Rivers of One contains the traditional Sufi healing music of the "Rast Makam." In Sufism, "Makams" are musical tonalities that are thought to have a healing effect on physical and spiritual well-being. The Rast Makam is credited with protecting against physical and emotional paralyses, improving flexibility and dance, promoting healthy eyes, enhancing scientific thinking, and creating inner calmness. Dr. Oruc Guvenc, who supplies vocals and plays ney (a seven-holed reed flute), oud (an 11-stringed lute with a wide body and short neck), and rebab (a three-stringed fiddle made from fish skin stretched over a coconut shell), has been studying and practicing traditional Oriental music therapy since the early 1970s. He claims to have proven that these therapeutic techniques, used for centuries in Turkey by Islamic scholars, "is applicable transculturally and that its effectiveness has been unchanged with the passage of time." Tumata is a four-piece band consisting of Guvenc, Kadir Tucek on a frame drum called bendir, Yasir Guvenc on saz (a long-necked lute with a pear shaped body), and Gulten Uralli who sings and "plays" water by continuously pouring water from a bowl into a large vessel. The music consists of the stringed instruments, flute, and water played peacefully alongside a steady beat that continues unbroken throughout the 44-minute CD. The vocals are similar to those used in other forms of Islamic music from Pakistan and the Middle East, although they are quieter and more restrained than, say, Nusrat Fateh Ali Kahn. It is said that the "Rast Makam" is most effective when heard in the early morning, but it makes for a soothing and relaxing listen at any time of day.
AllMusic Review by Evan Cater