I’m delighted to announce the upcoming release of the meditation-ambient album Pastimes of Creation, coming March 24, on Kalindi Music.
This album, from my devotional project Mukunda’s Friends, is simply a transcendent journey, stepping entirely outside of this mundane world into a place that feels much more like home. The music is ideal for yoga and meditation practices, wellness spaces, and deep or background listening.
Pastimes of Creation was over eight years in the making. In late summer 2009, our friend, accordionist Jaro “Prem” Czerwinec, told us that he wanted to record some processed, ambient accordion playing to be accompanied by meditation songs and chants. Jaro is well-known as a long-time member of the Cowboy Junkies, and has also worked with Gord Downie, the Skydiggers and others.
I was immediately attracted to the idea, and we began recording shortly thereafter. By March 2010, we had recorded a CD-length blend of accordions and airbrushed percussion (mostly singing bowls, tingsha, rain stick and shakers). Some accordion parts were processed to create low drones and ethereal, atmospheric textures.
It took a long time to gather song and chant contributions from friends, but a few months ago, we finally had everything we needed to complete the project. I spent four days, up to New Year’s Day 2018, assembling and rough-mixing. The final mix was completed in mid-February.
Pastimes of Creation is one 74-minute piece in three sections. The opening section, Mystic Sleep, sets the atmosphere with a strong drone, barely-heard echoes of percussion, and distant bits of chant hinting at what’s to come.
Jaro plays three live, one-take improvisations of 30 minutes each. Two of them are heard together during the second section, Birth of Countless Worlds. On first hearing them together, we could hardly believe they had been improvised entirely separately – they fit together so well. They were recorded in one session.
Jaro’s third solo is heard in the third section, Paramatma Expansion, over a celestial processed-accordion atmosphere. The music winds down to a surprising coda in the final two minutes.
Singers Baliyan dasi and David Ludwig lead the way, with important vocal textures from Daci Jett and Leyla.
Photography by Volodymyr Goinyk graces the album package. Here is the Preview Clip:
We are greatly excited to present this music, and hope that you will find it enjoyable. The album will be released in digital form only for the present, with CDRs to come if there is sufficient interest.
Those pre-ordering Pastimes of Creation will receive a free copy of Lacrimosa, an ecstatic song of separation and longing, featuring singer Alannah, who appears on Expanse of Heart. The instrumentation is guitar and synths (emulating piano, cello & bells).