Words. Anton Batagov
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Lamrim. A Prayer To The Lineage Gurus
CD review
Sea of Tranquility magazine (USA)

Russian born composer and classically trained pianist Anton Batagov is a world renowned musician who has been hailed internationally as one of the best talents to ever come out of that country. In addition to interpreting the works of John Cage, Morton Feldman and Bach, Batagov has also built up an impressive resume of work composing music for films and television as well. The past few years though have found him turning his focus increasingly inwards as he explores more spiritual avenues with his music. Which brings us to this fascinating new release recorded with two Buddhist teachers entitled Lamrim –A Prayer To The Lineage Gurus.

The purpose of this recording was for Batagov to provide a basic musical arrangement to accompany the chants of the two teachers so that modern practitioners would be able to sing these prayers along to the arrangement. In the first prayer Yeshe Lodi Rinpoche chants the names of all the enlightened Buddhist masters of the past twenty five centuries while Batagov plays a simple, repetitive melody on the piano. Likewise a similar theme is employed on the second prayer where Rinpoche is joined by his disciple Geshe Lharamba Tenzin and they ask the gurus to bestow their blessings. Batagov's dreamy, repetitive piano chords are accompanied only by the intermittent ringing of different sounding hand bells. His simple arrangements aren't intrusive in any way; they just further enhance the already present meditative nature of this recording.

Even if you approach this recording with an open mind you'll discover that A Prayer To The Lineage Gurus is definitely a different kind of listening experience, but one that is ultimately a rewarding and enriching one in the end.

Added: May 19th 2010
Reviewer: Ryan Sparks