New Reviews: November 13, 1998

Amrit is a survey of the traditional music of India from husband and wife team David and Chandra Courtney. The two are known for their workshops and performances around the United States and the world. Amrit consists of six songs of incredible power, largely in part due to Chandra's penetrating voice. David is a virtuoso tabla player, and although the two are based now in Houston, Texas, their sound is authentic and pure.

Sounds True is known for sacred World Music releases. The company's sampler is a budget-priced introduction to the sounds of sacred music from Ireland, Tibet, and even traditional chant. There is something here for everyone, and each piece is accompanied by detailed linrer notes, with information about the Sounds True release from which it was taken.

The Bible has been a source of inspiration to countless musical artists. The Residents, an eclectic, electronically-experimental band, also drew inspiration from the Book for their latest album Wormwood (ESD). The band takes Bible stories and sets themt o music -- not the most original concept, but it is when one takes a closer look at exactly which Bible stories the band chose to document. The incestuous, violent, sexual sides of the Bible, the stories always skipped over in Sunday School, are treated with music that puncuates the horrific stories told within.

Wendy Carlos made a name for herself in the realm of electronic music back in 1972, with the soundtrack for the Stanley Kubrick film A Clockwork Orange. Powerful and dark, it made a huge impression both on and off the screen. Now, Carlos is back with Tales from Heaven & Hell (ESD), her first album of all-new material in 12 years. The album features the piece "Clockwork Black," a sequel to A Clockwork Orange, and is delightfully, depsressingly ambient.