Music of the Tarot by David and Steve Gordon Music of the Tarot
David & Steve Gordon

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For the first time the sacred images of the Tarot come alive as serenely beautiful music. To express the mysteries of the Tarot through music, the Gordons translated the magickal correspondesnces for each card into musical tones and harmonies, and meditated on each card, allowing the power of the Tarot to flow through them, through these special tones, and into beautiful new age music. The result is deeply tranquil meditation music which is also a powerful musical tool for mediation upon the ancient images of the Tarot.


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 Track Title Time 
1. Major Arcana 1st movement The Fool thru The Lovers 10:16
2. Major Arcana 2nd Movement The Chariot thru Art 10:59
3. Major Arcana 3rd Movements The Devil thru the Universe 13:25
4. Minor Arcana 1st Movement Wands 6:34
5. Minor Arcana 2nd Movement Cups 9:44
6. Minor Arcana 3rd Movement Swords 8:28
7. Minor Arcana 4th Movement Disks 9:54

Release date: January 1, 1993

Published Reviews

Nationally Syndicated Music Reviewer
This ambitious and fully realized project is divided into suites based on the Major and Minor Arcana of the Tarot; after translating the magical correspondences for each tarot card into musical key, tempo, dynamics and texture, the Gordon Brothers then ritually focused on each group of cards while allowing the music to manifest through them. The resulting instrumentals form a transformative journey that is deeply serene, smooth and tranquil; the melodies lull one into a meditative state while seeming to impart a psychic musical message, as if the cards themselves are speaking to one's subtle consciousness. The Gordon's musical tarot will certainly reveal many hours of listening pleasure.
   — P J Birosik

The New Times
Music of the Tarot was developed by the composers to be an aid for tarot readings or meditations. The two researched tarot literature and familiarized themselves with the many correspondences to each card (color, element, planet, incense, etc.) They then set up musical correspondences for each card or set of cards. During recording sessions they surrounded them selves with the applicable tarot imagery, meditated, prayed, and let the music manifest. The result is two sections (major and minor arcane), each divided into musical movements on smaller groups of cards.

Those of you who are into the tarot will absolutely delight in this music. Those who are not familiar with this ancient teaching tool/oracle (depending on whom you talk to) will find this to be a pleasant album for meditation. Generous liner notes in the jacket will fill in gaps for those who want to know more about what they're listening to.

   — Rhonda Dicksion

David and Steve Gordon's Music of the Tarot (Sequoia) may be the only album specifically designed to enhance the study of cards. Credit the two brothers with an imaginative contribution to the esoteric arts. This space music is great for meditation and study. You might discover new insights into your deck with the music and liner notes, no matter which one you use. Evocative and entrancing, it can also be suitable for massage of bodywork. If every picture tells a story, doesn't every story have a soundtrack?
   — Dan Liss

The Pagan Review
I was astounded listening to this album. After reading through the information included with the cover sheet, I sat back, closed my eyes, relaxed and just listened. The cards of the tarot do indeed come to life through this musical compilation of movements dedicated to different aspects of the tarot. The album is divided into 2 different tracks the Major Arcana and the Minor Arcana. The entire album has an extreme ethereal feel to it, its magical and mystical, and needless to say it really made me want to get out my cards and do a few readings. Highly recommended to use during readings, meditations, or while studying the interpretations of the cards. This album is another great addition to the works of the Gordon brothers.

All Music Guide
This 1993 recording is a very strong "theme" album for David and Steve Gordon. The brothers spent years studying the messages and mysteries of the Tarot, and their musical tribute to the divination system will take you to many inner spaces.

Part A comprises the Major Arcana, "The Fool's Journey" in three parts. The electronic music creates cavernous acoustics while glistening galaxies seem to whiz by. Voices beckon, a tantalizing chime signals happenings of great import. "The Chariot Through Art" offers unfolding sequenced rhythms, which are challenged by mysterious Middle Eastern themes. "The Devil Through the Universe" begins with heady, drunken drones, which reaches toward the heaven. Rather than being "evil," this section seems to represent spiritual victory. Redemptive bird songs signal great hope. The second half represents the Minor Arcana, the "Magikal Elements." The set of "Wands" (fire) begins the section, a hearty processional that grows in upliftment. The suit of "Cups" (water) follows -- organs and monk vocals -- with a more ominous, thick, and ponderous ambience that soon explodes like a celestial nova. "Swords" offers celestial spacewinds to represent the element of air, allowing the listener to go with the flow. The album ends with a homecoming, as "Disks" brings us back to earth. The many sounds of nature (birds and rivers) offer a centering influence, as do drone-like organ and flute tones. The whirling of the Disks is represented as swirling galaxies. The album ends with the steady, stately beat of rattle and drum. The music is visual and easy to track. Lovers of the Tarot, especially, should appreciate the depth of the sonic voyage.

Heartsong Review
A carefully created synth trip through the Tarot, each cut denoting different cards. This is appropriately very intense and moody music, changing with the various energies included. The cover includes a lot of information about the tarot, a sort of bonus included with the music, which I found amazingly comprehensible. Side A journeys the listener through the Major Arcana starting with The Fool (The beginning-nothingness) through the Lovers, to The Devil through The Universe (manifestation of spiritual energy at the earthly level).

On the flip side Wands, (Fire) is a building, exuberant, powerful movement, while Cups (Water) expresses the sensitive, mysterious Great Mother, womb of creation; slow, changing, reflective with spangles of glittering sound over waves of organ magnificence. The primordial energy of Swords (Air) is expressed with glimmering expanding golden droning chords that become more dynamic until culminating in an intense crescendo of all embracing Akashic enormity. Disks (Earth) are evoked with heartbeat drumming, steady and deep, while changing tones and spinning frequencies tell of planetary changes.

It has an expansive feeling that sometimes unfurl into lighter movements, even victorious modes. Good for quiet pursuits like massage, relaxing deeply, and of course, doing Tarot reading. It seems to effect me deeply due to the slow tempos and multi-layering effects.

NAPRA Reveiw
Can the images of the Tarot be expressed by music? The Gordon brothers have created a dynamic and exotic sonic journey - the recording is really "spacemusic" - through the Major Arcana ("The Fool's Journey") and "The Magickal Elements" of the Monor Arcana. Have your favorite deck handy. Be prepared to swim in the depths of their meanings through the magic of sound, a musical Tarot for the mind's eye. The album is one of their richest!

Alternatives Magazine
For over 10 years, David and Steve Gordon have produced a number of meditative records for their Sequoia Records label. Their compositions combine pleasing melodies with nature sounds. Among the best of thee are the classics: Misty Forest Morning and Oneness. Recently, the duo has turned their attention in a new direction with the release of Music o the Tarot.

"After years of studying the Tarot, it occurred to us that the visible images of the cards may contain an audible message which could be expressed through music." Says the Gordons. "To begin, we immersed ourselves in Tarot literature and decks to determine the various correspondences for each card: element, planetary influence, incense, color, etc. Next, we related each of these into musical key, tempo dynamics and texture. Before cording each section, we performed special invocations for each section."

Music of the Tarot features 68 minutes of music divided into two movements: Major Arcana and Minor Arcana. The result is a sweeping panorama of digitally programmed sound, blending melodic with dissonant tones to evoke the emotions experienced during "The Fool's Journey". No Journey would be complete without a map. Fortunately the extensive liner notes contain an informative essay, The Tarot in a Nutshell, by Lon Milo Duquette (author of The Way of the Secret Lover) to light the way. Music of the Tarot is recommended to adventurous listeners who want to awaken their intuitive selves.

Arizona Networking News
The sacred images of the tarot come alive as serenely beautiful space music. To express the mysteries of the Tarot, each card was translated into musical key, tempo, dynamics and texture and then the digital synthesizers were programmed accordingly. -A powerful musical tool for increasing psychic sensitivity and accuracy in readings and excellent for meditation.

PagaNet News
Imagine the powerful images of the Tarot expressed through the medium of music. First the Gordons programmed their synthesizers with translations of magical correspondences, using tempo, texture, key and dynamics to capture the essence of each card. Then they gathered the cards into thematic groups and meditated on the groupings. The resulting music offers a beautiful background for Tarot divination, study, or meditation. Part A features the Major Arcana: "The Fool thru The Lovers", "The Chariot through Art/Temperance" and "The Devil through The Universe/World. Part B features the Minor Arcana: "Wands-Fire", "Cups-Water", "Wands-Air," and "Disks-Earth." Sweeping sounds evoke the grandeur of Tarot imagery in this rich synthesizer performance.

Recommended for students of Tarot and for setting the mood during readings. Also an ideal companion for when you present someone with a deck.

   — Elizabth Barrette

Rapport - West Coast Review
A few years ago, Paul Horn, a longtime revered jazz saxman, issued a mood music disc that really set people back on their heels. The Traveler, as it was called, was eerie, moody, and the music was said to penetrate the psyche as nothing before it had done. A million copies were sold as it caught on with the new age-metaphysical crowd. Now comes this one, a two part musical experience that should captivate the same crowd that went for Horn's earlier disc. The Gordons confess they are firm believers in the fortune-telling Tarot cards and posted the cards on their walls as inspiration before making this recording. Those who are invoked in personal chants of various metaphysical callings will also find the music supplied a perfect supplement to the internal needs. The soft crash of cymbals, the touch of bells, gongs, and even nature's sounds that were recorded in the Sequoia National forest are all employed within the musical flooring. For those who are into the Tarot, the creators here offer suggestions on how to play the cards with the supplied music as background. Everything here is moody, introspective, often extremely musical too; and obviously works within the concepts laid down by the Gordons.

The Whole Self
The Gordon brothers, known for their many recordings of music for meditation, have composed and performed another beautiful release to express the mysteries of the Tarot. Using the visible images of the tarot, which they have studied for many years, they decided to create an audible message of the Tarot for use in meditation and/or during a Tarot reading. They took each section of the Tarot and it's correlate influence; element, planetary, God/Goddess etc. and related each to a specific musical key with tempo, dynamics, and texture. The burned the appropriate incense and colored candle and then chanted invocations for each section. Invoking the Angel of the Tarot (HRU) and Thoth, they created a meditative trance in which they allowed the music to manifest through themselves "without conscious interference". Dividing the 22 major arcana cards into 3 major movements (30 minutes per side), they follow the "soul's journey" from the non-manifest state of non-being (The fool) to the ultimate Oneness with All (The Universe). Utilizing their combined talents, they beautifully set the stage for each movement with synthesizer, nature sounds and percussion. Included within the fold-out insert is an informative essay on the Tarot by noted author Lon Milo Duquette.

Customer Comments

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These comments are from the Compact Disc version of the album:

Moving and Mellow
This is magical and spiritual, 10 stars. —  Ping Chang-Morris

Take a musical adventure through the Arcana
The depth that Music of the Tarot goes to create a perfect harmony between the Deck, the Arcanas, and the songs is outstanding. Misty Forest Morning is another album that I often submerge myself into for readings. —  Lucky Barre Santa Rosa, Ca,

I love this CD!
Great yoga or meditation music and of course perfect for Tarot! The insert is a wonderful tool for the Tarot beginner and the spiritual journey that this relaxing music offers is brilliant. —  Bax Sampson Lackawanna, NY,

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