World Fusion Music from Bram Lightbourne
World Fusion (World Ethno Fusion or Global Fusion) is also often referred to as Yoga Music.
It falls within the Downtempo, or Chillout genres, but in addition to electronica, it generally adds in some of the exotic world music acoustic sounds of India, Southeast Asia, the Middle East and others.
Blending in such evocative instruments as tabla, doumbek, ezraj, duduk, bamboo flutes, vocal chants, and many more, with synthesized electronic sounds creates the unique flavors of this genre.
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Yoga Music Through the Ages
As depicted in ancient artwork found in yoga ashrams, music has been used in and around yoga, from early on. The styles have changed, but most practitioners would agree that Yoga music is a part of their practice on the mat, and of their lifestyle off the mat.
Yoga Music Through the AgesClassical Indian music which likely evolved from the early beginnings of Vedic chants and mantras, was performed as a full sadhana (a spiritual practice), as the musicians sought to go deeper into the performance of the music until they became one with the vibrational energy of the musical moment.
Music in Contemporary Yoga PracticeModern yoga training uses music for meditation, relaxation and to provide an environment in support of the asanas (yoga positions). Today's yoga music comes in many forms, and is often a reflection of the preferences of the yoga teacher. Currently there are a number of Web sites devoted to posting Yoga Music playlists of various teachers so their students can find the music they have been enjoying during practice. I would go so far as to suggest that, increasingly, in addition to skill and method, a great music mix is a compelling reason to choose and stay with a certain yoga teacher.
Types of music popular for modern yoga include, but are not limited to, the following:
Mantra chanting & Bhajans (Indian devotional songs) which can invoke the desired mood and help take practitioners out of their thinking minds.
Kirtan (often call-and-response devotional chanting) which can be recordings played during practice or performed live as a group at other times.
Electronic Kirtan (or Kirtronica) is becoming very popular as many of the well known Kirtan artists release remixed albums of their chants. adding downtempo grooves and electronic textures. This also brings devotional music to the dance floor where yogis and yoginis can dance in a devotional environment
World Fusion (World Ethno or Global Fusion) The first world fusion I can remember was the Beatles adding the sitar into some of their songs in the 60s. After that, many popular artists incorporated exotic world instruments into their songs. Today World Fusion is a genre where East and West meet, resulting in the multi-cultural blend of grooves, timings and melodies of such artists as, Desert Dwellers, Prem Joshua, 1 Giant Leap, Anoushka Shankar, Karsh Kale, Chinmaya Dunster, Donna DeLory, Kaya Project, Rasa, and Kirby Shelstad, to name just a few that come to mind.
Everything is MusicA line from my favorite Rumi poem goes, "We have fallen into the place where everything is music."
At it's essence, everything is music. The physical and non-physical world is all waves and vibration, resonating at varying frequencies. Just because we can't hear all of it doesn't mean it's not making beautiful music on some ethereal plane.
The music we can hear affects us in many ways, which is why it has been used for everything from a call to battle to seduction. Because of music's powerful impact, we can use it to our advantage in our yoga practice and in our yoga lifestyle.
Choosing Your Music
There is no definitive "perfect yoga music," it is a personal choice like music for any occasion. A little investigation will lead you to the kind of Yoga music that is perfect for you. I will continue to offer up suggestions in my Yoga Music Blog, and other Web sites are doing the same with more on the way all the time. Most local yoga teachers have playlists that they feel work for their particular needs, and most will willingly share them.
While Yoga Music is still a young genre that is taking form in our ears, minds and hearts, it can only evolve into a musical form that becomes more evocative and reflective of where we are as appreciators of this art form.
© Copyright 2010 - Bram Larrick - worldfusionlounge.com
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