Michael Woodhead

SHAKU

Omkar
(The Music Of Osho --
aka Rajneesh Chandra Mohan)

CD Baby
2004

"...I'd like to say, very simply: I invite you to listen. I do not write music for relaxation, or for dancing, but for the very pleasure of listening."

Swami Anand Omkar achieves just that on Shaku. But then he offers us something more.

Through the musical presentation of six compositions, Omkar takes us through the existence of Shaku, a being, or figure created from imagination into which life has been imbued. Shaku's Birth alludes to Shaku's possible origin -- perhaps rising from the sea as the first creatures did millions of years ago. Musical dolphins and whales cry to each other, encouraging the new creature to venture forth into the vast world beyond the ocean, to experience life, as they cannot do.

Where did we come from? Why are we here? Where are we going? Shaku's Theme touches on these questions as this melancholy melody manifests Shaku's quandary about his reason for existence. Occasionally cheerful, at other times mournful, sometimes rushing about, and still again, leisurely in tempo, this theme reflects modern man's day-to-day life in his quest for meaning.

Ah, the exuberance of youth -- Shaku's inquisitiveness on one hand, and yet his false sense of pride as he thinks he knows everything there is to know. This is presented musically, and quite uniquely in God Bless Ya. In the River of Life, Shaku tests the waters first with his feet, feeling the warmth and depth of his experiences; then, gradually, he wades in deeper until, at length, he swims back and forth, sometimes with strong strokes against the current, at other times with gentle strokes as he is carried along by the swift-moving stream. Once in a while, he leaves the river to sit and reflect on what he's experienced, to meditate and decide which direction he will take in the future.

From atop the Skyscraper, Shaku can look back over his life -- where he came from; on the things he's done, or neglected to do; the friends and acquaintances he's met and with whom he's shared Life. And it seems such a short time. And so we bid Farewell to Shaku, and thank him for the time he's spent with us, sharing his life, his thoughts, and his music. Dramatic and rhythmic, light-hearted and solemn, Omkar's music reminded me occasionally of the compositions of the blind Classicist composer, Moondog. Yet, Omkar offers a singularly different expression of music, and Shaku is well worth a listen for its musical representation of Man's life.

TRACKLIST:
1. Shaku's Birth
2. Shaku's Theme
3. God Bless Ya
4. River of Life
5. Skyscraper
6. Farewell


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