Nada Terma
by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity
December 2008

This release from 2008 features 73 minutes of extreme ambience in a shamanistic vein.

Metcalf plays frame drums, earth drum, udu, clay pot, seed pods, and harmonic-overtone voice. Seelig plays bansuri flute, dilruba, and harmonic-overtone voice. Roach contributes drones, zones and atmospheres.

Moody textures generate a reverent mien of the type that stretch a moment into an eternity, but that stasis is embellished with haunting airs that rise from the murky pool of sound like antediluvian spirits who have come to impart cosmic wisdom through their august presence. Exotic strings flavor the accumulating mists with a taste of melancholic human aspirations, which periodically becomes subdued by the tonal divinity of an expansive void that remains a constant foundation throughout the composition.

Vaporous flutes wander through the seething tonalities, conjuring wistful emotions to the surface of the listener's mind. The psychic heart aches from their softly passionate refrain.

When the primitive percussives make their appearance, their beats are languid and studied, designed to ground any straying focus and goad it into a primal state of consciousness. These tempos never quite achieve a tribal mode, remaining pensive and churning thoughts into a passive sine wave, abetting receptivity to mysteries held fast in the mental depths. Shakers (i.e. seed pods) introduce an expectant agitation to the music's ceremonial motif. An electronic presence lends a growling undercurrent that enhances this numinous quest.

While primarily ethereal in definition, the undulant threads provide ample substance, transforming this ambient excursion into a vibrant sonic experience.

Nada Terma

CD  $15.00 
ON SALE, $10.00 
Nada Terma
Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf, Mark Seelig
2008 Projekt PRO222 (CD)
Reviewed by e/i magazine, Electroambient Space, Guts Of Darkness, Musique Machine, Sonic Curiosity

NADA TERMA merges the boundaries of ambient, world music and sacred-meditative styles. On NADA TERMA (translated as "discovering spiritual treasures through the world of sound") East Indian tonalities blend with Sufi-like trance percussion immersed in atmospheres, drifts and drones, arriving at a state of relaxed, focused awareness. The continuously-woven 73-minute piece is sequenced into seven discrete segments, perfect for any listener looking for extended states of awareness, creative enhancement, yoga, bodywork, and deep listening.

Following upon the groundbreaking work of 2006's MANTRAM, NADA TERMA is the second Projekt collaboration between Arizona's Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf with Germany's Mark Seelig. On NADA TERMA they reach deeper into the mystical / spiritual realm, presenting a blend of diverse worlds skillfully combined in an organic fashion. Deep-trance frame drums, clay pots and percussion meet with harmonic overtone vocals (akin to Tuvan throat singers) and the yearning sounds of the stringed Indian Dilruba, and East Indian bansuri flute, bringing a melodic and spiritual-contemplative highlight to the release. All of this exists within an enigmatic world of shadow and shifting light developed by way of artful enhancements and processing of the acoustic instruments. These complements are part of a constant, slowly breathing subtext of drones and atmospheres in which the entire experience lives.

1. Nada TermaMP373:22 
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