Hidden in the Name was the most challenging CD I have ever made. Created in the middle of a busy touring schedule, the CD was tracked, mixed and mastered within 3 months time. For 15 months straight, I had been on the road with Krishna Das, playing violin and bass for him. December was the month we were taking off, to rest and regroup. I wanted to go in the studio and record some of the tunes I had been hearing in my head while I had been on tour.
I called Girish (the tabla player) and asked him if he wanted to record some tunes. He agreed and we set a date for Thanksgiving weekend. My plan was to record the tabla and harmonium tracks first to establish the basic feel, and then overdub all the other tracks at a later time. Thanksgiving came around, and Girish said he couldn't make the session. His girlfriend was about to go into labor, and he wanted to be there for the birth of his child. That seemed reasonable. But, the days passed, and there still was no baby girl. Days turned into weeks, and she ended up being delivered over 2 weeks late. By the time we entered the studio, we only had a day or two to record. It was almost January, and my schedule with Krishna Das was about to resume with production of his new CD, Breath of the Heart.
The length of the songs was also questionable. If I let the chants go their full length (live versions), we would end up with only 4 songs on the CD. I decided to shorten the chants. We recorded Radhe Bhaj first, and I was able to keep it down to 5 minutes. Then we recorded Hare Ram Sita Ram and I just couldn't keep the standard. The song came in at over 15 minutes! It had a great vibe, but what to do? I just wanted to offer the chants as they were, to capture the energy of devotion which rested inside the music. I wanted to surrender to the chant, and play it however it wanted to come forth. After the 3rd song, I knew I was committed to a double CD (a risky idea according to record labels & distributors - too hard to sell). But I went ahead anyway. By the end of the day, I was about 15 minutes short of having enough music to fill two CDs. I had another half composed idea in my head, and so Radha Ramana Hari came forth. Recording these songs by composing them on the spot was a terrifying mix of devotion, skill, and "letting go."
Even though the CD was created in the midst of a heavy touring schedule and didn't boast the best production, it did carry a great deal of the devotional energy I was immersed in while touring.
Om Shanti, wah! more at... www.wahmusic.com
Portland Kirtan Network/www.kirtanportland.com Everything about Wah!, and this CD, is unique: female bass player who loves reggae beats and sax rifs, and writes and sings very beautiful and moving devotional chants. It is Western music no doubt, but at its heart is the soul of bhakti mood and purpose, and the vocals and words are straight ahead, sing along chanting. This two CD set is a bargain at $22 and, if you read Wah's web site you will see how hard she works at being a performing musician as well as crafting well produced American style CD's. This is a musician's kirtan CD. July 2004
Green Man Review/Portland, ME
On Hidden in the Name, Wah! smartly invokes a more jam-based atmosphere. Good mid-tempo disc for whatever reason -- yoga, housework, sex, mushrooms.... 11/16/01
Yelena Sakalova/USA Dear Sister, I can't stop listening to you sing the chant to Ganapati. I knew instantly that your singing comes from a powerful connection to God and was so happy to receive your CD's. Thank you, thank you! Aum Ganesha, Aum Shanti!! 9/8/02
more at.... www.wahmusic.com