Marco Dolce is a muscian, composer, sacred sound practioner, and Disciple of the Bowls. Xumantra pronounced (shoo-MAN-tra) is the taken name Marco has given himself. Music theory and composition were mastered at Rutgers University under the quidance of the New York composer Philip Corner. Xumantra centers around singing bowls, gongs, and other sacred and traditional percussion instruments. Because the music is global in its cultural influences (including sounds and styles from Tibet, China, Indonesia, Africa, and the Caribbean, in addition to more familiar Western tonalities), it also draws upon diverse spiritual influences such as (Tibetan and Zen Buddhism, Native American and Afro-Caribbean shamanism).
All the instruments on this recording are of ancient origin; there are no synthesizers or digital sources of any kind, except for some minimal reverb used to induce space that was not physically available in the recording studio. These sounds can truly awaken cellular memory and can even induce altered atates, and can heal as well as delight.
Unlike other Tibetan Bell tapes or CDs Dolce has a deep reverence for the space between the sounds made by the bowls allowing the mind to rest, and go deeper into the mystery realms these singing bowls were surly intended for in their sacred ceremonial practices.
All the singing bowls on this recording are authentic old voices, museum quality pieces, many of which are centuries old. The personal collection of bowls that Dolce has assembled enables different sets and grouping of bowls that sing together in various ways. Some assembled sets produce familiar Western modalities, and some sets challenge the Western ear of many tonal assumptions. Many of the compositions are structured around the modality of a specific sets of bowls.
There are three basic methods used to produce sound from a singing bowl; by striking it with a padded mallet; by rubbing around the lip of the bowl with a wodden dowel, much in the way a finger is rubbed around a wine glass (bowls that play well in this fashion are called "spinners"); and by laying them upside down and striking them with a mallet. This last produces a sound that resembles a gamelan or steel drums. All of these methods are employed on Xumantra's Sacred Singing Metals.