Throughout the world there are several forms of greeting. This album is named [after] a Hindu greeting “namaste” which means “I bow to you.” Knowing this, it comes as no surprise that much of the music has an Indian flavour, though there are sounds which make one think of other climes with a spiritual reputation such as Tibet and Nepal. The album seems to be designed for use in contemplation and introspection; and, presumably to aid in reaching one’s inner self, there’s a second CD for meditation spoken by Terence Yallop. In this review, I’ll only be covering the music CD.
Featured are tracks taken from albums by Karunesh, Rasa, Devakant, Buedi Siebert, Ben Leinbach, Benjamin Iobst, and Gary Malkin. Readers familiar with the output from Real Music will probably recognize many of these artists, and those people who like the more meditative style of music will surely enjoy this disc. Saying that, it works reasonably well simply as enjoyable music, being best suited as background unless you’re using it for a session of contemplation. The disc opens up with what I consider to be the two best tracks: “Returning to Now” by Karunesh and “Prabhupada Padma” by Rasa. By best I mean that they’re perhaps the most musical in the sense of having pleasing melodies and sounds. On “Returning to Now” there’s a mix of synth, traditional Indian instrument and sounds, and in places a male voice delivering what could be a prayer somewhat like a song. This is nicely followed by the percussive and rhythmic “Prabhupada Padma” featuring beautiful female singing vocals and what could be a cello. Subsequent pieces are generally more contemplative in nature, especially those with bell-like and Tibetan singing bowl sounds. I didn’t get all meditative listening to the disc but the music is certainly calming, and I think that’s partly to do with how this kind of music encourages me to imagine inspiring and tranquil scenery like the mountains of Tibet. I think the audience for this album is likely to be those who particularly like restrained Eastern style music.