Meditations Along the Silk Road

Marilynn Seits

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Meditations Along the Silk Road Review

by Alex Henderson

In 2000, Marilynn Seits released different CDs on different labels: Meditations Along the Silk Road on CMR Moongate and Karmic Tribute on CMR Jazz. And she did so with good reason: they are two very different releases -- Karmic Tribute is straight-ahead jazz, whereas this CD is essentially new age. But Meditations Along the Silk Road is meatier and more thought-provoking than a lot of new age music. Inspired by the pianist's visits to China's historic Silk Road trading route, this CD combines new age with elements of classical and world music -- not only traditional Chinese music, but also Middle Eastern and Indian music. "A Garden in Kashgar" finds Seits using electronic synthesizers to get the sound of the sitar, which is definitely not a Chinese instrument -- the sitar has been one of India's most famous string instruments for centuries. Those who think of new age as vacuous and dull (and some of it is) will find that Meditations Along the Silk Road isn't that way at all; Seits' piano playing is very soulful, and her pieces are as evocative as they are haunting. Although the CD is relaxing, it doesn't lull you to sleep -- not at all. Even if you don't consider yourself a big new age fan, it isn't hard to realize that Meditations Along the Silk Road is music of intrigue and substance.

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