LOTUS RISING, Chronotope Project‘s fourth album on the Spotted Peccary label, is a series of musical reflections on Zen Buddhism. The ambient electronic character of the album is deeply rooted in lush synth textures and mesmerizing sequenced electronics, naturally flowing together to create mystical soundspaces seasoned with cello, Irish whistle, twenty-four string Harpejji, hand percussion, and natural field recordings. The wonderfully mysterious soundscapes of LOTUS RISING glide meaningfully through atmospheric undercurrents that range from murky and enigmatic to angelic and serene, providing a thought-provoking deep listening experience that evolves continuously with the passing of each moment.
Drawn from composer Jeffrey Ericson Allen‘s thirty years of study and practice of Zen, LOTUS RISING focuses on the poignant image of the lotus flower – which ascends from the murky depths of desire and attachment to bloom in the light of realization – as Buddhism’s most recognizable symbol. The album’s eight tracks tell the story of an aspirant’s journey of self-actualization on the Buddha Way, stressing the importance of the moment. Allen explains, “Zen emphasizes the identity of practice and realization. Practice is not a ‘means’ to awakening; it is awakening itself, just as music is not a means to reach the end of a piece, but an evolving expression in time, in which each moment expresses an aspect of the whole.”
The rich textures and vibrant electronic sequences are hallmark elements of the Chronotope Project style, and those familiar with previous works by the artist will recognize the plaintive flute or voice-like sound of the musical protagonist that guides the listener through the course of the album. This instrument, the Hakken Continuum Fingerbooard, is a uniquely expressive synthesizer that anchors the listener in the journey and gives musical expression to the protagonist’s quest for expansion and self-surrender on the imaginative voyage through LOTUS RISING.
With it’s many layered textures, melodic moments, and hypnotic rhythms, LOTUS RISING has much to offer the casual listener as well as those who delve more deeply, and its meaningful musical journey is sure to leave a lasting impression that will touch and inspire all.