context of american folk and rock. Terry plays acoustic guitar, cuatro (Latin guitar), and doumbec (Arabic style hand drum), adding lyrical and musical vocalization.
Also featured on The Cosmic Dance is Luminara with powerful lead vocals on "The Circle Is Opening" and "My Beloved" and hauntingly beatiful vocalizations on "Shakti" and "Gypsy Groove". Also featured on percussion is the multi-talented hand drummer, Josh Orient, exhibiting skills on the cajon, tablas, doumbek, and pakahwaj. Performance artist, Azayam, brings soothing back up vocals on "Walkin' Down the Road" and her didjeridu as "the primordial ooze" in "Journey Back to the Void".
Terry the Troubadour and this CD - Burning Truth, The Cosmic Dance- are sure to take you away on a dream journey into the world of Gypsy.