New Rituals is exploring the relation between form and freedom, between modern Western culture and traditional Eastern culture, and between written and open musical material. The piece is written in three parts for (1) ensemble and a chant-choir, (2) ensemble, and (3) solo bass.
The three parts are all rooted in and based on the same source material: 10 ancient Zen Buddhist sutras, or chants. The music is presenting Buddhist philosophy in a nutshell: What we experience as an independent self is in reality inseparable from everything else and is always changing. Furthermore the music is questioning the necessity of form as a means to experience freedom. This might hold true for music as well as other aspects of our lives.
"Put on the circuit via Norway's Nakama Records on May 24th, 2k19 is "New Rituals", the new extended album piece created by Christian Meeas Svendsen in collaboration with his band Nakama and a zen buddhist choir based in the Rinzai Zen Center Oslo. With all three parts being based on the same source material and a highly conceptual compositional approach we see the ten zen buddhist sutras performed by Nakama and the buddhist choir on the first disc, creating hypnotic hypertension from the very first notes of the opener "Lotus Sutra" onwards, a piece in which intense chants and a crescendo of FreeJazz-resembling conceptual compositions fall together without allowing the listener one second to breathe - let alone over the course of the whole first disc's total runtime of 37 minutes. Part two sees Nakama performing the specific patterns assigned to each part of the chants solely instrumental and without vocal company which clarifies the compositional approach by far and, even though no specific time signature is assigned to the groups performance, allows for a certain rhythmic structure to come through in this slightly reduced and more restrained take on the subject which surely will be appreciated by both followers of Jazz (Noir) and Contemporaty Classical as well before Christian Meaas Svendsen's interpretation of the topic fully focuses on a (Neo)Classical vision, mainly on minimal bass playing providing enough room for silence and contemplation within the given parameters of his predetermined compositional interpretations of the buddhist sutras. A well demanding album for followers of highly conceptual music, this." - Nitestylez