About Hidden in the Name
This 2 CD set gives you 11 chants and 130 minutes of great music. Great grooves and percussion combined with awesome vocals and a great back-up choir. Radhe Bhaj is the swinging reggae tune, worthy of a dub version. Songs to Divine Mother, Ram, Ganesh, Krishna, Shiva, and worship of the Great Divine. Once again, it’s a deep experience of chanting and meditation, done in Wah! -style instruments and chord progressions. .
“Everything about Wah! and this CD, is unique: a female bass player who loves reggae beats and sax riffs, and writes and sings beautiful and moving devotional chants.”
PORTLAND KIRTAN NETWORK
The Story Behind Hidden in the Name
Hidden in the Name was the most challenging CD I have ever made. Created in the middle of a busy touring schedule, the CD was tracked, mixed and mastered within 3 months time. For 15 months straight, I had been on the road with Krishna Das, playing violin and bass for him. December was the month we were taking off, to rest and regroup. I wanted to go in the studio and record some of the tunes I had been hearing in my head while I had been on tour.
I called Girish (the tabla player) and asked him if he wanted to record some tunes. He agreed and we set a date for Thanksgiving weekend. My plan was to record the tabla and harmonium tracks first to establish the basic feel, and then overdub all the other tracks at a later time. Thanksgiving came around, and Girish said he couldn’t make the session. His girlfriend was about to go into labor, and he wanted to be there for the birth of his child. That seemed reasonable. But, the days passed, and there still was no baby girl. Days turned into weeks, and she ended up being delivered over 2 weeks late. By the time we entered the studio, we only had a day or two to record. It was almost January, and my schedule with Krishna Das was about to resume with production of his new CD, Breath of the Heart.
The length of the songs was also questionable. If I let the chants go their full length (live versions), we would end up with only 4 songs on the CD. I decided to shorten the chants. We recorded Radhe Bhaj first, and I was able to keep it down to 5 minutes. Then we recorded Hare Ram Sita Ram and I just couldn’t keep the standard. The song came in at over 15 minutes! It had a great vibe, but what to do? I just wanted to offer the chants as they were, to capture the energy of devotion which rested inside the music. I wanted to surrender to the chant, and play it however it wanted to come forth. After the 3rd song, I knew I was committed to a double CD (a risky idea according to record labels & distributors – too hard to sell). But I went ahead anyway. By the end of the day, I was about 15 minutes short of having enough music to fill two CDs. I had another half composed idea in my head, and so Radha Ramana Hari came forth. Recording these songs by composing them on the spot was a terrifying mix of devotion, skill, and “letting go.”
We needed a “response choir” to sing the alternating choruses in the tunes. Because of the unusual timing, I combined my efforts as Krishna Das’ manager and solo artist, and invited 200 people to both recording sessions. Krishna Das’ recording was highly spotlighted by the press and industry, and about 100 people showed up to sing response vocals. Eight people showed up to sing at my session. The engineer had set a minimum of 10 people, so I just sat there, dumbstruck. I had no time left to reschedule anything; in a week I would resume another 10 months of touring with Krishna Das. After awhile, Anahita arrived at the studio with Gopi, who had developed a high fever on the ride to the studio. I propped Gopi up with some pillows in the back, called it an even 10 and started recording. We got enormously high from the experience, but the response choir was not really in tune. My husband and I spent the next two days overdubbing extra choir voices, with me impersonating a different singer each time in order to thicken the tracks.
Hidden in the Name was mixed from ADAT tape onto 2-track DAT, transferred to Pro Tools and final edits were made in Pro Tools. There were many hours of splicing together mix #1 with mix #3 at 1:34:55, and our tight schedule required super concentration. Rich Wenzel at Ardent Audio came through with flying colors, as did Seva in the mastering. Even though the CD was created in the midst of a heavy touring schedule and didn’t boast the best production, it did carry a great deal of the devotional energy I was immersed in while touring.