Ocean of Remembrance by Oruç Güvenç and Tümata

Trance music is supposed to be good for the soul, but this version might even be able to cure mental illness. That’s the idea behind this marvelous album by Turkish doctor of psychology Rahmi Oruç Güvenç and his three-man ensemble. Most people know Sufi music either as the qawwali music of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan or as dervish music. This recording is more akin to dervish music: built out of repetitive elements played on oud, ney, rebab, saz and bendir, with chanted vocals. However, don’t imagine that this music is boring just because it is repetitive. Dr. Güvenç is a master at varying volume or tempo, as well as adding gentle improvisations on the ney flute to hold the attention without overstimulating the passions. (Dervish music tends to start slow and build up to something quick and visceral, but without ever hitting the listener over the head.) In addition, Dr. Güvenç has a beautiful voice, intimate and full of quiet feeling. […] Despite the chanted quality, there are some pretty tunes in these tracks: the main melody of “Allah, Allah, Allah” would transfer nicely to Celtic music. And if you listen closely, you can hear that the instruments are very well played, especially the oud and saz. Everything about this album is soothing and uplifting, and at 62 minutes it provides the perfect length for a session of meditation or quiet contemplation. (AllMusicGuide)

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