TIBETAN SINGING BOWLS VOLUME 11:
HIMALAYAN STUDIES #5 ( 2004) 78:37
(post & packing extra in the UK - £2.75 First Class Recorded Delivery)
For Review click HERE
A short piece for Tibetan Singing bowls exploring their long sustain and certain subtle acoustical properties. This is a more recent work and begins this retrospective of just over three decades of professional solo recordings.
Large rolling, struck, and stroked PAISTE Symphonic Gongs and Rain Gongs (an original adaptation invented by myself) are the sole source for the sounds on this piece. This piece features multi-tracking. I had been working for some years with a small group of musicians and composers exploring overtone singing and we made a recording and I subsequently released it on a CD entitled RAINBOW HEALING PEACE. There was some space left over from the overtone improvisations and so I added some solo pieces featuring instruments also rich in harmonic overtones. This track and the next two tracks are musical interludes from that CD.
This short piece exploits the wonderful and magical world of Water spirit Singing Bowls of both Tibetan & Himalayan origins. It takes one pair of hands to produce one sound so this piece is over-dubbed (multi-tracked). I
A beautiful old antique Conch Shell trumpet from India opens this piece (featuring circular breathing) with stroked Gongs added and then leading to a crescendo upon a Symphonic Gong accompanied by the Drilbu (Tibetan Buddhist hand bells played by my wife Christine, daughter Rose, and son Gabriel alongside myself) ringing together. This sequence stops abruptly and then turns to a sector featuring two deep Tibetan Singing Bowls with Water spirit bowls alongside some other struck Tibetan Singing bowls subsequently leading to a segment for Petalumines (for more on my invented hand-made instruments click HERE) and Sun Ray (three Rectangular Bell plates commissioned by myself and made from the same PAISTE material as the Petalumines) which is then followed by a choir of Water spirit Tibetan Singing bowls with a very high-pitched Tibetan Singing bowl making its entrance about midway through this section of the piece. This end section is also multi-tracked. In a sense this piece was commissioned by fellow percussionist Trevor Taylor as a kind of update on what I had been doing in the 25 years since he last commissioned a solo piece (which you can hear on Track #10 of this CD). Subsequently Trevor released that earlier album of solos (THE IMPROVISING PERCUSSIONIST) and a solo album by myself featuring my work in duos and trios and solo on a CD titled TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENT MAGICAL PRESENCE.
To listen please click HERE
To listen please click HERE To view the Roerich painting with this music click HERE
My first-ever professionally recorded solo. This was played upon my regular set-up for improvising (in this instance with a group co-founded by Keith Tippett and myself named Ovary Lodge [for more on that group click HERE]). This featured many of my current instrumentarium - the various types of bells, gongs, cymbals, strings of bells, etc, plus drums and woodblocks, voice, etc. An antique Chinese Horizontal Gong features prominently in this music - recorded exceptionally well by Robert Fripp (founder and lead guitarist of King Crimson - Producer of the LP [OVARY LODGE RCA/Victor] from which this track is taken) choosing to use several microphones in order to capture the entire spectrum of sound unique to this rare instrument. Drums do feature a little in this piece - especially the bass drum. It was my experience that the Master Jesus drew close to me around the time during the cymbal crescendo. It was recorded unbeknown to myself and that is probably how it should have been as during this period of my playing I was more interested in group playing than in solo and I may even have been tempted to become self-conscious if it had been planned to happen.
Items with # have never been previously released.
Items marked with * have been deleted and are otherwise no longer available - as far as I know.
To view the Nicholas Roerich paintings on this CD click HERE
Whilst this CD is retrospective, the tracks also unfold in this backwards direction to the earliest example of my endeavours to create music for expanded consciousness or meditative/altered states (not drug induced altered states! - or any other form of artificial energy)
Rays Breaking through Clouds.
A brand new piece for Tibetan singing bowls recorded in the summer of 2004. This piece arose from an idea to explore a certain aspect of my work with Tibetan bowls quite separate from the idea to work on shorter pieces. that inaugurated this entire series Nevertheless, it is included here as it conforms to the inspiration behind this cycle of CDs.
Rainbow of Sound. (May
Solo track taken from the CD RAINBOW HEALING PEACE (overtone choir CD).
This track utilises various Tibetan singing bowls and large gongs.
RAINBOW HEALING PEACE revolved around a series of group improvisations for overtone choir and these I broke down into several sections according to the qualitative nature of the improvisations and, in my desire to give value for money, I added some solo intermission tracks in order to increase the length of that CD. Again, for those not wishing to purchase that CD just to hear these solo tracks, these solo pieces have also been included in this final retrospective CD. Also, these three tracks are the right length for a CD like this one and they are representative of that decade. Many of my improvisations tend to last a long time - typically, at live concerts, between 60 and 90 minutes whilst past recordings include many tracks from 20 to 50 minutes.
Light Bells. (May
Solo track taken from the CD RAINBOW HEALING PEACE (overtone choir CD)
This track features Tibetan Bells (Drilbu) played by my family (Christine, Rose & Gabriel) as a group improvisation with each player having a range of these wonderful bells and left free to play whatever they felt appropriate as the improvisation unfolded out of a meditative space. The bells are stroked with a wooden stick. It is not an easy technique to perform, and one is quite soon fatigued, as these bells are designed to be shaken.
of Fiery Light. (May
Solo track taken from the CD RAINBOW HEALING PEACE (overtone choir CD).
This track makes use of Tibetan singing bowls attuned to the water spirits. They seem to evoke voices from within the realm of fiery metals and thus I refer to them as Tongues - speaking in tongues from the Fiery Worlds of Spirit.
of the Ancient Magical Presence. (6-1-1998)
This is the original version of this piece recorded for FMP. It is shorter than the other subsequent version appearing some time later on STAR PEACE. The rest of the CD on FMP (under the same title - TEMPLE OF THE ANCIENT MAGICAL PRESENCE) features myself playing in various Trios and Duos - including a percussion trio recorded over several decades (comprised of previously unreleased material). Again, that CD features my work as an improviser within several settings and, extracted from that CD, this version of this work is included here for those not particularly wishing to listen to these other pieces (e.g. there are percussion duets and trios from within the avant garde jazz improvising tradition).
of the Mountain. (NKR)
This is the first version of this piece released on the Solar label (solar a music travelogue/volume one). The album featured many groups and this was the only piece on which I appeared. I am uncertain as to whether this CD is still available but it is included here for those persons not wishing to purchase an entire CD of numerous styles of music simply to hear another piece of mine. Otherwise, in a slightly modified version, it is available on the CD THE HEALING BOWLS OF TIBET where it is the opening piece of music.
Breath Within the Breath. (25-2-1990)
This solo improvisation is played upon a collection of my instruments taken to the recording session in 1990 for the CD OUT THERE which featured the poetry of Owen Davis with fellow musicians Cathy Davis on Viola and Violin and Chas Dickie on Cello and Keyboards (the two of whom then constituted the group Pool of Sound). It was suggested to me by everyone that I record a solo piece. It is quite simply a spontaneous improvisation upon an ensemble of selected instruments put together (from rehearsals and performances with Owen) in order to compliment the work of the group with the poems chosen by Owen for the recording session and not the usual selection of instruments with which I would perform solo. I enjoyed the impromptu spontaneous challenge of creating a solo piece out of this array of my instruments. I always find it such fun when Life calls upon me to deliver under unprepared circumstances and I am forced to trust fully upon my instincts - whether in music, astrology, or healing, et al. I also somewhat designed the nature of this improvisation to fit into the concept and sound-field of the CD with Owen. It is a poem in unspoken sound. The ending on this CD version differs from the one released on OUT THERE. Water spirit Tibetan singing bowls were used on OUT THERE whilst Air spirit Tibetan singing bowls are used in the closing aleatoric section on the version included here with a brief appearance of the Divine Light bowl.
The piece begins with the Petalumines (so named because of their design but also in honour of Harry Partch who stored his instruments at Petaluma in California) although I only had two frames of them providing me with 6 Petalumines plus Chinese Qing, Indian Noah Bells, and Tibetan singing bowls.
This was originally intended as a pre-meditation piece spontaneously composed during the White Temple recordings of January 1986. It features exclusively the sounds of the Petalumines - invented and hand-made by myself (for more regarding my invented instruments click HERE). In 1983 I released an LP titled NEW ATLANTIS and the entire first side was a piece for 21 Petalumines entitled Temple of Sound. This is still available as part of a Double CD on the Celestial Harmonies Label where it is teamed with Deep Peace (for more details regarding this release please click HERE). My idea with Whispers of Eternity was to provide a short piece of music for people wishing to meditate who did not own any sound-producing meditative instruments of their own. There were six such short meditative pieces recorded at the time. For more on the White Temple Recordings (especially the technical aspects) click HERE.
of Peace Profound. (13-1-1986)
This was originally intended as a pre-meditation piece spontaneously composed during the White Temple recordings of January 1986. It is played upon a collection of Burmese meditation gongs called Kyezees. My idea was to provide a selection of short pieces of music for people wishing to meditate who did not own any sound-producing meditative instruments of their own. Burmese Kyezees are traditionally used for meditation. There were six such short meditative pieces recorded at the time. For more on the White Temple Recordings (especially the technical aspects) click HERE.
Frank performing one of his solos at Ronnie Scotts Jazz Club 72/73 - photo Jak Kilby
Angel from Venus. (13-9-1974)
Although recorded many years ago, this solo improvisation was finally released only recently on FMP under the title THE IMPROVISING PERCUSSIONIST. The piece was recorded for a project featuring solo percussionists originated by percussionist Trevor Taylor arising from a series of articles he had written for the magazine DRUMS concerning the work of the few percussionists active in improvised percussion at that time - such as Paul Lytton, and a rare (if not sole example) of a solo from the late John Stevens. The CD consists of percussion solos performed by the consenting improvising percussionists featured in DRUMS magazine of that time - early 70s.
Drums and other percussion instruments of short duration were still a part of my set-up during this period of my playing - although they do not play a prominent role in the piece. I did have numerous bells, gongs, and other metallic instruments in my instrumentarium at the time alongside various home-made wind chimes, etc.
It is included as an early example of my chosen direction in improvised percussion music and it does not require an enormous leap of the imagination to see how it relates to what I am known for now. In fact, it illustrates how one can find a golden thread providing a consistency that runs throughout my work during these past decades.
Photograph taken upstairs at Ronnie Scott's jazz club in 1972-3 featuring Frank's equipment
as recorded on the final track Amethyst, Gold, & Royal Blue. Taken by Andy Burns.
Gold and Royal Blue, my way of saying Thank You.
This was originally released on the LP OVARY LODGE in 1973 (RCA/Victor). There was a period during the recording sessions where things weren't going well for my fellow musicians and so, feeling somewhat frustrated, I wished to leave the studio that day feeling that I had accomplished something. I spontaneously played this piece simply for myself and unbeknown to me, Robert Fripp (lead guitarist of King Crimson and Producer of the album) had signalled to the recording engineer to leave the tape recording and so we have this piece - my very first professionally recorded solo piece! I was so surprised when returning to the control booth after playing to find that it was 'down'. It was completely unintentional on my part to have it recorded (we were there to record group improvisations and I would never have suggested to include a percussion solo on the LP neither would I ever have conceived such an option) and I had no way of knowing that it was recorded whilst I played. It is a wonderful recording of a spontaneous creation with never an intention of it ever being listened to by anybody else and certainly not a conscious statement of my work in solo percussion - which I had only ever done in private before this time. I experienced the spiritual presence of the Master Jesus at one point in the piece and, as previously stated, it was an impromptu release for my spiritual energy alongside of the need to express my constructivistic musical nature at the time.
I was still using drums and other percussion instruments of short duration during this period of my playing - although they do not play a prominent role in the piece. The long sustain of Burmese Kyeezees and numerous bells, cymbals and gongs are mostly explored in this short piece. It is included as the earliest professionally recorded example of my chosen direction in improvised percussion music.
Copyright by Frank Perry 2005. All rights reserved.
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