Live in Concert Live
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|5. Adi Shakti|
|7. Aad Guray Nameh|
Recorded at concert halls, churches, and yoga studios during Kaur's tour across North America, this DVD/CD set includes performances that soar to the heights of these sacred spaces and find a home in the hearts of their audiences. The DVD intimately chron
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She is not affraid to take risks on stage, and here she is accompanied by a small but very accomplished band. With GuruGanesha Singh Kalsa on guitar, who certainly looks like a guru with turban and long white beard and plays some delighful fills and solos. The brilliant tablaplayer Manish Vyas, who has recorded with the likes of Deva Premal and Prem Joshua, besides releasing a string of fine soloalbums. And the very discreet keyboardplayer Ram Dass Singh Kalsa, who also plays some meditative clarinet-soloes, just as Snatam occasionally picks up her violin.
We get some of her most beloved tracks, ending with her 'hit', her hauntingly beautiful melody to the traditional Sikh-lyrics "Aad Guray Nameh". Vyas and GuruGanesha also contributing a song each.
The music is free and flowing, very well-played. The album can be listened to just for musical pleasure, but also for meditation, healing, relaxation, yoga etc..
All in all, a great set. And if you want to check out some of the audio clips before buying, go to SpiritVoyage website (they produce all the Snatam Kaur albums). Enjoy.
Each song, if a separate track, would be worth the price of the album alone, but that would be to miss the point. There's a synergy here between performers and audience, you sense, that can best be described as Spiritual. Although a compilation from her recent performances, this album is put together in a way to give the listener as close to the same experience of sitting through a concert as possible. It begins with the most touching 'Azure Salver' which sets the spiritual tone from onset.. The Magic is about to begin! 'Ong Namo' powerfully sets the reverential tone. Time to pick up the pace now, and Snatam Kaur brings the audience into 'Ong Sohung', singing along, "I am Peace. Peace is in Me. It's in You. BELIEVE IT!" I remain spellbound through the next two Kirtan: 'Gobinda Hari' and 'Adi Shakti'. Next, the amazing 'Shivoham'-- mesmerizing and beautiful duet of Snatam Kaur and Manish Vyas. Does it get any better? I can't imagine... I almost pinch myself(!) Finishing with 'Aad Guray Nameh' is a fitting, beautifully performed and deeply reverential acknowledgement and affirmation of ultimate Sikh truths.
Regardless of your faith (or lack thereof) just open up to Snatam Kaur's music and let yourself be taken away in bliss and peace. I'm sure that you will be glad that you did!
The DVD didn't, but it gave me some of that sensation. I say some, because the DVD is more of a chronicle of her touring, just as the DVD back jacket cover says - it gives partial glimpses of what's involved to create performances, interviews with the musicians, rehearsals (that was really neat to see!), and actual footage of real performances in different venues, albeit only short snippets of them.
There is a delightful segment showing Snatam Kaur interacting with young children. Also a segment showing a yogic kundalini breathing exercise, just like it is done at concerts!
I wish there had been at least one song/chant performance that was shown in its entirety on the DVD. (I had hoped that the one which would be shown in entirety would either be "Ong Namo" or "Long Time Sun." Either one of these would have been an appropriate "bookend" for the DVD production.) The viewer just gets a taste of the various experiences involved in the touring adventure.
Some of the comments by the musicians show their irreverent side, which reminds the viewer, that the musicians, while playing holy music, are still as real and as approachable as the common concert goer.
The flow of scenes in the DVD is well-paced and well-sequenced. I really felt that Snatam and company were opening their doors to their fans, allowing them to get an intimate glimpse of what they go through to bring their magic to the world. The total quality production is very good and highly recommended to anyone who has never been to one of her concerts and wants to be exposed to the beauty and grace of her music (as well as enjoying the great musicianship of her colleagues who play with her - what a treat to watch GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa do his magic on the guitar), as well as those of us who have attended her concerts many times and want to relive the special energy.
The relatively short run time of the DVD (45 minutes) is made up for by the fuller length CD of seven selections (74 minutes). What is special about the CD selections is that the music captures the same live performance audio sensation that we concert goers hear at the concerts (versus the studio version of her music that is captured on her other CD's). You get the full length version that you hear at the concerts. One of her most popular chants, "Ong Namo," starts out with a similar introduction as is normally done at concerts with the eventual lead in to the main melody and words.
By looking at the listing of chants on the CD, one might think, "I have already heard these on the other CD's." You will find that the recording of these chants has a purer, fresher, and cleaner sound, as just as spiritually envigorating, if not more. I love both the studio recorded CDs I have of these chants as well as this one.
"Gobinda Hari" goes on and on and takes the listener into a hynotic trance with repetition of various words and musical phrasing. Other chants (this one or perhaps "Adi Shakti," or "Shivoham"?) end with a tabla solo display of measured ecstasy.
The studio produced versions of Snatam's music don't capture the guitar work of GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa like what a concert goer sees and hears at those events. This CD and the DVD capture his special gift and contribution to her music and sound. I really liked the fact that his guitar work can be heard distinctly on the chants, as more in the foreground - and in the concert performances, much of his guitar runs ARE in the foreground of the music when Snatam is not singing.
A prime example of his artistry and excellence in sound engineering is displayed on track 5 of the CD - "Adi Shakti." It sounds just like I have heard GSK play this chant at the concerts.
The concluding "Aad Guray Nameh" is lovingly performed. Her studio performance of this chant on another CD is also very beautiful in the use of overdubbing of voices, but this concert version is elegant in the simplicity of the way in which a singular voice can still produce such a beautiful purity of sound that moves the listener deeply.
The CD contains a nice variety of chants - ranging from the very calm and soothing, to the more energetic, to the high energy ones.
Inner contents on the packaging contain an attractive fold out type picture of the four musicians involved in the tour, positioned on stage with their instruments, as well as lyrics (in English and Gurmukhi with translation of key spiritual terms). Unlike the inner contents of some of her other CD's, such as "Grace," which go into great detail about the meaning of various chants, this CD/DVD package simply provides the lyrics and translation, and a description of people responsible in the production and performance of the music, tour, and the DVD/CD.
I really enjoyed this DVD and CD, and only wished that the content of the DVD was longer and filled with more concert film footage and that at least a few of the chant performances were shown in their entirety.
This DVD/CD is a must-have for any Snatam Kaur and GuruGanesha Singh fan. I'd rate this package a 4 1/2 but fractions are not allowed, and given the nature of her music, quality of production, and relative beauty of the effort, I am required to select the higher rating, for the higher calling to which Snatam Kaur has devoted her life, the excellent quality of her music, and the inspiration and loving connection it brings to me, the listener.
If there are angels then Snatam certainly is one. Calling this album good is like saying GOD is good. Words are pathetic expressions but those that immediately come to mind are "celestial," and "angelic." Moreover, her voice and prayers rise far above religions and religious doctrines. For example, track two is "Ong Namo," which means "I bow to the subtle divine wisdom." Track three is "Ong Sohung," which means "I am thou." Track four is "Gobinda Hari," which means "God the Sustainer and support of all" (Gobinda) combines with "God the fresh, beautiful, absolutely potent healing energy," (Hari). Santam's singing of such is truly inspiring regardless of your religious cult or belief.
The seven tracks range in length from 7 to 14 minutes and have a total running time of 74 minutes. They were culled from live performances in Berkeley, California; Ashland, Oregon; Coeur D'Alene, Idaho; Titusville, New Jersey; and, Victoria, British Columbia. Snatam besides singing, plays harmonium, violin and guitar. She is accompanied by GuruGanesha Singh Khalsa on guitar; Manish Vyas on tabla; and, Ram Dass Singh Khalso on keyboard and clarinet. Also, all her musicians sing backup vocals.
This album is great for anytime of the day or situation, whether driving in heavy traffic, cruising, relaxing after a hectic day, or simply getting out of bed. If you want music that will put you in great frame of mind you have your answer. If you want to give someone a great gift then give this album. Pass the message of love. This will provide far greater rewards than a trinket, garment or skin lotion. Also, there is a 45-minute video program on seperate DVD enclosed with the audio CD.
Fans of Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt will love this album.