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Lifetime Visions Orchestra: Vision Festival 2002

Lifetime Visions Orchestra’s live recording Vision Festival 2002 (Jyaku Sound) is an unrepentant throwback to the ’60s. The orchestra, under the direction of Joseph Jarman, unearths a decades-old formula for spiritual sounds: the combination of ethnic vamps, gongs and flutes with New Agey chants and wailing, theatrical vocals. Over the near-constant pinging of tiny bells, vocalists Thomas Buckner and Chris Chalfant assume earnest tones and sing out on topics including but not limited to peace, vibrations and floating through the universe. Left with little else to do, instrumentalists seldom move beyond crafting chiming and occasionally dissonant accompaniment for the vocalists. For listeners willing to dig, there are some shiny stones underneath the first couple layers. Jarman himself as well as trumpeter Steven Bernstein manage to slip in some notable solos. But be forewarned: You’re gonna have to really dig.

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