Mt. Kailas, the holy mountain of the Hindus, Buddhists and Bons (the old religion of Tibet), is situated in a fairly remote part of Western Tibet, near the Indian border. It is a natural pyramid, standing alone and perpetually capped with snow.
For Hindus it is the primal abode of Lord Shiva who sits in eternal meditation on its peak. The basic architecture of Hindu temples is based upon its shape. The Buddhists associate it with their tantric deity Chakrasamvara and the Bons believe it is the giant crystal that their founder Thonpa Shenrab descended on from the heavens. At its base are two lakes—Manasarovar and Rakshas Tal representing positive and negative energies. The site is quite remote and for most it is an arduous journey in itself to reach.
Many pilgrims make a parikrama (circumambulation) of Mt. Kailas that usually takes from three to four days, although some take longer because they prostrate themselves at every step. With this project, David Parsons attempts to create a sonic “parikrama” of Kailas and the surrounding area. Most tracks are intentionally quite long in order to give the feeling of an odyssey, in hopes that the listener will experience, more than just listen to, the soundscapes.
CD review by Graham Blackley
On this double-album, David Parsons, who hails from New Zealand, provides what he describes in the liner notes as a “sonic ‘parikrama’ of Kailas and the surrounding areas”.
He defines “parikrama” as a “circumnambulation” and explains that Mt. Kailas, which is located in Western Tibet, is a “holy mountain of the Hindus, Buddhists and Bons”.
In the liner notes, Parsons also provides illuminating information about each of the tracks.
For example, he explains that “Inward Journey” features the sound of “the turning of a large Tibetan prayer wheel”.
From the moment I dived into this album the atmospheric sounds contained within embraced me like a deeply relaxing wave.
The droning intensity of “Darshan”, for instance, seemed to sweep away everyday concerns in its hypnotic and enveloping wake.
Although it may be tempting to slip this epic album into genre categories such as “New Age” or “Ambient”, those intrepid aficionados who appreciate the outer-reaches of psychedelic music will be in for a deeply satisfying listening experience.