Yoga and music. Do they have a lot in common? For Joshua Hall they do. Hall is an exceptional classical guitarist who plays live during yoga sessions. According to Hall “Each piece was developed through live improvisation to accompany different parts of elements of yoga classes. The album follows this basic form: warm up, flow, cool down, shavasana.” These songs can be heard on his recent release Between Us and the Sky.
I thought the recording of his guitar sounded great. You can hear the nuances of the guitar. It sounds rich and organic. The only minor complaint I have that you can hear him breathing a little bit too often. This was actually an issue I used to have when recording myself years ago. There are ways around this through mic positioning and advanced EQ and compression techniques. Perhaps the easiest way to mitigate breathing sounds is by using noise reduction plug-ins.
There are eight songs on this album but it really feels like one long track. I say that in a good way. There is an ebb and flow to the songs and no real need to skip around tracks. You can simply hit play and let it wash over you. The vibe is relaxing, serene and tranquil much like the album cover. That being said there are different shades throughout the album.
The opener “Asanasphere” is tranquil and serene but certainly has a hint of sweet melancholy while “Shakti Flow” is faster and more lively. The technical and creative ability continues to display itself on songs like “Prelude in Emajor,” “Sketch” and the slower moving highlights “Lacrymose” and “Evening.”
I’ll admit right now I’m not a yoga guy. I’ve been to yoga once with an ex-girlfriend and suffice it to say it’s not my thing. Luckily, I didn’t have to be to enjoy Between Us and the Sky. Whether you are into yoga or not Between Us and the Sky is an album that can be enjoyed by everyone.
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