After months of preparations, writing, and marinating with the Mantras and Shabads (sacred songs) for our new album, we finally got together as a band to record them. These photos show our rehearsal session, prior to recording, with the folks that I am blessed to work with - Neelamjit Dhillon on tabla (and other percussion), Stuart Fuchs (on guitar) and Sarah Carlisle (on bass). We were in the trusted care of producer, Jamshied Sharifi, who supported our live sessions with keyboards.
And yes, we had live sessions! That's what this whole album is based on. We booked time at a recording studio in Rhinebeck, New York called the Clubhouse, and had three days of recording. On the first day, it snowed all day long, which put me in kind of an introspective and cozy mood. The second day was perhaps the most challenging for me, in terms of creativity and flow, probably because we tackled the most intense pieces on that day. The third day flew by like magic. And when we had a chance to listen to our work at the end, I realized, it all sounded really good! I was so worried prior to the recording session about how everything would turn out, but I have to say, I am so happy to have done the project this way. It provided a new way for me to express my creativity that felt as new and exciting as the creation of my first album.
Each day, during the recording session, we would all sit down for lunch. Inevitably, as we finished the wonderful food (especially the yummy kale and tofu from Sarah!), the conversation would go towards the subject of our future, of global warming, the planet that our children will inherit, and the current state of the US government. I feel that perhaps many of us are going through an incredible challenge in these times. There is no way but through it.
In fact the album has, what I feel to be, important Mantras and Shabads (or sacred songs) for this time. We must rise up to the great challenges of the day with our inner light and spirit fully intact. There is a song which speaks to my experience of water, in which I sing, "My blood flows like a river to the heart of the ocean." My prayer with this song, is that it can help people connect to the vital resource of water on this planet; to take all of the necessary steps to become guardians of the many rivers, lakes, streams, and oceans, not only for our health as a humanity, but also for the many sacred creatures therein.
May we each find our creative voice, and our way through, and up to the Love that holds everyone so dear.