Mark Seelig The Disciple's Meditation (2021)
Updated: Sep 20
“A very good album of fluty meditation supported by great visions of hypnotic trance”
1 Mountain Meditation 7:28
2 Rain Meditation 17:00
3 Whirling Meditation 16:38
4 Prana Meditation 18:35
5 Sunset Meditation (in the West) 7:52
(CD/DDL 67:33) (V.F.)
(Ambient, Tribal ambient)
Listening to Mark Seelig's music is like listening to a synthesist playing his tunes and solos in an acoustic environment. Except that here, the synthesist is replaced by a flutist and the solos come out of a flute. The Bansuri flute! THE DISCIPLE'S MEDITATION is the last album of the Disciple trilogy started in 2005 with the eponymous album and followed in 2020 with The Disciple's Path. And if Mark was alone on this last album, here he is surrounded with Byron Metcalf on Udu percussion and Synth Drone, Vito Gregoli on electronic percussion and tabla, as well as Tamboura drones. The sitar-drone guitar is also played by Dashmesh, while Frore performs on synth drones and the Aspen Winds, a more heavenly flute. Together, they provide an even more powerful album than The Disciple's Path, both musically and in terms of the passion that emerges from the good spiritual trance structures.
It's on a bed of caustic reverberations that Mountain Meditation makes Mark Seelig's enchanting flute play. The first breaths are as musical as they are warm, flowing its calm over these sinuous waves with sizzling contours. Without rhythms, nor beats, this first track of THE DISCIPLE'S MEDITATION draws the push of its movement in the strength of the fluted harmonies, as well as in the secret impulses of the scratched texture of sound radioactivity. And the further into the track one goes, the more Seelig's performance is imbued with emotion, intensity and creativity. Rain Meditation begins with a flute and reverberating effects duet that zigzags as if caused by a circular instrument. This seemingly dichotomous duet makes us float up to its rhythmic edge just after the 3-minute mark. In addition to structuring a lascivious pagan trance, the various percussion instruments weave a shadow of bass with elastic gizzard's strokes. The percussions' arrangements are in tune, charming our ears on more than one occasion with a well-placed hit that does not go unnoticed. The flute is as tenacious as these percussions with high whistled harmonies on a slow and lascivious rhythm. Although conceived in a quasi-similar structure, Whirling Meditation offers an infectious energy with an excellent mesh between the tribal and the more electronic percussions. The flute is more than magnetizing with sustained arias that only magical fingers could extract from a synth. Is Frore, better known by his real name Paul Casper, lending his Aspen Winds breaths here, I'm more certain for Rain Meditation, or is Mark Seelig using the multi-layered of flutes technique? Still, his playing and inspirations are incredible, both in the whole album and on Whirling Meditation which offers a rhythmless finale for the last 3 minutes of the track. The intonations of this flute charm in the first 3 minutes of Prana Meditation which imposes a slow and very magnetizing rhythm. The shadow of the bass makes doung-doung while the play of the percussions is simply divine on this title which little by little increases its rhythmic capacity without harming its morphic texture lying in the magnificent breaths of the flute and of the winds. To this effect, the chiseled melody is sculpted in such a way as to slyly create an earworm that will haunt us for hours afterwards. Very good and the percussions are WoW! Here too this rhythm fades a little too soon to leave Prana Meditation three minutes of ambient visions that have lost all flavor to a duet of flutes. Sunset Meditation (in the West) ends THE DISCIPLE'S MEDITATION as Mountain Meditation had opened it. That is to say without rhythms or beats. But beautiful flute fighting for serenity on a bed of more controlled reverberations.
You have no idea how many times I listened to this THE DISCIPLE'S MEDITATION. In loop, I made it turn. To read mostly and to savor this percussion texture that makes Mark Seelig's fluted euphonies even more beautiful. A very good album of meditation, my Lise finds that the flute is too intense to make dodo, supported by great visions of hypnotic trance.
Sylvain Lupari (July 28th, 2021) *****
Available at Projekt Records Bandcamp