More Track Info


On this page, I provide some basic information about the different chants, including more singer/musician track credits, as well as the lyrics and their meaning.  Then following that information for each track, I add some more detail about the flow, instrumentation, etc.  See Background on the Tracks for more of the story behind the creation of the tracks.


GANESHA MEDLEY

This track is a medley of two Ganesha chants I've written, 'Vakratunda Mahakaya' and 'Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha' (which begins with the mantra 'Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha').  Lord Ganesh is of course the beloved elephant-headed deity that is considered to be the remover of obstacles.  I wrote these chants within 6 months of each other, the second one written for Ganesh Chaturthi in September, 2010 and the Vakratunda chant the following March.

The track features Joni Allen and Yvette Om joining me on vocals and instrumental contributions by Madan Oak on santoor, Eddie Young on cello, Steve Oda on sarod and Daniel Paul on tabla.   Ben Leinbach plays bass guitar and percussion and some keyboard and I play guitars (see ‘more detail’) and percussion.

The words are:

(1st Chant – Vakratunda Mahakaya)

OM Vakratunda Mahaakaaya Suryakoti Samaprabha
Nirvighnam Kuru Me Deva Sarva Kaaryeshu Sarvadaa

Meaning:

O, one with twisted trunk and enormous form, who shines more brilliantly than a billion Suns, please bless me that all obstacles be removed from all my endeavors, always. 

(2nd Chant – Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha)

Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha

Ganesha Sharanam Sharanam Ganesha

Meaning:

Salutations to Ganapati (Ganesha). 

I seek refuge in Ganesha.

More detail on the track:

Madan leads off the track with beautiful santoor playing which is followed by my chanting the Vakratunda Mahakaya 'shlok' in a traditional manner and then the main chant begins with that shlok chanted in a call & response form.  I take turnsdoing calls with the ladies, Yvette on the first female call, and then both Yvette and Joni on the second female call.   The three of us sing the response vocals, which are also supported by Eddie's cello playing, and Madan also plays some improvisational santoor during the chant.  This chant is more mellow and contemplative.  Steve's sarod comes in at the transition into the second chant and Daniel's tabla shortly into that chant.  Joni handles all the female calls in the second chant and again the three of us sing the response vocals.  The second chant is more upbeat and celebratory in nature.  The medley closes with a brief reprise of the Vakratunda chant.

Ben's instrumental contributions in this track as a whole include bass guitar, some keyboard, a couple different drums (kanjira and an African stick drum if I remember right) and a shaker or two.  I play some 'fingerpick' guitar with a Tierra Negra nylon-string guitar throughout, some 'droning' with a Jerry Jones 'sitar guitar' at beginning and some strumming of Ben's Taylor steel string in the faster section of the second chant.  My percussion contributions include a Remo 'Buffalo' frame drum, a Noah bells 'chime,' guiro, several kartals and possibly a bell or two.


TVAMEVA MATA

I was doing some research and it seems the actual origin of this popular and ancient verse (shlok) is something of a mystery, although I found one reference that attributes it to the Sharanagati Gadyam written by Ramanujacharya and another saying the origin is unknown, among other possibilities.  I first became aware of it in late 1979, when I made a deep connection with Swami Muktananda and his Siddha Yoga path.  I composed this arrangement about May, 2008, which makes it the second oldest of my chants on the album (with He Ma Durga being the oldest).

This track features Gina Salá trading calls and singing responses with me as well as some exquisite vocalizing by Gina in a style inspired by her classical Indian vocal training.  It also features Steve Gorn on bansuri, Daniel Paul on tabla, Monnie Ramsell on esraj, and Benj Clarke on fretless bass guitar.  Ben Leinbach and I both play some percussion and I play a Tierra Negra flamenco-style nylon string guitar.

The words are:

Tvameva Maataa Cha Pitaa Tvameva
Tvameva Bandhush Cha Sakhaa Tvameva
Tvameva Vidyaa Dravinam Tvameva
Tvameva Sarvam Mama Deva Deva

Here’s one translation:

You alone are my Mother and my Father,
You alone are my Brother and my Friend,
You alone are my Knowledge and my Wealth,
You alone are my All in All, O God of Gods.

More detail on the track:

The primary feature of the intro to the track is some beautiful bansuri playing by Steve, although it actually opens with Daniel’s tabla followed in quick succession by dotar (played by me) along with Benj’s fretless bass and then the bansuri.  With a drone building in the background, I add arpeggiated nylon string guitar.  As the bansuri fades away, a single hit of tingsha becomes a precursor to some lovely vocalizing by Gina Salá to conclude the intro, which vocalizing itself hints at more of that transcendent singing yet to come.   

The chant itself is simply comprised of one melodic part throughout and there are essentially a couple measures between each call and response, which creates a rich field for further play by the bansuri and Gina’s vocalizing, although both can be heard at various points throughout and more so as the chant progresses.  Monnie’s esraj playing supports the response vocals by playing along with the melody while frequently either the bansuri or Gina’s vocalizing (or both) are dancing over the top.  This is one of the sparser tracks for miscellaneous percussion but in addition to the occasional tingsha, you will also occasionally hear a metallic vibrating sound during the brief interlude between the vocals (for instance, around the 2:06 mark).  This is an instrument that functions similar to a Vibraslap except the ‘contact surfaces’ are metal rather than wood.  The track concludes with a mesmerizing interplay of Gina’s vocalizing and Steve’s bansuri, with some high-pitched bells tinkling in the background and, finally, a distant esraj bringing back a brief taste of a variation on the melody as it disappears into the stillness.


SHIVAYA NAMAHA OM NAMAH SHIVAYA

Entire treatises are written about the ancient and powerful Om Namah Shivaya mantra and its meaning(s).  I've read that it originated from Shri Rudram, which in turn comes from the Yajurveda.  Perhaps the simplest interpretation is “Salutations to Shiva!”  Or since the name Shiva means ‘auspicious,’ perhaps “Salutations to the Auspicious One!” Amongst devotees of Lord Shiva, it is known as the Great Redeeming Mantra and also as Panchakshara (the 5-Syllable mantra, which doesn't count the 'Om', and there are also associations between those 5 syllables and the 5 elements).  I invite you to do your own research for more about this mantra. 

This track is unique for a number of reasons, but the main one is that it is the only track on the album where I sing all of the calls of the call and response format rather than trading calls with a female vocalist.  It also has several more people chanting the responses than the usual combination of me and whichever lady is singing with me.   Ben Leinbach, Monnie Ramsell, Prajna Vieira, Yvette Om and I are chanting the response vocals.  The track also features Monnie on esraj and Steve Oda on sarod.  Ben plays keyboard bass and a fine but subtle electric guitar part in the third and final pass through the chant, as well as some percussion.  I play a ‘muted’ Gold Tone wood-body resophonic guitar and percussion.  While I play the initial kartals pattern, both Prajna and Ben play additional kartals as the track evolves.

The chant itself has a very trance-like quality as it continually shifts back and forth between 2 different chords and the two lyric variations of the mantra with multiple melodic variations.  We first chanted it at Mahashivaratri in February, 2009.

The words are:

Om Namah Shivaaya Om Namah Shivaaya

Shivaaya Namaha Om Namah Shivaaya

Meaning:

Salutations to Shiva

More detail on the track:

The track opens with the sound of thunderstorm, which I recorded one night in Sedona when the noise of the storm was preventing me from doing some other preliminary recording for the album.  As the primary thunderclap fades, the two alternating chords, initial tempo and rhythmic groove of the chant are introduced with capped bass-octave Boomwhackers® musical tubes, invented by some whacky guy I know (namely me, for those that don’t know) and my finger picking pattern on the slightly ‘muted’ resophonic guitar (which because of the structure of the resophonic cone I muted with part of an old cotton sock that slightly covers and dampens the strings).

After just a couple measures Steve adds a beautiful and somewhat brooding melodic phrase on the sarod, and then the first call of the chant comes in, along with a dholak which I’m playing.  The sarod continues to play improvisationally and then Monnie’s esraj also comes in with the first response vocals, also playing improvisationally.

As we get to the second melodic (and lyrical) phrase, I introduce kartals with a pattern that further accentuates the syncopation inherent in the vocal.   (There are a couple different ways to ‘count’ the pattern of this chant, but, as I hear/feel it, the beginning of each ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ or ‘Shivaya Namaha’ always come in on the ‘and’, or upbeat, before the 1, or first beat of a measure.)  I love the continuing improvisational dance between the esraj and sarod, frequently playing simultaneously, which is most apparent in this first pass through the chant before other instrumentation comes in but also continues throughout.

The tempo builds as we get back to the beginning of the chant for the second pass and an electronic kick (the closest thing I’d let Ben get to adding drum kit to the album!) and additional kartals come in to further build the energy.  A little bit later, and not when you might necessarily expect, Ben adds a mesmerizing bass pattern on keyboard.   As this second pass through the chant progresses  additional percussion comes in, including Ben playing an African stick drum and me playing a tambourine part that typically only plays one hit as an accent downbeat on the 4th beat of each measure.

Once again the tempo builds at the beginning of the third and final pass through the chant and additional percussion and Ben’s fine and subtle electric guitar enter mix.  The layers of sound in this final pass through the chant are indeed very rich.   As the chant winds down, the instrumentation starts to fall away, until during my final slow “Om Namah Shivaya’s” there is only the guitar and electronic tamboura drone, then a final few somewhat plaintive notes by Monnie on the esraj, a final soft rumble of dholak by me, and ending with the ethereal sound of a Vibratone bell fading out along with the tamboura sound.


HARE KRISHNA MANTRA (ENCHANTING)

Much has been written about the Hare Krishna mantra, known as the Mahamantra (Great Mantra) to devotees of Lord Krishna and Vaishnavites (devotees of Lord Vishnu) generally.  It dates back to the Kali-Santarana Upanishad, which is associated with the Krishna Yajurveda, and was popularized as part of the bhakti movement started by Chaitanya Mahaprabhu in the late 15th century, and more recently in the West by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. 

This track features Prajna Vieira trading calls and singing responses with me.  It also features Steve Gorn on bansuri, Benj Clarke on acoustic upright bass and Daniel Paul on tabla.  Ben Leinbach plays some percussion and I play a Taylor steel string guitar and percussion.

This version of the mantra has two melodic parts and it is in a time signature of 3/4 (comparable to the Indian tal of dadra, and often called a ‘waltz’ in Western music as it is the meter of that dance form).  It is one of two tracks on the album in that meter, with the other being Gayatri Mantra.  It happens to be the most recent of my compositional arrangements of the Hare Krishna mantra, written in mid-2012, and the only one in 3/4 time.

The words are:

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krisha Hare Hare
Hare Raama Hare Raama Raama Raama Hare Hare

Meaning:

As I understand it is interpreted in Swami Prabhupad's 'Hare Krishna' movement, "Hare" is a form of Harā, a name of Rādhā, Krishna's beloved, and none other than Shakti.  Thus Harā refers to "the energy of God" while Krishna and Rama refer to God himself, meaning "He who is All-Attractive" and "He who is the Source of All Pleasure."

More detail on the track:

I would summarize the feel of this track by saying it is filled with sweetness, starting with a sweet in-tempo bansuri intro by Steve Gorn.  He is quickly joined by the bright sound of my finger picking a pattern on Ben’s Taylor steel string along with Benj’s acoustic upright bass and then Daniel’s tabla and a frame drum played by Ben to take the intro up to the vocals.   That same basic instrumentation continues through the whole ‘A’ section of the chant, with Steve doing some beautiful improvisational playing on the bansuri to add some color to the vocals.  I add some soft kartals as the higher ‘B’ section begins but the instrumentation and the mood remain pretty mellow.   

The tempo does build a little as we return to the ‘A’ section and some additional percussion comes in, including a second set of kartals and something Ben’s likes to call the ‘clump,’ which was essentially a pile of a variety of rattle type sounds (such as maracas and caxixi), which ‘lands’ on the first beat of every second measure (for instance, along with the beginning of ‘Krish’ in “Hare Krishna”).  Ben’s frame drum playing also becomes more prominent in this second pass through the chant.

As Prajna and I sing the final slow pass through the lower ‘A’ section of the mantra, accompanied by the guitar and Benj’s bass, Steve’s bansuri dances sweetly around the vocal.  And as the final strains of our vocals are heard, the bansuri comes in with a final beautiful melodic phrase that slowly fades off into the distance, as if Krishna himself is happily playing the flute as he ‘waltzes’ back into the Vrindavan forest. 


HE MA DURGA

Durga is one of the major forms of Devi, or Goddess, and the name means one who is inaccessible or difficult to approach.  She is typically portrayed riding a lion, or sometimes tiger, holding an array of weapons. 

This track features Yvette Om (a former singer in New York musical theatre turned yoga teacher and kirtan wallah) trading calls and singing responses with me.  It also features Monnie Ramsell on esraj, Daniel Paul on tabla, and, later in the track, Steve Oda on sarod.   Ben Leinbach plays bass guitar and percussion and I play guitars (see ‘more detail’) and percussion.

This is the first chant I wrote to a form of the Divine Mother and, at least as far as I can recall now, the first when I started composing chants in early 2004.  (I had written 3 Shiva chants in the early ‘80s and then nothing until 2004.)  While the lyrics stay the same throughout, it has 3 melodic sections in the format A-B-A-C (meaning the first section repeats between the second and third sections). 

The words are:

He Maa Durgaa He Maa Durgaa He Maa Durga Jay Jay Durgaa

Meaning:

O Mother Durga, All Victory to You!

More detail on the track:

The track begins with a beautiful esraj intro by Monnie Ramsell, and is the only track on the album that does.  With a drone building in the background, a tempo is then established as she is joined by me, finger-picking a Tierra Negra flamenco-style nylon string guitar through one round of the initial chord progression for the chant, and Ben playing kanjira (a small East Indian frame drum).  Both the finger-picking pattern and kanjira pattern emphasize the syncopated timing that is found in the vocal melody of the chant.

When the vocals begin, they are initially supported by some lovely improvisational esraj playing by Monnie.  Daniel’s tabla enters with the beginning of the ‘B’ vocal section and the first set of kartals comes in halfway through that section with a pattern that further accents the syncopation.  Ben’s bass guitar comes in with the return to the ‘A’ section and a second more traditional kartals pattern begins playing in that section as well.  That instrumental ‘groove’ continues through the soaring ‘C’ section of the chant.

As we return to the beginning of chant pattern, the tempo builds and Steve’s improvisational sarod playing is introduced while the esraj takes a break to give the sarod some space.   An electronic kick drum, some timely upbeat strums by me with a Taylor steel string, more kartals, some beautiful ‘fills’ by Daniel on tabla and the occasional sounding of a strum through the sympathetic-string section of a Jerry Jones Electric Sitar Guitar all add to the building of the energy of the chant.  As we get back to the ‘B’ section Monnie’s esraj returns and creates a wonderful dance in the background with Steve’s sarod.

This second pass through the chant is at the fastest tempo I chose to have on the album in order to keep it relatively mellow throughout.  That tempo is 120bpm, which only happens in one other track, the Ganesha Medley.  When the chant slows at the end, I sing a final pass through the ‘A’ section alone and the esraj once again takes a break while the sarod accompanies me.  Then, in the only time this happens on the album, the phrase is repeated by the female vocalist (in this case of course Yvette) rather than us singing together to close out the chant.  The esraj once again joins with the sarod in a dance to accompany Yvette’s final singing, and then echoes the last phrase to conclude the track.


BOLO RAM

This is a chant to Rama, Sita and Hanuman.  Lord Rama was an incarnation of Lord Vishnu and his incarnation is said to have been for the restoration of righteousness.  Sita, his beloved, is considered to be an incarnation of Mahalakshmi, the Goddess of Abundance.  Hanuman, the beloved 'Monkey-God' who served Rama and Sita, is considered to be the epitome of devotion.  I composed it in 2009 but it’s one of those chants that seems like it has been a part of me for much, much longer. 

This track features Joni Allen trading calls and singing responses with me.  It also prominently features Steve Oda on sarod, and later in the track, Gina Salá’s ethereal vocalizing.  Daniel Paul adds tabla, Ben Leinbach plays bass guitar, and I’m finger-picking a Tierra Negra flamenco-style nylon string guitar.  Ben and I also both play a lot of different percussion on the track.

The chant has a section in the middle of the track that has the lyrics that are shown in parentheses below, my way of showing they happen occasionally rather than every pass through the chant.

The words are:

Bolo Raam Bolo Raam Bolo Raam

Jaya Raama Sitaa Raama Jaya Raama Hanumaan

(Jaya Raama Sitaa Raama Hanumaan)

Meaning:

Sing the Name of Ram! All Victory to Rama, Sita and Hanuman!

More detail on the track:

This track has an openness to it that allows a lot to be happening subtlely in the background and still be quite readily distinguished, at least with a good sound system or headphones.  The result is a lot of what I like to call ‘ear candy.’  Of course, the ultimate ear candy that’s adding to the flavor of the chant is Steve’s sarod and, when it arrives later in the chant, Gina’s vocalizing, but there is a lot going on percussively in this track as well.  The tempo does build somewhat during the track, but it stays more mellow than, say, the fast section of He Ma Durga, or the second chant in the Ganesha Medley.

The track begins with Steve’s sarod playing a beautifully ornamented version of the ‘A’ section melody, accompanied by my guitar and Ben’s bass.  Ben adds some subtle frame drum, and I think udu, as my vocal begins for the first call of the chant, and I play a subtle bell part in the background and Ben adds a soft rhythmic ‘swishing’ sound with fingertips on a frame drum head.   Meanwhile, the sarod continues to beautifully dance around the melody as the chant progresses.  Daniel’s tabla enters with Joni’s first turn on the ‘A’ section call, and additional percussion comes in here and there as the chant builds, including a number of bell parts, an off-the-beat shaker and even the occasional sound of a single pluck of a string (which is me ‘playing’ the few-inch-long part of a guitar string between the nut and tuning peg that just happened to be in pitch with the chant).

After two passes through the main two sections, the chant moves into the third section, shifting and building the energy.  Gina’s vocalizing begins as I conclude my first call of that section, adding a yet another wonderful new dimension to the chant.  The tempo picks up midway through this section and carries through to the final, more robust, pass through the main sections of the chant.

The bell parts are for the most part ‘Noah bells’ (Indian cow bells), but played with a metal striker rather than the wooden one that comes inside the bell and played more like one might play a traditional Latin music cowbell but much more nuanced.  I think this is also the chant where I played a pattern on the crescent wrench I use for tuning the dholak (yes, I put a ‘wrench in the works’).  And there’s probably some actual kartals in there somewhere too.  I really love the groove of this final pass through the chant with all the percussion goodies, combined with what Steve does with the sarod and of course Gina’s amazing vocalizing and how that all fits together with the chanting.

The track concludes with Joni and I singing one last slow pass through the ‘Bolo Ram’ part, accompanied by the sarod and Gina and some scaled-back percussion, and finally, as the last strains of Joni and I singing our last ‘Ram,’ Gina’s vocalized ‘ah’ extends out just a little longer and transitions into ‘Om.’


ASATOMA SADGAMAYA

This chant combines 2 ancient mantras, or shloks, Asatoma Sadgamaya and Purnamadah Purnamidam.  The first is from the Brihadaranyaka Upanishad, and the latter from Isha Upanishad.  The meanings are shown following the words below.  It is the newest of the compositions on the album, having been composed in late 2012. 

The track features Prajna Vieira trading calls and singing responses with me.  It also features Madan Oak on santoor and Monnie Ramsell on esraj.   Ben Leinbach plays bass guitar and some percussion, and I play a muted Gold Tone wood-body resophonic guitar with muted strings and some percussion, mostly kartals and bells.  (I explained the muting of the guitar in my notes for the Shiva track.)

The words are:

Om Asatomaa Sadgamaya
Tamasomaa Jyotirgamaya
Mrityormaa Amritamgamaya

Om purnamadah purnamidam
Purnaat purnamudachyate
Purnasya purnamaadaaya
Purnamevaavashishyate

Meanings:

Lead me from Untruth to Truth. 
Lead me from Darkness to Light. 
Lead me from Death to Immortality. 

That is Whole, This is Whole;
From the Whole, the Whole becomes manifest;
Taking away the Whole from the Whole,
The Whole remains.

More detail on the track:

This track, like the Ganesha Medley, opens with the mystical sound of Madan’s santoor playing, except this time one first hears the drone fading in to, in effect, have a softer transition from the end of the Bolo Ram chant to the brighter tones of the santoor opening this track.  The electronic tamboura drone is also this time augmented by a warm droning synthesizer ‘pad.’  The muted guitar and my first call come in together with the bell-like sound of a tingsha (at least I think, I also used an actual small brass puja bell on this track) and, at the ‘bottom’ of the mix, the Remo Buffalo frame drum.

Madan adds some simple improvising on the santoor in the background, and more percussive ‘ear candy’ shows up early in this track, including a Tibetan bowl that begins during my call and, during my ‘response’ with Prajna, a grouping of small brass bells on thick string which I rather randomly clang together in different combinations.  Monnie’s esraj supports the response vocals playing along with the melody.  The bass guitar and a hand drum, both played by Ben, come in with Prajna’s first ‘call’ of the chant.

The feeling of the Purnamadah (‘B’) section of the chant is quite different, with a soaring and uplifting melody, and personally seems like one of my more inspired moments of composing to have this melody and this Upanashadic verse follow on the heels of the Asatoma Sadgamaya part of the chant that came to me first.  I like how the tempo builds in my first call of this section but not until later in the call instead of at the beginning.  While the santoor drops out for this ‘B’ section, the response vocals are again joined by Monnie’s esraj and Ben brings in another drum part, contributing to a further building of the energy.  And Prajna’s soaring call vocal for this section is very moving.

As we return to the Asatoma Sadgamaya section, I begin a rather mesmerizing pattern on kartals.  Madan’s santoor also returns into the mix and Monnie’s esraj starts playing on the calls as well as responses.  The bass guitar playing becomes more intricate, which adds another flavor.  Another bell part then comes in to interlace with those hypnotic kartals and yet another bell sounds occasionally in the background.  When I start singing the ‘B’ section once again, the percussion mostly pauses for the first line.  Then it comes back with the second line and the tempo builds once again to the final tempo.  If you listen closely you might hear the Boomwhackers® musical tubes playing the fundamental notes of the 4-chord progression that repeats throughout the ‘B’ section.  (They are playing 2 eighth notes at beat 4 of each measure, if you’re curious.)

Like most of the tracks, this one slows down on the final response and Prajna and I sing one last slow pass through the Asatoma Sadgamaya part, with the esraj softly echoing the final phrase.  We bring the track to its conclusion with three sweet, melodic ‘Om’s in tempo.


GAYATRI MANTRA

There is also much written about this ancient mantra from the Rig Veda and the first, or preceding, line which is considered to be an invocation rather than part of the mantra.  I show one of the simpler interpretations following the words below.  (The mantra does not traditionally close with 'Om" as I have done here, but doing so in this composition creates a powerful 'pause' between each iteration and a more relaxed flow for the chant.)

This track once again features Gina Salá trading calls and singing responses with me and also singing her exquisite vocalizing that is inspired by her classical Indian vocal training.  It is also the track that most prominently features Eddie Young on cello.  Ben Leinbach plays bass guitar and percussion, and I play a Gold Tone resophonic guitar (very slighted muted with the technique described in my notes for the Shiva track) and percussion. 

I composed this chant in 2011 and we first chanted it at our kirtan program in June of that year celebrating the 7th anniversary of our weekly kirtan in Sedona.  The meter, or time signature, is 3/4 (dadra, in the Indian system), and the composition has two melodic parts while the words stay the same throughout.  In this version, after a full pass through the typical call-response-call-response form for each melody, the chant then goes to one pass through each melody, with Gina and I singing each part together.  This is the equivalent of shifting to everyone singing together rather than singing call and response, which I typically do with this chant in a live kirtan.

The words are:

Om Bhur Bhuvaha Svaha
Tat Savitur Varenyam*
Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi
Dhiyo Yonaha Prachodayaat OM

* pronounced like 'Vareniyam'

Meaning:

O Supreme One, who pervades all matter, space and consciousness,
Whose Radiance illumines Existence, deserving all worship,
Pure and resplendent, we meditate upon you. 
Lead our Intellect (towards Illumination).

More detail on the track:

The track opens with a beautiful cello intro by Eddie Young to set the mood for the track.  Actually, he’s playing a melodic phrase on one track and ‘droning’ on the fundamental note (or ‘Sa’ in the Indian sargam terminology) on another track during the intro.  My vocal begins along with the arpeggiated guitar and a Remo Buffalo frame drum (which sits at such a low frequency in the mix that you won’t hear it without a good sound system or headphones), struck at the beginning of each line.  Eddie’s cello also continues to dance around and with the melody from time to time.  Ben’s bass guitar and first drum part, an African stick drum, comes in with the first response vocal, and the cello plays along with the melody during the responses.  As Gina’s first call begins, I add kartals and another bell part, and midway through the second response vocal Gina’s vocalizing adds another layer of beauty and sweetness to the chant.

A little more percussion subtlely comes in during the high section (mostly in the first response), including another drum part by Ben and a couple bells (including one or more Noah bells, the Indian ‘cow bells’).  Gina’s vocalizing adds a lot to this section.

When we return to the low ‘A’ section of the chant, as I mentioned above Gina and I then sing together as in an ‘all together now’ phase of the chant through to the end, alternating between the low and high melodic sections.  The tempo and energy of the chant also builds with each return to the ‘A’ section.  There are also some beautiful ornamental parts played by the cello in this phase as well as some of Gina’s wonderful vocalizing.

The final chanting of the higher ‘B’ section slows down, signaling the approaching end of the chant.  Eddie plays a beautiful bit on the cello bridging from the ‘Om’ at the end of that phrase and the ‘Om’ that begins the final slower chanting of the ‘A’ section.  The percussion is considerably scaled back in this last phrase.

As the final strains of the last ‘Om’ subside, we once again experience Gina’s ethereal vocalizing, accompanied solely by a ‘droning’ cello and the tamboura drone.  The track and the album conclude with over a minute of transcendent space created by this combination of Gina’s improvisational vocal and drones, with her vocal finishing off with 3 very musically-ornamental ‘Om’s and, finally, the fading out of the cello and tamboura.  By the way, this particular tamboura sound is the source of the higher pitched sound that can be heard throughout the track but very prominently and regularly through this concluding section of the chant.  This unique sound results from some overtones produced by the tamboura (which came from a recording Ben has in his library).

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Natesh has led kirtan at Bhakti Fest, Shakti Fest and numerous other festivals. This past year he was chosen to lead daily morning "deep-immersion" Om Namah Shivaya chants at Bhakti Fest and Devi/Ma chants at Shakti Fest.

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