"....Anyway the inspiration for Vajra was of course Tibetan Buddhism and the Himalayas. I have spent quite a lot of time in the Himalayan Dhauladhar/Kulu/Lahaul area of North India so this imagery is uppermost in my mind when working with the music. I'm never really comfortable with naming tracks because it kind of narrows down the listening perception to a specific thing or place. I feel my stuff is more abstract than that and I like the listener to develop their own imagery really. Anyway these are the track details:
Cloud Gompa. Imagine a Tibetan monastery so high that its in the cloud base. You can just make it out momentarily through swirling mist. It feels isolated and mysterious. Other Realms. Dimensions beyond the material world one can visit with the imagination. Masked Dancer. This reminds me of ritual monk dancing where they wear masks of skulls and demons. The music is not the sort of music they would use in reality but it paints that "Masked Dancer" picture in my mind.
Above Clouds. I've stayed in gompas (monasteries) in the Himalayas where you can be often above the cloud base. It gives a feeling of separation from the troubles of the world and a deep feeling of inner peace.
Kangra Yatra. Yatra means journey or odyssey and Kangra is the valley in Himachal Pradesh situated below Dharamsala, the seat of the Dalai Lama in India. I've travelled through it many times. It is one of the most historic sites in India because it is believed that many of the stories and battles mentioned in the vedas happened there.
Vajra. Vajra (also called dorje) is the diamond sceptre in Tibetan Buddhism. Almost like a laser it can cut through obstacles on the spiritual path. Sometimes referred to as a thunderbolt. "
2004. David Parsons
David Parsons is a veteran composer of ambient and world music. The New Zealander has made a lot of journeys and during these travels he gathered many impressions from the regions he visited, both musically and psychologically. Especially the East has his great interest. In his music, the moods and atmospheres, he picks up in these countries, are mixed with another love of him: electronic music. In the past this already led to some legendary albums like “Sounds From The Mothership”, “Hymalaya” and “Yatra”. “Vajra” is his first album for Groove Unlimited. Soft ambient soundscapes are combined with traditional acoustic instruments on “Vajra”. The opening track “Cloud Gompa” is a typical David Parsons’ piece with some beautiful, relaxing melodies and atmospheres. “Other Realms” is even softer with excellent loops.
“Masked Dancer” is more alive. Here David uses an Eastern-sounding sequence, calm rhythms and plays a violin… a sitar can be heard in the background. “Above Clouds” brings him back to the ambient, again added with a sitar. His sounds are excellent. In “Kangra Yatra” he uses rhythms and an Eastern sequence. This brings the music somewhat in the direction of Klaus Schulze from the eighties or the early works of Steve Roach. The title track is the most ambient sounding piece on the album with long stretched soundscapes. “Vajra” is a masterpiece with an elegant mix between ambient, world music and traditional electronic music.
After several years of silence and only the recent sampler 'In Retrospect', fall 2004 finally saw the release of 'Vajra', a new album inspired by the extensive journeys Parsons undertook in Tibet and especially the Himalayas.
The 6 tracks of 'Vajra' display the remarkable musicianship Parsons his known for since he started making music, so it is a delight to listen and experience the cinematic music he has come up with this time. Next to flowing soundscapes David implements ethnic instruments and handplayed percussion in his music, which still works magic after all these years. But Parsons also used a drumcomputer and some assorted digital percussion and bells. Together they form a beautiful blanket of introspective textures, which has the most elevating effect in the closing title-track.
In all, 'Vajra' offers an impressive journey inward which nicely complements his range of Tibetan inspired music.
2004. Bert Strolenberg / SonicImmersion.org
I was wondering what happened to David Parsons as since his Celestial Harmonies days I've lost touch. The good news is this new release goes back to his more Eastern/ cosmic electronic styles after his period of ethnomusicology anthology discs.
It’s deep, mystical and richly ambient/electronics, and some really nice undulating pulsations as well.
Excellent music, very powerful blend of ambient textures and rhythms. Lots of spacemusic leads. Great work David, definitely a favorite along with Shaman.
The music by David Parsons in this compact disc possesses a style pretty near to the Ambient, with an important presence of romantic melodies and magical environments.
The result, that incorporates elements from World Music and New Instrumental Music, is frankly interesting.
David Parsons does not release too many albums, he thinks it over quite a lot before he produces something new for the general audience. Yet once we see (and listen to) his new album, we wish he gave us his splendid works more often.