Robert Gass & On Wings of Song

Heart of Perfect Wisdom

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This double album by the vocal group On Wings of Song directed by Robert Gass. "Heart of Perfect Wisdom" features chanting by the men's choir; it's deep and full of dark Zen overtones, Tibetan bells, and singing bowls which produce extremely low frequencies. The sounds are so massive, the piece will almost massage your body. The two tracks of this album are based on a Sanskrit chant which translates: "Gone, gone. Gone beyond. Gone beyond the beyond. Hail to the awakened one!" The third track, "Kalama: A Sufi Song of Love" is decidedly lighter. Women's voices, cheery guitars, men's warm tones. All are lovingly tangled and harmonized, so suitable for the Dances of Universal Peace. The words of the chant translate: "There is no god or self except for the Unity that embraces all," and a line that invokes the name of Mohammed as messenger of God. The tempo of the piece builds until the men exchange shouted chants, urged on by an exciting tabla jam. Then the women reclaim the peace. What a uplifting feast for the ears. The choir sings, tones, soars, and grunts with perfection -- a joy to listen to.

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