I have to confess here this is my very first listen to the work of Shankar and Gingger, and I have to also say here that is has been truly my loss! I suppose if I had forked out the money to go see the movie The Passion Of The Christ like I was planning to, I would have gotten a taste of their magic. Shankar and Gingger composed and performed much of the music for that movie. The song "Palaces" from this album Celestial Body was performed on Peter Gabriel's Secret World tour. They are also known for their album One In A Million, which featured performances by Phil Collins, Tony Levin, members of Toto, and Steve Vai.
The enchanting music create is played on a very unique instrument called The Double Violin. This instrument covers the range of an orchestra's double bass, cello, viola, and violin. In fact there are only 2 in the entire world! The way they manipulate these instruments is fascinating, and they make excellent use of the wide spectrum of sounds the Double Violin has to offer.
The music on this album has a very Middle Eastern flavor to it, and at times the violin gives a haunting sound. The opening track "Celestial Body" sets the tone of the album very nicely. It has a melody that sprightly dance over the percussion and beat of the song. While there are female vocals scattered throughout the album, there are only 2 songs that feature actual lyrics, which are "Open Your Eyes" and "Palaces". "Open Your Eyes" has a danceable beat to it; lyrically it has a very positive message of encouragement. "Palaces", speaks of the need of future generations to make changes in this very corrupt world in which we live.
It's no wonder that these 2 were chosen to do the score for Mel Gibson's movie. Movies would seem a natural for this style, for they simply can bring so many emotions and so many atmospheres to life with it! Celestial Body is a magical musical journey, that will simply sweep the listener away with every listen. The blend of dazziling technique on the instruments, with the lush musical backdrops, makes this a compelling listen for progressive, world, and new age fans everywhere!
1. Celestial Body
3. Voices From Heaven
5. Open Your Eyes
7. Journey Through Life