Exposé Online banner

Steve Roach / Michael Stearns / Ron Sunsinger — Kiva
(Fathom HS11056-2, 1995, CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 1996-08-01

Kiva Cover art

Stearns and Roach have collaborated before on 1989's Desert Solitaire as have Stearns and Sunsinger more recently on Singing Stones. For all three this is the first project together and is a resonant concept album of distinct originality. The majority of the album is split into four "Kivas," each a compass direction (South, West etc.,) that are connected by shorter "passages." Each composer wrote one of the Kivas and collaborated on the fourth one (and presumably the "passages"). Stearns "leads" the peyote ceremony, Sunsinger the ayahuasca ceremony and Roach the Sundance, all sacred ceremonies involved in shamanic consciousness. Thus recordings of these indigenous ceremonies are combined with each composer's synth banks to create music that hums with spiritual intensity. The chanting and bells on Roach's piece are particularly vibrant with energy and lend a feeling of awe to the proceedings. While the indigenous recordings make this too varied to be continuously relaxing and ambient like the majority of Stearns and Roach's work, they also give the music a brilliant new bent to the genre. This is quite an album and recommended to open listeners.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 10, 1995 releases

Related artist(s): Steve Roach, Michael Stearns

Latest news

2018-01-18
Christian Burchard RIP – Multi-instrumentalist Christian Burchard, who founded the seminal band Embryo in 1969, has died at the age of 71. His January 17 passing was announced on the band's Facebook page. » Read more

2018-01-05
Ray Thomas RIP – On Thursday, 4 January 2017, the world lost Ray Thomas, founding member of the Moody Blues. Thomas sang and played flute, and was responsible for writing a number of the band's most memorable songs. He was 76. » Read more

2017-12-22
Roswell Rudd RIP – Jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, one of the distinctive players of his instrument in many strains of music, has died at the age of 82. With a career stretching back to the early 60s and over a hundred recordings featuring his playing, he leaves behind a substantial legacy. He was diagnosed with cancer in 2013. » Read more

2017-11-16
Celebrate 10 Years of Fruits de Mer – As a special celebration for a decade of cool vinyl releases, our friends at Fruits de Mer records have prepared a limited edition reissue of an album by the first band ever to appear on the label: Schizo Fun Addict. The band is known for unusual release strag » Read more

2017-11-02
Mega Dodo Presents New Charity Album – Our friends at Mega Dodo have put together a lovely compilation of their artists performing new arrangements of nursery rhymes, and all the profits from sales of the album will benefit Save the Children. It features a number of artists we've covered. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Magma - Mekanïk Zeuhl Wortz – Here's one of those unbelievably powerful Magma concerts that's been circulating on cassette for years, finally cleaned up and transferred to CD. Hallelujah! This is one of the best live shows...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues