2007   MAY 1   #121

Edmond S. Bordeaux & Norma Jean Nilsson - Meditation Music played on Chamberlin (Mellotron), ca 1965

MP3:
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 1 (13:57)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 2 (1:50)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 3 (0:36)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 4 (1:37)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 5 (2:18)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 6 (0:36)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 7 (2:32)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 8 (1:50)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 9 (5:59)
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations 10 (12:45)
Indian Melodies - Side 1 (22:57)
Indian Melodies - Side 2 (22:47)

These records are very mysterious. I know very little about them, other than they are dated 1965, and were recorded exclusively (or almost exclusively) with a Chamberlin tape-replay keyboard. For those unfamiliar with the Chamberlin, it was the analog-tape-sampling-keyboard that inspired the Mellotron, the instrument which most famously played the flute intro on The Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever." I won't get into the history of the Chamberlin and Mellotron here (A Google search will tell you all you need to know), but suffice it to say that 1965 was pretty early for this stuff, especially considering that there's little (if anything) else BUT the Chamberlin on these discs.

Edmond Szekely Bordeaux was an American mystic/guru of sorts. Again, a Google search will uncover a fair amount of information about him and his teachings/books. What you won't find is any information about his records! I have two of them. Actually, "Journey Through A Thousand Meditations" is a double LP, but I only have one of the two discs (sides 1 and 4), and it's in very sorry shape. I found it at an estate sale. Interestingly, the only Bordeaux disc I could find for sale online at all was a copy of the OTHER disc from this (sides 2 and 3), but I ordered it and it got lost in the mail! If it turns up, I'll add it here. Anyway, shortly after discovering "Journey Through A Thousand Meditations," I found two mint copies of another (single) LP, "Indian Melodies," at a rummage sale.

I don't have the jacket for "Journey Through A Thousand Meditations," but apparently it's similar to the jacket for "Indian Melodies," which is a plain white jacket with a sticker in the upper left corner (I've only scanned the sticker itself). On the other side is the same sticker in Spanish. There are no liner notes- only what's on the sticker and the label. The track seperation for "Journey Through A Thousand Meditations" is ambiguous, so I just split up the tracks at natural separation points. "Indian Melodies" does not indicate any distinct tracks, so I've simply presented each individual side as a whole.

I sent an email to the resort that Bordeaux founded in Mexico, to see if they had any information, records, or even if they knew anything about the Chamberlin he used. They responded that they had nothing at all in their archives.

I can't really comment much on the music, which is very simplistic and haunting, and, no doubt, of dubious ethnomusicological origin. I suppose you'd file this under the category of "spiritual exotica." I suppose it was probably intended as background music for meditation.

Despite spending some time using click removal software and also removing many clicks by hand, the "Journey Through A Thousand Meditations" disc still sounds horrendous, so I'd like to find another copy some day. I'm guessing there may also be more titles lurking out there somewhere.

- Contributed by: Pea Hix

Images:
Journey Through A Thousand Meditations: Labels
Indian Melodies: Cover Sticker (English), Cover Sticker (Spanish)

Media: LP
Album: Journey Through A Thousand Meditations
Catalog: EV-2236
Credits: Edmond S. Bordeaux & Norma Jean Nilsson
Date: 1965

Media: LP
Album: Indian Melodies
Catalog: EV-2233
Credits: Edmond S. Bordeaux & Norma Jean Nilsson
Date: 1965