Reviews

Earth Songs - Native Spirit Chants

Healing Music
Finally, on time for the festival Felix new CD „Earth Songs“ is released. And what a surprise: The choirboy reactivates his E-guitar and competes Santana! Really cool!
A great gentle-sounding rock disc. Indian Spirit songs - sometimes with Raggae Grooves - sometimes in the classical Hammond organ sound overlayed from howling guitar riffs. Superb orchestrated and chanted. Felix was assisted by Peter Blue (e-guitar), Elisabeth Star (Hammond Organ), the Raggae singer "Yell" as well as from the Cherokee Laurinda Reynolds.
Listening Tipp: Fly like an eagle
Mariam Sura (Visonen 2007)

Gayatri - Prayer to the rising sun

Prayer to the Rising Sun
DailyOM - November 16, 2010
Gayatri - Prayer to the Rising Sun
Felix Maria Woschek and Friends
1998
German musician Felix Maria Woschek is the kind of figure people hear live and become forever changed. Celebrated for reinterpreting and quietly electrifying an array of devotional chant-based music, from Jewish and Sufi mantras to Indian bhajans and Gregorian chants, Woschek refuses to limit himself to one religion or path. He follows
his own inner guru, celebrating through the intensity, beauty, and reverence of his music. The album's title, Gayatri, is the feminine manifestation of the Brahman. Her name in
Sanskrit translates as "Ga," which means to sing, and "yatri," or protection, thus "Gayatri"—the "mother of the vedas"—expresses the concept of singing both for and as protection. Gayatri is also a song of purification and a reverent and joyous welcome of the new day and dawn. With his deep but fluid and relaxed voice, Woschek stays focused on the Sanskrit words of the mantra, the music around him rooted by tamboura, the beautifully understated sarod of Jens Egert, and moments of everything from
keyboard and flute to didgeridoo. It's deeply mystical but also as familiar as a half remembered dream, a beautiful call not just to the dawn, but to the deep areas of the soul that connect us to each other and to all history. Starting out with sitar, ringing tamboura, and spine-tingling chimes, the hour-long "prayer" expands outward into the divine on giant, slow buzzing Tibetan singing-bowl drones that vibrate through the soul, looking for dark spots to enlighten. A giant unearthly didgeridoo (by Kailash) comes rolling, and flutes howl off in the distance like the call of hawks slowly melting into rays of the setting sun. Eventually night approaches, and gusts of wind and crashing waves open up the mind to exhilaration and centeredness.
Throughout Woschek's voice is relaxed and effortlessly vibrating out along the horizon with
the long extended vowels of Gayatri. Meant to be listened to for its full hour-plus length, it's perfect.

Aquarius Music Journal, 9/98

Felix Maria Woschek believes in productions that are both elaborate and inspired. He is also proverbially able to carry the growing number of visitors to his concerts away with him. The many enthusiastic and grateful letters he receives show that he is able to give people something important with his music and performances.
His interpretation of the Gayatri radiates an intense calm, emphasised by soft instrumentation (including a didgeridoo by Kailash). The more often you hear it, the deeper the impression it makes on you. A milestone and a door-opener to the divine element within you.

Blessings - The Joy of Divine Love

A new direction
With "Blessings", Woschek sets off in a new direction. Anyone familiar with his work to date is bound to be surprised by this CD. He is given powerful vocal support from the Gospel singer Mira Bai Henderson. His music comes over as all in all rather more trendy than usual, emphasised particularly by the decision to arrange pieces by the ex-Beatle George Harrison. Harrison did concern himself for a time very much with Indian philosophy and life-styles, and during this phase composed pieces like "My Sweet Lord" or "While my Guitar Gently Weeps". The famous Indian musician Sultan Khan who plays on "Blessings" already performed with George Harrison in those days.
Mira B. Henderson not only supports Felix M. Woschek in the singing, but also contributed the texts of the title piece, "Blessings", and of "Who am I?".
Despite all the new elements in this CD, Woschek has also arranged traditional Hebrew verses and Gregorian liturgy. It is always a matter of concern to him, he says, to combine traditions with one another that bring religions together, and he has definitely succeeded in this aim with "Blessings", where he combines the black Gospel style with Hebrew elements.

Claudia Hötzendorfer

Gospodi - The Light of Christ

Gospodi
DailyOM  - June 2, 2011
Gospodi The Light of Christ
1997
The Jesus Christ of Gospodi: The Light of Christ isn‘t the flaxen-haired martyr of Sunday schools and cathedral walls. He is not really a historical figure at all. In the musical Eden of Gospodi: The Light of Christ, German New Age musician & composer Felix Maria Woschek envisions Jesus as the embodiment of many ideals, the essence of teachings that resonate with many of the world‚s great spiritual traditions.
You can hear Woschek‘s years of travel and study in the way that Gospodi filters Christian liturgy through multiple cultural lenses, like afternoon light streaming through the stained-glass window of a church. Woschek‘s point is that it‘s all the same light. Jesus preached unity and healing, concepts enshrined in eastern and western religions for millennia. 

Deep chants of the Russian word „Gospodi“ (literally „Lord“ in Russian) usher us into the ancient-sounding space of the opening track, „Gospodi I Am in the Light.“ The chant is a central prayer of the Russian Orthodox Church, but these overlapping vocal drones mingle with the sounds of far distant religious traditions too. An Indian singer colors the keyboard drone with vocal curlicues, intertwining with a sensual sarangi; eleven minutes in, and sufi drums bring a slow pulse to the track, bringing our heartbeats in sync with the liturgical headspace that Woschek and Co. have created. While the entire piece is 33 minutes, it could last forever. This is more than music. It is access to a realm of light and sound.


„Hallelujah The Light Is in Me“ immerses the Hebrew mantra of the title into a backdrop of Celtic flute and hammer dulcimer. Messages of „May peace prevail on earth“ ride in and out among resonant chanting. It‘s a simple expression of well-wishing, even more powerful for its multicultural thrust.
But Gospodi‘s light is nowhere more directly felt than on the closing „Kyrie I Am the Light“. We are swallowed by its droning tonalities, dazzled by the light of its sarangi, hammer dulcimer, and soprano saxophone textures. By the end of the track‘s 22 minutes something transformative happens. As the spiritually imbued music pours into us, we in turn pour into the music, becoming one with it. That oneness with the divine spirit is an essential trope of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, and, indeed, Christianity. It‘s one that Woschek helps us learn through music.


Aquarius Music Journal, 1998:

The most distinctive singer of the New Age and his friends have produced a new masterpiece of modern spiritual song culture. The focal point of these acoustically recorded compositions is the traditional mantras of the Christian liturgy combined with the concepts of oriental music. The successful combination of occidental and oriental musical traditions makes the idea of a global spiritual concept appear to be a real possibility.

Ganga - River of Love

Healing Music
Felix Maria Woschek & Friends: "Ganga - River of Love". CD, 54 minutes.
The meditative experience that your innermost being is expanding, immensely expanding, can also be experienced when you are listening to the work of Felix Maria Woschek.Together with musicians from other cultures the musician and artist from Freiburg composes healing music. Joachim-Ernst Berendt commented on his CD
"So Ham Sai Love": "What the listener actually experiences is a deep, releasing spirituality". This is what opens my spiritual eye when listening: The imagined bounds are becoming transparent, are dispersing.

Plain and simple

Already one of his earlier works, "Gospodi", dedicated to Jesus Christ, accompanied me through many nights. Now, there is "Ganga": also infinitely calm, expanding songs, carried by flowing guitar play, sarangi, some synthesizer, drums and meditatively performed bhajans, never slipping into the kitschy-sweet but remaining plain and simple. The longest piece, "OM Mata" is sung to honour Haidakhan. Due to the conflict about Kashmir that is flaring up once again between Pakistan and India, "Rama Rama" has become more relevant than ever before, because God is called on as Allah as well as Rama.

Conclusion

You will find a lot of esoteric CDs on the market, only few, however, are truly spiritual works, and "Ganga" belonging to the latter category. For further information, please visit www.woschek.com

Inga Veit
104 | GERMAN YOGA-FORUM 1/2002

Mystic Dance

Filled with the Spirit of the Highest
Felix Maria Woschek, the musician who lives in Freiburg, as already produced and published his own small series of CDs which are without comparison if only on account of their appearance. In addition to this, there is a musical experience in store for the listener the sheer depth of which he or she can only perceive after listening to it for a number of times. Woschek defines himself as a multi-cultural artist; his music is intended to be a message of peace and testimony to the all-unity of mankind, Nature, and the cosmos. In his music he blends sacred songs form the world religions and presents them mainly in the so-called bhajan style. Woschek and his fellow-musicians regard their music as a bearer of light, love, and peace. The danger that the mantras presented here, which are after all meant to be recited inwardly, drift away into the banal area of kitsch, certainly does not exist in the case of the "Mystic Dance". "Mystic Dance" is borne along by the throbbing of the divine, and is in my opinion an important contribution to spiritual understanding between the peoples of the world.

Woschek's latest CD, "Karuna", contains four longer pieces described as "Devotional Songs".
One point deserving special mention is the collaboration of the world-famous Sultan Khan (vocal and sarangi), which inevitably gives "Karuna" an Indian touch. The four pieces are remarkably intensive and filled with the Spirit of the Highest.

"Mystic Dance" and "Karuna" /
Mathias Grassow
(Esotera 3/96)

Karuna - Devotional Songs

"Karuna" The Call of the Sarangi!
The sarangi is the Indian violin, an instrument which wakens the spiritual longing in us and conjures up images of ancient India. Woschek recorded this CD together with the well known Indian violin player Sultan Khan. The recordings radiate a harmony of east and west that is rarely so successful.
The 25-minute long "Ya Qayyum" is particularly suitable for carrying its listeners away into a deep trance. A CD for sacred, living moments which invites the listener to join in and sing.

Mandala 14/95

Amba - A Love Chant "Bestseller"

Amba – A Love Chant
Amba - A Love-Chant reviewed by DailyOM in 2010
Spirituality is ingrained in Eastern culture, and has drawn seekers, worshippers, and students for many years. It certainly attracted German multi-instrumentalist Felix Maria Woschek, who came to the vast perfumed expanses of India to study its music. There he began his longtime collaboration with Ustad Sultan Khan. Khan is part of a generation of Indian musicians who have strong classical backgrounds and are unafraid to incorporate them in their embracing of newer genres, reciprocating the sentiments of the Western musicians. Trained in the sarangi (a classical Indian stringed instrument) by his musician father Ustad Gulab Khan, Khan has been performing since age 11; his debut concert was at the All Indian Conferences. He is the receiver of numerous awards, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award, given by India's National Academy of Music. 

The two have collaborated on various projects for Woschek's own label, Woschek Spiritual Sounds. The musicians' desire to give with their music is apparent in their 1996 album Amba: A Love Chant. There is love in both tracks of this album, that for the divine mother and that for the people of Tibet, with each song inspiring you to carry out acts of love and compassion toward others. In the 45-minute "Amba," electric guitar and saxophone blend seamlessly with sarangi and strings to serenade the holy feminine power that is Amba. Male and female vocals join together in harmony, allowing both sexes to sing praises to and benefit from the presence of this universal mother. 

"Free Tibet" has a more somber reverential tone though the intent of love and respect is no less prevalent. Low, guttural chants create a resonating bassline that hints mournfully at the loss of human rights, while deep male vocals echo and reverberate at a higher frequency, instilling a sense of awe for the history and spiritual culture that comes from Tibet. Though slow and solemn, the echoes of voices and high-hitting string notes create a sense of balance and hope. 

Amba reviewed by “Odysse” Aug. 2002:

This is quite simply a wonderful CD to enjoy in group singing, therapeutic purposes or quiet introspective work. The magically unifying factor is the Sanskrit mantra being sung. The mantra praises the female aspect of God as a mother and protector, and a source of
love and sympathy. Brilliantly, and in a most enchanting manner, one is transported into another world of healing and wonder. A world that is very gentle indeed, and the repetitive nature of song, sound and melody is very conducive to meditation. Track two, “Free Tibet”, is somewhat different. An interesting interpretation of the Om Mani Padme Hum,
combined with original Tibetan chanting, is very meditative in quality.
This beautiful illustrated CD is pleasing to the touch and eye, and comes highly recommended for the discerning listener.

Soham Sai Love - Healing Bhajans for the Heart

Ancient Vedic faith
"Felix Maria Woschek's beautiful, warm voice sings ancient, Vedic songs of faith in a way that brings them into a European spiritual landscape. (...) Ultimately it is quite unimportant which religion the singing celebrates. Who knows God needs no religion. The experience that really overcomes the listener is a deep, satisfying faith. The Indian mantras that Woschek sings become a "vehicle" for everything that they "transport": liberation, love, peace, grace, bliss. "The true significance", as Woschek says, "cannot be appreciated by any translation, but only in the heart itself." Nevertheless, a sensitively worded explanation is provided to help the listener to understand each of the mantras.
I was most particularly moved by the title piece, "So Ham", the great mantra of one-ness so urgently recommended by Muktananda. Woschek sings it with an urgency that tells the listener: "Thou art this ... Thou art the universe ...
Thou art God ... In Thee are all things ... ".

Joachim Ernst Berendt

Chanting

your opinion
If you want to be the first to review this album you are welcome.

Please send your review to: music (at) woschek.com
thank you!




Soul Journey

Spuren / Herbst 2016

Schlicht berührend


Von alters her gibt es bei uns die Unterscheidung zwischen weltlicher und sakraler Musik, in der deutschen Sprache wird Letztere auch bezeichnet als – bitte nicht weglaufen – »geistliche« Musik. In der Sparte geht es um Kirchenlieder und der gleichen. Wer denkt, das sei jetzt aber echt Schmalspur, sei daran erinnert, dass große Meister der klassischen Musik wie Bach, Mozart oder Bruckner sich nie zu schade waren, Messen und andere liturgische Werke für kirchlichen Gebrauch zu komponieren. Immerhin ist bei dieser Musik die Ausrichtung klar: es geht um die Verherrlichung Gottes und eine Öffnung des Menschen für die höhere Dimension.

Ist das eine gute Einleitung für Felix Maria Woschek? Das würde ich meinen. Die CDs des in Portugal lebenden mystischen Musikers mögen im Handel vielleicht unter »Welt« und »Meditation« zu finden sein, doch mit Soul Journey (Silenzio), seiner neuen Produktion, sind diese Kategorien definitiv zu eng geworden. Kommt hinzu, dass die Hälfte dieser vier langen Stücken dem Kanon der westlichen geistlichen Musik entstammen. Davon später.

Zunächst will ich versuchen, das gut halbstündige Titelstück zu beschreiben. Es entwickelt sich aus einem gemächlich vorgetragenen Intro mit Tambura und Obertongesang, dass eine Weite schafft, die ihresgleichen sucht. Eine Flöte setzt ein, umschmeichelt eine Melodie, die sich nach und nach abzeichnet. Das OM geht über in ein Herz-Mantra, dass der Musiker aus einem alten bulgarischen Lied ableitete. Mit einem getrommelten Rhythmus leitet der Sänger schließlich über zum alten hebräischen Y-H-W-H, dem kabbalistischen Code zu den unfasslichen Namen Gottes.

Damit nicht genug. Es folgt ein Ave Maria, satt unterlegt durch Streicher und Bläser in Moll. Ich muss gestehen, dass ich dieses Stück und das anschließende Kyrie Eleyson zunächst übersprungen habe. Meine Güte, jetzt singe ich mit, schmelze und schwelge in der weiblichen Herz-Qualität, die Felix Maria Woschek damit lauteren Herzens und jenseits aller religiösen Bekenntnisse würdigt und preist. Für seine neue Produktion hat sich der weit gereiste Musiker, der rund um die Welt in unterschiedlichen Konstellationen an Friedensfestivals auftritt, in seiner Wahlheimat alleine ins Studio zurückgezogen. Aufgewühlt von der Not der Welt habe er sich auf das besonnen, worauf er sich verstehe und was er zugeben habe. Fürwahr. Soul Journey ist Balsam auf die schwärenden Wunden unserer Zeit.

Felix Maria Woschek zaubert aus Herzmusik Balsam für die Welt.