BY PRANIDHI VARSHNEY
The Ashtanga Yoga Mantram begins every
Ashtanga Yoga class. It is fitting then, that
devout Ashtanga teacher and practitioner
Pranidhi Varshney would choose it to open
her new mantra/shloka album Pranidhana.
This first tune musically honors the Ash-
tanga mantra's graceful, reverent quality
by using sparse instrumentation and the
roomy, lingering tones of Tibetan singing
bowls to accompany Pranhidhi’s melodic
voice chanting the mantra. It makes a pow-
erful opening statement of intention – in
this case, the melding of two vital parts of
Pranidhi Varshney’s life – yoga and music.
Each musical choice gracefully supports
the authentic devotion in Pranidhi’s clear
and resonant voice as she sings each of the
shlokas. The instrumentation opens up a
variety of musical palates ranging from the
spacious tonal soundscapes to more unique
musical offerings incorporating such in-
struments as Rhodes piano, tabla, trumpet,
acoustic bass, cello, and flute with musi-
cians including Prema Soul’s Sheela Bringi
and Clinton Patterson (who also produced
Standout tracks on this gorgeous album
include, Sahana Vavatu, Bramharpanam,
Lingashtakam (with its unique jazz club
feel), Poornamadah, Asatoma Sadgama-
ya, and Mangala Mantram.
Varshney and Patterson wanted the proj-
ect to be of tangible service. Varshney,
who regularly chants and sings shlokas in
her classes, is donating a portion of pro-
ceeds to Yoga Gives Back – an organiza-
tion providing micro-financing support to
women and children in India.
Reviewed by Joe Kara, who loves his double life working in music and teaching Yoga. And he plays bass, too.
Facebook/ Twitter: @JJKara
PATTERNS OF REFLECTION /CD
BY PETER STERLING
Harp Magic Music
The harp is an ancient instrument that
sings out three words to its listener: surrender to love. What is it about the sound
of the harp that sweetly soothes our soul?
That heals our heart? Peter Sterling reveals how this instrument can bring
about healing in his latest recording,
Patterns of Reflection.
Patterns of Reflection is an inspiring collection for anyone looking for deep, relaxing music or soundscapes for yoga, therapy sessions, spas, or meditation. From
the first notes, I immediately felt a sense of
surrender and relaxation.
Tantra of Love is one of my favorite tracks
and one of the few uptempo numbers on
the CD. Tantra showcases the rhythm of
the tablas, a North Indian percussion instrument. Enchantments Awakening, features a beautiful flute and harp duet; it is
a poetic conversation that served as my
guide through a peaceful journey. Tulpie
Time is another favorite, with lush textures
and harmonies featuring harp, strings, and
clarinet. Child of Light is uplifting and energizing, recollecting a curious child playing freely in an open field for hours.
Patterns of Reflection is a must-listen for
healing body, mind and soul; it distracts
the mind from the busyness of life, allowing the listener to re-center and focus on
their own heart.
Reviewed by Marla Leigh Goldstein, a Los Angeles
based percussionist, flautist, and composer. She
offers drumming workshops, sound healing sessions,
and is finishing her debut album Rhythms in Ahava.