Celtic Spirit: This is a pure new age arrangement with modern influences like synthesizers, keyboards and the Western drum kit, but the music itself is founded in Irish tradition. Listen for the sweet-voiced chorus in the style of Enya, the nostalgic penny whistle and occasional interruptions by fast, cheerful interludes in the style of traditional Irish dancing like Riverdance.
Ikarus: With thirteen years of programming experience, Ikarus here sets Bulgarian singing against a background of smooth electronica. This is ambient trip hop with strong ethnic roots. Ikarus is a sound programmer who plays keyboards, didgeridoo and is influenced by groups like Deep Forest, Enigma, and Adiemus.
Govinda: Govinda is the brainchild of classically trained musician Shane O'Madden from Austin, Texas. He intertwines gypsy-style violin, vocal chant and guitar melodies (along with subtle Celtic, Indian, southern Spanish and Middle Eastern elements) with layers of trip hop and drum n' bass grooves. It's an innovative hybrid sound that rides the crest of a wave and sits on the cutting edge.
Angelique Kidjo: An innovative interpretation of George and Ira Gershwin's famous tune from the opera Porgy and Bess, Angelique Kidjo transforms Summertime into swingin' Afro-pop by using funky, ethnic rhythms and vocals. Although she hails from Benin, West Africa, Kidjo also studied jazz in Paris and endeavors to draw influences from all world music. One of Africa's most successful crossover artists, Kidjo sings her songs in Fon, Yoruba, Mina, English and French.
Yasué: A laid-back, electronic creation polished with sharp vocals, rhythms to trick you and samples as surreal as a drop of water, an echo in a canyon or a weeping call out of an abyss. This is a free, strolling piece of music out of the hands of Japanese artist, Yasué, with a reminder of something haunting, something real and something true.
Krishna Das: A chant to the Hindu god, Shiva, taken from an ancient prayer sung by the Indian father and teacher of the artist, Krishna Das. Recorded in the foothills of the Himalayas in 1995 at a sacred Shiva temple, the chant is backed by flute, African drums, clapping, shakers and dumbek. Driven by upbeat percussion, there is an unmistakable quality to the low, rich, solo voice that inspires as if it means to open the inner eye of the listener's heart.
Natacha Atlas: Let the full, voluptuous French vocals of this Belgian-Moroccan serenade and caress you with emotional calling in the style of Eastern and Indian singing driven by dance/dub rhythms and programmed beats. It's Arabic. It's Asian. It's dance. It's pop. It's deeply sexual and passionate. Natacha Atlas skirts a broad range of musical influences in one giant, intoxicating swoop.
Julia Taylor Stanley and Miriam Stockley: British composer Julia Taylor Stanley wrote Brave New World and singer Miriam Stockley delivers it wholeheartedly in a clear, streamlined voice with the help of a chorus singing in African tongue. It's a moving song � in a more pop-oriented style � filled with a tranquillity that approaches floating ecstasy.
Primal Instinct: Inspired by their travels through the Peruvian rainforest, Alexander Baker and Clair Marlo have created a sonic landscape reflecting the emotions experienced in that magical place. Drawing influence from native Andean instrumental music as well as from their own folk backgrounds, this is the lush sound of nature interwoven with the distant beat of drums and the gentle, light touch of a flute.
Bryan Miller: This music is inspired by Wycliffe's theatrical production, Catching Heaven's Horse. It is the story of the Wounaan people of Panama who heard God speak to them like a light breaking through the darkness. People all over the world await the voice of God. The Wycliffe Bible translators believe that through this song God speaks intimately to the hearts of people, telling them of his relentless love in order to bring them hope and victory.
Gaia: Welcome to the mystical, high-energy world of Ga�a. Artist Gary Judd, through the use of keyboards and programming, creates a sound that lilts as it flows, enriched by the added textures of intuitive chant, floating symphonic breezes and electronics. His realm is rich and spiritual which is at once modern and ancient.
Suzanne Teng: The sound of children at play is the backdrop for this uplifting song which features Suzanne Teng on the Chinese flute, dizi. She also plays the Chinese zither, guqin, talking drum, Indian bells and is heard playing with dun dun, dumbek, pakaqaj, kartals, dulcimer, violin and kirin. The song is taken from a book of Chinese folk songs and influenced by music from around the world. Teng calls it "a lively multicultural boogie."
Dave Stringer: Like a rainbow after a storm, like the sun at dawn, like the first star on a clear night, this richly textured spiritual soundscape is a soulful and inspirational appeal to the inner self. Artist Dave Stringer has created a transcendent, surreal blend of dimensions using sarangi, piano, dumbek, santoor, udu, zils, kick, shakers, bass, cello, harmonium, tamboura and voice. It is light, it hovers above you, it will immediately turn your face to the heavens and your mind to your spirit.
Dead Can Dance: This is a mystical echo carried across a night sky on the wings of a desert wind; a full and haunting chant penetrating the farthest reaches of a vast land. Based in London, England but born in Australia and of Anglo-Irish descent, musicians Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard collaborated to conjure up this magical track drawing influences from the Middle East, Africa and South America. "What is music for anyway," speculates singer Gerrard, "but a way to transcend the everyday common world?"