New Performance Group; Gamelan Pacifica; Philandros of the Seattle Men's Chorus; Mimi Dye, viola; Thomasa Eckert, soprano
For a postminimalist, Giteck traverses a wonderful range within each piece, surging from darkness into light, from sorrow into sexuality, from stasis into dance.
"Om Shanti" was composed in 1986 and is dedicated to People Living With AIDS. It is the first of the four works on this album which I call collectively 'my music and healing series'. "Om Shanti" was commissioned for the New Performance Group by the Institute for Transformational Movement in Seattle, shortly after the loss of the Institute director, Peter Guiler, who died of AIDS. "Om Shanti" has also been heard on two Artists Against AIDS benefit concerts in Seattle.
The text for the first movement is by Shankaracharaya and is sung in Sanskrit.
I am without thought, without form. I am all-pervasive, I am everywhere, yet I am beyond all senses. I am neither detachment nor salvation nor anything that could be measured. I am consciousness and bliss. I am Shiva! I am Shiva!
Om is the primordial human expression for all sounds in the universe according to yogic traditions; Shanti is peace. This is my prayer for people living with the AIDS virus.
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