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Album Review: The Dance of Innocents
Peter Kater and Nawang Khechog
Cover image of the album The Dance of Innocents by Peter Kater and Nawang Khechog
The Dance of Innocents
Peter Kater and Nawang Khechog
1998 / EarthSea Records
61 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
The Dance of Innocents brings to mind a statement I have heard from several composers that music is already here, and that they as composers are merely vehicles channeling what already exists.This collaboration by pianist Peter Kater and Nawang Khechog on Tibetan flute and chanting, was improvised as they were recording, and was actually the first time the two had played together. From the liner notes: “It is a collection of spontaneous musical conversations... a celebration of the first meeting of two souls, offered without forethought or censoring, without composing or editing.” This format is not unique, but such a successful blending of cultures as well as musical minds and hearts is amazing to me. Khechog was a Tibetan monk for eleven years, and then spent several years as a hermit in the Himalayan foothills. Kater was born in Germany, and began classical piano training as a young child in the US. With two different approaches to life, both were seeking universal truths. It is so inspiring to find that the common bond and language of music can merge two souls in such a beautiful and creative endeavor as making music that remains representative of both people and their backgrounds and yet blends into something new. A true celebration of life and the human spirit, I have probably listened to this CD a hundred times or more, and it remains fresh and new. All seven tracks are outstanding, but “Call of Compassion” is my favorite. At first, I was a bit put off by the chanting at the beginning and end, but find it fascinating that a person can drop his voice that low and still use it as a musical instrument. The piece is almost thirteen minutes long, giving both artists the freedom to explore the various themes that occur as solos and together - very beautiful, indeed, as is the whole album! I strongly recommend The Dance of Innocents!
August 8, 1998
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