Paul Terrell reviews Ravi’s latest album.
Ravi has produced many devotional and world music albums often with a focus on his kora playing. Songs for the Golden Age, has many trademarks of his previous work, the beautiful arrangements, exceptional musicianship and exquisite production. In everything else this collection of songs represent a quantum shift, a maturity and a coming of age. The songs speak directly to the heart and soul, carried by a voice that has become even more beguiling, sensitive and refined.
The opening song, Waves of Love, transforms the well known chant (So Much Magnificence) into a powerful song with words that inspire and lift the soul. The title song, Golden Age, offers gentle reminders of who we truly are and reveals the fluidity and dynamics of Ravi’s unique opened tuned guitar style in a minimal arrangement accompanied by the sweet yet strong female voice of Jahnavi. Then in, Deep into the Night, Ravi combines the restrained use of woodwind, string arrangements and Spencer Cozens grand piano, to wreath a lullaby for the heart that takes one on a journey of surrender.
This is not just a collection of songs to listen to for enjoyment, it is a healing pilgrimage taking the listener on an inner journey with the invitation to surrender attachment to personality and rest in the peace and beauty of heart and soul. The themes are constant reminders of our connection to all things, our essential spiritual nature, the overwhelming presence of Love, the heart as sanctuary, surrender, blissfulness, gratitude and our need for community and family on the path. Shamanic, devotional and inspirational, the songs are woven with musical arrangements ranging from minimal to psychedelic, (as in the instrumental section of We Are). Choosing musicians of exceptional quality, and special guests such as Deva Premal & Miten, Manose and Sudha, Ravi has given us a crafted collection of songs that are irresistible.
The message, the melodies, the instrumentation work together seamlessly and effortlessly in such a way that the virtuoso performances of Ravi’s many collaborators on this album blend rather than stick out. This is his most important and inspired work so far. Lock the doors, turn the phone off and listen to this album all the way through in the dark on a great sound system, like we used to do before time sped up.
Paul Terrell, 19th August 2014, Istanbul
Listen to a whole track on Osho News: We Are
Ravi took sannyas at Kalptaru, London in 1981. He lived at Medina where he recorded Satsang Music and in 1989 he became part of the band ‘Ah This’ (together with Miten) with which he toured Europe for a year. He lived for a while at the Amsterdam Centre and later moved to Munich and then to Tuscany near Osho Miasto. His first solo album ‘Kora Colours’ was released in 1991; he also collaborated on ‘No Goal But The Path’ and ‘Tribal gathering’ (with Prem Joshua and Chinmaya Dunster); ‘Heartbeat’ and ‘Tidal Wave’ (with Miten); ‘This Dewdrop World’ (with his sister Suvarna); ‘Soul in Wonder’ (with Deva Premal and Miten). koratone.com