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World Music CD Reviews New Age & Avant Garde


Published January 25, 2006

Soundings of the Planet

Sacred World Chants is the latest release by Soundings of the Planet, a label that’s in its 25th year of promoting health and peace through music. Producer and label founder Dean Evenson, a sound healing pioneer, presents nine chants (average length: seven minutes), mostly drawn from the singers’ own albums released by various labels between 1998 and 2004. The chants or mantras can be traced to nine different spiritual sources, including those of the Yoruba, Hindu and Buddhist traditions. Except for a Native American singer named Cha-das-ska-dum, who is male, all the singers are women who probably have few aspirations of becoming household names. They include Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur, Sophia, Rita Glassman, Lydia McCauley and Gina Sala. Evenson chose tracks that are very similar from a musical point of view. This was ostensibly for purposes of aesthetic cohesion but it does preclude individual tracks from standing out. The homogenous sounds of Sacred World Chants may appeal to meditators and disciples of New Age music but probably not to fans of authentic world music.