An Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha for Ganesh Chaturthi

To keep your celebration of Ganesh Chaturthi going, here’s a version of Om Gum Ganapataye Namaha from last week’s Bhakti Fest:

Why that one? Because one of the singer, Prajna Vieira, was along on our yatra last summer. (And yes, she has a website. And, yes, I expect her to re-post this on the social media.)

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Some ragas you ought to check out

If you’ve missed our coverage of Sangita Yoga and Naren Schreiner — well, you haven’t been paying attention, have you?

As we noted earlier this month, Naren has finished a new album of sacred chants . Now there’s a quick video about it, which is well worth you time on a calm Saturday. From the description:

In this video interview, Naren describes the project and the vision behind this groundbreaking album release. New Earth Records and Sangita Yoga Music present Naren’s newest album, Sangita Yoga: Sacred Chants of India, a compilation of sacred texts from India set to Naren’s original raga-based compositions, accompanied by guest musicians on tabla, santoor, sarangi, violin and cello.

And here’s the video. Enjoy:

Happy day off, unless you’re among those who have migrated your day off to Sunday.

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New Krishna Das Hanuman Chalisa: Sundara Chalisa. Get it free

Krishna Das has made a new Hanuman Chalisa available for free download. Link to that is right here.

Plus there’s new video:

Here’s info about it:

This version of Sri Hanuman Chalisa sung by Krishna Das was filmed at the Open Your Heart in Paradise Retreat Maui, Hawaii, December 2014.
Musicians: Krishna Das (harmonium & vocals), Arjun (tabla), Rick Frires (bass guitar), Nina Rao (kartals), David Nichtern (guitar), and Genevieve Walker (violin).
Audio recorded and mixed by Kevin Reilly.
Video filmed and edited by John Phaneuf.

Remember, he and Tim Miller are doing a first-ever retreat together in March.

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‘I was a very confused child’

NPR’s Morning Edition today featured one of the world’s greatest tabla players: Zakir Hussain.

The link is right here. The feature is part of a week-long look at “beats,” aka drummers. There’s a “listen now” feature but, as best as I can tell, the written story is the same as what you hear.

The story also includes the below YouTube video of Hussain and his father:

A quick excerpt, with a storyline that sounds familiar to Ashtanga:

Hussain was 7 when his father first approached him and asked if he was ready to learn the tabla for real. The lessons were to begin in the middle of the night.

“I was woken up at 2:30 in the morning, and that’s when we sat and talked rhythm,” he says. “And he told me about the history of our tradition and the great masters of the past, and what it all is — just kind of developing inside me the whole idea of existing in this world.”

Hussain says that nocturnal ritual would be repeated every night for four years, his demanding school schedule notwithstanding.

“It didn’t matter to me; I was so happy. To be in his presence was great,” he says. “From about 2:30 on, he talked to me, and then at 6:30 I would go to the local Islamic school, the madrassa, and learn to recite the Quran. When that was over, I’d go across the street into my school, which was a Catholic school, and we’d sing the hymns and then go to class.” He adds, “Doing all of that in the space of, like, five-and-a-half or six hours, I was a very confused child.”

Following his father’s lead, Hussain would get involved in world music and play with artists including George Harrison and the Grateful Dead. There’s a funny exchange recounting that experience.

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