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Kiva
     

Kiva

by Steve Roach
 
This structured space-music voyage explores four earth-honoring "kiva" ceremonies based on the four wind directions, with spacey musical passages interspersed between. Ron Sunsinger, with permission from native elders, recorded actual ceremonies for source material. In concert with the elders' chants, rattles, and drumbeats, you may hear

Overview

This structured space-music voyage explores four earth-honoring "kiva" ceremonies based on the four wind directions, with spacey musical passages interspersed between. Ron Sunsinger, with permission from native elders, recorded actual ceremonies for source material. In concert with the elders' chants, rattles, and drumbeats, you may hear thunder rolls, sonic earthquakes, rainstorms, the spirals of the galaxies, and the swoon of unconsciousness. The chants of "East Kiva: Calling in the Midnight Waters" open with a breathtaking heavenly choir and a mood of sublime peace. The twanging Jews' harp and pungent whistles set the tone for the tornado of "South Kiva: Mother Ayahuasca" and its dizzying, cleansing purges (courtesy of the 80-member Vomititos Concertante). "West Kiva: Sacrifice, Prayer, and Vision" passes through the Sundance of the Plains tribes. The frame drums' incessant 4/4 rhythm and the pounding of leg bells inspire a dancer to a sun-blinded trance of courage and visions. The final "North Kiva: Trust and Remember" is a collaborative ceremony among the three composers, seeming to originate from the breath and heartbeat of a Mongolian/Aboriginal/Tibetan/Polynesian shaman. It's a challenging trip -- but well worth the journey.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Carol Wright
Ron Sunsinger, a Native American tribal artist and musician, joins two space music pioneers on Kiva, an atmospheric re-creation of sacred tribal ceremonies representing the directions of the Four Winds. For the Southwest tribes, a kiva is a circular subterranean structure used for ceremony and ritual; other tribes may use a canopy of trees, the circular space of a Sun Dance, or a cavern. For this recording, Sunsinger obtained, with permission, field recordings of traditional ceremonies. The musicians then brought the kiva space into their music studio. Each wind direction is preceded by an atmospheric passage of chanting, nature sounds, and rattles. "East Kiva: Calling in the Midnight Water" features chanting with the rattles and rapid drumbeats of a peyote ceremony. The space music continues the ceremony to an expanded heartbeat, with horns signaling breakthroughs of thunder strikes. A more celestial space is heralded by organ tones and crickets. Hearing the overlapping layers of sound and the progression allows the listener's mind to travel, while still being connected to the ceremonial music and rhythms. Ghostly voices usher in the passage to "South Kiva: Mother Ayahuasca." Here, breathy whistles and a hypnotic twang of a stringed instrument begin a trance that takes off on one of the most dramatic space blastoffs on record. It climaxes through shouts and ceremonial purging, a sacred song, and whistling; the organ/chanting drone background is very trippy with its sonic infinity pattern of organ tones, chanting, jungle birds, and distorted drumming. "West Kiva: Sacrifice, Prayer and Visions" includes the powerful powwow drumming, singing, and stomped bells of the Native American Sun Dance. The space music collides sounds and rhythms -- a dizzying and hallucinatory clash of reality and illusion. The music then "passes out" and takes the listener on a voyage through a sonic tunnel where all time is suspended. The final "North Kiva: Trust and Remember," recorded in a cavern, thunders with resonant drums and the growls of the didgeridoo. This recording is an excellent introduction to space music and the shamanic experience. You'll find it's not a free ride.

Product Details

Release Date:
09/26/1995
Label:
Hearts Of Space
UPC:
0025041105620
catalogNumber:
11056
Rank:
167431

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