Having recorded eight albums strongly influenced by North Indian music, I felt inspired to explore the ancient tradition of mantra in a form that captures the spirit of the Vedic tradition, and to present the mantras in a musical setting with utmost integrity and respect to their origins, and in a way that is universally appealing to both the eastern and the western ear. Thus all the pieces are set to specific Indian ragas and talas which dictate the mood of the mantra. However, there is also western harmony and rhythm present which hopefully will make it appeal to the western ear as well. The primary intent was to make positive and uplifting music for the difficult and negative times we are
faced with these days. I hope that we have succeeded. To achieve all this, I have been most fortunate to collaborate with some highly talented and inspired musicians, both from India and the USA, namely my collaborators Mala Ganguly and Christo Pellani, as well as special guest artists Steve Gorn and Subir Adhikari.
At the heart of the album is the exquisite voice of Mala Ganguly – who brings a majestic and authentic feeling of her Indian roots, along with her outstanding vocal performances – and Christo Pellani, the “King of Rhythm,” who plays all the sound healing instruments and drum foundations under the compositions.
About Mantras, Vandanas and the Music
Going back to the Vedic era, Indian music has its origin in devotion and prayer. Mantras have always been an essential part of the Indian spiritual tradition. Their purpose is to concentrate the mind that is normally scattered throughout the senses and to return to a focused state at the center. The mantra also carries a spiritual intent - which is to evoke a higher state of consciousness - to connect one to the Divine. Many ancient mantras are intended to evoke the blessings of a particular deity.
Vandanas are prayers, sung as a form of devotion, adoration and reverence to the Divine. Each composition is presented in the Indian form of Alap (no rhythm) and Gat (main theme with rhythm).
released November 8, 2019
Stevin McNamara: Nylon-string guitar, 12-string guitar, bass
Mala Ganguly: Vocals, harmonium, tanpura, swarmandal and conch
Christo Pellani: Many drums, percussion, bells, sound healing instruments
Special Guest Artists
Steve Gorn: Bansuri (Indian flute)
Subir Adhikari: Tabla