Śrī (pronounced shree) is the long-awaited follow-up to The Love Window, the immensely popular kirtan CD from Shantala (Benjy and Heather Wertheimer). Benjy Wertheimer’s exquisite Indian classical music is featured in his vocals, esraj and tabla, and he creates a powerful percussion experience with world-wide influences on djembe, congas, frame drum, and other percussion. Heather leads sacred chanting on this CD with crystalline vocals from the heart and soul of devotional music. Guest artists include Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, Gina Salá, and Joe Jencks on vocals, Steve Gorn and Manose on bamboo flute, Jami Sieber on cello and electric cello, John Friend on kartols, Michael Mandrell on guitar, David Trasoff on sarode, Morgan Doctor on udu and hang, Leraine Horstmanshoff on didgeridoo, and others.
The magical journey of Śrī carries the listener with love and ease into the ancient yoga of sacred chanting, kirtan, inviting the listener to sing along in spiritual practice or to simply resonate in the sacred ambiance created by the CD. From the ancient language of Sanskrit, the word Śrī is one of the many names of the Goddess and of the divine beauty of the universe. The mantras and chants on the CD Śrī are in Sanskrit, English and Hebrew including Baba Hanuman (composed by Krishna Das), Om Namo Bhagavate/Because the One I Love (English lyrics and melody by Gina Sala), Hineni, Śrī Ram Jaya Ram, and Holy Ma, which is a symphonic musical reflection of the divine feminine.
As the duo Shantala, Benjy and Heather Wertheimer lead kirtan (sacred chanting) worldwide, bringing audiences sacred lyrics, soul-stirring vocals, and exotic instrumentation. Kirtan is celebration of spirit through the chanting of sacred names carrying participants into a state of heightened awareness, bliss, and devotion. The audience is invited to participate fully through call-and-response, dance, and meditation. The weaving of Benjy's Indian classical singing and instrumentation with Heather's soaring vocals is fresh, original, and profoundly moving. Together they create a beautiful music full of passion and reverence. Shantala has performed and recorded internationally with such sacred music luminaries as Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Miten, and Jai Uttal.
Heather Wertheimer is a singer, songwriter, and guitarist who draws on her special love of both music and yoga to lead devotional chanting for yoga workshops and spiritual gatherings. Heather has toured in the U.S. and abroad with her husband Benjy, Steve Gorn, Manose, and Deva Premal and Miten. Heather's debut CD with Shantala,
"Church of Sky," was named one of the top ten albums of 2004 by New Age Retailer and has aired on radio stations nationwide. In April 2003, she and Benjy released
"The Love Window," a well-loved collection of sacred chants that has become a classic among yoga practitioners.
Benjy Wertheimer is an award-winning songwriter, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist (tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards). Benjy has toured and recorded with such artists as Krishna Das, Deva Premal and Miten, Jai Uttal, Walter Becker (Steely Dan), and virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell. He has opened for such artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden. A founding member of the internationally acclaimed Ancient Future world fusion music ensemble, Benjy toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master GS Sachdev. He studied Indian classical music for over 25 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar). Benjy's music receives extensive airplay around the world, and his CD
"Circle of Fire" reached #1 on the New Age radio charts in November 2002.