Sunday, June 01, 2008

Late Night Listening XXIII: Pay for Play Edition

Update: Added Amazon widget so that people could actually listen to the track.

At work, I find myself listening to the Audio Visions (XM-77), the New Age music channel, quite a bit. Many of the tracks derive from eastern influences.

Earlier this week, I heard a track that stuck with me enough that I wound up downloading it from Amazon's DRM-free MP3 site. It's by a Canadian group called Swaha, headed by a couple of Yoga instructors who enjoy recording music that is billed as "an enticing blend of ethereal Sanskrit vocals soaring over rich earthy rhythms".

The song was called "Ganesha-Ji", track number 8 on the group's CD Salutations, which was released back in 2002. If you listen to the preview snippets at Amazon or a CD Baby, you'll come away misled. The first minute or two of the eight-minute track starts off with something that sounds like a chant, but then it kicks into a more western style of tune, a theme that sounds faintly reminiscent of hymns of British origin.

What really caught my attention was that after the transition, the lyrics are interleaving passages of Sanskirt mantras and English language. Quoting the a sample from the printed lyrics (available as a PDF on the website):
Om shree Ganesha-ji
Oh dear Lord, help me please
Om shree Ganesha-ji
Remove what lies between you and me

And the parts where Meenakshi sings "Gam gam Ganapatayay" are sheer beauty.

The song is a prayer to the Hindu god Ganesha. For those of you who have read EuroPosh's blog for a while, you might recall that EP got a Ganesha pin last fall, from an assistant at the college she was attending at the time. While I'm not convince of Ganeha's existence, his role as "remover of obstacles" sure could come in handy now. :-)

With time, I might wind up downloading the whole album because the music is truly soothing.
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