Yatri (Kathryn Root) has a dual music career: she plays music for meditation on the glass armonica (first invented by Benjamin Franklin) and she is a classical concert pianist who toured for ten years with the Canadian chamber music ensemble Camerata. Root has also been on the music faculty of three universities.
She was introduced to the unique glass instrument by Eric Cadesky of Toronto's Glass Orchestra, and in 1989 acquired her first glass armonica. The instrument has different-sized glass bowls mounted on a spindle, which is now turned by an electric motor. The tones are created by placing moistened fingers on the edges of the bowls, much as one would coax a tone from a crystal goblet. Harmonic overtones are often created, giving the instrument an otherworldly ambience. In Franklin's day, the instrument became quite fashionable -- and sensational. Mozart wrote for the instrument, and Franz Mesmer used these musical glasses to help induce trances in his patients. Others declared the glass armonica unhealthy (perhaps from lead poisoning); in Germany, the instrument was banned "for the sake of public order."
Root, or Yatri as she is known for her glass armonica work, has done crystal music for dance, theater, and film. Her album Crystal Spirit is suitable for meditation, massage, slow-motion movement, and relaxation.