The Wild Moon Bhaktas’ sound is born of the timeless folk rhythms and wide, open mystic spaces that lie between the ghats of the Ganges and the banks of the Mississippi.
Shaped by the roots music of their own land and nourished by the music of India’s Bhaktas and Sufi Mystics, the Wild Moon Bhaktas cull mysteries from their voices, tablas, strings and accordion. They play beat- lively kirtans and heart chants in Sanskrit and English, and sing ecstatic poems by Rumi, Kabir and Mirabai.
To learn more about each cut on the album "From the Ganges to the Mississippi" see below.
About the band’s name:
A Bhakta, from the Sanskrit, is a devotee, a lover, one who honors and adores. In India, those who embody this quality sing love songs to the original beauty by chanting the Divine Name. The Wild Moon represents the American love for Spirit and Nature and the marriage of the two in the heart.
Peace to You! The great Sufi poet Rumi says:
Come, come, come whoever you are
Wanderer worshipper, lover of leaving,
It does not matter
Ours is not a caravan of despair,
Even if you’ve broken your vows
A thousand times.
Come, come, come, yet again, come.
The Wild Moon Bhaktas come to their music by way of journeys far and wide, through traditions, practices, wisdoms and worldviews, and all the ups and downs of life mixed in for good measure. God is a mystery, and each soul engages it in his or her own way.
To which, Rumi says, “journeys are good.”
Wherever you are on your journey, music can be an intimate friend and a haven for your soul. When music’s rhythms & melodies fuse with chanting in a sacred language like Sanskrit, powerful spiritual energies can be released. May this music open a door into your mystery.
David Schmit, vocals, guitars & accordion
Gary Waryan, tablas & vocals
Dalyce Elliot, violin & vocals
David Ballman, vocals, tambura and percussion
About the songs and chants on the album, "From the Ganges to the Mississippi" by David Schmit
(To learn more about each chant, go to our website, www.wildmoonbhaktas.com)
1. Lord, Here We Are. This is a translation from the Urdu of a Sufi Qwaali devotional song which we adapted and arranged.
2. Shiva Hara with the Mahamrtiyunjaya Mantra. This is a traditional chant from India in honor of the great primeval deity, Shiva, the Auspicious One, which we adapted and arranged. The cut opens with a famous mantra to Shiva.
3. Om Shakti Ma: In honor of Durga, the creative Mother power of the universe.
4. Narayana / Near Your Breastbone: The Sanskrit portion of this chant is a traditional one, in honor of the Lord of all Creatures which we adapted and arranged. It is interspersed with an English lyric drawn from a poem by Kabir, the 15th century illumined soul who helped bring India's Bhakti movement into manifestation.
5. Come, Come, Whoever You Are: A beautiful invocation by the greatest of Sufi poets, Jelalludin Rumi (12th -13th century) which we put to music.
6. La Illaha: To this traditional melody, we added this wazifa, or Sufi chant, which declares, "there is only God."
7. Mirabai-Keshava Suite/Show Me the Bhakti Path: No One Knows Where to Find the Bhakti Path. This is the first piece in a four part suite, built around a poem by Mirabai and a traditional kirtan in honor of the Lord of Life. Mirabai was a 16th century Rajastani Bhakti-yogi who sang extraordinary love songs to God. This is one of her poems we put to music.
8. Mirabai-Keshava Suite: Keshava/Show me the Bhakti Path Part 1: Fuses an Indian-inspired chant with Mirabai's poem
9. Mirabai-Keshava Suite: Keshava/Show me the Bhakti Path, Part 2: Fuses a traditional Indian chant with Mirabai' poem
10. Mirabai-Keshava Suite: Don't Go, I Belong to You: Mirabai's longing for her departed Lord.
11. Ya Devi: An excerpt from a hymn to the Divine Mother in Sanskrit, praising Her many manifestations.
12. Durga Ma Ambika: A hymn to the Divine Mother in the form of the Beloved Durga, compassionate and fierce protectoress of all.
13. Hara Hara Mahadevo Shambo: A traditional chant in Sanskrit, interspersed with a translation in English.
We hope you enjoy the music!