Sacred Earth Drums by David and Steve Gordon Sacred Earth Drums
David & Steve Gordon

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Shaman Drums from around the world join with Native American Flute, Incan Pan Pipes, Spirit Rattle, Guitars, Keyboard textures, and Sounds of Nature (including Wolf, Eagle, Coyote and Dolphin). Feel the irresistible power of shamanic drumming lead you on a healing journey. Move your body and become absorbed in the dance - for the sacredness of life and reverence for the earth! The Gordons' goal with this recording is to provide a musical catalyst which can serve as a ritual and ceremonial tool for contemporary people searching for a way to reconnect with ancient wisdom and shamanic healing. Indigenous cultures know that humanity is only a small part of the overall web of life. Now more than ever we need to remember the sacredness of all life and reverence for the Earth. This is a message which belongs to all people and all cultures, and, hopefully, future generations.

• #1 Seller for over 2 years (on NAR's top 50.)
• Over 350,000 sold.
• All-time bestselling Native/World Classic

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 Track Title Time 
1. Prayer For The Four Directions 6:50
2. Sunset Ceremony 8:36
3. Call Of The Medicine Drum 5:37
4. Descent To The Lowerworld 8:33
5. Dancing For A Vision 4:01
6. Power Animals 8:31
7. Guardian Spirit 8:50
8. The Return Journey 7:00
9. Sunrise In Peace 6:31

Release date: August 1, 1994

Published Reviews

All Music Guide
Brothers David and Steve Gordon came up with a winner when they recorded Sacred Earth Drums, and it quickly became a bestseller.. This drum-based album marked a departure from the musical styles already offered by the brothers (namely, music and nature sounds and electronic music). The album begins with a lively Native American drum beat, 4/4 plus (there is more pulsing, phrasing, and embellishment than a traditional Indian beat), rattles, a Native American flute, and bird songs. As the album progresses, the music becomes more elaborate; the flute melodies are more fanciful, warm guitars are added, and more complex rhythms (Latin and African) are added with other drums and percussion instruments. Eventually, other animals, keyboards, and space music effects fill out the sound spectrum. Though the music progresses (even into a light ambient), the beat's cadence remains constant. This is not a "percussion" jam album; no one element will overwhelm the room. The album's carefree spirit is perfect for trance-dancing or background energizer. You can't help but jump on board this rhythm wagon. The album liner notes are a storyline for a shamanic journey for those who wish to relate to the album in this way. If you like this album, check out their follow-up, Sacred Spirit Drums.
   — Carol Wright

The New Times
In this beautifully reverential tribute to Mother Earth and the drum, David and Steve Gordon take the listener on a shaman's journey. Cuts wit titles such as "Prayer for the Four Directions," "Call of the Medicine Drum," and "Descent to the lowerworld," indicate the direction this music goes. Liner notes inside the CD jacket gives explanations of what occurs during each cut (during each part of a musical shamanic journey).

Drumming can be hypnotic and deeply evocative, which is aptly demonstrated on Sacred Earth Drums. Unfortunately, sometimes it's also possible for drumming to be repetitive and or the listener to lose interest. Not so here. Drums are baked up with Native-American flute, rattle, panpipes, nature sounds (wolf, eagle, etc.), and a hint of keyboards, giving the listener a feeling of being a part of this ceremony. The music is earthy and stirring, where drumming becomes a part o the presentation itself.

Whether you follow the Native Tradition or are an armchair shaman, you will feel the intensity and mystery inherent in this album.

Real to Reel News
David and Steve Gordon are best known for peaceful albums that blend tranquil nature sounds with soothing acoustic music, and lesser known for their serene electronic space meditations. But with Sacred Earth Drumsthey inaugurate a new and very different series based on the rhythms of America's indigenous peoples. The liner notes describe each track in terms of a simulated shamanic journey, lasting through the night, with a medicine man entering trance, descending to the lower world, encountering animal spirits and emerging with a message of hope for his people. Animal sounds are used throughout (wolf, eagle, raven and a host of songbirds) while hoop and log drums beat out primal poly-rhythms, synthesizer chords add atmosphere, and Indian flutes and sampled panpipes float the melodies. Rattles, rainsticks, background chanting, acoustic guitar and even marimba come and go, while long, sustained electric guitar notes up the ante on a couple of tracks. With its eye-catching cover of planet Earth superimposed on a Native American hoop drum, this intriguing and dynamic album draws the listener into a mysterious primordial world, and goes a long way towards fulfills it's goal of providing "a musical catalyst - for contemporary people searching for a way to reconnect with ancient wisdom."

San Diego Magazine
Native American drums, fused with today's synthesized music, aptly come together in David and Steve Gordon's Sacred Earth Drums, published by the duo's own Sequoia Records label. The nine cuts contained in Sacred Earth Drums could be likened to a sort of earthy World Beat musical suite focused in design on the re-creation of an actual Native American (Shamanic) journey. The Gordon's employ drums, rattles, flutes and other instruments in order to convey that experience. According to David and Steve, "Synthesizers are used to create the experience of the altered states of consciousness, which are an important part of the Shamanic Experience."

Shaman medicine men and women have journeyed into the spirit worlds in search of healing for centuries. Using altered states they obtained knowledge, power and guidance for the benefit of themselves and their people. In Sacred Earth Drums, the Gordon's note the current age of environmental and social crisis and suggest that people everywhere are beginning to return to this ancient form of wisdom. "Our goal with this recording is to provide a musical catalyst which can serve as a ritual and ceremonial tool for ordinary people searching for a way to reconnect with ancient wisdom," say Steve and David. "Indigenous cultures know that humanity is only a small part of the overall web of life. With Shamanic music like this we hope to inspire others to walk in balance on the Earth Mother who nourishes us. "Now more than ever, we need to remember the sacredness of all life and reverence for the Earth. This is a message which belongs to all people and all cultures, and hopefully future generations."

Listening to the motion and manner of Sacred Earth Drums to me, conjures up a picture of man living in concert with nature. In fact, the background nature sounds were recorded in such locations as Jashua Tree National Monument, Mount San Jacinto State Park and Big Morango Canyon Preserve. The drums however are not of the stereotypical ceremonial sounds depicted throughout our faulty history of the Native Americans, These percussion pieces are more like a marriage of magic and the spirit of nature, soft and often lyrical.

Sacred Earth Drums is captivating, peaceful and thought provoking. The visions created by David and Steve Gordon can only serve to send a message (or warning if you will) that mankind can and has to learn to respect the planet it has plundered. The Gordon's are donating part o the proceeds from each CD sold to the United Nations Center for Human Rights to help in their work with the world's indigenous people.

   — Milton A. Simms, Jr.

There's an enormous yearning deep in the human psyche that gropes to expand the boundaries we have developed around us. We also have that unique quality called introspect that keeps calling to our higher self. It's our very nature to search for ways to satisfy these deep cravings.

Heeding this primal beckoning, I sat, meditated and listened. I was taken, immediately to a very warm and sacred plateau that allowed me to journey within my own mind. Indeed, I felt as if I were part of a shaman's hypnotic ritual.

The rhythms throughout this recording are entrancing as are the textured landscapes produced by the synthesizers. Very effectively, auditory hallucinations were created that seem to elicit visual hallucinations at the same time. These marvelous effects, coupled with the warm tone of the cedarwood flutes, create a very soothing calm.

"Sacred Earth Drums" is an extremely successful effort to capture a shamanic journey! It lures you, holds you, transports you to beautiful places and returns you (well-grounded) to your three-dimensional Earth existence. With cover art by Garret Moore, "Sacred Earth Drums" is presented beautifully and performed as promised. A thoroughly engrossing and absolutely tribal experience! Add to your collection now!

Visions Magainze
From the moment this album began to the final note I felt as if I was embraced by a primordial Earth Mother who was trying to teach me to dance to Her pulse. Steve and David Gordon combine their musical talents, while performing on Drums, Native American Flute, Incan Pan Pipe, Spirit Rattle, Guitar and Synthesizer. They celebrate a Shamanic journey along with fellow creatures, including wolves, eagles, dolphins and coyotes. A vividly hued panorama was being created as I listened. It takes a special gift to be able to weave mages with sounds and these talented men were granted that gift and share it willingly with the listener.

Gently chirping birds sound the initial call to "Prayer for the Four Directions". As described in the liner notes, I can imagine a powerful and respected Shaman striking the drumhead while intoning words of worship to each of the four earthly directions. "Sunset Ceremony" brings to mind the gradual lowering of the daystar, the cooling of the air and the serenade of the two-legged feathered beings. As the Shaman entered the Sweat Lodge, I could feel the penetrating heat rising from the scalding rocks, in "Call of the Medicine Drum". His request for a healing vision in the dramatic "Dancing for a Vision," is granted, after which he is met by his "Power Animals" and "Guardian Spirit." With gratitude in his heart, the Shaman takes "The Return Journey" home guided by rhythmic sounds. Finally he emerges from the Sweat Lodge and symbolically, the womb of Mother Earth, expressing a sense of peace and balance., "Sun Rise in Peace" closes this striking release.

I'm grateful that "Sacred Earth Drums" is now a part of our music collection and I recommend it highly for anyone who appreciates the beauty and wisdom of the Earth. Whether or not you feel you have natural rhythm, this will surely help you discover it. As responsible musician who "walk the talk," Steve and David are donating a portion of the proceeds to the U.N. Center for Human Rights, whose purpose it is to assist indigenous people throughout the world.

   — Kate Joy Moser

Whole Body News
David and Steve Gordon use various synthesizers, Native American flutes and percussive elements to create their music. As the title implies, Sacred Earth Drums uses drums from around the world to convey their musical vision. Sounds from nature, which include wolf, eagle and coyote, among other things, add a nice touch to the whole affair. But the one thing that sets Sacred Earth Drums apart is its subtle use of melody. Various flutes and sometimes synthesizers provide a delicate, yet melodic background for the powerful drums found in this music., Yet, even though the name is Sacred Earth Drums, it isn't overly percussive. In other words, there's a good balance between the percussive, acoustic and electronic elements. This synergistic blending of instruments, combined with David and Steve Gordon's knack for melody, give it a good edge over other drumming albums, in terms of universal appeal. Those of you who value well-defined, balanced song structures, with just the right amount of melody will really enjoy Sacred Earth Drums.

A shaman's journey on an album? Is it right that such a personal, spiritual journey could be captured on digital tracks? David and Steve Gordon have done a remarkable job in translating the spirit of Native American sacred music into a listenable and inspirational, involving form. Their goal, they state, was "to provide a musical catalyst which can serve as a ritual and ceremonial tool for contemporary people searching for a way to reconnect with ancient wisdom."

David and Steve have achieved a complete synthesis of the music and instruments necessary to bring about the journey. There is a depth and immediacy in Sacred Earth Drums that, with close listening, will assist an altered consciousness state. Very powerful and authentic. Highly recommended.

The Gordons have achieved a complete systhesis of music to bring about the journey. Very powerful and authentic. Highly recommended.

This album is delightful. It starts off with a very basic and unpretentious song, "Prayer to the Four Directions," and it is its simplicity of drum and flute that gives this song its charm. On first listening, there was an intuition that resonated through me that in this music these musicians have discovered something that is genuine and an essential Native American truth.

But wait - it gets better. David and Steve, having found this essence, take the listener on a song by song journey until there is a completely natural merging between Native American music and modern ambient new age synthesizer sounds which I have never heard before. Song five, "Dancing for a Vision," probably best represents this new fusion. It begins with a simple 4/4 drum beat and Indian flute. Other drums, each with its own distinctive voice, begin to layer in creating an almost tangible conversation between the drums, while rich ambient synth orchestration weaves its textures high overhead,. Gradually the song diminishes, and we are gently returned to the beginning of simple tom-tom drum and flue as ending.

This is an exceptionally fine album that runs from simple to complex and quietly calming to emotionally stirring --- definitely the best I've reviewed this year.

   — Lee Stone

Magical Blend Magazine
The full moon is shining through my windows, it's 1:30 am and this primal pulsating collection of Earth-beat music won't let me rest. The newest release from these talented brothers has triggered powerful memories of forgotten nights I've spent with drumming circles unexpectedly found on moonlit beaches and at campgrounds of large music festivals. This penetrating collection of theme based spiritual music has a light ambience and more natural flow. Listening to this Shamanic journey of drums from around the world along with Native-American Flute, Incan pan Pipes, nature sounds and studio wizardry had made me spontaneously light candles, smudge my house with sage and ecstatically dance around my living room drawing down the power of the Moon. A timeless energy has been captured in this recording that awakens an innate knowledge of universal rhythms and ancient wisdom. Although it strives to be close to technical perfection, this music is loaded with feeling and evocative imagery making it just right for ritual or guided meditation.
   — Susan Warrick

NAPRA Review
Brothers David and Steve Gordon are well known for their mediation, space music, and nature recordings. On Sacred Earth Drums, they embrace the Native American Shamanic vision and let the beat lead the way. The rhythms are usually a 4/4 beat, but the Gordon's also offer the exotic embellishments and vital syncopation's of global rhythms. The haunting Native American Flute is the leader of the inner expedition, and rich synthesizer orchestrations with nature sounds, bring the whole experience alive. This is an excellent way for modern day people to feel the wisdom of ancient spiritual teachings.

Prolific and profound, brothers and musicians David and Steve Gordon incorporate colors and textures from all over the world in their music, capturing the spiritual root beneath all sounds, be they drums, flutes, bird calls, rain, or guitars. Sacred Earth Drums finds them bridging the gap between Native American shamanic-style drums, with play-along-at-home melodic signatures and a steady parade of natural color and instrumental shading. Pan pipes, wooden flutes, and classical guitars parade through the mist on their way past the sacred fire, which is surrounded by a solemn circle of drummers. The music here is healing and mysterious, rooting, comforting, and yet ancient and uncanny. Surrender to its moods and there's no telling how far you can dance into the outer space of the inner self.

The Native American pounding drumbeat and melodic wooden flute of "Sunset Ceremony" are so strong it takes awhile to realize that the shakers and cricket noises have blurred imperceptibly together over rain sticks and spirit rattles. "Call of the Medicine Drum" sets up a nice call-and-response between whispering wooden flute and classical guitar playing over low, rumbling synth chords and the thunderous drums of the title. Underneath it all the nighttime menagerie of birds and crickets and other natural ambience precede and end each track, giving the proceedings a campfire calmness; all of nature is with you. The birds are recorded so well you might feel they are inside your apartment, and so might your cats.

The vibe gradually grows mystical and otherworldly, with lonesome whippoorwills and rolling, whispering desert winds fading in and out of the steady, relentlessly flowing Native American drums for "Return Journey." When the return is made home, the journey over, there's still time for one last jam, with fretless bass and happily chirping morning birds with "Sun Rise in Peace," a final track to send everyone off to bed in a merry mood, the rhythms and pleasant feeling of physical exhaustion moving blissfully with the funky steel drum and rattles. No one is thinking about what tomorrow will bring; they're still in the moment, gradually disappearing into their tents until all that's left is a fire still burning fairly well, and the glimmer of pink along the eastern tree line slowly turning the black night on fire with the coming day. Whatever happens next, you'll be fine with Sacred Earth Drums coiling like a sleeping serpent in the warm nest of your CD changer, ready to! wake and work its rooting magic at a moment's notice.

Customer Comments

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

I've had this release for many years. When I'm feeling the need for some good ol' fashioned grounding, this is the one I reach for. It never fails to bring me back down to Earth. — Brandon Fayetteville, NC, United States

Spiritual Journey Awaken
My God! As I listened to the drums, I began to cry tears of joy like a burden had lifted! It's as if my ancestors where here in the room. As a Native American (Shinnecock Nation) the songs really hit home. The drums spoke to me in no other way I have ever felt before. —  Magsny Poughkeepsie, NY,

Relaxing and Comforting
It is music such as Sacred Earth Drums that makes my soul smile, laugh and dance! — Maria Anderson Petaluma, Ca,

Great for the whole family!
I wanted to let you know how much we truly enjoy Sacred Earth Drums, my daughters can not get enough of it. The first time my grandson listened to Native American music was this CD. We are from the Acoma Puelbo tribe in NM and currently live here in San Diego. Again thank you for the beautiful music that you have put together. — Diana Miller San Diego, CA,

Very Peaceful
I use Sacred Earth Drums for Shiatsu and massage. My clients love it! — Nurah Aleweidat

A wonderful soundtrack for my water birth.
I am writing to let you know that I have recently had the most wonderful water birth while playing your Sacred Earth Drums and using Bach Flower Essences & First Light Flower Essences, watching my beautiful little daughter swimming up to me with her eyes wide open was something I will remember with a crystal clear clarity. She is the most peaceful little soul. I thank you for touching our lives. — Victoria Hickman

At Last!
I have been searching for your music since I purchased Sacred Earth Drum years ago. I wanted you to know how much it helped while I was in childbirth in August last year. My midwife said it was a pure joy to watch and made her realize just why it was she became a midwife, to be present during the delivery of a beautiful new soul into the world. I also recently purchased Sacred Spirit Drums and I can't wait to purchase the rest of your material. Thank you for sharing your beautiful music with the world. — Kia Ora New Zealand,

Native Inspiration
Thank you for reawakening me to the music of my heritage and finding it so peaceful. — Marilou Jensen

Wonderful, peaceful and enlightening!
Sacred Earth Drums is my favorite drum music... It sings to my soul. — Honour Leigh Miami, FL, USA

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