Acoustic Mandala Project/ Sound Healing/Yoga Retreats

cropped-IMG_08171.jpg

Joshua Geisler and I recorded the Acoustic Mandala Project with the theory that if we created ambient music based on the natural overtones of a single wave, something good would come out of it.    The music traveled: in Capetown, South Africa, the singer Morely got members of rival gangs to lie down and do visualizations as they listened to Acoustic Mandala Project; yoga practitioners have told us of using it daily for meditation and  doulas have told us they play it on repeat during child-birth.

Screen shot 2012-10-05 at 11.20.34 PM
Speaking about the power of Just Intonation.

Since the success of that recording, and the influence of a fellow musician, Alexandre Tannous, I have been increasing my collection of instruments whose symphony is their overtones: large gongs, tibetan and crystal bowls and beyond.  This has turned into Acoustic Mandala Soundbaths where participants lay down, put on eye pillows, and float in the soundscapes of these instruments.   At some events I have brought in practitioners of Acutonics, who apply weighted tuning forks to the acupuncture meridians of the participants.  These send vibrations through their bodies, while a drone of a related frequency fills the space.

conducting an Acoustic Mandala Soundbath at the Osa Bliss Retreat in  Costa Rica
Conducting an Acoustic Mandala Soundbath in the Jungle:  Osa Bliss Retreat in Costa Rica

Recently I have been invited to lead sound baths in Costa Rica and Ecuador (2015) and have led retreats with the great yoga teachers, Shawna Emerick,  Amy Soucy and Alyssa Snow.  As well as facilitating many “sound healing” workshops with Leroy Hankins, Gwen Laster and Kathy Toris-Rowes.1979230_10152114880517358_5537654183087330694_o

 

If you’re interested in learning more about upcoming retreats contact me and I’ll keep you in the loop. 

 

 

Upcoming Events

Okay so I haven’t updated this in a year! Hope to do better in 2016 Here’s a start, of the concerts mentioned here I’m producing the the opening nightFebruary 3: Africa/India Series, Residency Launch Party February 24: George Harrison Birthday/ Beatles Tribute, April 13: Raga CubanaApril 20: The Raga Remains the Same, but will be involved in all of them.  Pioneer Works is an amazing venue, our favorite by far in Brooklyn.

Africa India PW

 

Brooklyn Raga Massive Residency at Pioneer Works

February – April 2016

WHERE: Pioneer Works, 159 Pioneer St, Red Hook, Brooklyn

WHEN: Every Wednesday in February, March and April

1/15/2016 Brooklyn, NY

Launching with an Africa/India Concert on February 3rd, BRM’s Pioneer Works residency will consist of multi-disciplinary performances, recording sessions, educational offerings and podcasts. For every Wednesday in February, March and April, BRM will bring their weekly series to Pioneer Works with greatly expanded programming, including themed nights (Women’s Night, Dance, Africa/India), tributes to musical legends from East (Ravi Shankar) and West (George Harrison) and special guest artists, such as Pt. Krishna Bhatt, Karsh Kale and Kiran Ahluwalia. Before each concert, BRM will host related workshops and film screenings, while during the concert, Bombay Sandwich Co. will provide delicious culinary offerings. BRM artists will also lead a special educational series on Thursday nights entitled Shruti and Laya: an Embodied Experience of Sound Through Indian Music. The recording studio at Pioneer Works will be utilised by BRM each week as their members engage in a collaborative composition project. These studio recordings, in addition to live concert recordings from the whole residency, will be used to create a new BRM compilation album defined by its residency at Pioneer Works. Video from the concerts, studio and interviews will comprise a documentary film and video shorts, further defining this bold partnership.

For almost 4 years, the Brooklyn Raga Massive has held a weekly concert series and jam sessions, featuring classical Indian performances and experiments with contemporary music and world music traditions. The inclusive and spontaneous sessions have created a strong community of world class musicians and dedicated fans, and has been an incubator of new genres of music indigenous to Brooklyn. Last year brought a period of incredible growth, The New Yorker called BRM the “leaders of the raga renaissance” while Wall St Journal said that “BRM members seek to redefine classical Indian music in the new century.”

February 3: Africa/India Series, Residency Launch Party

 

Brooklyn Raga Massive will launch its Pioneer Works residency with a special concert celebration, a retrospective of  it’s popular and joyful Africa/India Series.  For over a year now, Brooklyn Raga Massive, NYC Radio LIve and Afro Roots Music Nights teamed up to bring African and Indian artists together for a popular series of monthly concerts. These shows have included great musicians including collaborations with Mali’s Yacouba Cissoko, the Moroccan group Innove Gnawa and the OM Gam Ensemble.  The majority of these have been archived on the podcast www.nycradiolive.org and broadcast on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY.

 

For Feb 3rd’s  special triple bill, we will be presenting the legendary “golden voice of Mali,” Awa Sangho, supported by the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars, the fresh new electro-acoustic Kora/Tabla duo Orakel made up of Kane Mathis and Roshni Samlal and the original band in this new genre Afrika Meets India, led by Kevin Nathaniel on Mbira and Eric Fraser on Bansuri. Dancing shoes strongly recommended!   

Additional musicians involved in the evening include, Giancarlo Luigi, percussion, David Ellenbogen, guitar, Sameer Gupta, tabla, Daniel Moreno, Percussion, Joshua Geisler, Bansuri; Salieu Suso, Kora, Michael Gam, Bass, Neel Murgai, Sitar, Arun Ramamurthy, Violin and other special guests.  

 

February 10: Ragas in Motion

‘Music is made of three elements: singing, instruments and dance’ – Pt Birju Maharaj.

Ragas in Motion opens the stage to honor a rich global history of collaboration between dance and music artists. We are showcasing a diverse program of solo dance works, all deeply rooted in Indian tradition and accompanied musically by members of BRM. The evening embodies vibrant conversations in Kathak, contemporary and physical theater and is certain to show the language of dance as a powerful voice. Featuring Parul Shah, Parijat Desai, Andrea Clinton and Delhi Dance Theater who are joined in music by Max ZT, Roopa Mahadevan, Kensuke Shoji, Mike Lukshis and many more!

 

February 17: Art of the Jugalbandhi

Jugalbandhi brings together two melodic instrumentalists in what is normally a more soloistic form. To have true dialogue is a rarefied art, a special subdivision of Indian classical music. Art of the Jugalbandhi showcases 3 duets; the bansuri players, Steve Gorn and Eric Fraser, carnatic violinist Arun Ramamurthy with North Indian sarod player Anupam Shobhakar, and the dynamic duo of Abhik Mukherjee on sitar and Jay Gandhi on bansuri.

 

February 24: George Harrison Birthday/ Beatles Tribute

Perhaps no one is more responsible for bringing awareness to the beauty of raga to Western music lovers then George Harrison and the Beatles. In an ambitious production worthy of the epic subject matter, the Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars return the love. The musician collective will re-interpret and re-contextualize the classic Indian inspired material by the world’s most beloved band.

 

March 2: Raga Roots, North Indian Classical

North Indian classical music presented in its pure form. This form is most often represented with one singer or instrument in interplay with the tabla. We go back to our raga roots as vocalist Samarth Nagarkar, and sarod player Anupam Shobhakar color your mind. Bringing the raga back in raga massive!

 

March 9: Women’s Raga Massive

In celebration of International Women’s Day, BRM will present projects led by women of the massive, featuring them in a colorful palette of song, dance, rhythm and visual arts. This multidisciplinary performance will take you on a journey through pure Carnatic (South Indian) vocal music by Roopa Mahadevan, Karavika’s “Raga Chamber Folk” string ensemble in collaboration with contemporary dancer Parijat Desai, Camila Celin’s Devi Tribute, an ensemble honoring the Divine Feminine through song, and visual art collaborations with Seema Pandya. Come celebrate women’s powerful role in the arts as we tell our (Her) story.

 

March 16: Raga and Film

Raga means ‘that which colors the mind’ so tonight BRM provides the soundtrack for a visual feast to think on. They will work with video artists and screen scenes from classic golden era Bollywood and beyond. Masala popcorn treats available.

 

March 23: Holi Celebration

Holi is a festival of colors in celebration of spring. Come welcome spring with featured performers including khayal and thumri singer Sangeeta Lahiri and ghazal and folk singer Kiran Ahluwalia with guitarist Rez Abassi. BRM has a full schedule of activities including the throwing of colors, a family performance by Raga Kids, special spring food treats, Indian classical and more.

 

March 30: Carnatic Kutcheri

Carnatic music, the South Indian classical style is presented in its pure form. Explore the beautiful intricacies of Ragam, Tanam, and Pallavi in two Carnatic kutcheris (concerts). Pioneering virtuoso guitarist Prasanna presents a traditional instrumental set with mridangist Akshay Anantapadmanabhan. Then vocalist Ashvin Bhogendra teams up with violinist Arun Ramamurthy to engage the audience in a powerful set of song and improvisation.

 

April 6: Ravi Shankar Birthday Tribute

BRM celebrates the maestro’s birthday as special guest and long time student of Pt. Ravi Shankar, Pt. Krishna Bhatt performs an Indian classical raga composed by Shankar. A second set will feature the BRM Orchestra performing original works of Ravi Shankar from his collaborations with Philip Glass and George Harrison, as well as original compositions from Pt. Krishna Bhatt in dedication to India’s most famous ambassador.

 

April 13: Raga Cubana

BRM musicians Camila Celin (sarod) and Ehren Hanson (tabla) traveled to Cuba in December, performing in a citizen’s diplomacy initiative. BRM returns the favor as Ehren and Camila collaborate with guest musicians from Cuba and local masters. Raga Cubana intends to blend these two traditions by truly mixing it’s elements in the core. Expect Cuban rhythms with raga melodies.

 

April 20: The Raga Remains the Same

The BRM All-stars pay tribute to their rock favorites with raga reinterpretations. They will explore the long lost connection between 1700’s carnatic composer Tyagaraja, and 1970’s Led Zeppelin. Expect droning, psychedelic arrangements of Jimi Hendrix, Pink Floyd, Radiohead and more.

 

April 27: Residency Closing Party with Karsh Kale, BRM 4 year anniversary

On the last night of their residency, BRM celebrates 4 years of weekly programming with special guest, Karsh Kale. Karsh is a global star who has long bridged the gap between Indian classical, electronica, rock and more. Karsh collaborates with Max ZT, Priya Darshini and other BRM members for an epic culmination to their Pioneer Works Residency.

 

Pioneer Works is a center for research and experimentation in contemporary culture.

Through a broad range of exhibitions, performances, arts and science residencies, and educational programs, Pioneer Works seeks to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries, foster community, and provide a space where alternative modes of thought are supported and activated in tangible ways.

The organization was founded in 2012 by artist Dustin Yellin and is located in a 25,000-square-foot manufacturing warehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn. After an extensive renovation, the facility now houses artist studios, exhibition and performance spaces, a science lab, a recording studio, and other spaces as needs arise. The floor plan is open and flexible, encouraging a transparent, collaborative environment where international artists, musicians, scientists and educators can co-exist and create together.

 

 

10869336_898765223467638_743307564467486526_o

 

AfricaIndiasseries

Ragaslive2013

A decade ago, I was studying music in Calcutta,  blown away by the beauty and subtlety of Indian Raga.  When I returned home,  I was inspired to share this music and started to invite Indian Classical musicians to perform live on the radio.   This grew into a program on WKCR called “Ragas Live.”  “Ragas Live” has now exploded into an epic radio festival, now in it’s second year.

I am quite sure this is the most ambitious broadcast event of this genre anywhere, ever:

This year a community of over 50 world-class musicians will perform raga live over a period of 24 hours!    The Ragas Live Festival will broadcast on 89.9 FM-NY,  (highlights on a few European stations as well), stream on www.wkcr.org and be archived on my podcast, www.nycradiolive.org.  Tune in anytime midnight to midnight this Friday, June 14th

 or later through the NYC Radio LIve iTunes podcast.  

Check out the Ragas Live Event Page to learn more and please share with the curious.

Karavan Kosmiko rocks Bleecker St. (We’ll be back May 7th)

It was a joyful, magical night at the Space at 9 Bleecker.  The Karavan brought special guests, superstar Kiran Ahluwalia of India and Awa Sangho, the golden voice of Mali.  The night ended with everyone dancing and singing along as the master percussionists weaved through the crowd.

These are some of the pics that audience members posted of us.  We’ll be back on May 7th.  Hope to see you!

 

 

Karavan Kosmiko concert featuring Awa Sangho and Kiran Ahluwalia

This promises to be an unforgettable night of music. Artists from South America, India, Africa and the Carribean collaborating for an evening of global roots music.
Karavan Kosmiko plus Special Guests
Awa Sangho – The Golden Voice of Mali
Daniel Moreno – percussion
Kiran Ahluwalia – Vocals ! (She was added after the poster was made)

Karavan Kosmiko  is Dana Hanchard, Ruben Gonzales, David Ellenbogen, Babatunde Don Eaton and Jimmy Cruiz with Michael D’Agostino.
The evening will open with Kevin Nathaniel on Mbira.

Ragas Live Festival!

WOW! Thanks to a community of over 30 world class artists,  WKCR-FM  broadcast 24 hours of live, in-studio performances of Indian Ragas on June 21 on the airwaves in NYC and streaming on the net. We got a HUGE response from around the globe.  The complete festival can still be enjoyed online here and at the NYC Radio Live iTunes podcast.  Many thanks to our curators HarmoNYomBrooklyn Raga Massive and to our artistic directors Arun Ramamurthy, Sameer Gupta and Veronique Lerebours. Thanks also  to the Make Music NY festival and the WKCR team (Ahmet Ali Arsalan, Sriharsha Aradhya, Lakshmi Gopal, and Kevin Crowley).