Namaste my brothers and sisters...
I’m very pleased to announce that my latest recording … Groovananda is out on iTunes and other music sites. Groovananda is a special yoga rock collaboration that features some amazing rock, jazz and kirtan musicians exploring the wild side of devotional chanting. The main collaborators are Rick Allen (on Drums), JT Thomas (on keyboards ) and myself…Wynne Paris ( vocals, guitars, sarod). We wanted to make an ‘out of the box’ spiritual recording that was inspired by personal musicality, not a recording that adhered to a particular ‘sound or style’ within the yoga or music industry; or one that was overseen or administered by a record label. In short, we wanted pure spiritual and musical freedom to be the defining quality… And I do believed we achieved that goal!!! My deepest thanks go to JT Thomas, the talented organist from the Bruce Hornsby band for being the main engineer and producer on the recording, and Rick Allen, Def Leppard’s amazing drummer whose spiritual views on drumming and arrangement really helped bring the recording to life.
The Making & Sound of Groovananda
Wynne wrote and even channeled most of the featured chants during his years of yoga studio touring (2003-2009). Originally performed on a harmonium or acoustic guitar, the songs were brought to life when Wynne, JT and Rick spent 9 days in JT’s home studio, jamming on the simple arrangements and adding unique elements of personal musicality and inspiration to the recording.
First the trio recorded the basic ‘live tracks’ together in their home studios, then Wynne would go back on tour, and when he would perform in a city, he’d also stop by his friends’ home studios to add tracks. When Wynne was in Marin County, Mark Karan, the genius guitarist from Ratdog, added his tracks from home and uploaded them via the internet, to the mix. Later on the Bhakti tour, Wynne performed around New York City, where he recorded in the homes and studios of Badal Roy (tabla Miles Davis), Anthony Krizan (guitar Spin Doctors), Doug Derryberry (mandolin Bruce Hornsby) and Perry Robinson (jazz clarinet legend). When Wynne finished his touring and landed back in his hometown of Washington DC, he added Gary Grainger (bassist John Scofield), Mary Ann Redmond (DC’s favorite soul singer) and other friends to the mix.
This is one of the reasons the album is named OMspun … a Shout out to Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of ‘making it from home.’ Gandhi is also honored on the track ‘Mahatma’ – which features the melody of his favorite song ‘Raghupati.’
In addition to the wonderful rock and jazz musicians, OMspun also features some of Wynne’s oldest and best friends/collaborators from the modern Kirtan movement. ‘Tara OM’ features the genres best known artist Krishna Das. Wynne and KD have a long history of playing and recording together, going back to KD’s breakthrough album ‘Pilgrim Heart.’ Dave Stringer, who Wynne used to tour with back in the late 90’s is also featured on the tribute to George Harrison ‘By George’. Other kirtan friends on the recording include: Ramesh Kannan (tablas Snatam Kaur), Kim Waters and Hans Christian (Rasa), and Girish.
The Kirtan Chorus of Groovananda:
How can there be a call without a response? The chorus of Groovananda is made up of friends and Kirtan singers that I am often lucky enough to collaborate with. Musicians like Debra ‘Devi’ DeSalvo, Wind Motika, Christine Navarro, Aparna Khanolkar and Amikaeyla Gaston created a beautiful chorus for this recording. Even though each of the singers were recorded one at a time, overdub style, good luck and grace (and some good editing by JT Thomas) created a sound that is remarkably ‘real’. The album sounds as if they were all in the room together. Special thanks also go to Aparna Pankishor, a facebook friend who recorded her tracks in India and sent them to us via the Internet.
Most importantly, I’d like to thank my spiritual and musical teachers and friends that inspired this album. Guruji Dr. Deepak Kapoor, who’s teachings on raga and Bhakti taught me how to ‘be in the Bhava’. Bhagavan Das, who spent years teaching me chanting and Kirtan. Mata Amritanandamayi Devi (Amma the hugging saint), who initiated me into kirtan practice. Neem Karoli Baba, who’s Darshan reached me beyond time and space, and Paramahansa Yogananda, my family guru who’s been watching over me since before I was born. For these and other blessings… Jai to the Ma.
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