Hear this eastern sounding musical contemplation of the varying light of day reflected in the deep purity of a crystal clear mountain lake, eXPressed with the help of an instrument all of us "westerners" can understand, dancing on its surface to the subtle but irresistible groove of tender percussions....
Favorite track: Heart of the Lotus - Part 3 (Theme).
Entrancing. Stevin's music has accompanied me in my personal and geographic journey since 2010. I spent many nights in the high desert and the mountains, transfixed by Stevin's music, the snow, the fir and the stars.
Favorite track: Midnight in the Darbar.
Stevin McNamara's original approach to guitar music is based on the concept of raga, the traditional form of music that has existed in India for centuries. Literally meaning "that which colors the mind," raga is not only a scale or some fixed sequence of notes, but is considered a living musical entity. When correctly performed - at the appropriate time of day or season of the year - it is believed that a spiritual connection between raga and musician occurs, in its turn creating a unique "sound manifestation" between the performing artist and the listening audience.
In Shakti Guitar, Stevin uses the raga form to interpret the full time spectrum of a day, with a shimmering song cycle evoking the sun's path from the radiant dawn of sunrise to the stillness and peace of the wee hours of night. Shakti connotes the concept of the essential life force and creative energy- specifically the energy of the divine feminine – into which yogic consciousness taps. This concept is reflected in the album cover's central image of Saraswati, the Hindu goddess of learning and music.
With the solid rhythm foundations of renowned master drummer Christo Pellani, and contributions by special guests including the acclaimed Indian-American singer Sheela Bringi, Grammy-winning bansuri flautist Steve Gorn, noted producer/remixer Ben Leinbach and the virtuosic North Indian vocalist Mala Ganguly, the album frames the guitar's gentle sound with delicate vocals and instrumentation. Two bonus tracks - remixes by McNamara/Pellani and by Leinbach –will enhance the digital version of the recording.