Discovery, Challenge, Insight, Arrival...
In this concept ambient music album, ENERGI explores beyond the horizon to ancient lands, cultures and philosophies… taking the listener on a spiritual journey of discovery. Come walk with the nomads.
Wherever possible, authentic instruments have been used – either especially recorded or samples – to replicate the sounds of the people and regions that have inspired this musical work. Where traditional instruments or recorded samples could not be found, the composer has painstakingly recreated them on the synthesizer.
Other instrumental sounds have been created by the composer on the keyboard to supplement the authentic sounds, with special attention to sculpting textures, rhythms and tonality conforming to ancient tradition. The final guitar piece performed by the composer attempts to encapsulate the overall emotion of the personal journey, both ancient and modern.
Australian born, and now residing in California, the composer is a veteran traveler, having journeyed through numerous countries in many parts of the world over the last 35 years – especially Asia – experiencing and researching ethnographic musical culture. He has always endeavored to learn about the musical essence of each place. It is with this desire and experience that he has combined these authentic instruments, voices, sounds and textures to paint a soundscape musical scene that exemplifies the ancient journey spirit. The central theme for this album is that all people, no matter what their cultural, spiritual or philosophical background, share a common journey, and that journey is ultimately an individual one.
The common thread that links all ancient mankind is voice and percussive instruments. Hand percussive instruments are common to all ancient music, as well as the use of voice for singing, chanting, wailing, etc and along with the timeless sound of wind effects have been used in each track to form the sustaining sounds that tie every track to the essence of the journey theme.
Description of Tracks:
View from a Mountain
On a pilgrimage journey to McLeod Ganj in the lower Himalayan Mountains, India, the composer fell in love with the surrounding environment. The region is home to exiled spiritual and temporal leader of the Tibetan people, and highly regarded Buddhist teacher and leader, His Holiness, Tenzin Gyatso, the Fourteenth Dalai Lama.
Incredible mountain vistas, clean air, surreal silence and remote villages nestled in this highly elevated ‘Nirvana’, inspired this piece – the breathy texture of the music exemplifying the rarified atmosphere and breath-taking views. A hawk soars overhead, a wisp of cloud brushes the tip of jagged rock on high, unmelted permanent snow glistens in the bright sunlight, and the sky clear and vibrantly blue. A woman goat herder guides her herd safely along a steep and treacherously narrow path through the mountains, connecting an ancient and traditionally nomadic past with her everyday village life.
Take a breath and you feel like you could live forever in this territory.
Airy, nether-world sounding, cycling pads provide the basis of this track, with breathy Indian Flutes, Indian Tabla Drum percussion and Buddhist Prayer Bells helping to set the scene for this serenely beautiful paradise.
A soundscape that paints a musical scene – from time long before man traveled widely and accessibly across the globe – a time of ancient local tribes in many ancient lands; in jungles, mountains, islands and deserts, separated for thousands of years by water and mountains, a diversity of languages and dialects, connected only by the oneness of their spiritual beliefs and dreams – and the distant, ever-persistent beats and rhythms of their communal drums and chants. As man became more confident, more inquisitive, he became more nomadic – and journeyed far in his quest for discovery.
Ethereal keyboard pads and sampled voices, blended with pan pipes and driving tribal drums, combine to weave a tantalizing spell of tribal sound textures that seem to call from a distant ancient past.
The Long Road from Tibet
After the Chinese People's Liberation Army invaded Tibet in1950, introducing terror and genocide to the nation and overthrowing the government, causing chaos and havoc among the peace-loving people there, thousands of Tibetans fled their beautiful, ancient mountain cities and trekked through bleak snow, crossing the Himalayan Mountains in search of a new, safe home. As a young man, His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama led a party of Buddhist monks to find a new home in Dharamsala, in northern India. He is a person who is said to be an incarnation of a Buddha.
Over the many years since – and even to this day – thousands of Buddhist monks and Tibetans have made that journey. Many have died, many more have made the journey and many have sustained crippling deformities caused by extremes in temperatures, exposure to cold, lack of food and water, snow-blindness and frost bite – legacies of their undying loyalty and devotion to their beliefs. They searched for enlightenment, never ceasing compassion for their fellow man.
The Long Road from Tibet is dedicated to all those monks and Tibetans who fled their land and journeyed out across the rugged, unforgiving territory of the Himalayan Mountains in search of freedom.
The composer spent time in the Himalayas and visited the Namgyal Buddhist Temple in McLeod Ganj, the Dalai Lama’s monastery, to research the sound textures for this track. Combining audio samples of adult and novice Tibetan monks chanting mantras and prayers, with authentic Tibetan Drums, Rag Dung Horns, Prayer Bells and Gongs, and the use of a single understated piano – poignant, yet strong, like a lone human voice crying out in the wilderness – evoking the feeling of persistent endeavor over danger and challenges.
Reflective, respectful and celebratory, the music captures the essence of both the inner and the outer journey of the Tibetan people.
This track celebrates the indigenous people of the Australian central outback – the ruggedly beautiful, yet unforgiving arid desert region in this, the oldest and driest continent on earth. These traditional land people were the first human inhabitants of the island continent today known as Australia.
The musical treatment for Overland begins and finishes in a massive, blinding dust storm. A synth-designed ‘Bull-Roarer’ (representing the ‘voices’ of ancestors) and Didgeridoo drones create the cycling atmosphere, while rhythmic Clap Sticks beat time eternal for the singing, dancing and initiation ceremonies held around campfires. The echoes of past generations and of spirit voices can be heard singing in the distance.
The composer spent 18 months living in Alice Springs in the Central Australian desert, working with the indigenous community of that region. Alice Springs is recognized as the traditional homelands of the Arrernte, Anmatyerre, Warrumungu, Warlpiri and other peoples. He was able to study their fascinating culture and gained valuable insight about their ageless tribal ways, beliefs and art – and inspiration from their specialized form of musical communication.
The knowledgeable and proud nomadic indigenous people of this ancient landmass, the Aboriginal people of various regional tribal communities, freely roamed the open plains and sandy deserts for about 45,000 years prior to European settlement, subsisting by hunting animals and gathering bush foods, dancing, singing, and practicing colorful art based on their environment, animals and their ‘Dreamtime’ spiritual beliefs – passing on their learned skills to future generations. They lived a self-sufficient lifestyle in harmony with each other and with their environment. Then, and now, respect for and preservation of the land was paramount.
And finally, Journey lifts our spirits high. Wind and ancient bells give way to a solitary poignant guitar that speaks with a modern voice, yet the ancient tale remains. This emotionally-driven theme, played out in several movements, paints the many emotions, challenges and experiences of life’s spiritual journey, until all sounds disappear into the cosmic wind of time. Perhaps, if we’ve learned anything from our past, this may be our final journey – a path to enlightenment... Ultimately, we are all on a personal journey.