What You Will Find in the Yoga Music Blog

This Blog is focused on World Fusion flavored ChillOut, Downtempo and Ambient genres of music.

You will find a growing collection of brief recommendations and comments on some of the best in these styles, often called Yoga Music.

There are probably as many definitions of Yoga Music as there are people listening to it, so here's more clarification of what we're about:

Music with exotic acoustic world instruments such as the tabla, doumbek, ezraj, duduk, and bamboo flutes, usually blended with some tasty electronica, often with vocal chants in Sanskrit or some other non-English language, layered with multi-cultural grooves and world-trance rhythms. (examples: Desert Dwellers, Prem Joshua, Kaya Project, Rasa, etc.)

At times we'll also review Kirtan and other World Fusion Devotional Music. (examples: Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, Deva Premal...)

If you have some favorite World Fusion Music that you think should be represented here, drop me an email or leave a comment on one of the blog posts.

Yoga Music Blog

News, Info and Recommendations in the World Fusion / Yoga Music Genres

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7th Annual Peace Village - August 16th-18th - Stellar Lineup

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on Friday, 19 July 2013
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well1I highly recommend this year's Peace Village in Ashland, Oregon beginning on Friday August 16th and running through some late night events on Sunday the 18th.

This festival has been growing and improving every year since it's inception seven years ago, and this year I feel it's come of age to take it's place among the other must attend offerings in the Pacific Northwest.

The date is the weekend after Beloved Festival, so it makes sense to stop off for a day or the weekend if you're traveling back to destimations South.

This year there will be two stages, the outdoor Seamana Earth & Stone Stage and the sweet garden setting of the Casbah Pavilion Stage. (the Casbah area is one of my favorite venues)

tinaSome of the highlites for me are the electronica bass beats of Kaminanda, Blue Tech, Sasha Rose, Jaya Lakshmi & Ananda’s Kirtronica and many others. A wide range of other genres are covered by the likes of Tina Malia, Shimshai, Dirtwire (w/ David Satori of Beats Antique & Evan Fraser of Hamsa Lila), Alcyon Massive, Alice DiMicele Band, and too many more to mention here.

The venue is ideal... Jackson Wellsprings Hot Mineral Springs Resort, with wonderful facilities, including mineral pools, trees and meadows.

Check out the Web site for any deals that may be available, but even without a discount this sweet festival is a value compared to what you'll spend at most other festivals this summer.

well2


Greetings from Bali!

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on Friday, 03 May 2013
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upper-villa-200In the fall of 2012, we sold a lot of our stuff and packed most of the rest of it in storage. On January 8th, 2013, we boarded our flight to Bali, Indonesia for a six month minumum stay. (at this point we're thinking it will be much longer)

It's been about four months and life is pretty good here. We landed an epic villa (everything in Bali is called a villa) that we share with many geckos and flying and crawling insects. I've had some health issues (back spams, etc.) that have prevented me from doing much music sitting at my Logic Pro workstation, but the progress being made by using some amazing iPad music apps has helped considerably.

As a result, I hope to have some new music to put up on the site soon.

two-poolsMy new process for creating tracks is to begin with some of my favorite iPad apps like Alchemy, Animoog, Sunrizer, Magellan and many more and by using Audiobus recording them into Auria, the 48 track DAW for iPad.

I was pretty blown away to discover that Auria manages it's resources so well that I can run 16 tracks at only 40% of the CPU power. Plus, after a long day in front of the computer doing Web development, it's pretty cool to have the choice to create music laying down, with my feet up, if I so choose.

I've noticed that over the years it's far too easy to get caught up in the technology, either exploring it, or hindered by things that aren't working and need to be troubleshot. As a result many sessions end up with too little, if anything, being recorded. By simplifying things with the iPad I can see a path to more actual music being made. We'll see, I'm a master at distracting myself.

Bali is full of amazing musicians and at some point I look forward to collaboration. Until then, I'll be here on the veranda overlooking a verdent jungle, with my feet up on the lounge, composing and laying down tracks.

 

Symbiosis Gathering 2012 Promises to be Truly Epic

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Screen_shot_2012-05-05_at_9.47.41_AM"Epic" is a term that has become hyperbole for the most part lately. I hear it used so often and for things that aren't even close to "epic" that it has all but lost it's meaning to me.

It does, however, appear to be an entirely appropriate adjective for the Symbiosis Gathering that will be taking place in at Pyramid Lake in Nevada from May 17th - 22nd, 2012.

The first thing that caught my attention was the lineup. It's virtually a who's who of today's stellar performers in  electronic, world and other genres. I can't recall another festival that has come even close to gathering so many of the leading edge music creators in one venue.

Once I fully digested the depth of the Symbiosis lineup (see list below), then some of the other unique and very special aspects of the festival begin to make their way into my awareness, such as the location (Pyramid Lake) and the fact that an annular eclipse of the sun will take place from 5:14 pm - 7:36 pm on Sunday, May 20th.

Screen_shot_2012-05-05_at_9.49.10_AM The location for the event is on the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribes' Reservation which is thirty five miles northeast of Reno, Nevada in a remote desert area. The Paiute hosts have opened up lands precious to them for the first time in over 25 years so that we may have an opportunity to participate and celebrate in the midst of this awesome celestial event.

Pyramid Lake covers 125,000 acres, making it one of the largest natural lakes in the state of Nevada. The scenery is spectacular, and the color of Pyramid Lake changes from shades of blue or gray, depending on the skies above. Pyramid Lake is also surrounded by unusual rock formations, including the Stone Mother. Pyramid Lake’s significant role in the history of the Paiute Indian tribe also adds to its mystique and many myths and tales surrounding it.

The path of the annular solar eclipse trails directly over the location for the festival, and special viewing glasses will be supplied to all attendees.

An annular solar eclipse will take place on May 20, 2012. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partially obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. An annular solar eclipse occurs when the Moon's apparent diameter is smaller than the Sun, causing the Sun to look like an annulus (ring), blocking most of the Sun's light. An annular eclipse appears as a partial eclipse over a region thousands of kilometres wide.

symbiosis-crowdI'm imagining myself being one of around 5,000 participants, eyes all to the skies, watching this natural spectacle taking place in the heavens above us.

The Symbiosis organization was founded on strong principles of environmental consciousness and ecological sustainability and each event has continued to advance this vision through the implementation of both time-tested and innovative eco-action initiatives. This vision is expressed clearly in a statement posted on the Web site.

THIS IS A CALL TO ACTION

We believe in the healing, transformative potential of intentional gatherings. We have dedicated our lives to facilitating these opportunities for collective evolution. This eclipse is the culmination of all we have learned along the way.

From the dark side of the moon, we are called to gather, to bring the unique gifts we have each been cultivating in order to enter together into this time of reckoning. Within this great shadow of the eclipse we have the opportunity to engage with our own shadows: personal, ancestral and cultural, and work together to transform these challenges into the blessings of a new day.

Screen_shot_2012-05-05_at_9.46.28_AMSymbiosis Gathering's origins were humble with a small (it's all relative) event held in the mountains of Santa Cruz, that included a diverse lineup of music, art, visuals, community vendors offering their creations, and a colorful array of attendees.

Over the years it has grown into one of the premier events of it's type in the world, whose stage design and atmospheric style (see pics) is copied by many, so much so, that Symbiosis Creations was formed to handle requests for atmospheres for other festivals and events.

People travel from all over the world to attend Symbiosis Gatherings. No matter where you are, you owe it to yourself to consider attending this year's Symbiosis Gathering At Pyramid Lake… it promises to be truly epic.

FEATURING

MUSIC
[a]pendics.shuffle - Adham Shaikh - Adrian Blackhurst - Aima the Dreamer w/ Jazz Mafia - Akara Project - An-Ten-Nae - Androcell - Antix - Austero - Barisone - Barrakuda - Barton - Bass Science - Beats Antique - Big Daddy Joe - Bird of Prey - Birds of Paradise - Birdseye - Bluetech - Bogl - Brass Menazeri - Brian Sentient - Campfire Songs w/ Micha & Leighton - Captain Hook - Cheb i Sabbah - Chlorophil - Christian Martin - Claude VonStroke - Craig Kuna - Cumulus - Damian Lazarus - Danny Corn - David Starfire - Delachaux - Desert Dwellers - Dials - Dickster - Diego's Umbrella - Digital Honey - Dirt Wire - DJ Dima - DJ Three - Dogon Lights - Dov - Dragonfly - Drez - Droog - Drumspyder - Dub Kirtan All Stars - Eenor's Mus Mezmer - El Circo - El Papa Chango - El Radio Fantastique - Elephant and Castle - Emancipator - Entheogenic - Fanna-Fi-Allah - Fiord - Foobz & Question - Fou Fou Ha! - FreQ Nasty - Fungineers - Galen & Solar - Gang Gang Dance - Gatto Matto - GAUDI - Gladkill - Govinda - Green Nuns of the Revolution - Headroom - Heavyweight Dub Champion - Hedflux - Heyoka - Hiatus - Hobotech - Hopscotch - ill Gates - J BOOGIE'S DUBTRONIC SCIENCE - J Phlip - James Blake - Jamie Janover - Jeff Stott - Jeno - Justin Martin - Kalya Scintilla - Kaminanda - Kasey Taylor - Klown Korps - Knowa Knowone - Kontrol SF - Liam Shy - Liberation Movement - Lila Rose - Little Dragon - Little John - LoCura - Love & Light - LowRiderZ - Lushbunny - LYNX - Lyrics Born - Mad Maxx - Majitope - Malarkey - Manny - Matt Xavier- Max Ulis - Mekkanikka - Merkaba - Metal Mother - Mikael Palner - Mikhal - Milosh - Minilogue - Moombahton Massive (Nadastrom & Sabo) - Mortar and Pestle - Mozaic - Mr. C - Mt Wolf - Nasty Ways (EPROM & Boreta) - NastyNasty - Natasha Kmeto - Nikita- Nikola Baytala - Of Porcelian - Omer - Oonaslim - OPIUO - Outersect - PaNTy RAiD - Paper Diamond - Perfect Stranger - Photek - Psynthetic - Pyronauts - Radio Devi - Random Rab - Rena Jones - Rigzin - Rupa & the April Fishes - Russ Liquid - Rustie - Salva - Sasha Rose - Satya Yuga Band! - Sebastian - Shawna - Shef - Shigeto - Shlohmo - Shotgun Wedding - Shovelman - Shura - SimonB - Smash & Grab - Son Kite - SORNE - Stellamara - Sufi Soul Electronica - Sun Control Species - Sun Monx - Sweet Anomaly - Symphonix - Terrakroma - Tetrameth - Thankyou City - The Dolomites - The Human Experience - The Tailor and the Sea - Thriftworks - Thugfucker - Thumbprint - Tinker - Tipper - Tony Inorbit - Tornado Rider - Treavor Moontribe - Trifonic - Tripswitch - Tron - Uone - Vagabond OPERA - Vajrasa - Vau de Vire Society - Vibesquad - Vitamin Devo - Welder - Who Cares - Willy Electronarcosis - Worthy - Yuli

WORKSHOPS
Ayah Buonaugurio - Bhairavi Devi - Bobby Page - Body Magicians - Cain Carroll - Craig Kohland- Deb Ruben - Eric Wallace - Johnathan Wolf - Juli Hell - KK Ledford - Kristi Parson - Lauren Dubois - Madeleina Buldoc - Marcela Castillo - Monique Trinity Rose - Nikelle Khan - Revital Carroll - Serena Scalione - Shifra Blumenthal - Sita Devi- Tahir Qawwal - Tenley Wallace - Tom Bright - Wren La Feet- Yoga Slakers - Yogi Prataedo

YOGA + MOVEMENT
Alina Konvissar - Amelia - Andrea Vecchione - Brock Dolman - Chief Golden Eagle - Chris Paine - Chris Reeve - Chris Richards - Claire Thompson - Darina Joy - David Miller - Dr. Dream - Drew Dellinger - Emily Kistner - FreQ Nasty - Harlan Emil Gruber - James Oroc - James Stark - Jamie Janover Jeffrey Kroop - John Major Jenkins - Karl Baba Bralich - Katrina Zavalney - Kerry Brady - Kim Marks - Lux Moderna Mandrella Wood - Manu Butterworth - Marcia Lopez - Mia Rose Muse Amoon - Dr. Newton Konvadetti - Nolan Hapeman - Parul Devi - Raymond Naeyaert - Shifra Blumenthal - Soluntra King Starhawk - Tati Alberto - Tim Granzotti - Verdarluz - Wahkeena Sitka

Photos courtesy of Manifest Media, Luiza Leite Photography and Coil Lighting

Trance Sitar and More from Canadian Artist Prosad

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on Saturday, 29 October 2011
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I was watching Living in the Material World, the Martin Scorsese HBO documentary on George Harrison the other night, and it reminded me how strongly I responded to the sitar when I first heard it on the early Beatles tune, Norwegian Wood. (And George Harrison didn't even really know how to play the sitar at that point) There was an instant knowingness that there was something special about this instrument, and also something that seemed to resonate out of a deep inner recognition. It was new to me, yet there was something timeless there as well.

If I was given the opportunity to choose my musical path over again, the sitar would be my first instrument of choice, followed by the sarod.

Prosad_yoga_musicI recently became aware of someone who was able to change musical paths, and take up the sitar, after starting as a singer songwriter and guitarist. His name is Prosad (pronounded pro-sahd), and we talked recently about his musical journey and the passion he brings to both classical and what he calls trance sitar music.

Prosad has recorded classical sitar ragas on his 2006 album Mystical Sitar, but it's the Trance Sitar world fusion album that got my attention. Prosad's sitar on this album is downright tasty, melodic and heartful. I appreciate artists who are confident enough realize that it's not how many notes they play, or how fast, but that playing the right notes in the right timing are what makes for music that can speak to the soul. (Prosad's musical sensibilities remind me a lot of the Yoga music created by Chinmaya Dunster, a long time favorite of the Yoga Music Blog.)

Tance Sitar is full of great music for Yoga, dance, movement and just listening to as you go about your day. It ranges from the downtempo (but lively) Byron Bay to more danceable, tracks such as my favorites, Om Namah Shivaya and Jungle Sitar, but all the tracks maintain a coherant musicality and heart.

Prosad was a guitarist in high school and college rock bands that toured Canada. Little did he know when he was given a sitar in 2001 that it would alter his musical direction in such a huge way.

He was instantly attracted to the hypnotic sound of the sitar and began to study faithfully. At first he believed it would remain a hobby, but as time went on it became clear that he had an affinity for sitar and people began to take notice when he played.

Prosad’s first sitar teacher was Shambhu Das, a life long student of Ravi Shankar. "It was an amazing experience to study with Mr. Das as he had taught sitar to George Harrison while the Beatles were in India in the late 1960’s," he said. Prosad later went on to study classical sitar with the great sitarist Ustad Irshad Khan.

Currently Prosad is studying Indian music with Alam Khan, son of the legendary Ali Akbar Khan Sahib. He is also studying how music can affect consciousness and aid in meditation with his spiritual teacher, Maestro Tulshi Sen. He is now seeking to create music that will not be only for the purpose of entertainment, but will also uplift and raise the consciousness of the listener.

I spoke to Prosad recently from his studio in Toronto, Canada.

Bram: Thanks for taking the time to speak to the Yoga Music Blog. Tell us a little about the upcoming album. (release date is December 2011)

Prosad: I'm really excited about the new album. It will be more upbeat, more dancy, with a world music/reggae influence... a lot more vocals and a lot more song driven.

I think the difference between my music and some electronic artists is that I play almost all of the instruments myself. So the only things that are electronic are the samples and some of the beats. Real tamboura, real sitar, real didgeridoo, and vocals.

Bram: What do you mean by song driven?

Prosad: If I have a theme, or a motif, or some feeling in my heart that I'm trying to express, and instead of grabbing some random samples that repeat and sound good together, I'm actually writing melodies and choosing instruments based on getting across a message or a theme… it's a feeling that I have in my heart rather than just trying to be clever putting cool samples together.

Bram: How will this differ from say, your Trance Sitar release?

Prosad: This will take everything I've been studying for the last 15 years of my life and make it into one unique sound.

I think with this album I've captured the sound that I've wanted to find. I think every musician throughout their life is always searching for their [unique] sound. And I feel like that with this album I've found it.

Prosad_yoga_music2Bram: You mentioned earlier that the study of the Sitar is spiritual for you, are you able to put that into words?

Prosad: Indian music is an incredibly spiritual pursuit. One of the quotes on your Homore page, I loved it, you say that music itself is a form of Yoga for Indian musicians, and it's a form of Sahdana where they try to become one with the vibration of music. Doing the sahdana of music is completely and totally a form of Yoga. They say nada brahma… sound is God, sound is the creator.

The purpose of meditation is a way to quiet the thoughts of the mind, and Nirvana actually means "no wave," so there's no wave in your mind.

When you're studying these ancient ragas that have been passed down for hundreds of years, and really the origin of the music is three thousand years old, from Vedic times… and it's been passed from master to master to master for three thousand years, you're not only playing the music, but you're actually, in a way, tuning into the thoughts of all of those masters.

Because the tradition is oral/aural they never wrote it down. So each master had to memorize the music, internalize it, make it part of his being, and then transfer that music to his disciples, who would then internalize it, become a master and transfer it to the next generation.

So when your'e playing these compositions that are sometimes 500 years old, and the actual music itself is three thousand years old, you're inheriting not only the music, but the vibration of the master that held that music. Every master that held it and passed it on is passing some of his essence along to you through those melodies. And if you practice long enough and hard enough, you can imbibe that spiritual aspect into your own being.

Ultimately, they say that you can't have music without silence, and if you follow the note as it fades into the drone you actually follow it into the silence, and when you go deep enough into music you reach silence, and silence is God. It's the same place that you can reach when you meditate. So the fact that Indian music is a spiritual path, a sahdana is absolutely true.

* * * *

Give a listen to Prosad's music, including his newest release, Infinite Ocean, which is more of an ambient, meditative kind of experience with Prosad on bansuri. It's excellent World Fusion that would find a welcome place in anyone's Yoga Music collection.

More info on Prosad can be found at: BeyondBordersMusic.com

listen_itunes_emboss2


Recommended Tracks: Jungle Sitar and Om Namah Shivaya

Yoga for Peace at Earthdance Festival - Sept. 23rd - 25th

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earthdance

 

 

 


EarthDance Festival - Solano County Fairgrounds, Vallejo, California (new venue this year)

EarthDance presents an incredible weekend of yoga at this years festival featuring internationally renowned yoga teachers and musicians. The classes will take place inside the Unity Hall, a wonderful indoor facility with plenty of room to stretch. Each class will be accompanied by live music and will feature well known artists from the yoga community, including a few surprise guests from the festival main stage. The highlight of the "yoga for peace" weekend will be the "prayer for peace" class on Saturday (2pm to 4pm). Backed by an all-star cast of musicians, this class will culminate with a globally synchronized "prayer for peace" uniting with over 350 cities in 65 countries across the world. So pack your yoga mat and join us for the a wonderful weekend of yoga.

Yoga teachers include such renowned names at Shiva Rae, Pete Guinosso, Michilene Berry and more.

Featured Yoga music artists include: Desert Dwellers, Suzzane Sterling, Karsh Kale, Rara Avis, Amani Friend, Craig Kohland (Shaman's Dream), Kirtan with Prema Mayi and many more.

Proceeds from CD and yoga mat sales go to support - "Off the Mat into the World"

In addition to the focus on Yoga, if you want to get your dance on, be sure to check out the amazing lineup on the other stages, including Ziggy Marly, Balkan Beat Box, Les Nubians, Ivan Neville's Dumspterphunk, Beats Antique, David Starfire, Opiuo, Gaudi, Kaminanda, and too many more to mention.

Click here for ticket information

Quintessential Yoga Music - Om Deeksha with Maneesh de Moor, Deva Premal, Sudha, Anette Carlstrom and more.

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om_deekshaIf you appreciate Yoga Music that is evocative of peace and spaciousness, then you might consider adding Om Deeksha to your Yoga music collection.

Om Deeksha offers ten tracks that range from uplifting celebratory chants, to meditative moving soundscapes. Om Deeksha is a blend of vocals, keyboards, strings, percussion, Indian instruments, nature sounds, and more.

Featuring the gentle influence of Maneesh de Moor's production style and the voices of Deva Premal, Sudha, Sri Anandagiri-ji, Yogini, Sri Krishnaraj-ji, and Anette Carlström, Om Deeksha gives you a aural taste of the spiritual phenomenon known as deeksha. But even if you are unaware of, or don't resonate with the deeksha movement, this album is an excellent musical tool for your Yoga practice, meditation, healing, or even as a sound track to a romantic evening.

maneesh_demoorBorn in the Netherlands, Maneesh mastered the art of sound synthesis and sound sculpturing after studying in the classical and pop/world genres of music. He specializes in the fusion of ethnic styles and contemporary atmospheres and grooves. Over the years he has collaborated with many musicians from around the world. (Sudha, Praful, Bahramji, Deva Premal & Miten, Prem Joshua amongst many others)

Maneesh is a specialist in creating and manipulating sound and draws on a huge collection synthesizers and effects as well as infinite sample libraries to achieve his signature sound. "Anything is possible... I love the cutting edge as much as I love the pristine beauty and purity of a great acoustic recording. In music production, there's a wide array of possibilities to choose from...These days more than ever, with all new technology being developed every day. As a producer and arranger, I take on the responsibility to make the most qualified choices in sound and arrangement, in full, flexible and easygoing communication with my clients."

Click on the link below and preview the tracks on Om Deeksha. I'm sure you'll agree that these are a collection of Yoga music tracks that are at the same time diverse, and yet interconnected.

listen_or_buy

YogiTunes - A Great New Destination for Yoga Music

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yogitunesThe Yoga Music Blog wants to take this opportunity to let you know that YogiTunes.com was unveiled at Wanderlust Yoga Festival recently. YogiTunes is a new Web based concept with downloadable music in many genres, including a unique feature, downloadable Yoga teacher playlists. The site will also offer Yoga clothing, mats and other products to support the Yoga lifestyle.

I've watched my friend Alex King-Harris (performing solo and with Desert Dwellers as Rara Avis) work his butt off over the past couple of years helping to get all the pieces in place for this great Yoga music Web destination. It's off to a great start, and promises to continue to evolve into a place we can all count on for some of the best Yoga music tunes available anywhere.

The Press notice below layous out the details better then I could.

Alex King-Harris, Craig Kohland, and Amani Friend, three of the nation’s most prominent yoga music composers and performers, announced today the launch of YogiTunes, a digital download store featuring US and world music specifically selected to complement yoga, dance, meditation, massage, and a wellness-based lifestyle.

“Yoga has seen such explosive growth over the past few years, and so there is a real need for a service like YogiTunes that provides the curated focus that we do”

The co-founders bring over 15 years of industry leading experience in creating and recommending music for top yoga instructors. Their custom designed digital music store will appeal to health and sustainability enthusiasts who want specifically filtered content to complement and enhance their lifestyle needs.

With thousands of handpicked albums and artists, YogiTunes launches with a huge pool of music that will be constantly evolving with fresh deliveries from a wide array of record labels. YogiTunes fairly compensates artists and record labels with prevailing rates in the digital download industry – encouraging news for music fans who want to sustain a broad based wealth of great music.

One of the highlights of YogiTunes is the Yoga Teacher Playlist – a selection of songs picked by yoga instructors for use in their classes. What makes a good yoga playlist is its ability to follow and support the various intensities of a yoga routine. Health and sustainability enthusiasts are typically first exposed to the music attending classes or workshops, but often don’t know where to buy the compilations of their instructors.

YogiTunes solves this by featuring the playlists of certified yoga instructors across the country for students and other teachers to purchase and download. A broad group of the most highly respected teachers in the country and around the world have signed up and will be creating playlists on a regular basis. Shiva Rea, Sadie Nardini, and Hemalayaa Behl are just a few of the world-renowned instructors featured on the site.

“Yoga has seen such explosive growth over the past few years, and so there is a real need for a service like YogiTunes that provides the curated focus that we do,” said Alex King-Harris, CEO and co-founder of YogiTunes. “The value we bring is our seasoned ability to both create and recommend contextually specific songs for teachers. As well, YogiTunes is run and supported entirely by active members of the yoga community who are dedicated to fostering community and positive social change through the power of music and yoga.”

The founders have collectively produced, contributed to, and recorded over 70 releases under various names including Rara Avis, Shaman’s Dream, and Desert Dwellers. They frequently are featured at major yoga retreats and gatherings. YogiTunes was unveiled at Wanderlust California in Squaw Valley, Lake Tahoe, among the nation’s premier yoga and music festivals.

"Total treat – we now have an actual music headquarters for the yoga community, where we can all share and listen to what's inspiring our colleagues,” said Elena Brower, founder and co-owner of ViraYoga in New York City and the 2010 Global Yoga Ambassador for Addidas. “YogiTunes will undoubtedly create more cohesiveness and creativity in the yoga and wellness space. It really is a privilege to be here at the inception of this incredible concept."

In addition to yoga-inspired music, YogiTunes offers unique, music-inspired merchandise and yoga apparel with a focus on eco-friendly, competitively priced products. Their goal is to infuse the creative energy of the music community into products that blend the essence of both yoga and music into an on-going YogiTunes signature series of goods.

The site was created with the support from some of the leading developers and strategists in the music and yoga industry, who have collectively been behind successes such as Earthdance International, eMusic.com, WhiteSwan Records, Six Degrees Records, YAMA Talent, LA Yoga Magazine, Wanderlust, and other leading niche music services.

Beats Antique Video - Revival

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This video came my way recently and it's very impressive endeavor from one of my favorite World Fusion live bands, and great source of Yoga Music. I first became aware of them at EarthDance a while back, and they rocked the house when they played in Ashland, OR a few months back.

beats_antique2

Since the group’s inception from the eclectic underground of San Francisco’s performance art scene, Beats Antique has been notorious for making it nearly impossible to sit still. They meld their mediums as attentively as they fuse the cultures that inspire their sound. All self produced and composed, the trio creates a unique collage: an animalistic, raw musical event that blurs the lines between the provocative, the spiritual, and the artistic, while still maintaining an allegiance to the muses of class and beauty.

David Satori and Tommy Cappel both trained classically before venturing to locations such as Bali, West Africa, Serbia and beyond. With extensive backgrounds in multicultural music production, and the passports to prove it, Satori and Cappel command the spectrum of live and digital instrumentation, born from Hip Hop and old school jazz.

Zoe Jakes adds a third dimension as the multi –cultural and –disciplinary dance counterpart to Beats Antique’s sound. Jakes has worked with 2 major dance troupes, Miles Copeland’s Bellydance Superstars and Rachel Brice’s Indigo Belly Dance Company, a student of ballet and contemporary techniques. Jake’s additional history with Cappel in the Extra Action Marching Band and the Yard Dogs Road Show grants some insight into the caliber of performance that is Beats Antique’s standard.

All of this sets the scene for Beats Antique’s overtly ambitious stage show, a sensory overload conquest of the festival circuit’s most riotous events, such as Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits festival, and Outside Lands, as well as a catalog of proper tours that include Bassnectar and a recent run with Les Claypool of PRIMUS in early 2010. According to Satori, the trio is excited by their ability to create a huge sound from their relatively small setup. “It gives us this whole new world of musical opportunities that we’re just starting to scratch the surface of.”

Director | Ivan Landau
Music | Beats Antique - "REVIVAL"
Director of Photography | Austin Rhodes
Illustrator | Leighton Kelly

How to Support Great World Fusion Music the Crowd Sourcing Way

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stephenuOne of my favorite local DJs, Stephen (Ujjayi) Brown, is also a musician and producer. He is raising funds on Kickstarter.com to produce an ambitious album of world fusion music using electronica, as well as the sounds of physical instruments played by himself and some of the world's finest musicians. In addition to pledging a cash contribution, I wanted to let the you all to know how you can support this project. (Pledges of $10 or more receive a digital download of the album prior to the release of the CD)

For those of you who don't know, Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects.

They believe that:

  • A good idea, communicated well, can spread fast and wide.
  • A large group of people can be a tremendous source of money and encouragement.

Kickstarter is powered by a unique all-or-nothing funding method where projects must be fully-funded or no money changes hands.

Now that we live in a world where major labels don't control everything we hear, it's our responsibility to support independent artists when we can.

I think Stephen describes the project best himself in the description found on Kickstarter.com

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Ujjayi Soundsystem means: “victorious breathing sound system” and is a vast and textured sound-scape I’ve woven together using a blend of electronic music I’ve composed and live instruments played by amazing talents and finished off with stellar vocals.

My name is Stephen Brown:

I have a rich background in electronic music production as well as percussion and live dj work and love what I do! You might see me in a town or city near you soon dj’n under the name Dj Ujjayi or find me with another passion, teaching a Yoga workshop. I’m so excited have found Kickstarter! This will be my first album under Ujjayi Soundsystem!!!

I have been working with many world-class musicians from multi cultural backgrounds including such talents as: Riffat Sultana Ali Khan, MC Rai (singer featured in the soundtrack to “Babel”), Deva Priyo (guitarist and sarodist from the band “Lost at Last”), and Lev Polyakin (violinist from The Cleveland Orchestra) to name a few.

To finish the album I will need to pay artists, mix in a studio, master the music, higher a graphic designer, pay for copyright, legal fees, and finish with production/duplication. To achieve this goal and put out this amazing album it will cost an additional $8,000 and with your help this dream can finally come true!

I have a dream of sharing the positive vibes of music with the world, please help me achieve my dream.

“this album will live longer than I will, I want it to be amazing!”

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We trust that this album will be amazing too.

To find out more about this project, and to watch a compelling, short video about it click here.

Hans Christian - A Gifted Producer, Composer, Engineer, and Musician

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on Thursday, 21 April 2011
in World Fusion

yoga music chillout musicI went to see Tina Malia and GuruGanesha Singh on their Song of the Soul tour last night, and upon entering the venue, I was thrilled to see the stage filled with a fine collection of exotic world instruments.

Through a number of synchronicities, before the concert I found myself conversing with Hans Christian, the reason for many of them. You are already familiar with Hans' work if you've ever seen Rasa in concert or listened to any of their many recordings.

The reason I found this chance meeting so interesting, (other than the fact that Hans is an engaging guy) is that, lately, I've been playing along with a number of Rasa tracks in order to practice scales and sound techniques on my EWI.

Hari Haraye, from Rasa in Concert is my current favorite practice track, and it's a daunting challenge to emulate the haunting, emotional texture of Hans' Indian Sarangi. (pic below)

The concert was exceptional (and deserves a separate review) and because our seats were in the second row, right in front of where Hans was set up, we were able to watch him perform his prodigious instrumental magic.

Another benefit of our conversation, is that I discovered that Hans is a prolific producer and performer on many projects other than Rasa. In addition to a number of recent projects of his own (Undefined Heart - Meditative compositions with solo cello, loops and delays, recorded Live July 5-10, 2010 in Chartres, France.) he has worked with a diverse list of artists such as Dave Stringer, Krishna Das, Vas, and many others.

Most of Hans' early musical life was spent in recording studios from first recordings at age 16 with a local flamenco group called Duo Flamenco in his home town Hannover, Germany; to recordings in Hamburg at the famous Deutsche Gramophon studios and a local facility called Studio Hafenklang.

From there he went to Hollywood to pursue a life as bassist and cellist, performing and recording first with local underground bands and later with popular artists (Robbie Robertson, Sparks, Toni Childs, Gene Clark, and others). Picking up clues from recognized producers T-Bone Burnett, Chad Blake, Daniel Lanois, Mitchel Froom (all of whom he met during sessions) and others, Hans developed a foundation for his work as a composer, producer, and engineer.

His first instrument being the cello, Hans' musicality evolved around Western classical music. Technique and discipline were the building blocks for his musical education, although these were quickly augmented with his choice of the bass guitar as a second instrument (and leading to the subsequent immersion in rock music). The foundation for a rich musical career was thus prepared.

yoga music chillout musicHis interest in World Music, especially from India, led him to pick up the Indian sarangi and sitara (a small customized sitar) and the Scandinavian nyckelharpa. (pic left) Hans has played on countless albums, given hundreds of concerts, and produced many projects, including his collaborations with Kim Waters under the name RASA and several recent solo recordings.

If you're looking for some evocative yoga music for your practice or are simply wanting to expand your world music library, check out any of Hans' fine recordings.

Visit Hans' recording studio Web site, called STUDIO 330, at www.recordingstudio330.com for lots of info about his professional work.

Yoga Music from Tal Maya - Beat Illusion

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on Sunday, 20 March 2011
in World Fusion

yoga music, chilloutTal Maya, (Sanskrit for "Beat Illusion") draws inspiration from musicians and traditions from around the world, and combines the tones and rhythms of India, Asia, and the Middle East with the more American styles of Funk and Jazz...thus creating an eclectic blend of exciting instrumental music that challenges your mind, stirs your heart, and moves your body.

Originally founded in Minneapolis, MN in the early 90s, Tal Maya has recently been reborn on the West Coast (currently in Seattle) and continues to explore uncharted musical territories and create all original compositions.

The players and instruments listed below should provide some insight into the tapestry of sounds created by Tal Maya.

  • Jason Everett: Basses, Piccolo Bass
  • Tao Zhidao: Violin, Sitar, Tanpura
  • Miss Stick: Flutes, Oboe
  • Shiv Anataraja:Tabla, Mridungum, Percussion
  • Gaye Nesh: French Horn, Trumpet
  • Mr. E: Vocals, Keyboards

For the most part, this is energized and energizing music. I can't quite define it in words accurately, but it's different from much of the world fusion music I listen to. Perhaps there's a bit more of a world/jazz influence, and as a result, at times, the melodies and rhythms feel like they're about to burst from the confines of the arrangement and take off into those "uncharted territories". I like it because it's challenges me as a listener.

If you're looking for some yoga music to  add a little lift to your practice, or if you just want to check out something a little out of the ordinary in world fusion genre, give a listen to Tal Maya - Beat Illusion.

For more information: http://facebook.com/Tal.Maya.World.Music

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Asudha - Various Artists -Yoga Dub Grooves by Yogitunes

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on Friday, 31 December 2010
in World Fusion

asuda yoga musicAsudha, is translated as Bliss, and the title is more than appropriate for this musical yogic journey.

Temple rhythms, trip hop and downtempo beats, angelic melodies and open, trance-based arrangements provide an excellent bed for yoga and other wellness practices, or for just simply chilling out to as a soundtrack to your daily existence.

Everything on this release is great, but track highlights for me are:

Bhodi Tree Dub (Visions Mix) by Desert Dwellers - evocative flutes, tanpura, tabla, chanting voices and electronica create an exotic aural tapestry for yoga or movement.

Temple Gateway by Shaman's Dream - rich pads, tasty percussion, sensuous flutes, perfectly placed electronica and female voices echoing throughout the mix.

Waves of Reflection by Desert Dwellers - this is classic Desert Dwellers with slow hypnotic arpeggios weaving in and around percussion, flutes and synth motifs.

In Asudha, music producer Amani Friend (Desert Dwellers) has woven together a yantric tapestry of pranic elements, along with fellow Yogitunes collaborators Craig Kohland (Shaman's Dream) and Rara Avis (Desert Dwellers). Cave Dwellings, a track by Liquid Bloom is also included.

Prem Joshua - India's Favorite World Fusion Artist

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on Monday, 16 August 2010
in World Fusion

Prem Joshua is a Westerner, who spent many years in India studying sitar with masters, before returning to the West.

The last time I checked, Prem Joshua was the number one bestselling World Music artist in India, and the favorite artist on MTV India. The daily newspaper "The Times of India" anointed him the new "Guru of Fusion."

I first became aware of Prem Joshua (and band) in 2001 when they played a small venue in our area in support of Dance of Shakti. (The exquisite and entrancing Hina Sarojini provided indian fusion dances to some songs, but that's a whole other story.) They rocked the place and I became an instant fan.

hina yoga musicI caught them again a year later when they came through supporting their new release Water Down the Ganges (with Manish Vyas), and sat in, transfixed, during a classical Indian dance lesson that Hina gave for the women in attendance at the concert who demanded it.

Prem and Hina haven't been back to our area since then, but I have followed the respective arcs of their careers through iTunes, Facebook and their websites.

It is expected, and appreciated by many of us, that Prem Joshua's music veered more towards electronic influences with Ahir and some of the fine remixes that have been done such as Dakini Lounge.

The return to more acoustic based arrangements on Yatri and Taranga have reassured those who feared losing that style to the chilled downtempo and dance oriented grooves.

I couldn't pick a single release to recommend here as I love them all, though, I play different albums at different times depending on my mood.

Give a listen to any of the fine albums by Prem Joshua and friends. If you're a world fusion and yoga music fan, you'll find a lot to like.

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Songs of Kuan Yin - Heart-Opening Music to Invoke the Divine Feminine

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on Tuesday, 10 August 2010
in Yoga Music

Kuan Yin is one of the most well-known Buddhist figures.  She is revered throughout Asia as one who answers prayers swiftly and eases the suffering of the world.  Often called the Goddess of Compassion, she is actually a bodhisattva, an 'awake being.'

Songs of Kuan Yin is overflowing with the power of the Divine Feminine. This album features songs by some of my favorite women artists, Deva Premal, Choying Drolma and Donna DeLory, among others.

The tracks are a sumptuous mix of  Western and world fusion influences, exclusively from women artists. (with the occasional assist from the men listed below) The overall presentation is contemplative, reflective, and the result is often heart opening.

Among my favorite tracks are, Song to Kuan Yin, by Donna DeLory & David Gregoli, Chenrezi by Choying Drolma & Steve Tibbetts, and Kuan Yin's Mantra by Lisa Thiel. As usual I gravitate to the tracks with distinct exotic world fusion arrangements, but there should be something here for every kind of musical taste in contemporary devotional music.

 

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Download Chanting Mantras - Vocal Yoga Music

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on Wednesday, 28 July 2010
in Yoga Music

Cistern in MoroccoChanting Mantras is a search term being used many thousands of times per month by those seeking vocal chanting in one form or another.

It appears to me, based on some search engine research, that people using the term download chanting mantras are seeking many different kinds of vocal chanting music, not just mantras as the term might apply.

A few examples are: Sanskrit chants, Tibetan Chants, Indian Mantras, Buddhist Chants, chants in English, and too many more to list here.

Some of the music previously reviewed in this Yoga Music Blog includes vocal chants in one form or another, and I am currently producing some of my own Yoga Music with vocal chants in Sanskrit and also some chants without meaning, other than the expressiveness of the vocals.

Once I finish up with some my own music, a few tracks will be available to download chanting mantras here on the site.

Photo of a Cistern In Morrocco by Catherine Larrick ©2010 [Click here to enlarge]

Tasty Yoga Music from Seahorse Transform

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on Tuesday, 20 July 2010
in Yoga Music

yoga music chilloutDust from a Trip is the 2007 release by Seahorse Transform. (Seahorse Transform is 34 year old Simon Jagd from Copenhagen, Denmark.)

Simon has been writing music since his teens, specializing in percussion based music. He is inspired by the Asian instruments he discovered on his many journeys to India.

Seahorse Transform isn't widely known. I discovered this music while listening to am ambient-chillout feed from Indochill Internet radio in India.

My favorite Yoga Music of the nine tracks is Djaja Dub. It has a strong, but restrained, groove that keeps chugging along carried by a perfect blend of percussion, electronica, and indian strings, such as sitar.

Ninth Gate is another favorite on this release, but at times the groove inspires one to get up and move, which can interrupt your floor work.

Check out the entire release, but let me know what you think of Djaja Dub for Yoga music.

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Mayapuris - A Hot Kirtan Group

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on Monday, 12 July 2010
in Yoga Music

yoga musicOne of the hottest groups doing kirtan/yoga music right now is Mayapuris.

Their first release, Mridanga, hit iTunes on June 21st, and has quickly risen to #10.

With a mix of energetic uptempo and silky smooth downtempo grooves, blending the mridanga drum, vocals, flutes and more, this is a very satisfying collection of tracks.

Guest artists such as Jai Uttal, Guari Vani, As Kindred Spirits, and Benji Wertheimer (with some very tasty ezraj) add to the allure.

From their website:

Where do we come from? We come from a place where every word is a song, every step is a dance. We come from a paradise where the sound of kirtan can be heard from every direction at any hour. We come from the spiritual sky, each and every one of us, and we are just trying to get back.

Through kirtan.

As usual, I'll keep this review short and let you decide with a quick listen... just click on the link below.

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Selwe by Choying Drolma and Steve Tibbetts

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on Thursday, 01 July 2010
in Yoga Music

selwaThe album Selwa is a collection of beautiful, haunting chants that evoke an ambient peacefulness and inner calm. The instrumental arrangements are appropriately sparse, creating a perfect vehicle for the expressive voice of Choying Drolma.

It continues to remain in my mix of favorite yoga music because of the timeless quality of the arrangements, and also because it's clear to me that this is more than just notes and melodies.

This music creates a serene atmosphere for yoga or reflection, and is also perfectly suitable for just listening in front of a good sound system.

Choying Drolma, was born in Kathmandu to Tibetan exiles who fled the Cultural Revolution in 1959. She was accepted as a nun in a Tibetan Monasterey at an early age where she was instructed in monastic rituals and meditation, which included chants. (Tibetans do not regard this as folk music, but rather perceive the depth of meaning in these chants as capable of enhancing understanding and transforming ordinary experience.)

In 1994 guitarist Steve Tibbetts visited her remote monastery where he recorded the music, brought it home and later added the guitars and other instruments that resulted in their first collaboration called Cho.

Marc Anderson provided the percussion.


Mooji - Clear Dialogs on Nonduality

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on Wednesday, 12 May 2010
in Nondual

mooji nondual teachingMooji is a direct disciple of the renowned advaita master, Papaji. In 1987, a chance meeting with a Christian mystic was to be a life-changing encounter for Mooji.

Within a short period, he experienced a radical shift in consciousness so profound that outwardly, he seemed, to many who knew him, to be an entirely different person. As his spiritual consciousness awakened, a deep inner transformation began which unfolded in the form of many miraculous experiences and mystical insights.

He felt a strong wind of change blowing through his life which brought with it a deep urge to surrender completely to divine will. Shortly after, he quit his job, left his home and began a life of quiet simplicity and surrender to the will of God as it manifested spontaneously within him. A great peace entered his being, and has remained ever since.

I've found helpful guidance from a number of nondual teachers. Chris Celine (local to Ashland) helped me through one of the most difficult times of my life; Adyashanti; Candice O'Denver's message of 'resting as awareness' for short moments repeated many times is brilliant; and there have been others. Mooji is the one I keep coming back to, and the one who's audio talks I have on my ipod shuffle to listen to during morning yoga.

Mooji's talks are down to earth, simple language dialogs that cut through the descriptions and points of view that my mind throws up about how things should be vs. how they appear to be. In the nondual perspective there is nothing to accomplish, nowhere to get to, and nothing to become. Mooji is a very helpful reminder of that for me.

There are dozens of audio passages available to listen to or download, as well as other good stuff at mooji.org.

Streaming MP3 Satsang Dialog - 7 min.

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Desert Dwellers Waves - Indo-ambient mystical fusion

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on Thursday, 11 March 2010
in Yoga Music

yoga music - desert dwellers waves

I might as well admit that Desert Dwellers is currently my favorite world fusion, downtempo yoga music, as there will be many reviews and recommendations of their music on this site.

I discovered Desert Dwellers on iTunes a couple of years ago and they quickly moved into heavy rotation on my iphone.

 

In a bit of synchronicity, about a year later I discovered that Rara Avis, one of it's members had moved to my town. When I ran into him a month or so later doing a live gig, I introduced myself and he's become a musical mentor and a friend.

On their first full album release, Desert Dwellers meld elements of downtempo and psy-chill with sinewy basslines, otherworldly guitar and an exotic mix of organic instruments into an Indo-ambient mystical fusion. Created and composed by Amani Friend and Rara Avis, and produced by Craig Kohland, founder of the Shaman’s Dream Ensemble, DOWNTEMPLE DUB: WAVES pulses with lush rhythms and serene harmonies, guiding a sonic odyssey into the soul of the global heartbeat.

Desert Dwellers' roots lie in a thriving community of provocative artists, creative thinkers, and progressive-minded individuals based on the West Coast. Since the early 90s, their extended family has assembled regularly, forming a sacred space where people can relax, tune in and bliss out to chillout, ambient and downtempo music produced by a loosely-knit collective of DJs and producers. 

These gatherings have extended the frontier of electronic dance music and today form the epicenter of the techno-tribal renaissance movement. DownTemple, in addition to being the title for this new music series, is also the theme for some of these downtempo events, where a vision of promoting a conscious way to walk peacefully in the world is shared by all. 

When White Swan suggested the name DownTemple Dub for this series, they were stunned by the synchronicity, as the organizers for Downtemple are some of our closest friends and share our eagerness to spread the ethos of Downtemple and Desert Dwellers alike. 

This is the intent written into our music: that it may contribute to the overall well being of the people living on this planet. Music is our key to healing. Music is our key to finding fellow travelers during these intense times, and it is our key to understanding the great depths of human emotion, and our potential to soar. 

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