Steven Chesne | Sapient

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New Age: Neo-Classical World: World Fusion Moods: Spiritual
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by Steven Chesne

Ancient, precious words of peace from Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, the Sikhs, the Hindu, the Jews, the Cheyenne, the Kikuyu, and the Baha'i - all set to magically unique music, and then ... all combined together in the end, in blissful counterpoint.
Genre: New Age: Neo-Classical
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Invocation to the Infinite (Kikuyu)
1:53 $0.99
2. Words of the Kikuyu: Peace Be with Us
2:52 $0.99
3. Words of Buddha: Let a Boundless Love for All Beings Grow Inside You
4:49 $0.99
4. Words of Lao Tzu: Weapons Are Instruments of Fear
2:20 $0.99
5. Words of Mohammed: Oh God, You Are Peace
3:49 $0.99
6. Words of the Kikuyu: May Peace Reign
2:56 $0.99
7. Words of the Jews: Create Peace and Compassion
3:59 $0.99
8. Words of the Hindu: May We Ourselves Be Peace
3:31 $0.99
9. Words of the Baha'i: Oneness of Humanity
7:38 $0.99
10. Words of Buddha: Let Your Love Flow Through the Universe
4:28 $0.99
11. Words of Jesus: Love Your Enemies
3:01 $0.99
12. Words of the Cheyenne: Let Us Know Peace, Pt. 1
1:51 $0.99
13. Words of the Cheyenne: Let Us Know Peace, Pt. 2
2:40 $0.99
14. Words of the Cheyenne: Let Us Know Peace, Pt. 3
2:45 $0.99
15. Words of the Sikhs: Recognize Humanity as One Family
5:47 $0.99
16. Words of Lao Tzu: Victory Is a Funeral
2:31 $0.99
17. Words of the Hindu: The Nature of the Divine Is Peace
4:52 $0.99
18. Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot
6:04 $0.99
19. Nyansapo: The Wisdom Knot (Soft Mix)
6:03 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Imagine otherworldly songs from 10 different spiritual world traditions, all combined in counterpoint, overlaying one another.

Composer Steven Chesne spent a year unearthing ancient, precious peace invocations and prayers from all over the world: words of the oneness of mankind, spoken by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, the Sikhs, the Hindu, the Jews, the Cheyenne, the Kikuyu, and the Baha'i. After studying the deeper meanings and pronunciation with linguists, monks, clergy, and scholars, each one was set to music in Chesne's magically unique style and recorded with gifted vocalists from around the world.

Each tradition is represented by its own song, with varying degrees of influence from world traditions mixed with the magically unique colors of Chesne's unusual style of contemporary composition.

But here's the "twist":

In the finale ("Nyansapo - the Wisdom Knot"), phrases from all of the traditions are interwoven together - one on top of another - in a web of blissful counterpoint, accompanied by the orchestra



to write a review

Steve Sheppard

From One World Music Radio
The effort, desire and commitment shown by Chesne, has pulled off something in music that the denizens on the planet have failed to do since the birth of time, bring all the faith and belief systems of the world together in one room, and create a musical compilation of peace.
This thought provoking project is amazing and the construction of this release requires an open heart and mind and a willingness to enjoy being part of the experience.
Invocation to the infinite (Kikuyu) this begins our spiritual journey in human form. We start with Africa and the Kikuyu being the largest group in Kenya, this imploring beginning paves our way with fine ethnic vocals to guide our way.
This is an album that weaves its way through cultures and faiths and manifests for our attention the aspect of peace for us to sample. Peace Be with Us by the Kikuyu, adds to the aforementioned Invocation, with the words of the Kikuyu returning in track six with May Peace Reign.
Being one who follows the path of peace, I found the Words of the Buddha (Let a Boundless Love for All Beings Grow inside You) fulfilling in every aspect, it is a composition that completely resonated with me. The smooth but tranquil energy of this piece floated over me, in an almost symphonic way.
A note needs to be made to the world, from the repeating mantra of the Lao Tzu, with the composition; Weapons are Instruments of Fear, a sensitive piece, with a plea that needs no longer to fall on deaf ears. Mariani Shuilan May brings her vocal talent to bear later on within the album with another Lao Tzu composition called Victory is a Funeral.
Words of Mohammed, With Oh God, You are Peace, contains a real sense of the power and glory within its tones and words, but the production adds an essence of mystery and drama too, in what is a compelling song to listen to.
The hairs on the back of my neck literally stood up whilst listening to this next piece, Words of the Jews - Create Peace and Compassion. The vocals of Thomas Segen are some of the most breath taking and emotive I have heard for a few years. The almost ethereal tones of Segen simply blew me away, but Chesne has to one of the finest composers of his day to create a moment of genius like this.
The Words of the Hindu can be heard on the following compositions, May We Ourselves Be Peace and The Nature of the Divine is Peace. This took me back a few years to a release called Monsoon Point by Al Gromer Khan, which had a very similar feel about it, that piece was an hour long and if the mesmerizing vocals of Sudakshina Alagia had of taken us that distance to, I would have not been displeased, truly magnificent indeed.
The longest piece off the release, is the song Words of the Baha‘i, Oneness of Humanity. The principals of the Baha‘i faith are based on unity and of course world peace among other attributes. This is yet another powerful composition by the master composer, enhanced by the incredible voice of Taraneh Sakurai.
Our last Words of the Buddha are offered to us by the Ven. Attidiye Pugnagnarathana, whose solo is so deeply empowering on the piece, Let Your Love Flow Through the Universe. I have taken part in chanting some Buddhist mantras in the past, and I can tell you that the energy that flows from them is incredible, much like this piece, full flowing and undeniably inspiring.
As we move into the latter half of the album we come across the most delicate offering from the release, sung with great intent and emotion by the young Natalie Shtangrud. Words of Jesus - Love Your Enemies. The composition expands on the teaching of Jesus and his desire to see if we learn from those who hurt us the most. Chesne’s work as a composer here is sublime and creates a vast feel to the music that is both imploring and sensitive.
We now have a moment close to my heart; I spent many years working with Native American spiritual leaders, but never met anyone from the Cheyenne nation, so it’s a privilege and an honour to listen to these next three compositions entitled Words of the Cheyenne - Let Us Know Peace Parts 1, through to Part 3. It is also nice to note that an old friend of ours here at One World Music Radio in Steven Rushingwind performs admirably not only on flute, but also on solo vocals. Chesne has manifested something special here; one can feel the essence of the ancients as they call down for us to know peace. The added percussive native drum added a further dimension to this simply outstanding trio of arrangements.
A masterful performance can be found on Words of the Sikhs - Recognize Humanity as One Family. The creation of composition by Steven Chesne creates a truly balanced and harmonic resonating opus of a track and partnered supremely by the ever so talented Bhai Jaswant Singh Zira, brings us a piece that is not just good, its truly liberating.
The path has led us finally to the door of the last track which is entitled Nyansapo - The Wisdom Knot, there is also a soft mix to this piece as well, these are a combination of all 10 faiths and tracks, well why not, one world, one voice right? This must have taken Chesne ages to work out; it’s an incredible pastiche of everything we have just heard, proving perhaps that we really are all related.
Sapient is one of the most original and unique albums I have ever heard, this cantata of peace is something that this planet needs and right now, it’s a move in the right direction, but Sapient proves one thing I have been saying all of my life, music is the one truth that unites us all, and this album substantiates that theory. Steven Chesne is a composer and musician of great quality, perhaps even genius in motion, and his Sapient project offers up an opportunity for us all, to finally realise that the beauty of peace can not only be found in music, but within our very hearts as well, this is a must purchase album for the entire world, without doubt.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
Subtitled “A Cantata of Peace,” Steven Chesne’s "Sapient" is a collection of peace invocations and prayers from all over the world. Chesne spent a year unearthing these ancient words that speak of the oneness of mankind, words that were spoken by Buddha, Lao Tzu, Jesus, Mohammed, the Sikhs, the Hindu, the Jews, the Cheyenne, the Kikuyu, and the Baha’i. Chesne then worked with historians, translators, clergy, monks, gurus, rabbis, imams, scholars, and linguists to study the complexity and depth of the meanings of these sacred writings. Each of the invocations or prayers has its own song, most of which reflect the musical traditions of their origins. Each song is sung or chanted in its original form. It is truly fascinating to discover how similar the prayers and invocations are despite the wide-ranging differences in time and place. I’m sure that’s the whole point of this impressive musical creation - that a quest for peace is a powerful unifying force and that all of humanity needs to come together to make peace a way of life and to understand just how united we could be as human beings.

"Sapient" translates as “1. wise, possessing or manifesting great wisdom 2. pertaining to the human species (Homo sapiens).” Despite the wide variety of cultures, languages and musical traditions that are represented in the nineteen tracks, the album is very cohesive. I thought it was interesting that in the finale, titled “Nyansapo - The Wisdom Knot,” phrases from all of the traditions are woven together - one on top of another - accompanied by the orchestra. The CD includes a 24-page booklet that contains the original prayers and invocations as well as translations of each.

Steven Chesne has been creating music for the media and concert halls for more than 35 years and has composed the scores for more than 300 episodes of prime-time network television shows. He has scored 17 independent feature films and has composed music in a multitude of genres. In 1993, he was the first person to record an extended symphonic concert work for 80 players using multi-track digital technology.