Jeffrey D. Thompson

Theta Meditation System [2 Disc]

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A lot of small independent labels do business with multicultural meditational music. A typically contemporary mix might include Celtic woodwinds, Tibetan bells, and African percussion (or other combinations) woven together with Romantic-era keyboard stylings, as if a big, beige blanket of sound was the whole goal of ethnomusicology. Well, meditation is the goal in another two-disc, four-cut set from Dr. Thompson, purportedly drawn from his two-decade research in psychoacoustics. Hoping to stimulate insight by helping the psyche feel around for its' volume switch, the doctor processes sounds from synthesizers, tapes, and from nature as skillfully as he did with his Delta Sleep System. There are many pleasingly textured segments. Yet the Theta system is less successful with simple relaxation than the Delta system was with creating sleep states. The eclecticism hurts, for one thing. The very first track on the "Renewal" disc falters after a twisted, eerie synthesizer passage transmutes jarringly into a cute Celtic waltz with woodwinds and bells. Not bad as pure background, its' contrivance is obvious at regular listening volume. Piano flourishes open the first "Insight" tune; electronic bodhrans open the next. It's like a yoga class that changes instructors every 15 minutes.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 30:01
2 30:01

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
blue highlight denotes track pick