Exposé Online banner

Levi Chen — Meditation of My Soul
(Yin Yang 13260 6, 1995, CD)

by Mike Ezzo, Published 1997-05-01

Meditation of My Soul Cover art

Peace and tranquillity are yours for the asking when you spin this CD, the third by Levi Chen, an accomplished performer on electric guitar and guzheng (here called "Chinese harp"). Skirting rather deftly between the Eastern and Western, but never plunging headlong into either of the two, Chen's beautifully rich guitar tone breathes and pulsates in an organic womb of sound, eschewing the staid clinical approach of sundry high-tech efforts in related new age genres. His musical meditations are neither minimal (the Chas Smith method), nor pulse- driven a la Michael Brook. Neither are they song-structured, as with Michael Hedges, but they take on a life of their own. (No criticism of those three artists intended, mind you.) Meditation of My Soul successfully bridges any gap traversing the new age, ethnic, and space music genres. I marvel at how Chen phrases his melody lines such that the harp picks up on the last note of the guitar phrase, and sustains its movement, while the guitar continues to drone on in chasms below ground level. The tone colors of the two instruments blend together so homogeneously that the result assumes the characteristic of a single instrumental voice. This creates the illusion of a sort of infinite cycle. Furthermore, his careful avoidance of memorable themes or repeated melodies imbues the work with an intangible sensation that makes the possibility of a meditative experience propitious indeed. The title says it all, in essence — music clearly created for the moments of reflection and meditation. Don't put this one on at your next party.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 12, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Levi Chen / Liquid Gardens

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Coronarias Dans - Visitor – Every corner of the world, so it would seem, has a closet chock full of musical gems waiting to be discovered. From a corner of Denmark's junk room, this wonderful little jewel comes to delight...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues