The "SACRED CHANTS OF SHAKTI" is another milestone in pure world/meditation music.
This spacious and celestial album continues the 15 year tradition of the respected "Sacred Chants" series of CDs, which began with the "Sacred Chants of Shiva" album in 1997 and continued with the loved "108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine" CD (2003), which has been used so extensively by the human development movement around the world for over seven years.
"Shakti" is the Divine Feminine principle, associated with Shiva, but also in spiritual terms means: "primordial spiritual energy". The amazing words chanted in this album are from Adi Shankaracharya's devotional verses from the "Sri Saundarya Lahari" text, in praise of the Goddess Shakti. This enchanting recording features the beautiful, uplifting and crystal clear voice of legendary Indian devotional singer, Anuradha Paudwal, and it can transport the listener into deep meditational bliss. This CD is complemented with the melodious sound-scapes of Craig Pruess' well-known style of recorded production, arrangements and unique space, with Pundit Ronu Majumdar virtuoso but perfectly balanced and meditative bansuri playing (Indian flute) adding great effect.
Sounds and ambiance in the recording include temple bells, zithers, tanpura, conch, celestial drones and voice textures, including the ethereal sound of the 24 stringed "swaramandala". The result is an album that creates a stillness in the mind — an effective aid to meditation or prayer. The power of the Sanskrit verses vibrates through all the layers of body, mind and emotions. Two long tracks, 25 and 29 minutes make it perfect for massage, yoga nidra, or any kind of body work/therapy or yoga. The well crafted space in the sound also induces divine sleep, if played quietly at bedtime. (there is no rhythm in this album — just the divine ebb and flow of the sounds and beautifully recorded voice).
During May and June 2012, Heaven on Earth Music proudly announced that this album, "SACRED CHANTS OF SHAKTI", was released all over India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan and Pakistan by the Times of India record label, Times Music (Times Spiritual), to great acclaim. This album features one of India's most beloved and celebrated devotional singers, Anuradha Paudwal, who so kindly came to the UK to record with Craig Pruess for this very special album on the Heaven on Earth Music label. Their first ever collaboration has combined the power of the Sanskrit chanting contained in "Sacred Chants of Shiva" with spacious elements of "108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine".
The CD artwork is stunning, by energy artist Kati Astraeir, and it features an eight page booklet, which includes all the Sanskrit "devanagri" script, phonetic versions and translations of each verse. It is a worthy successor to a respected and globally successful series of "Sacred Chants of....." recordings by Heaven on Earth Music.
Anuradha Paudwal, for over four decades, has been considered a prominent voice in Indian spiritual music across the world and recognised by the United Nations as Cultural Ambassador to Devotional Music. Anuradha first made her name in Bollywood performing with the leading composers and musicians of the Indian film industry, including Asha Bhosle, Mohammed Rafi, Kishore Kumar and Manna Dey. She is the recipient of many awards for her music, notably three consecutive Filmfare Awards (Bollywood’s equivalent of an Oscar) and, most recently, the Lata Mangeshkar Award from the Madhya Pradesh Government. Her bhakti and devotional music has gained wide international recognition. She regularly performs concerts around the globe and her recordings of devotional music, including collaborations with such internationally prominent singers such as Pandit Jasraj and Anup Jalota, are very well known. Her first recording for UK label, Heaven on Earth Music, took place in 2011, and is released as "Sacred Chants of Shakti", which she describes as the fulfillment of a life-time ambition, with deep spiritual dimensions for her career.
Craig Pruess is a British Academy Award nominated composer, world music specialist, orchestral conductor, innovative sound designer, gold and platinum record producer, seasoned arranger and sound engineer with over 40 years experience in a wide range of music creativity. He is one of the few established London session musicians trained in the three great traditions of the world: Indian classical, Western classical and contemporary, and African music. American born and bred, he attended MIT (physics, philosophy and music technology), before joining the East African Conservatoire of Music in Nairobi, Kenya, as a full time of the teaching staff, then coming to settle in the UK since 1973. He has meditated daily since 1972 and became one of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's early Art of Living teachers in the UK since 1995, starting Art of Living Post Traumatic Stress remedy courses in high security prisons (the first PrisonSmart programs in the UK) in 2003. He has scored the music for two number UK box office feature films, "Bend It Like Beckham" and "Bride & Prejudice", excelling in his Indo-fusion music with his original music scores for the art films, "The Mistress of Spices" and Zarina Bhimji's art installation films, "Yellow Patch" and "Out of Blue". He has arranged and conducted orchestras for some of of Europe's biggest recording artists, including Massive Attack, Def Leppard and Sir Cliff Richard, the latter for which he produced and arranged two gold and platinum records. He has performed sitar concerts for the Dalai Lama, Prince Charles and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. His performing band, The Ganda Boys, are loved by the UK public, the yoga community and the Uganda public: www.gandaboys.com. For more information about Heaven on Earth Music, see: www.heaven-on-earth-music.co.uk