We are going on a journey. It’s a journey of the mind, and of the spirit...a journey into samsara...bliss. As incense fills the air you find yourself drifting off into a deep slumber. Your eyelids grow heavy as day turns into twilight, and evening fills the air. You begin to dream as the real world fades into the distance and the veil of darkness lifts to reveal a glorious and wondrous place you’ve never seen before. You are startled at first, and then gaze upon this new place like a child with their favorite toy. You hear a sound in the distance... chanting, drumming, flutes, tamboura, sitar...you are slowly transformed. You imagine yourself sitting on a lotus blossom hovering over the sacred waters of a distant and long forgotten sea. You are Tara, goddess mother, embodiment of compassion. You have appeared from the Akasa, aether, space...Arupa to Rupa...formless to form. Kali, keeper of time, has sent you on this journey through the cosmic ripples of dimensional space. You have appeared out of the wisdom of the ages to speak Satya...truth...to all who will open their hearts, minds, and spirits. There is a tranquil yet warm feeling in the air...one of peace, beauty and cosmic oneness. Do you feel it? It is the place we all seek...contentment, fulfillment, happiness, and love. Experience Tara...hear the wisdom...know the truth.
Tara reflects the essence of eastern influences utilizing electronic textures and sound reminiscent of cultural and traditional music. The compositions are improvisatory in nature and lengthy, allowing for an uninterrupted meditative and relaxational experience. Western ears classify this music as World, Ambient, New Age, and Electronic. Samsara maintains a mesmerizing quality with its unique synth texture, simple drum, and snake music quality. Tara manifests a melodic presence over a traditional sounding Indian tamboura and drum drone. Akasa is pure ambience with only a hint of melody occasionally piercing the sonic vale. Arupa is best described by its Sanskrit definition meaning “formless”, and Go Quietly has a southwestern influence with its haunting synth texture, native drum, thunder, and distant howling of coyotes.
REVIEWS AND TESTIMONIALS:
Finally sat down and listened to "Tara"...and listened and listened and listened...can't seem to get it out of my CD Player! Outstanding work! I love the pairing of the (almost) tribal rhythms with the deep space tones...Perfect for my show and I can't wait until Sunday to begin sharing it with my listeners...
- Ken Harris, WVKR, Walden, NY (September, 2002) -
You have done it again! "The WALL" is charting TARA at #14 NAV in July.
- Flying Man, WAWL, Chattanooga, TN (July, 2002) -
Review at Wind and Wire
The album Tara by new age/ambient artist Gregory is a solid selection of five long cuts (minimum of nearly nine minutes long and three tracks are over twelve minutes) that span various musical terrains. All of this music is well-performed and the length of each track allows the listener to delve deep into the consistent "dreaminess" of each song. And make no mistake about it - each cut on Tara is conducive to a sense of drifting and introspection (to varying degrees, since earlier cuts are more "musical"). I don¹t know if all of the music on the CD was produced electronically, or if some of the percussion is acoustic, but the keyboards consistently sound great - professionally recorded and mixed and with good quality tones and instrumentality.
"Samsara" opens Tara with a distinct pan-Indian/Middle Eastern feel, as circular repeating bell tones flit above tabla percussion and keyboards, accompanied by a subtle underlying drone. The cut has a mystical sound to it that bears some resemblance to Al Gromer Khan¹s music, but this track is less ambient and more new agey in texture than the German artist¹s work. The title song (next up) is even more world fusion oriented, with a tamboura drone, hand drums, and several swirling whistling synths as well as a unique sitar-sounding keyboard sound. It¹s "like" a sitar, but not, and the free-form series of notes that Gregory plays really grew on me - the juxtaposition of an improvised "melody" played against drones and world percussion was intoxicating at times. The high-pitched reed-like synth that comes into play later brings a swaying and romantic sensuality to the music.
Ambient fans will enjoy "Akasa" which reminded me a lot of Robyn Miller¹s soundtrack to the computer game Riven, owing to the same underlying whistling tone that Miller used throughout his recording. But where Miller¹s tracks are all very short (too short, sometimes) here Gregory allows the ambience to stretch out over fifteen-plus minutes. Bubbling sound effects and mild dark textures flesh out the track nicely. Whistling synths later in the song introduce yet another element, imparting a sense of outer space to the music. "Arupa" and "Go Quietly" close out this recommendable electronic music album. The former is minimal ambient music, with warm drones and washes, as well as some synth choruses here and there. It¹s the most sparse cut on the album. "Go Quietly" opens with wolf calls, thunder, and yet the music is more rooted in ambient soundscapes than new age, with subtle (barely-heard) hand drums, drones, and keyboards. The drones are warmer here than on the previous track, yet the relative lack of melody might turn off new age music fans, although I liked the just enough sense of warmth.
While I enjoyed the first three cuts more than the last two, I admire how Gregory has tried to bridge two separate genres on one CD. That he has succeeded to the degree he did is testatment to his musical talent and his ambition. Hopefully, this dichotomy will not turn off fans of both genres, but instead unite them in their appreciation for this fine CD.
- Bill Binkelman, Wind and Wire (December 2002) -