Although this CD was suggested to me as yoga or meditation music, I don’t do yoga and don’t hold with the notion that meditation is (just) about relaxing, and would never have music on in the background while I’m sitting. Nevertheless, I loved the music.
Kitarō, a Grammy and Golden Globe award-winning Japanese musician, composer and multi-instrumentalist, composes luscious sound-scapes incorporating the sounds of both western and traditional Japanese (and sometimes middle-eastern) instruments, along with natural sounds, such as birdsong and water.
“Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, Vol. 4” is the latest in a series of a collection of albums inspired by the Buddhist monk Kukai’s classic pilgrimage to the 88 sacred temples on Japan’s remote Shikoku Island, over a millennium ago.
Although I don’t listen to music while meditating, I do sometimes enjoy having music in the background while working. When doing something tedious like bookkeeping, I can listen to just about anything. While writing, I prefer music without lyrics, for the simple reason that my mind cannot pay attention to the words of a song as well as the words I’m channelling onto the screen.
I don’t feel qualified to review the music as music. I don’t even know the names of many of the instruments being used (or synthesized), and I’m not familiar enough with musical terminology to be able to describe the tracks. But music is essentially indescribable anyway, and has to be experienced. The most useful thing I can do is to tell you that I really enjoyed Kitarō’s music, and point you to the album’s web page, where you can hear some samples. Each clip is unfortunately limited to only a minute in length, which is a shame since Kitarō’s music (at least on this album) is expansive and gradual in its effects, and a short clip can’t do justice to his style.
The web page also links to iTunes, and allows you to download the album in MP3 format.