True to its name, BODHI’s new album “Deep Dream” goes deep. While most meditation albums give you a small break from the-here-and-now, “Deep Dream” seems to contain a whole cosmology. It offers a rich and expressive soundscape, guided by the sound of the shamanic flute. BODHI is at the height of his creative power, and his rich discography has become even better by the release of “Deep Dream”. Unlike dreams, this is an imaginary world that you may revisit again and again.
BODHI has worked with sound meditation, sound healing, and sacred sound journeys for over 40 years. He has studied with Tito La Rosa, Paul Horn, Allaudin Mathieu, and many other artists. BODHI is also a painter, author, and sound healer. He has over 20 original CDs in his portfolio. His most recent releases are “Simple” (2020) and “Soundscape Oasis” (2020)
The title track starts with running water, birds singing, and some nice synth drones. There is also a mighty didgeridoo somewhere in the background. Suddenly we hear the flute’s sound, which quickly becomes our trusted guide in this foreign landscape. The melody is both welcoming and optimistic. I love the hypnotic rhythm and how it stops – and then continues – as if nothing has happened. “Deep Dream” is an auspicious opening! But don’t take my word for it. Check it out yourself:
There are almost no gaps between the tracks, and “Deep Dream” plays beautifully as one continuous piece. Next out is “Gathering Dawn”. If you pay attention, you can almost “hear” how night is turning into day. The drums sound powerful as if something important is going to happen. I love the layered flutes, the heavy bass, and complex textures. “Gathering Dawn” is actually the longest piece on the album, almost ten minutes long, but I have no idea where that time went. Time seems irrelevant while listening to “Deep Dream”.
There is an interesting change in energy at this stage; “Every Breath” is a bit faster, and there is more movement too. There is also an Eastern string instrument here, which adds a certain level of mystique. After about six minutes or so, the build-up turns into a well-made finale.
The journey continues but in a very different landscape. “Desert Canvas” captures the vastness and warmth of the desert. BODHI uses a sunburned palette to fill the audio canvas. The slow but steady rhythm and layers of textures are so vivid that you can almost feel the intense heat. Even a cold room will feel warm while meditating to this inspired piece.
Each track is uniquely different, featuring a whole new landscape to explore. The desert sun is but a memory as the journey continues on “Alone”. Initially, it might seem like a dark piece, but it changes, and you see that being alone necessarily is not a bad thing – as long as you trust yourself and your abilities. That is how you survive in nature. There are so many details on “Alone”, so many levels of meaning. I love the sounds of nature and how the flute binds it all together, giving it life and soul.
My favorite piece on the album is “Surrounding Mountains”. The somewhat hushed panpipes seem to whisper secrets in the background, while the sharper sounding flutes lead the narrative about the majestic mountains. There is also a colorful kalimba in the middle.
Waves of Colors
Nearer the end, “Waves of Colors” wash over us. It is a stunning piece of music design; it has a lovely touch of improvisation. This is how a New Age music jam session sounds like – and center stage; BODHI’s eminent flutes.
“Behind the Buddha” is a warm and optimistic piece. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself looking for the replay button. “Purple Shadows” Rounds off the album with a big dose of mystery. The didgeridoo is back, completing the circle. The soundscape is modern (I’m tempted to say ultramodern), fresh, and filled with beautiful contrasts. One word: Bravo!
In conclusion: You know the feeling of wakening up and being disappointed that it was all just a dream? I had the same feeling the first time I listened to BODHI’s “Deep Dream” back-to-back. The music is highly visual, and the only limit is your own imagination. It is a soundscape you can spend your day in. Apart from its obvious meditative qualities, the record is also great for fantasy reading or creative work. Its modern sound gives it high appeal, also well beyond the realm of New Age music. “Deep Dream” is, in sum, a monumental release in BODHI’s already rich discography.
If you are not already a fan, “Deep Dream” will make you into one.
For more information and music samples, visit bodhisetchko.com