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Songs for the Sangha

Music CD
White Swan Music
June, 2015
$22.95 CAD
Banyen's Description: 

Songs for the Sangha, the latest offering from Deva Premal & Miten with Manose, marks an exploration of fresh musical terrain for the beloved devotional musicians. Ancient Indian texts, sung with effortless artistry by Deva Premal, are finely crafted with her partner Miten’s sensual reggae grooves into pulsing, uplifting, spiritually inspiring anthems.

Add into the mix the soaring sound of classical Indian bamboo flute, courtesy of renowned Nepalese bansuri maestro and longtime accompanist Manose, the rock-solid foundation of producer Joby Baker's bass and drums, and UK keyboard wizard Spencer Cozens’ tasteful, jazz-inflected acoustic piano work, and there, in a nutshell, is the album. Surrounding themselves with three such fine and diversely influenced musicians, Deva Premal & Miten have transformed their sound into a musical magic carpet ride, rendered exquisitely by an elegant five-piece band – their first recording outing with a larger ensemble of players.

 Deva’s ethereal, velvety voice brings a warm embrace to the venerable chants (and some new songs), in a unique soundscape that moves with fearless grace from Western classical music to swampy reggae grooves with rich soul and jazz inflections. Recorded in a house on Australia’s east coast near Byron Bay, the recording exudes a warm spontaneity – even including some of the natural sounds, such as cicadas, that they heard in the very relaxed and intimate recording environment.

Translated from Sanskrit, sangha means “spiritual family.” This new album weaves the ancient Sanskrit mantras into songs celebrating the inner journey, melding many different musical and spiritual traditions in a joyous flow.

As the Rumi poem featured in the final track says, “Draw near, draw near and I will whisper in your ear, the name whose radiance makes the spheres to dance: OM…

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