Friday, 12 February 2016

David Hykes And The Harmonic Choir - Harmonic Meetings (1986)

I first came across this amazing album as a rip of the original cassette, posted by superior New Age blog Sounds Of The Dawn.  I've really enjoyed lots of their posts over the last couple of years whenever I want to spend an hour or so winding down with some nice, unobtrusive synthy ambience, but this album is nothing of the sort - which was what made me want to seek it out on CD straight away, which is what I'm sharing here.

David Hykes' background and interests in overtone singing are well covered in his wiki article.  His first album with the Harmonic Choir, Hearing Solar Winds, is well represented on other blogs and is also essential listening, but Harmonic Meetings from three years later is the one for me.  The earlier experiments in pure overtone singing are fleshed out here with occasional percussion and droning tamboura to mindblowing effect.

The sleevenotes sum up Harmonic Meetings as "Harmonic chant with pure overtones, and sacred words from the Abrahamic religions, recorded in the abbey of Le Thoronet, France", and that's exactly what you get for 90 ecstatic, sometimes unsettling minutes.  One of the most utterly unique desert island-worthy albums in my entire collection - although a desert island would be far from the ideal location to listen to an album like this, unless in the dead of night.

CD 1
CD 2

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