19917 THE COMPLETE TIBETAN BELLS
(LIMITED COMMEMORATIVE EDITION) 5 CD SET
HENRY WOLFF & NANCY HENNINGS
In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the recording of the seminal new age classic Tibetan Bells by Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings (recorded 1971, issued 1972), we are pleased to offer for the first time ever all five CDs as a complete limited edition set for the special price of $59.50, which includes standard shipping for addresses within the U.S. For deliveries outside of the U.S., please e-mail your complete address for a price quote to your location.
The 5-CD set includes:
TIBETAN BELLS I - 13001-2
In 1969, Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings traveled to India and Nepal where they studied with the Kagyu branch of Tibetan Buddhism and discovered the transcendent music of the Tibetan bells. In 1972, they became the first Western artists to make use of the then unknown Asian instruments in a 20th century Western idiom. The resulting album, Tibetan Bells, led to a succession of recordings featuring these instruments.
TIBETAN BELLS II -13005-2
Tibetan Bells II is the outcome of years of study, travel, and experiment by Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings, two musicians resolutely in quest of the "sound between the spaces." Bringing together musical elements never before associated, sounds vastly separate it time, space, and tradition, the musicians have advanced across remote areas of sound. In Tibetan Bells II, the ancient resonances of the bells of Tibet are deployed within a musical framework uncompromisingly 20th century, and Western. Tibetan Bells II is an unprecedented synthesis of the sounds of East and West, past and present.
The instruments of this release are exclusively the bells of Tibet. These remarkable instruments have been described elsewhere, yet it is a striking fact that the tones of Tibetan bells, the indigenous products of a highly evolved yet little known Asian culture, have often been confused with the ultra–modern sounds of electronic music. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is no electronic tampering and the resonances of the bells owe nothing to outside sources. Unearthly and timeless, they are their own.
TIBETAN BELLS III - 13027-2
By the expression of subtle harmonic relationships, Tibetan Bells III, quickly transcends the temporal domain. The resonance of the Tibetan bell tones, far richer than any synthetically produced sound, builds an increasingly fine perception and subtle comprehension in the listener.
The purity of tone and long haunting echoes of Tibetan Bells III create an audible curtain permitting the listener to perceive a universe which extends beyond conventional limits. The spectacular duration and purity of the bell tones can be attributed to more than their composition. Wolff and Hennings are the sounding boards through which we can approach a visionary realm.
TIBETAN BELLS IV: BELLS OF SH'ANG SH'UNG - 13037-2
Sh'ang Sh'ung is the Tibetan name for the fabled lost kingdom where the most precious teachings of Buddhism were conceived, are concealed, and remain preserved to this day. On this recording, Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings weave a metaphor in music, a sound–poem depicting a journey to the mythic precincts of Sh'ang Sh'ung.
Legends surrounding this remote and lost terrain tell of the punishing hardships that must be overcome to reach the city. Wolff and Hennings succeed in depicting the physical, mental, and spiritual tribulations of such a pilgrimage, and the awe–inspiring spectacle of the Himalayan wilderness. The recording opens with the travelers striking across ranges of crystal cliffs and steep snowfields haunted by the Yeti, the legendary abominable snowmen. Seemingly insurmountable dangers are briefly forgotten at the sight of the sun rising over rose–tinted glaciers and wind funneled plumes of snow careening against an azure sky—the first hint of a spiritual splendor to come. The pilgrims continue to endure extreme mental disorientation, a breakdown of the time–space continuum, and the repeated shattering and reassembling of consciousness before they finally reach their goal. The recording closes with a rejoicing populace escorting the newcomers triumphantly through the great gates of Sh'ang Sh'ung.
While the purity of tone and long haunting echoes of the Tibetan bells remain central to the artists' vision, Bells of Sh'ang Sh'ung makes use of other instruments, both Eastern and Western. The synthesizer, long considered the natural electronic counterpart to the magic resonance of the bells, adds additional depth and atmosphere to this ambitious venture. Consistent with previous Tibetan bells recordings, the studio itself is exploited as an ultra–modern instrument in its own right.
YAMANTAKA - 13003-2
In 1982, The Grateful Dead drummer, Mickey Hart, teamed up with Tibetan bell virtuosos, Henry Wolff and Nancy Hennings, to create a uniquely expressive journey to the mystical roots of percussion. It has been critically acclaimed for its subtle, yet masterful percussion soundscapes.
Yamantaka is the Tibetan god of the dead and lord of the underworld. Hart, Wolff, and Hennings have succeeded in portraying these Tibetan legends of afterlife through a quietly evolving collage of sound. The six–part suite Yamantaka is at once somber, mysterious and meditative. The Revolving Mask of Yamantaka raises the level of intensity through whirling rhythmic gyrations, spectral harmonics and the cyclical resonations of the Tibetan bells.
Celestial Harmonies' remastered version of Yamantaka also features three bonus tracks composed especially for this CD reissue. Recorded digitally in July of 1991, Towards the Bending of the Light, Solar Winds, and Field of Souls were performed by Wolff and Hennings with special guest Brian Keane. The resulting collection of sounds offers a stirring portrait of death and judgment.
Mickey Hart, best known for his work with The Grateful Dead, has collected and performed on many unusual percussion instruments found throughout the world. He has put both traditional and little–known instruments to new and unexpected uses in his own compositions. At the same time, he has worked diligently to preserve the wisdom of ancient musical cultures through his recordings of indigenous artists. His research into the ritualistic roots of percussion is chronicled in his 1990 book, Drumming at the Edge of Magic.