2019 / Be Why Music
Review by Kathy Parsons
Meditation Music is the fourth album by Joss Jaffe, a vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, tabla player and record producer who has traveled the world performing at large-scale yoga events and transformational festivals. This is Jaffe’s first release on the Be Why Music label which has won the New Age Grammy Award twice in the last three years. Quoting the liner notes of the CD, “The music was created for the purpose of relaxing the body, soothing the mind and facilitating a state of deep rest and peacefulness. The science of brainwave entrainment was used in composing the music to stimulate the brain to enter patterns of delta and theta waves found in states of deep meditation. Sonic technology such as binaural beats… and isochronic tones… make use of modern research. Soothing sounds of nature are blended with slowly moving melodies on acoustic instruments and synthesizers to achieve an illuminated state, whether it be for meditation, yoga, qigong, massage or spa relaxation.” I am no scientist and practice meditation on a fairly casual level, but there is something about this music that is incredibly calming. It is mostly ambient with no distinct or obvious rhythms or melodies, but it is more than pleasant to listen to for its own sake or as peaceful background music in addition to the intended purposes. As I understand it, binaural beats require headphones to be the most effective, but I have been listening to the album without them.
On some ambient and meditation recordings, the various tracks flow from one to the next fairly seamlessly, but the seven tracks on this album are distinctive while keeping a consistent tone of calm and relaxation. Jaffe explained to me in an email that the music is largely based in synthesizers and oscillator synths and that he carefully sculpted the sounds to create unique tones. A few of the songs are experimental and use unique sounds and pulses to create brainwave entrainment. “It was really fun to make and is a new direction for me.”
Meditation Music begins with “Deep Delta.” The sound of flowing water weaves in and out of the gently pulsing music - very peaceful and soothing. “Dream State” includes acoustic guitar moving slowly and gracefully through layers of undulating tonal colors that are almost magical. “Temple Clouds” is by far the longest track on the album at about 10 1/2 minutes. It is easy to imagine floating effortlessly on a cloud while the sun warms your face and body, soothing away all care and pain - very dreamy. “Deep Theta” is darker and more mysterious, but in no way suggests danger or unease - it is still very peaceful with a color palette of deeper hues. “Morning Sun Drops” floats on a quiet breeze, blissful and completely at ease. “Aura Massage” has an interesting pulsing sound throughout that is gentle and varied enough to not become tiresome. A quiet melody floats in the background - a fascinating contrast to the rhythmic pulsing! “Zen Forest” is very expansive and welcoming with warm, tranquil tones that move slowly while suggesting a variety of shapes moving through space.
Wow! Listening to this album closely is like taking a very relaxing and refreshing nap! This one will stay on my desk for times when I need a break! Meditation Music is available from Amazon, iTunes/Apple Music, CD Baby and many streaming sites. The whole world could use a big dose of what Joss Jaffe’s music has to offer!
November 2, 2019