Torkom Saraydarian & The High Mountain Band – Music From Mountains, Rivers and Oceans
Torkom Saraydarian was a Turkish-born spiritual teacher of Armenian descent who spent his last years in Sedona, Arizona. There he built a following for his “Teachings of the Ageless Wisdom” and also recorded a lot of music. Most of this music consists of solo piano work with an introspective, eastern quality, and there are numerous releases still available through the TSG Foundation’s website at www.tsgfoundation.org.
This LP predates the music mentioned above, having been recorded and released privately in 1978, and is credited to The High Mountain Band. As the liner notes on the back cover of the LP state: “This music has its origins in Asia. It is inspired by great mountains, lakes and rivers and is charged with great spiritual aspirations.”
With the exception of one traditional folkdance (Hary Lolo), all of the music was composed by Saraydarian between 1975 and 1978, who contributes guitar and piano, along with vocals on several tracks. Several of the songs on the LP remind me a bit of some of the things Popol Vuh were doing at the time, as well as some of the more introspective Greek music I’ve heard from the period. Asatoma Satgamaya is one such track, and is described as being “a very ancient Sanskrit prayer.” Avira Virma Yeti is another Sanskrit prayer set to Saraydarian’s music with vocals by Marcia Barnum, Katherine Hendon and Torkom Saraydarian. The final track on the LP is Waterfalls, a 1978 solo piano composition by Saraydarian, which seems to point the way toward the music he would later create.