Lush Landscapes in an Evocative Album as a Rhythmic Journey in Opium Moon’s Where We Are Gathered

Rhythmic drumbeats open and anchor “Through the Ages,” the first track on Opium Moon’s third album Where We Are Gathered. Lush, layered percussive elements combined with melodic strings rising and falling in rhythm showcase what this award-winning supergroup is known for creating. It feels fitting that we begin the musical journey of Opium Moon in “Through the Ages,” with a dance between rhythm and melody made up of sounds both ancient and contemporary; it shines with the timeless nature

The 10 tracks on Where We Are Gathered include powerful instrumentals, evocative lyrical compositions, and collaborations with other artists. We could call this world music, but that would only tell part of the story. This genre-defying music is the inspirational work of art we need right now….it allows not only our hearts but our souls to sing.

cover of Opium Moon album Where We Are Gathered

Timeless Global Music

Representing a truly global outlook in their background and artistry, Grammy Winning Opium Moon’s members all shine here. They feature: Iranian santoor master Hamid Saeidi, Israeli bassist Itai Disraeli, American percussionist M.B. Gordy, and Canadian-American violinist Lili Haydn. Their collaborations on We Are Gathered include Hengameh, Wouter Kellerman, Supreme Beings of Leisure, and Benjy Wertheimer.

This is an album that begs for us to savor it as accompaniment to the sacred journeys that are our lives. Its power allows for it to be the soundtrack to practice, to meditation, to prayer and contemplation, to the shamanic journey of the written word, to fill a home with the sacred. My first listen was with headphones on, immersed in the sonic stereo created by the layered recording. I listened alone, in a mood and space of recovery, and do not find it trivial to say that these songs are truly healing, hypnotic, and offer both hope and the possibility of whatever redemption we may be seeking.

“Metta Prayer Invocation” and “Metta Prayer” drop the listener into the spaces of the sacred, wherever the person listening may be. You don’t need to understand the words of the 2,600 year-old Buddhist prayer sung by Benjy Wertheimer in the ancient Indian language of Pali to feel the vibrations shared here.

There are moments in the flow of the album when to get up an dance feels like the perfect response, like in “The Mystery.” Supreme Beings of Leisure collaborate with Opium Moon on this track for a sensual journey. In “Love and Understanding,” we hear Lili Haydn’s vocalization of the central message, “There is no problem in the world that can’t be solved by more love and understanding.” We needed no proof before of her eclectic and multidimensional virtuosity, but we experience it here again.

members of band Opium Moon standing in front of a wall. Lili Haydn holding violin

Photo of Opium Moon by Dorit Theis

We Are Gathered

For many reasons, this album was recorded literally in layers. The artists describe how they began by layering the thematic percussive elements by Itai Disraeli and M.B. Gordy and then Lili Haydn and Hamid Saeidi improvised together upon this base. They evoked the thought that “where two of us are gathered,” they are still Opium Moon, giving the name for the album.

It is something we can all remember, wherever we are, however we are gathered, that through music, through song, through rhythm and harmonies, we are gathered. We are connected across time and space, across boundaries and barriers, across language and limitations. We can experience the sacred amidst the ordinary and we can feel the freedom within the song of our own heart.

This is an album that is meant to be owned, to be brought home, to be enjoyed as a sacred journey, to be listened to again and again.

Learn More About Opium Moon and We Are Gathered

Learn more about Opium Moon and buy the album on the band’s website. 


Woman Life Freedom with Opium Moon and Hengameh

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