Celestial Zen by David & Steve Gordon Celestial Zen
David & Steve Gordon

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Be transported to world of serene beauty where you can experience your own connection to the stars. On this soundtrack for dreaming, legendary ambient music masters David & Steve Gordon take you on a sacred journey into the place where inner peace and deep space are one. By combining acoustic and electronic instruments, they create a visionary new sound that is perfect for meditation, yoga or relaxed mind explorations. Originally recorded in 1982, it was released on vinyl LP and cassette under the title Celestial Suite, and has not been available on compact disc until now. The Gordons created these recordings as part of their Visionary Environments series because they intended the music to take the listener on inner journeys into the world of the mind. This new version has been remastered using today,s superior audio technology; and it includes an unreleased bonus track from another of their early Visionary Environments recording sessions. This is one of the classic spacemusic albums of ambient music from the 1980,s, with a unique combination of electronic and organic instruments like acoustic guitar that was a completely new sound in electronic music and new age music at that time. Enjoy your trip...


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 Track Title Time 
1. Starshower - 1st Movement 6:39
2. Parallel Lives 5:14
3. Galactic Alignment 4:26
4. Starshower - 2nd Movement 7:51
5. Origins - Winds of Time 24:21
6. Home in the Stars 6:47

Release date: April 3, 2012


Published Reviews

Pulse Magazine
Celestial Zen stands out as a major contribution to contemporary ambient music. David's synthesizers sparkle with Starshowers; Steve's acoustic guitars shimmer in golden textures - Sonically transported into the galaxies, we stand awed by the beauty awakened within us - Deeply inner and always intimate, quiet, serene and spacious.

Music Design In Review
Experience an ambient music classic on CD for the first time! David & Steve Gordon's CELESTIAL ZEN is an exhilarating mental journey that takes you from the furthest reaches of space to the deepest levels of the mind. The music features soft, otherworldly synth atmospheres that pair harmonic tones with smooth layers of ambience. Crystalline keyboards offer a sound that almost seems gracefully sparkle on "Starshower - 1st Movement," making you envision travelling through a sea of stars. As you move into "Parallel Lives," you find yourself smooth sailing through a celestial realm dotted with the occasional spacey effect. The warm sound of guitar on "Galactic Alignment" provides a nice contrast between the planes of earth and sky and "Origins / Winds of Time" is subtle, yet powerful, making you feel as if the journey has truly turned inward. The music has been re-mastered for superior audio performance, and includes one previously unreleased bonus track.

MWE3.com
One of the great American New Age based instrumental music labels, Sequoia Records was founded by the Gordon brothers - David Gordon (synths, sequencers) and Steve Gordon (acoustic / electric guitars, bass guitars) - back in the late 1980's. With a multitude of fascinating instrumental and occasional vocal CDs, Sequoia moves forward with the 2012 release of Celestial Zen. Interestingly, the six track album was recorded way back 1984 and was released on black vinyl Lp and cassette under the name Celestial Suite. In preparation for this, the first ever CD and download release, the original reel to reel master tapes were located and the end result features the original album greatly enhanced by the current level of superior audio technology. Owing more to artists such as Eno and even electronic music pioneers like Morton Subotnick, the 54 minute Celestial Zen is very much an early ambient / electronic instrumental album filled with a unique mix of spacy electronics mixed with processed organic instruments like acoustic guitar. 2012 liner notes from the Gordon brothers shines a fresh light on this still essential space music masterpiece.

Carol Wright, Nationally Sydicated Columnist
Crystalline synthesizer sequences (David Gordon) sparkle like thousands of tiny shooting stars caught in a bottle. Little galaxies swirl and novas seem to percolate with merriment. Some space music can be heavy or confrontational (as we shall hear on side two); "Starshower," however, is an amazing galactic display. "Parallel Lives" offers meditative sonic planes with whiplashed spacewinds and resonant drones. Brother Steve Gordon continues the space music voyage with "The Five Elements"; his guitar music, processed and layered, creates a propulsive immediacy that unfolds through time. Side one ends with a reprise of "Starshower," but now the galaxy's been let out of the bottle. The album's second half offers the 24-minute "Origins / Winds of Time." It begins with strong spacewinds and a meandering bass that seems lost in a galactic cavern full of ghostly apparitions. (As Laurel said to Stanley, "You got us into this Stanley; now you get us out.") For you "warrior spirits" still hanging in, there is a long section of piano-tiptoeing through the galaxies, then the piece sets sail on cosmic electric guitar notes which runs against walls of organ sounds. Does it resolve? What adventure would you have if I told you? This recording showcases the brothers' musical versatility.

DailyOM
David and Steve Gordon have recorded a vast array of world, trance, loop, and meditation-based music since they formed their Sequoia label, but Celestial Zen goes way back in time to the early ’80s, when they recorded the tracks as part of their Visionary Environments series. The analog synthesizers squiggle and shake with resonance thanks to digital remastering, but the old-school space cadet glow is all there. The retro-futurist aspect gives the album an 1980s sci-fi soundtrack vibe, reminiscent of then-futuristic acts like Tangerine Dream and Klaus Schulze. It’s music meant for big, fuzzy headphones and deep third-eye visualizations of Andromeda and the Pleiades while sprawled on beanbag chairs or perched on meditation blankets.

Tracks vary in style but the mood is always cosmic. "Starshower - 1st Movement" opens on tinkling cascades of chimes and low, rolling synthesizer melodics that rise, fall, and slowly swirl into life like a distant galaxy in midbirth. "Parallel Lives" burbles with shooting meteors and Vangelis-style synth pads while "Galactic Alignment" opens on cycling acoustic guitars that echo and bleed into washes of echo. The centerpiece of the album is the 24-minutes-plus opus "Origins - Winds of Time." Here, an ominous three-note chord progression (reminiscent of Wendy Carlos' music in The Shining) rumbles below formations of echoing guitar and pitch-shifting synthesizers.

A deep foray into the landscape wherein macro and micro and inner and outer merge as one, Celestial Zen is a trip behind your eyelids back to a galaxy that's as familiar as an old friend from childhood dreams. Remember to check your baggage so you can float into the outer cosmos without being dragged back down to the earth's gravitational pull, and surrender the ship's controls to David and Steve Gordon. As a record of a time when electronic synthesizers were all analog and yoga and meditation classes were impossible to find outside major cities, Celestial Zen is like an old space captain who knows tricks the youngsters don't. Close your eyes, put on those fuzzy headphones, and let the bonds of space and time dissolve in a wash of chimes and gurgling Moogs.


All Music Guide
Crystalline synthesizer sequences (David Gordon) sparkle like thousands of tiny shooting stars caught in a bottle. Little galaxies swirl and novas seem to percolate with merriment. Some space music can be heavy or confrontational (as we shall hear on side two); "Starshower," however, is an amazing galactic display. "Parallel Lives" offers meditative sonic planes with whiplashed spacewinds and resonant drones. Brother Steve Gordon continues the space music voyage with "The Five Elements"; his guitar music, processed and layered, creates a propulsive immediacy that unfolds through time. Side one ends with a reprise of "Starshower," but now the galaxy's been let out of the bottle. The album's second half offers the 24-minute "Origins / Winds of Time." It begins with strong spacewinds and a meandering bass that seems lost in a galactic cavern full of ghostly apparitions. (As Laurel said to Stanley, "You got us into this Stanley; now you get us out.") For you "warrior spirits" still hanging in, there is a long section of piano-tiptoeing through the galaxies, then the piece sets sail on cosmic electric guitar notes which runs against walls of organ sounds. Does it resolve? What adventure would you have if I told you? Those fans of the Gordons' relaxing nature recordings might not enjoy all of this album, but the recording does showcase the brothers' musical versatility.
   — Carol Wright


An Angel's Kiss
There are a few things in life I can count on. The first, my husband will always be by my side. The second, all great challenges bring great rewards and third, David & Steve Gordon always make great music. When I see their names, I know the album will be a good one.

Proving my point, Celestial Zen (Sequoia Records 2012) will have you packing your meditation space bags, boarding the astral plane of fifth-dimension-existence. Prepare yourself for intergalactic communications with angels, entities, spirits and maybe even an alien or two. You will reach further dimensions of your mind, places that you did not even knew existed. So get ready for a spaced-out trip into the heavens. Here comes Celestial Zen ...

Esoteric Stars Of The Soul - Modular sequencers, bass, acoustic and electric guitars and analog synthesizers dance together in harmonic delight, sparking to life the esoteric stars of the soul. I get lost within myself, a place of serenity, quiet and innate knowing that life is but a dream ... a good dream.

Originally recorded all the way back in 1984 under the name "Celestial Suite", this is the first time that it has been available on CD. Ambient space-music, ahead of its time thirty years ago, "Celestial Zen" will have you exploring your inner space on a golden path of mind-expansion, connecting with the interior stars and the exterior stars simultaneously. Super-consciousness never felt so natural ...

Bathe in a shower of starlight ...Take a musical journey through inner and outer space. Experience a joyful shower of bright-white, gold, silver and rainbow colored stars, while riding waves of relaxation and blissfulness.

Celestial Zen is perfect for yoga, meditation, soothing the young ones to sleep or to quickly relax and let go.


Retailing Insight
David and Steve Gordon's Celestial Zen proves the old adage, “Everything old is new again.” The music was first recorded in 1984 and was on available on vinyl and cassette under the title Celestial Suite. The Gordons remastered the music and added a track, also from another early release, and the resulting album is a stunning example of timeless, classic spacemusic. The synthesizers on the album are all analog devices played by David while Steve contributes on assorted guitars, and long-time devotees of electronic music will surely hear the difference. Your customers will ride the solar waves into deepest outerspace when they listen to this album.
   — Bill Binkelman



Customer Comments

Share your ideas: write your own review.

Serenely Beautiful
Some of the best ambient spacemusic I have ever heard. I enjoy this for meditation and for just relaxing and daydreaming. Highly recommended! — Zoyd Wheeler San Francisco, CA, United States


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