The age old sacred music of Tibetan Buddhist multiphonic chant and Tuvan throat singing are the roots from which PRANA's sound has grown. The technique of these ancient vocalizations is to shape the mouth and throat into a sympathetic resonating chamber for the voice. This produces a second beautiful high whistling harmonic or overtone.
PRANA's singer use their regular singing voice instead of the low gravely drone characteristic of the Tibetan's and Tuvan's sound. They apply the fundamental overtone techniques of these older traditions to the "natural voice" to sing two mellifluous pitches at once.
By using the natural singing voice the singers of PRANA can move between any pitches that they can sing with overtones above them. Now, in addition to a drone with harmonics they can sing parallel movement of pitch and harmonic, different pitches sharing one harmonic, or a fully developed melody with a harmonic harmony.
Singing as a group in this unique style they create beautiful rising harmonies, shimmering vocal textures, and high arcing melodies.
More than 2000 years ago Patanjali, a sage in India said "Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind". In his work, the Yogasutras, he offers the precepts for the practice of yoga through it's Eight Limbs: 1. External self restraint,
2. Internal discipline, 3. Postures, 4. Breath control, 5. Withdrawal of the senses, 6. Concentration, 7. Meditation, 8. Complete Union. The object of the eight limbed path is to lead us to stillness of the mind.
"The Eternal Embrace" is a musical meditation on the Eight Limbs of Yoga. It is a suite of pieces to find a deeper understanding of the meaning of each limbs through pure sound. The twelve pieces are sung by the unaccompanied voices of Prana without text. Instead they use the perfection of harmonic intervals to bring the listener limb by limb to a deeper state of relaxation and peace. In concert, they are performed without amplification.
Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning: breath, vital energy, life force. It is also an overtone singing choir comprised of professional singers. PRANA was formed by Baird Hersey in 2000 to breath life into the music from his "Waking the Cobra" CD.
Since then Baird and PRANA have performed, through out the Northeast primarily at Colleges and Yoga studios, They have appeared at the historic "Gatherings", "One Voice"and "Woodstock Cycle" concerts and recently open for Phillip Glass.
The singers of PRANA are; Peter Buettner, Kirsti Gholson, Julie Last, Bruce Milner, Jonji Provenzano, Leslie Ritter, Bar Scott, Joe Veillette. They are all recognized performers in their own right who join together in PRANA to sing this remarkable music.
Hersey is a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Fellow. His diverse career has encompassed; commissions from Harvard University, New Mexico Council for the Arts, The Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Sound and Light Spectacular, The HVP Symphony Orchestra, and performances throughout the US and Europe in such different setting as the Berlin Jazz Festival and MTV. He has also composed extensively for television. He has been a student of yoga and overtone singing for 16 years. He has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India and with The Gyuto Monks.