Sonaljit is an artist who was born in India and moved to Boston to pursue his Ph.D. in physics. Along the way he picked up a passion for music and recently released an album entitled Dreaming the Afterlife, which is an instrumental album of contemporary/new age and world music. I’ll be frank that I’m not too crazy about this genre but the instrumental work on this album is so technically mesmerizing that if you have an appreciation for music I find it hard pressed to say you won't be able to get any enjoyment out of this. His skills on the piano, strings and just about everything else are exceptional. To add more bragging rights the entire album was composed, orchestrated, recorded, mixed and mastered in his home studio. Meaning this is all Sonaljit from top to bottom.
The albums starts with the tranquil title track “Dreaming the Afterlife,” which has a nice interplay between an eastern wind instrument and a piano. The drums add some progression but I would have been just as enamored with the song with just the first two instruments. “A Recall Before Silence” contains some of the best piano work on the album while “Nodi Ontoheen (River Endless)” makes use of gorgeous sounding classical acoustic guitars. “The Road To Limelight” is full of orchestral swells and a cascading piano that feels more like a river than a road as it takes you downstream.
As the album progresses each song is detailed, nuanced and unapologetic in its delivery. The album closes with “Colors of the World” which is the highlight of the album. It is a percussive heavy song sounding distinctly full of energy.
While it’s easy to appreciate his skill sometimes it’s not as easy to enjoy the contemporary new age vibe, which can be a bit much to listen to. Let’s just say this music won't fall into any hipster approved top 10 lists as this has much more in common with Mike Oldfield than Arcade Fire. That being said his music is cinematic, sometimes emotional and would make great use in a blockbuster movie.
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