Rasa -- singer Kim Waters and multi-instrumentalist Hans Christian -- envoice spiritual devotion with touching innocence and a ripe sensuality. For years, both Waters and Christian have studied and performed sacred Indian music; even though the lyrics are sung in Bengali Sanskrit (mostly written by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, who died in 1914), Rasa's pure devotion to the mystical is a delight that transcends language. Liner notes tell the songs' original meanings, but the sensation of love is so pervasive that you may just surrender to it and feel affection for anything gazed upon, be it dirty dishwater or the jerk who lives next door. The music pulses warmly, and the lyrical melodies meld with the heartbeat. Waters's radiant voice is both liquid and airy, seeming to hang languidly in space like the perfume of dew in a flowered courtyard. On "Bhajahu Re Mana," her layered voice plays a game of tag in a mosaic-tiled maze. The musical accompaniment is a heady blend of Western and Indian instruments: Christian plays cello, fretless bass, guitar, and keyboards, but the Indian stringed sarangi adds the most flavorful pungency. Additional ensemble members play tabla, bansouri flutes, udu drum, and keyboards. Their name sums up the album: In Sanskrit, "rasa" means a transcendent aesthetic experience, the essence of divine love, and the emotional fulfillment of the soul. Absolutely and timelessly lovely.
- Release Date:
- Hearts Of Space
Performance CreditsRasa Primary Artist
Kim Waters Vocals,Shaker
Ira Stein Keyboards
Hans Christian Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Percussion,Cello,Harmonium,Keyboards,Bells,Sarangui,Fretless Bass Guitar,Loops,Nyckelharpa,Zills,Celli,Frame Drum
John Wubbenhorst Flute,Bansuri
John McDowell Percussion
Krishna Das Vocals
Habib Khan Sitar
Ben Mawhorter Tabla
William Wandall Acoustic Guitar
Greg Ellis Bells,Shaker,Shekere,Zills,Riqq,Udu
Technical CreditsKim Waters Arranger,Illustrations
Stephen Hill Art Direction
Hans Christian Arranger,Producer,Engineer
Jeremy Hulette Graphic Design
B.G. Sharma Paintings,Cover Painting
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The Sanskrit word “Rasa” translates as the essence of any impression, the soul’s emotional fulfillment, or Divine love. All of those elements seem intertwined in the luscious, hypnotic stylings of singer Kim Waters and multi-instrumentalist Hans Christian. Most of the lyrics on “Union” are prayers and devotional love songs by Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura, a famous Indian writer of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Thakura’s words are set to slow, simple melodies that are lovingly crooned by the clear-voiced Waters, often harmonizing with herself through the magic of multi-track recording. Christian and numerous other musicians provide mysterious, gently exotic accompaniments with instruments from both east and west, including cello, sarangi, nyckelharpa, keyboards, guitars, tablas, bansuri flute, sitar, harmonium and kartals. Guest artists include percussionist Greg Ellis of the group Vas and vocalist/percussionist Krishna Das. Speaking of artists, Kim Waters is also an illustrator, and her intricate line drawings grace both the liner notes and the CD itself. “Devotion” is the most laid back of Rasa’s albums, with a repetitive rather than a directional feel to most of the arrangements, but yet immersed in an air of pregnant mystery that holds a listener’s attention better than most music of the meditational genre. Rasa continues their musical journey in two subsequent albums, “Union” and “Devotion”. Other intriguing New Age artists who explore the world of sacred chant are Chloe Goodchild and Singh Kaur.
I listed to this CD MANY MANY times in my yoga class but never bothered to ask my instructor who it was. LOVE IT!! Its soothing yet powerful music. Some of my best yoga sessions have been to this CD.