Zen Breakfastby Karunesh
Should one judge an album by its cover? Not artistic design, but by what seems to be promised by the art and copy? Zen Breakfast, the title, the distinctly Asian painting, and the classic Zen overflowing teacup story all point to music offering empty-mind austerity, the stuff of wind cutting through bamboo on a moonless night. Karunesh tosses a bamboo bone in that direction with occasional Asian melodies using sampled shakuhachi flute and accents of gongs and chimes. On the whole his music is reflective, but, simplistic though it may seem, Zen experiences necessitate a stillness, a place between the impermanence of sound and the everything
othing of the void. Zen Breakfast is not that, but the album does offer a serene, meditative -- at times even blissful -- musical experience. Karunesh does not stray far from beautiful, lush pads of resonant synth strings and Western-friendly scales, melodic lines, chord fills, and harmonies. The music pulses with a relaxed reflective breathing cadence tinged with a mystical melancholy. A few surprises -- the spooky whish of a bullroarer and the silken bluesy guitar played by Govi -- waken the senses, but you won't feel like punishing your knees with a severe round of zazen meditation. Zen Breakfast offers music to get lost in dreamy reveries, not to "just observe" the mind.
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I had never really listened to zen music before listening to this CD, but I have found this CD very relaxing. While other music distracts me, this one actually encourages me to work harder.