Elixir: Songs of the Radiance Sutras is a little ray of sunshine: ten little rays of sunshine, to be precise. It’s inspired by The Radiance Sutras, Lorin Roche’s poetic interpretation of the Vijnana Bhairava Tantra, which is one of the most iconoclastic texts of yoga philosophy.
Donna De Lory is best known for her beautiful arrangements of ancient chants, her fluid voice wrapping around ecstatic syllables of age-old Sanskrit mantras and bringing them to life. She is joined here by Dave Stringer and Joni Allen, who together spent five years composing the songs in intensive bursts of creative spontaneity.
This joyous energy has made its way through to the final recorded version of Elixir: Songs of the Radiance Sutras. There are ten tracks here and they are characterised by a tangible sense of exuberance; revelling in the freedom of eclectic expression. From the original Sanskrit DNA of the sutras, the trio have weaved their own cultural and musical influences, resulting in an infectiously catchy album of bhangra grooves, country anthems and sensual ballads.
It’s hard to select stand-out tracks from such a consistently great release, but opening track “Roar” is hard to beat. Sounding like it could be an out-take from Paul Simon’s Graceland, it perfectly sets the tone for what’s to come: upbeat, ecstatic fun. It truly is “The roar of joy that sets the world in motion”.
CD 58 minutes
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