Sacred Spirit

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Sacred Spirit
Years active1993–present
LabelsHigher Octave Music
Associated actsB-Tribe
MembersClaus Zundel
Ralf Hamm
Markus Staab

Sacred Spirit is a musical project by Claus Zundel, Ralf Hamm, and Markus Staab. The music is of electronic, new age, world and ambient genres. Sacred Spirit's total worldwide album sales are estimated to be over 15 million copies.[1] For each album sold, donations are made to the Native American Rights Fund, a non-profit Native American organization devoted to restoring the legal rights of Native Americans.


The first album, Chants and Dances of the Native Americans was released in 1994. The album was nominated for best New Age album Grammy Award.[2] In keeping with the Native American theme, Zundel adopted the pseudonym 'The Fearsome Brave', and on his many other projects he is simply credited as 'The Brave'. The music conveys the stories, legends and plight of the Native Americans by combining sampled chants of the Navajo, Pueblo and Sioux tribes and Sami people yoik with synthesizer backings, all driven forth by a combination of traditional drumming and electronic dance-beats. The first single released off the album was "Yeha-Noha" (Wishes of happiness and prosperity) which was largely responsible for catapulting Sacred Spirit into the limelight. The single reached #1 position in number of countries, including 6 weeks at #1 in France. In the US, "Yeha Noha" sung by Navajo elder Kee Chee Jake of Chinle, Arizona reached top 20 in Billboard Hot 100. The album is arguably one of the most successful enigmatic projects ever, garnering sales of more than seven million albums worldwide.[3] It reached top 10 and charted for twenty seven weeks in the UK Albums Chart.[4]

A second album was released by Sacred Spirit, but it was a complete divergence from the original. The focus this time was around the blues singing of America. In keeping with the change of theme, the American release saw the group name also being changed, to Indigo Spirit.

Virgin Records released the third Sacred Spirit album in 2000. The album was nominated for best New Age Grammy Award in 2001.[5] This time the project's name was slightly altered to Indians' Sacred Spirit (and in some areas even that was abbreviated to Indians' Spirit), probably to inform listeners that it was different from the second album. The subtitle is More Chants and Dances of the Native Americans. The album continues the mood and production of the first, however the album was more instrumental. Although all the tracks did feature chants or speech, each song was composed of many short samples pieced together, unlike the first album which tended to use one extended sample per song.

In 2003, two Sacred Spirit albums were released on Higher Octave music label. The first one, Jazzy Chill Out, featured the vocal samples from Lightnin' Hopkins, John Lee Hooker, Anita O'Day and Ella Fitzgerald.[6]

On the other 2003 album, Bluesy Chill Out, Zundel collaborated with fellow Ibiza resident Dave “BK” Jeffs, a Northern Ireland native and former street musician, who plays regularly at a local club named Teatro Perera. Each track was created organically, with Jeffs (who also sings and plays flute and harmonica) composing improvisational slide and steel guitar riffs as a foundation for The Brave to build upon.


On the first album, the song "The Counterclockwise Circle Dance" was presented as a native American chant, however the main vocals are an authentic Sami yoik ("Normo Jovnna" by Terje Tretnes), recorded in 1994 by Dutch Channel 4 during an interview as an example of a yoik. The recording, despite Channel 4's denial of having sold it, then ended up in a Virgin Records studio in the Netherlands. The Sami organisation Sámi kopiija demanded royalties from Virgin Records[7] but this has so far been unsuccessful.



1994 - Sacred Spirits Yeha-Noha (ISBN 1-885381-27-1)[edit]

Track No. Title Length
1. Yeha-Noha (Wishes Of Happiness & Prosperity) 4:00
2. Tor-Cheney-Nahana (Winter Ceremony) 6:58
3. Ya-Na-Hana (Celebrate) 7:05
4. Dawa (Cradlesong) 4:18
5. Ly-O-Lay Ale Loya (Circle Dance) 5:14
6. Ta-Was-Ne (Elevation) 2:38
7. Gitchi-Manidoo (Advice For The Young) 6:01
8. Heya-Hee (Intertribal Rain Song) 7:37
9. Shamanic Chant (Heal The Soul) 1:31
10. Yo-Hey-Ohee (War Cries) 6:16
11. Outro & Eulogy (How The West Was Lost) 3:00

1995 - Chants and Dances of the Native Americans (sometimes labeled Indians)[edit]

Track No. Title Length
1. Intro & Prelude (How the West was Lost) 3.00
2. Ly-O-Lay Ale Loya (The counterclockwise circle dance) 6:58
3. "Normo Jovnna" remix 5:14
4. Ya-Na-Hana (Celebrate Wild Rice) 7.05
5. Dawa (The Cradlesong) 4.18
6. Gitchi-Manidoo (Advice for the Young) 6.01
7. Yeha-Noha (Wishes of happiness and prosperity) 4.02
8. Ta-Was-Ne (Elevation) 2.38
9. Heya-Hee (Intertribal song to stop the rain) 7.37
10. Shamanic Chant No. 5 (Heal the soul) 1.31
11. Yo-Hey-O-Hee (Brandishing the Tomahawk) 6.16

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Belgium (BEA)[8] Platinum 50,000*
France (SNEP)[9] 2× Platinum 600,000*
Germany (BVMI)[10] Gold 250,000^
Spain (PROMUSICAE)[11] Platinum 100,000^
Sweden (GLF)[12] Gold 50,000^
United Kingdom (BPI)[13] Platinum 300,000^
United States 211,621[14]
Europe (IFPI)[15] Platinum 1,000,000*
Worldwide 1,750,000[16]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

1997 - One Little Creature - Music of Fading Cultures (Pieces of Time)[edit]

Released only in Japan

Track No. Title Length
1. Intro / Prelude 0:56
2. One Little Creature (Bulgarian gaida bagpipes (large ensemble) & a Korean folksong from the kangwon province) 4:13
3. You've Gotta Learn (three kingdoms japon) 3:54
4, Talk to Me (throat singers from tuva meet tibetian monks) 3:53
5. Interlude-what is aloomné? (copper eskimos of Canada's northwest territories) 1:24
6. Mêdunya - dancing naked in the summer rain 4:12
7. Aloomné - the inuiit salute the daylight 4:04
8. Final call (statement of the noble warrior) 4:45
9. Silent prayer (o´eh´bee´eh) (mouthmusic from northern island) 4:33
10. Interlude - love's not time's fool 2:07
11. É souber son (7 days of songs & dances with nomads of the desert) 3:37
12. O jamboo - the mirror of the great void 4:20
13. Don't be afraid (with love from the mekong delta) 4:55

1997 - Culture Clash (Sacred Spirit 2)[4] ( Belgium #42, Austria #43, Sweden #53, Netherlands #59 )[edit]

Track No. Title Length
1. Intro 1:55
2. Culture Clash 4:32
3. Lay Down 4:40
4. On the Road 4:14
5. Legends 7:02
6. i. No More Cotton, ii. Interlude To Be a Slave 3:45
7. The Sun Won't Talk no More 7:46
8. Black Progress 3:18
9. Roots 6:38
10. Babes in the Juke House 3:20
11. i. Brownsville, Tennessee (instr.), ii. Interlude To Be a Slave #2 5:14
12. Slow and Easy 3:15
13. Sonnet XVIII 4:07

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[17] Silver 60,000^
Worldwide N/A 216,000[18]

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

2000 - More Chants and Dances of the Native Americans (Sacred Spirit II)[5] ( Italy #14, France #37, Netherlands #88)[edit]

Track No. Title Length
1. Intro: Gods & Heroes 1:31
2. Looking for north 4:18
3. Dela Dela 4:41
4. Land Of Promise 5:47
5. The State of Grace 4:26
6. Yane — Heja — Hee 4:49
7. A — la — Ke 4:42
8. May you walk in sunshine 3:57
9. The Spirit 3:03
10. O — Loa — Ki — Lee 3:18
11. That Noble Dream 4:51
12. The Sad Eyed Chief 4:03

2003 - Jazzy Chill Out (Sacred Spirit Vol.8)[19][6][edit]

Track No. Title
1. You're Gonna Love (feat. Tampa Red) (Theme from Vangelis' Ask The Mountains)
2. Bad Luck (feat. Lightning Hopkins)
3. Da Cool (feat. Anita O'Day)
4. The Roots
5. A New Dawn (feat. Carla Rums)
6. Last Nite (feat. Lightning Hopkins)
7. The Last Unicorn (edit)
8. Love Comes My Way (feat. Ella Fitzgerald)
9. The Sun (feat. John Lee Hooker)
10. Chillin'
11. Some Like It Easy (feat. John Lee Hooker)
12. That "rive gauche" - Vibe

2003 - Bluesy Chill Out (Sacred Spirit Vol.9)[6][2][edit]

Track No. Title
1. Driftin'
2. This Earth
3. Interlude: The Wide Open
4. Black Rain
5. Love Is Blind
6. Down In Louisiana
7. Interlude: The Loneliness of the Slide Guitar
8. That's Right
9. My Mother Told Me
10. Oh Yeah
11. Wasteland
12. Why


  1. ^ "Sacred Spirit". Radio King. Retrieved 2019-12-30.
  2. ^ a b [1] Archived April 17, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 478. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ [2] Archived June 11, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ a b [3] Archived December 13, 2006, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Millionkrav til Virgin Records". 21 December 2007.
  8. ^ "Ultratop − Goud en Platina – albums 1995". Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  9. ^ "French album certifications – Indiens Sacred Spirit – Chants Et Danses Des Indiens D'Amerique" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  10. ^ "Gold-/Platin-Datenbank (Indians; 'Sacred Spirit')" (in German). Bundesverband Musikindustrie. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  11. ^ Suffy, Thom (14 October 1995). "Charly & Theo Sees 'Stars' On European Pop Charts". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  12. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1987−1998" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-05-17. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  13. ^ "British album certifications – Sacred Spirit – Chants And Dances Of T". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 February 2019.Select albums in the Format field. Select Platinum in the Certification field. Type Chants And Dances Of T in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  14. ^ "September 17 & 23 releases". Universal Music Group. September 2014. p. 6. Retrieved November 24, 2019 – via Scribd.
  15. ^ "IFPI Platinum Europe Awards – 1996". International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 2 February 2020.
  16. ^ Suffy, Thom (17 February 1996). "Who's Selling Where". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  17. ^ "British album certifications – Sacred Spirit – Scared Spirit Ii Culture Clash". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 22 February 2019.Select albums in the Format field. Select Silver in the Certification field. Type Scared Spirit Ii Culture Clash in the "Search BPI Awards" field and then press Enter.
  18. ^ Pride, Dominic (29 August 1998). "Some European Acts Being Marketed As 'Brands' Instead Of Faces". Billboard. Retrieved 22 February 2019.
  19. ^ Sacred Spirit at AllMusic

External links[edit]