The Real Music label is known for releasing easygoing and relaxing music that can often be loosely classed as new age. The Light Dance is an archetypal new age album in the sense that it has been created for meditation, specifically, physical meditations using an IDOGO pole, and t'ai chi. Though Buedi Siebert is a classically trained flutist, he's also accomplished, judging by this album, on a Chinese like zither called a Guzheng. As well as him also playing bamboo flute, keyboards, and percussion there are four guest musicians contributing to the music, one of whom plays another Chinese instrument - the Erhu.
After hearing just the first track I was enthralled by The Light Dance because I have a soft spot for music that mixes traditional Chinese sounds with Western instruments; “Fishing Junks at Sunset’ on Jean Michel Jarre’s The Concerts in China and Jon Mark’s Asia Journey come to mind.
The Light Dance is comprised of fourteen relatively short tracks, with the longest being a little under seven minutes. Presumably because the music is designed for flowing physical meditation the tracks merge into each other to avoid a stop-start feeling, though each piece is fairly discrete in style and mood. Having done a little t'ai chi I can imagine how this music would be a good accompaniment, but it works superbly as enjoyable music to play while doing nothing.
What I particularly like about this album is that it isn't Chinese sounding all the way through, some tracks — the title track "The Light Dance” is a good example — are mainly Western sounding and easygoing. Somehow it all fits together giving one a sense of being on a journey, it's not hard to conjure up the idea of slowly drifting down the Yangtze river with this music! The slightly vocal edge to the Erhu (a two stringed instrument akin to a violin) adds to the atmosphere.
I can wholeheartedly recommend The Light Dance to anyone who enjoys melodic and atmospheric music. The blend of guitars, piano, percussion, keyboards and the Chinese instruments is done with artistic grace.