In essence meditation is the simplest of tasks. Be still and be quiet. Silencing the mind however is no small feat and finding inner peace can sometimes appear near impossible. Thus we have collated the best meditation music in the world to aid you on your path to enlightenment.
In the 1970s when Brian Eno started releasing music under the banner of ‘ambient’ it revolutionised the living room space as turntables everywhere became a portal to the wish-wash waves of bliss. And that’s exactly what ambient aims to be… sound. It’s music with a purpose beyond the musical.
Meditation is much the same. Rather than shrinking your mind, picture it like a vast open landscape. Float in the tandem of that space and be suspended in the nothingness.
We have scoured the annals and spent countless hours searching for inner peace to bring you the best meditation music in the world. Clear your monkey mind.
Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for airports
Rightfully crowned the godfather of ambient music, rarely has a single genre been so specifically accredited to one person. Brian Eno is a musical pioneer and Ambient 1: Music For Airports is his crown jewel. Eno himself came up with the term ‘ambient’ to distance himself from the Muzak Coporation in 1978 and thus is synonymous with the genre.
When Brian Eno was recovering from being hit by a car, a friend visiting him put on a 19th Century harp record and left the room. The speakers were at such a low setting so as to blend with the outside world and Eno was too weak to get up and change the volume; and thus ambient music was born.
Charlemagne Palestine – Strumming Music
Charlemagne Palestine was certainly one of the most outspoken figures in New York in the ’70s. I know that might seem hard to believe considering Andy Warhol, Jim Morrison, and the remnants of the Beats were kicking around there but hear me out.
Palestine begun by singing sacred Jewish music and studying the accordion. At the age of 12 he started playing conga and bongo drums for Allen Ginsberg. He would spend the entire day at the St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Manhattan ringing the bells and playing with their massive overtones. Then he began turning heads in the art scene with punk performances where he would smash himself against gallery walls or else play extended cognac-fuelled piano pieces in a room full of teddy bears.
While that might sound the acts of a deranged madman (and it probably is) his music is extremely peaceful and meditative lending credence to the notion that perhaps the craziest of us understand it all far too well.
Laraaji – Essence/Universe
Be swept into the sumptuous heights of Larraji’s magnificent Essence. If the sky were truly an ocean, this is what it would sound like.
In the late 1970s musician-comedian Larry Gordon was in Washington Square Park playing his autoharp. He was in a meditative trance, eyes shut, deeply focused on his performance. When he opened them, Brian Eno was standing there and proposed recording an album. Gordon entered Eno’s studio and came out with Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance and a new name: Laraaji.
Eno encouraged him to run his strings through a light patina of electronic effects and thus you have the conduit to transportive New Age music heard here. While Ambient 3 is assuredly a work of brilliance it doesn’t quite reach the heavenly heights of Essence/Universe which is assuredly the better meditation music.
Claude Debussy – Clair De Lune
The title of this beautiful, lilting piano piece literally translates to ‘moonlight‘, and was inspired by a Paul Verlaine poem in which opening line is ‘Your soul is a chosen landscape’. If that’s not worth meditating on I don’t know what is.
While this has mostly been selected for the third act, Clair de Lune, suite bergamasque from Claude Debussy is a masterpiece through and through. Debussy was a French composer from the turn of the 20th Century and is one of the most influential songwriters of the time. He is often seen as the first Impressionist composer although he fervently rejected the term.
In 1902, at the age of 40 Debussy achieved international fame with his only completed opera, Pelléas et Mélisande. Suite bergamasque was Debussy’s most famous piano suite.
Undoubtedly a mature piece of composition it is one of the most fascinating, entrancing piano works I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. It might be the most emotional piece on this list but certainly worth meditating to.