About CD Krishna
This CD embraces the devotional energy of Krishna. An all-chant CD featuring Girish Gambhira on tabla & percussion, Tal Herzberg on bass, George Shelby on sax and flute, and great response vocals by local chanters in the Los Angeles area. These grooves to the great Krishna are at once accessible and mesmerizing. Don’t miss the Dub Version at the end of the CD – a real treat!
“Some of the most dazzling love songs to the Divine you will ever hear or sing. Wah! is strikingly passionate.”
The Story Behind CD Krishna
When the Universe wants you to do something, there really is no way around it. At the time, I was a little uneasy with the Krishna chanting, especially “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.” I had never taken to the Hare Krishna movement, even though I myself had lived in a similar ashram for 15 years. In fact, I was a little scared of the mantras…
Ken Pellman, a novice musician (who later became a marvelous friend) had asked me to teach him harmonium. Ken, as it turned out, had been a devotee of Meher Baba for many years. When I asked him what he wanted to learn, he said he wanted to learn chanting. We tried a few chants from various traditions until one day I asked him who his favorite deity was. “Krishna,” was the answer.
I immediately taught him all the Hare Krishna chants I knew, and in only a couple weeks I had completely exhausted my repertoire of chants simple enough for a beginner to play. The solution was to write new ones. So, each week, I wrote him a new chant. I taught him the melody and recorded a 30 minute cassette so he could sing with it in his car. The cassettes I made for Ken are the tracks of CD Krishna.
When the Universe wants you to do something, there really is no way around it. I was personally a little uneasy with the Krishna chanting, especially “Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare.” I had never taken to the Hare Krishna movement, even though I myself had lived in a similar ashram for 15 years. In fact, I was a little scared of the mantras.
Making a 30 minute cassette of Krishna chanting required a bit of set-up, quite a bit of composing, and even more time recording. I added background vocals and overdubbed bass tracks. Which meant, in short, that I was spending a good portion of every week immersed in these chants. I didn’t feel overworked, I felt simply marvelous. It was a drunken bliss, and I couldn’t get enough. Chants and mantras to the Great Krishna entered my day, my meditations, my dreams. I got high.
I’m not really sure how I ended up in the studio tracking CD Krishna. I booked 2 days in a studio and we recorded onto a single 8-track ADAT. There was no pre-production. I just arrived at the studio and started playing. In my increasing bliss, I had actually forgotten how some of the songs were supposed to go. My brain had ceased to function in the manner I was accustomed. My heart had started to open. The correctness of melody paled next to the energy I had tapped into.
I invited a handful of chanting friends to join me for tracking response vocals. It had to be the most magical set of evenings – so much love and support. It was my first experience joining together with people from various traditions. What a gift.
Seva mixed and mastered this project from Knoxville, TN. (Seva helped found and develop WAVES technology, which made him famous in the technical world). When I told him I wanted a dub version of one of the songs, he just chuckled. (He knows my love of reggae) Seva chose Gopala Hare. He took the harmonium tracks and connected them to the tabla tracks, so that every time the tabla played the harmonium would trigger. The result was a goofy sort of reggae rhythm, perfect for the project. Add some delay vocals. Dub Version.
Immersed in the subtle energy of this project, I was able to open my heart a little more. Heal some old wounds. Soften some of my harder edges. The CD reflected everyone’s willingness to embrace a divine energy of love.