Michael Stearns
& Ron Sunsinger,
Singing Stones
(Hearts of Space, 1994)

Here is a unique music, the likes of which you have never heard. These men took equipment that was designed to record vibrations within the Earth near volcanoes and recorded the sounds of rocks "singing." They discovered that a wide variety of sounds could be produced by striking or stroking rocks with different items, including their hands and other rocks. Each combination produces a distinct sound.

Stearns and Sunsinger recorded the rocks on a portable digital audio system. They carried the recording back to their studio and combined the "rock songs" with Native American sound effects and singing. Among the sound effects are songs and snippets of songs from the Lakota, Hopi, Cahuilla and Zuni tribes.

This CD defies description. There is nothing like it and I can think of nothing to remotely compare it to. I suspect this will be a CD you either love or hate. Personally, I love it and find it quite pleasing as background sound for working. However, I can see where some people might say it gets on their last nerve. Perhaps you need to be in tune with Mother Nature to appreciate it.

If you are not already in tune with nature, this would be an excellent starting point. Take a walk through the woods, pick up the rock that beckons to you and rub it while listening to this CD. Think about how the sounds were made by rocks just like the one you are holding. It is a humbling experience. We humans are so small and insignificant in this vast universe. That seems to be the message of this CD.

Regardless of your opinion of the music, you have to admire the composition. There is an extreme depth to all the pieces with a wide variety of sounds layered on top of each other. It pulls you into its depth, especially when the chanting is added in the background, as if at some great distance, perhaps on the next mesa.

This CD is haunting. If rocks can sing....

- Rambles
written by Alicia Karen Elkins
published 8 May 2004

Buy it from Amazon.com.