Yoga on Disc: Reviews of CDs by KYTA Conference 2007 presenters and entertainers
by Tresca Weinstein
Meditation Made Possible, Volume I: Meditation on the Breath
With wisdom, humor, crystal clarity, and down-to-earth, detailed directions, Bhavani Lorraine Nelson makes meditation not only possible, but also understandable, approachable, and inspiring. A teacher of meditation for 20 years, Bhavani weaves metaphors, stories, and her own experience into an enlightening explanation of the practiceperfect as an introduction for new meditators or as a reminder to experienced practitioners of what it's all aboutand then guides us through the practice. The design allows users to customize their experience as far as length and how much guidance they'd like on any particular day.
Bhavani will lead a sound meditation Friday evening at the conference. www.soulflightunlimited.com
This Rhythm is Not Mine
Using traditional percussion instruments, including the jun jun, calbasa, kora, and shakeree, John doesn't just create music with his drumming, he creates entire worlds of sound. Couple that with his spoken-word poetry and you get a hypnotic, atmospheric experience that keeps you riveted and ignites an urge to move and dance that comes from deep in your core. From a love poem to family ("We Are Still Here") to a lament for the homeless ("Sidwalk") to a layered ska-like rhythm poem ("Slap"), his phrases are spare and evocative. The disc also includes instrumental versions of five of the poems.
John performs "The Primal Thread: Percussion and Poetry" Saturday evening and joins Shantala and flautist Steve Gorn for a Sunday evening kirtan. www.johndekadt.com
"Lean over for a kiss...we're fab/Let's wander through the night like two magnets in a science lab." That's a sample of the fresh and clever lyrics of Red Velvet Slide, otherwise known as Chris Brenne and Parul Vakani, who write, sing, and accompany themselves on guitar, keyboards, and percussion. Once described as a mix between Sting and Sarah McLaughlin, the duo balances rocking love songs like "Apres Soiree" with introspective ballads like "Unchartered Terrain" and "Fly Through the Rain."
Chris performs "Music for Body and Soul" Saturday evening. Parul and Shivanand Thomas Amelio will lead a Sunday morning chanting session. www.redvelvetslide.com
The Love Window: Sacred Chants of Devotion
This collection of eight Sanskrit chants from husband-and-wife musical duo Benjy and Heather Wertheimer is mystical, moving, and mesmerizing. Benjy studied Indian classical music for more than 25 years with masters Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, and Ali Akbar Khan. Heather has toured with Steve Gorn, Manose, and Deva Premal and Miten. From the driving "Durga" to the ethereal "Om Mata Kali," Heather's soaring vocals and Benjy's rhythmic landscapes capture the timelessness of the chants and give them a vibrant, joyous energy.
Shantala will offer a Sunday evening kirtan at the conference. www.shantalamusic.com