Prayer to the Rising Sun
DailyOM - November 16, 2010
Gayatri - Prayer to the Rising Sun
Felix Maria Woschek and Friends
German musician Felix Maria Woschek is the kind of figure people hear live and become forever changed. Celebrated for reinterpreting and quietly electrifying an array of devotional chant-based music, from Jewish and Sufi mantras to Indian bhajans and Gregorian chants, Woschek refuses to limit himself to one religion or path. He follows
his own inner guru, celebrating through the intensity, beauty, and reverence of his music. The album's title, Gayatri, is the feminine manifestation of the Brahman. Her name in
Sanskrit translates as "Ga," which means to sing, and "yatri," or protection, thus "Gayatri"—the "mother of the vedas"—expresses the concept of singing both for and as protection. Gayatri is also a song of purification and a reverent and joyous welcome of the new day and dawn. With his deep but fluid and relaxed voice, Woschek stays focused on the Sanskrit words of the mantra, the music around him rooted by tamboura, the beautifully understated sarod of Jens Egert, and moments of everything from
keyboard and flute to didgeridoo. It's deeply mystical but also as familiar as a half remembered dream, a beautiful call not just to the dawn, but to the deep areas of the soul that connect us to each other and to all history. Starting out with sitar, ringing tamboura, and spine-tingling chimes, the hour-long "prayer" expands outward into the divine on giant, slow buzzing Tibetan singing-bowl drones that vibrate through the soul, looking for dark spots to enlighten. A giant unearthly didgeridoo (by Kailash) comes rolling, and flutes howl off in the distance like the call of hawks slowly melting into rays of the setting sun. Eventually night approaches, and gusts of wind and crashing waves open up the mind to exhilaration and centeredness.
Throughout Woschek's voice is relaxed and effortlessly vibrating out along the horizon with
the long extended vowels of Gayatri. Meant to be listened to for its full hour-plus length, it's perfect.
Aquarius Music Journal, 9/98
Felix Maria Woschek believes in productions that are both elaborate and inspired. He is also proverbially able to carry the growing number of visitors to his concerts away with him. The many enthusiastic and grateful letters he receives show that he is able to give people something important with his music and performances.
His interpretation of the Gayatri radiates an intense calm, emphasised by soft instrumentation (including a didgeridoo by Kailash). The more often you hear it, the deeper the impression it makes on you. A milestone and a door-opener to the divine element within you.