The latest tape by Robert Gass and his On Wings of Song Choir is a reworking of the well-known devotional Sanskrit chant “Shri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram.” Side one, subtitled “Serenity,” features the primarily female voices of the choir gently singing the mantra to a simple two-chord melody, with layered counterpoint and the accompaniment of acoustic guitar. Side two, “Dance of Joy,” adds sitar and, after a while, tabla, building to a lively and celebratory climax, resolving back into the soft lilting version of the chant that characterized the first side. Like their ever-popular earlier tape Om Namah Shivaya, The On Wings of Song Choir have reinterpreted this traditional Hindu chant in a way that is easily accessiblto Western listeners, who can use it for relaxation, meditation or singing along. ~ BackroadsMusic/Heartbeats
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