Waking the Cobra is an overtone singing Chakra meditation CD recorded by Baird Hersey who later went on to form his Overtone Singing Choir PRANA. The only thing other than reverberation on this recording is the sound of Baird's voice.
The CD opens with a piece called "Atha", a Sanskrit word which means, "May the following have an auspicious beginning and successful end". It is the opening word of Patanjali's Yogasutras.
Next, is the title piece, "Waking the Cobra " which is in fact a collection of seven short pieces. They are meditations on the traditional shape, color, element and sound for each of the chakras. Hersey first recorded a multi-layered vocal background drone or moving harmony. Then, singing two pitches at once, he recorded the high melody parts.
This is followed by an extended piece called "The Conch Shell, The Wheel and the Sword". These words are taken from the invocation chanted before beginning the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. Call and response, rising harmonies, vocal textures, and overtone melodies, are used in this extended piece to investigate the symbolic meaning of the objects.
The CD concludes with "Between Sthira and Sukha. This is a phrase from Patanjali's Yogasutras which means between alert steadiness and relaxed comfort. This piece searches to balance those qualities by alternating low Multiphonic voice overtone singing and high falsetto harmonies.
Baird Hersey is a National Endowment for the Arts Composition Fellow. His diverse career has encompassed; commissions from the Harvard University, New Mexico Council for the Arts, The Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Sound and Light Spectacular, The HVP Symphony Or chestra, 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 17 years. In 1997 He began the practice of Ashtanga Yoga. The result was a change in his life, his music and his career. He has studied with Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore India and with The Gyuto Monks.