Saturday, March 29, 2008

In Review--Guitar Sounding OM

Stevin McNamara
Om Guitar
Sounds True

Long-time veteran of the music business, guitarist and producer Stevin McNamara provides us with east-west fusion meditative music on his latest disc, "Om Guitar". He invited an array of guest musicians who brought sitar, tamboura and percussion to McNamara's Indian-sounding guitar. The music provides a wonderful background for meditation, contemplation or for doing work that involves little focus. It is ideal for reading, knitting, and sewing type activities, but would not work well for driving a car.

"May Fortune Smile" might interests a few listeners. According to the liner notes, this track "derived from an early evening raga, "Yaman Kalyan," often used as an invocation for good fortune and abundance." And who does not want good fortune and abundance?

All four long-playing tracks derive from ragas, which represent a certain part of the day. And all of the ragas have been translated into contemporary sacred or meditative music and in this case with guitar as the main instrument.

Also according to the liner notes, "May Fortune Smile is the result of an experiment to compose a complete-sounding piece using only one instrument. Every sound you hear was produced on the nylon string guitar and uses of fingers, brushes, and a violin bow; even the 'bass drum' is the heel of the hand on the back of the guitar."

"Om Guitar" in my opinion, is too meditative for activities that take a lot of energy. The music tends to draw me into a contemplative state, even a sleepy one. Could be good bedtime music or for early morning meditation. You might even play the evening ragas in the evening and use the morning ragas for morning meditation.

May fortune smile upon you.

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