Breath Of Vishnu
Gino Foti - MIDI Bass Guitar, MIDI Bass Pedals, Loops & Samples
"When the waters have reached the region of the seven Rishis, and the whole of the three worlds is one ocean, they stop. The breath of Vishnu becomes a strong wind, which blows for more than a hundred years, until all the clouds are dispersed. The wind is then reabsorbed, and he of whom all things are made, the lord by whom all things exist, he who is inconceivable, without beginning of the universe, reposes, sleeping upon S'esha, in the midst of the deep.
When the universal spirit wakes, the world revives; when he closes his eyes, all things fall upon the bed of mystic slumber. In like manner, as a thousand great ages constitute a day of Brahma, so his night consists of the same period; during which the world is submerged by a vast ocean. Awaking at the end of his night, the unborn, Vishnu, in the character of Brahma, creates the universe anew, in the manner formerly related to you." ~ Vishnu Purana, Book VI, Chapter IV
Click on the song title to stream a clip.
One of the most important gods of the Hindu pantheon, Vishnu is part of their Trimurti or Holy Trinity, along with Brahma and Shiva, as well as the central deity of Vaishnavism, the largest sect of Hinduism. A complex character, he appears in various incarnations, or avatars, to fight evil throughout the universe, in order to maintain cosmic harmony.
The album title refers to one of the most important emblems of Vishnu, the shankh, or conch shell, which when blown symbolizes the primordial creative voice, the primeval sound from which creation developed. The shankh (or shankha), which can be translated to "pacifying the inauspicious" is directly linked to the five elements: earth, water, fire, air, and space, as well as the sacred sound Om, which is also said to be the breath of Vishnu. With its geometric spiral form, evolving from a single point into ever-increasing spheres, it denotes eternity.
Depending on the source, one breath of Vishnu - which encompasses the entire duration of the universe between its exhalation and inhalation - lasts anywhere from over one hundred to over three hundred trillion of our years. Since any of these time spans are just slightly longer than the audio storage capacity of my music studio, I thought about an hour's worth of music would get the point across.
I arranged a complex set of patches for my MIDI bass guitar and MIDI bass pedals that included processed and effected cymbals, drones, gongs, stringed instruments, and synth vox, aiming for an East-meets-West ethnic fusion that would not only fit the concept by incorporating "breathing" sounds, as well as the mystical Om syllable, but also allow me to play everything in real-time for an organic sound.
In addition, I chose a three-chord progression utilizing inversions or "slash chords" like Db/Ab, which is Db Major with an Ab in the bass, that would be more at home in jazz or Latin music than Indian, to symbolize the Trivikramapada, the Three Steps of Vishnu (or Three Strides of Vishnu) mentioned in the Rig-Veda (or Rgveda), and to enable me to add some improvisation over the course of this long-form composition.