Praise for Clair Oaks music:
Clair doesn't push the current, she dives in and flows with it. The warmth
and serenity in her music is irresistable. Get a pair of headphones and
give yourself a long deserved healing in the lap of the Divine Mother. -
I just experienced Clair's music this weekend and felt renewed and
refreshed by the experience. It has such a sense of calming and depth and a
sense of permanence - these chants and your way of being with them and
giving them to us as listeners feels like a rich deep river flowing on
forever. - Ned Levitt
"Clair has a very beautiful voice and the mantras on this CD are very suitable for deep meditation."
"I have listened to Sutra's Song and it is really quite excellent. I am impressed. It's a keeper. Who ever did the production did a lovely job and the choices in arrangement are authentic. Clair's voice is wonderful too. I liked the whole thing twice!"
"It's just beautiful. I didn't know the sutras could sound so good. Nice work."
-Vyaas Houston, The American Sanskrit Institute
Sutra’s Song – my first album… Released February 2006
Wow…how does one describe the feeling of finally getting to do something you’ve wanted to do for your whole life?
Well, I am not sure how to articulate it, but whatever that is, it is what I experienced when I recorded my first album, Sutra’s Song.
I had been offering live kirtan’s for about 5 years and had written a number of chants that the band and I had been performing. That was a dream come true for me. Since I was a teenager, I had wanted to write and perform my own music. I got to do it a little bit before I became a mom (back in 1981) but, had put it away, beyond singing my sons to sleep when they were young (my boys are 10 years apart in age so I was singing someone to sleep for many a year).
I began yoga teacher training in 1999 and learned about chanting as spiritual practice.
I love to sing, I love to play music with others, I am passionate about helping others to tap into their own divine nature – so what better way to do so than to chant. During my yoga teacher training, I had been exposed to, and fell in love with chanting as a form of meditation and meditative expression. The sounds of silence – the sounds that are inspired by inner stillness, the form of the formless, so beautiful.
In my yoga teacher training, we studied Patanjali’s yoga sutra’s and other ancient texts. I had fallen in love with a few of the ones we were immersing ourselves in and chose 2 of them to write music for. The first from Pantanjali: Tadaa drashtu, svaroope vasthanam - translated as: In the moment your mind becomes still, the Bliss of pure being arises and fills you from within & Shivo Ham translated as: I am Divine Consciousness.
The second chant was from the Shiva Sutra’s: Chaitanyam Atma, tat vam asi, translated as: The Self is Consciousness Itself, You are That and Satchitananda, translated as: Truth/Consciousness/Bliss, and Om shanti, - Om, the primordial vibration – is Peace.
I was inspired to write music for and somehow record these chants, feeling that it would be a wonderful way to give back - meaning to offer something back for all I had gotten from my extensive and intensive training. Music that could be used as a backdrop for yoga classes…music that would help students tap in deeply as they moved through the class. The music came easily – as a gift, and a group of musicians had come together to play the chants at the yoga studio where I taught my classes at the time. The chants did draw people who attended our kirtan concerts inward and we began getting requests to record.
I was teaching a meditation course around that time, and one of the students was sharing. He said he was a musician and I learned he was a bass player. I had been in a transition - moving my yoga studio to a new location, and was sort of “between bands” – as it were. My dear friend and drummer Bob Cozzolino, and I were still working together but others had moved on to other projects and Bob and I were sort of on the look out for who might join us next. I spoke with the student after class and asked him if he’d ever chanted before. One thing led to another and Ian Boccio (bass and vocals) joined the band. He fell head over heels in love with chanting and offered to record my first album in his studio. Ian and I worked beautifully together. I taught him meditation and yoga (he later began the yoga teacher training and taught for a while at Soul Source, the studio I opened in 2005), and he taught me all about recording and producing CD’s! Plus, he played in the band for a few years and was such an awesome support for me in so many ways, not to mention being a great friend! It was so wonderful and such a gift for both of us. Life is so amazing how when you are ready for something, it shows up in ways you could never have expected! (Ian makes lovely kirtan/chanting recordings – visit him on facebook).
Ian and I started a tradition of performing a meditation every time we went into the studio – before each recording session – we dedicated each session to Consciousness Itself – to sharing it, to allowing ourselves to be inspired by it, to allowing it to consciously pour through our work. I was so incredibly grateful for the opportunity to record the album that the whole experience really lifted me up to a whole new level of consciousness and living gratitude. I sensed this was only the beginning – Sutra’s Song was born and I could feel it’s “sibling” (Shakti’s Sanctuary) hovering out in the ethers. (Clair's second album, Shakti's Sanctuary also available on her artists page)