Saturday, August 7, 2010

CD Review -- Satyagraha - Songs of the Earth, by Jeffrey Fisher

As Jeffrey Fisher explains in the liner notes of his latest CD, Satyagraha – Songs of the Earth, the term Satyagraha means “the power of truth,” a term which Mahatma Gandhi used to represent his philosophy of nonviolent opposition and resistance. It is a term which best describes Fisher’s latest musical meditation, which evokes the power of the truth of nature and is in a sense “nonviolent” toward nature in its very process.

Satyagraha is also the name of Fisher’s home and recording studio in the San Jacinto Mountains of California, where he powered his recording purely with solar energy. So the music is not only inspired by and evocative of nature, but is directly connected to and in communal harmony with nature, as are Fisher’s rustic watercolors that constitute the artwork of the CD’s digipak. This is a refreshingly rare example of a musical artist practicing what he preaches.

The CD’s cover calls attention to the fact that this is ambient, meditative, instrumental music that features the bass violin. However, this is no mere showcase for solo bass violin. Much of Fisher’s musical prowess is brought to bear on this project. In addition to bass violin, Fisher also plays Navaho flutes and keyboards and synthesizers, and together, all the instruments conjure an earthen orchestra of the mystery and mysticism of nature.

The titles of the tracks – “Moonrise,” “Babbling Spring,” “Coyote Dreams,” “Home on the Range,” “Tai Chi,” “Windhorse,” “Bird Dance,” and “Evening’s Prayer” – provide an indication of the feel and intent of the compositions.

If you’re looking for a CD to help you become one with nature and tap into its transcendental energy, Jeffrey Fisher’s musical musing on Satyagraha – Songs of the Earth is the perfect conduit.

--Raj Manoharan

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