Performing Arts

Free Planet Radio: Stillness

Asheville’s world music trio, Free Planet Radio, will perform Sunday, December 9, at 4 p.m. at Congregation Beth HaTephila in Asheville. The sound meditation concert will celebrate the release of their newest album, Stillness. The trio consists of two-time Grammy winner Eliot Wadopian on electric and string basses, River Guerguerian on an array of global percussion instruments and Chris Rosser playing several instruments including the Indian dotar and the Turkish cumbus oud.

“Our music is an intersection of all the old familiar places we love as well as being drawn to innovations of the present,” Guerguerian says. “It is totally influenced by Asheville and by living in this fertile valley of creativity that allows us to express our influences of different music from around the world.”

The trio came together in 2001, and has thrived since with a collective approach to music. “Any composition brought forth is molded by each one of us, thus several musical ideas and influences may happen in any given song,” Wadopian says.

An example from the new album, Rosser says, is the song “Yao” based on a Chinese folk song. “To fit in with the meditative mood of the record,” he says, “we treated it more like an Indian melody with a 17-string instrument called the dotar playing the melody over a droning bass line and hypnotic frame drum groove.” Favorites for Guerguerian and Wadopian include “Tree Walk” and “Introspection,” respectively.

Requests from fans for calm and relaxing music suitable for yoga and meditation inspired this collection of songs. “Our other recordings had tunes like this in the mix,” Rosser says, “but we decided to create an entire album with the intention of spontaneously evoking a purely spacious vibe and mood.”

Wadopian likens their compositions to “a musical stone soup—a dash of this, a smidgen of that and, oh yeah, a touch of Asheville, and voilà, Free Planet Radio music!”

To learn more or to purchase tickets, visit Beth HaTephila is located at 43 North Liberty Street in Asheville. Tickets are $20–$45. Doors open at 3:30 p.m. Find Stillness on streaming services, on the trio’s website, at CD Baby and at live shows.

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