Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits
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Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE

Washington, D.C., Washington, D.C., United States | INDIE
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Dec
20
Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits @ Australia Tour

Various, Queensland, Australia

Various, Queensland, Australia

Nov
30
Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits @ South Africa Tour

Durban, Cape Town, others, None, South Africa

Durban, Cape Town, others, None, South Africa

Nov
13
Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits @ Princeton University

Princeton, New Jersey, USA

Princeton, New Jersey, USA

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Music

Press


Gaura Vani, a Hare Krishna musician who combines traditional Indian kirtan music with Western elements such as 12-string guitar, gospel choruses, and hip-hop rhythms, is a musical product of his environments.

GAURA VANI & AS KINDRED SPIRITS At the Ratha Yatra Festival, Sunday at 4 p.m., at the Boston Common gazebo. Details and other New England tour dates at www.GauraVani.com or by calling 617-909-5181.

Born in Los Angeles, Vani was sent to India at a young age to study sacred music by his Hare Krishna parents. Upon completing his studies he returned to the States, where he began combining spiritual Indian kirtans - a form of rhythmic, call-and-response chanting over various musical accompaniments - with the other music of his youth: rock, pop, and world music.

The result is a genre-defying hybrid of ancient Indian sacred music and modern Western styles. Sitars, mridanga drums, and chanted vocals meld smoothly with guitars and the occasional hip-hop vocal flow, all with clearly defined verses and choruses and a focus on melody not usually found in traditional Indian music.

And though his music contains deeply spiritual lyrics and a layering of styles that spans centuries and continents, Vani maintains a surprisingly simple interpretation of sacred music and its relationship to its audience.

“Kirtan is just the process of using chant and music to clean the heart,’’ he said from his home outside the nation’s capital. “It’s like an ancient can of Scrubbing Bubbles to clean our hearts and help figure out who we are beyond the body.’’

Comparing a 5,000-year-old form of meditation chanting to a modern-day bathroom cleaner may sound like an odd analogy, but it makes sense when coming from a cross-cultural artist like Vani, whose latest CD, “Ten Million Moons,’’ is gaining attention in spiritual music circles as well as in the secular world.

“Music is just an expression of the heart and soul,’’ he says. “All I’m doing is drinking from different springs and bringing together in my heart what seems natural.’’

Intentional or not, Vani’s eclectic style has allowed him to take his songs and message from Krishna temples and yoga studios to a wider range of audiences. In the past year Vani has performed at diverse venues for all types of music fans from backpacked Chicago indie rockers at Lollapalooza to hippies and modern primitives in the Nevada desert at Burning Man to a jubilantly dancing crowd at the Church of the Holy City in Washington, D.C., who had gathered to celebrate President Obama’s inauguration.

Vani and his band, As Kindred Spirits, bring their unique brand of kirtan music to Boston Common on Sunday. The performance is sponsored by the Boston chapter of the International Society of Krishna Consciousness to celebrate Rath Yatra, one of the most sacred holidays in the Hindu world.

The embracing of different cultures and musical styles is apparent not only in Vani’s music but also in his signing to Matrology, a subdivision of Equal Vision Records, a New York label best known for releasing punk rock and hard-hitting emo albums.

Ray Cappo, a yoga teacher and former punk musician who leads spiritual pilgrimages to India and now answers to the Krishna name Raghunath, says elements of the hardcore punk subculture and Hare Krishna teachings have far more in common than many realize. “A lot of people in the hardcore scene are very concerned with similar issues that occur in Krishna consciousness like anti-materialism, vegetarianism, and straight edge,’’ Raghunath says, referring to the cultural movement that eschews drugs and alcohol.

“Twenty-five years later that is how we still live our lives,’’ says Raghunath, formerly of the underground band Shelter, which combined Krishna-influenced lyrics with razor-sharp guitars and blistering drum beats. “Some things may have changed with time, but it’s a form of continual evolution, and in one sense it’s exactly what we were doing in the punk scene when we were teenagers.’’

Vani shares Raghunath’s belief that music inspired by spirituality should retain core elements but be able to evolve with the times and changing tastes of followers.

“Spiritual music is a living tradition . . . from ‘Johnny B. Goode’ to the Bad Brains,’’ says Vani. “It grows and is alive. The music we make is just a natural progression of that.’’

http://www.boston.com/ae/music/articles/2009/09/18/gaura_vani_combines_sitars_and_chants_with_rock_for_a_genre_defying_musical_mix/ - Boston Globe


Ten Million Moons

This second offering from ground-breaking group ‘Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits’ presents world music as you've never heard it before. Their first album 'Nectar of Devotion' has attained the status of 'cult classic' in yoga circles around the globe, but 'Ten Million Moons' sees the kirtan-masters follow a clear progression on their past work to generate something joyfully modern. Contemporary arrangements of traditional Indian classics and a superb display of musicianship are the catalysts that drive the beautiful vocall harmonies, ethnic rhythms, and cinematic arrangements of this album. The band's cross-cultural style perfectly couples edgy pop with a deeply spiritual mellow that is guaranteed to transport the listener into another world.

http://www.verve-magazine.co.uk/Competition.html - Verve Magazine (UK)


Hip 'New School' Kirtans w/ Gaura Vani
8:00 pm Tuesday, September 22, 2009
More information is available at www.GauraVani.com and http://www.portlandyoga.com Gaura Vani has recently returned from the “Back to India” Tour in time to perform at Bhakti Fest, a spiritual Woodstock-esque festival in Joshua Tree California drawing a crowd of several thousand. In January of this year, Gaura also organized the radical first ever Chant4Change Festival, when nearly 1,000 people gathered in Washington DC to empower the new presidential administration.

Body and soul will let loose when Gaura Vani As Kindred Spirits and John de Kadt, now on the Roots Wings Tour, bring their brand of “new school” kirtan and conscious grooves to a grassroots gathering at Portland Yoga Studio on Tuesday 9/22.

Perhaps because of yoga’s massive popularity, kirtan, the musical wing of Bhakti yoga, is enjoying a mainstream renaissance. Kirtan’s sacred chants have the power to free people from their worldly problems and step into a rocking consciousness greater than themselves.

Gaura Vani and the John de Kadt are a part of the new crop of cross-cultural artists imbuing kirtan’s 5,000-year-old musical mantras with influences from their own melting-pot American upbringings. The result is both hip and holy, equal parts Bjork, Beck and Bhakti, and its eclectic appeal makes new school kirtan equally at home in a temple, on NPR or at Lollapalooza. One of the country’s most respected punk rock labels, in fact, has just released Gaura Vani’s new record, Ten Million Moons.
Where: Portland Yoga Studio, 616 Congress St. Portland

http://www.mainetoday.com/event.html?event_id=94942 - MaineToday.com


An American musician who was visiting India for a bunch of shows with his band, tells FYI why it's far from strange when "Govinda Gopala" is sung to hip hop beats at a rocking nightclub.

American musician Gaura Vani is practicing with a motley group of musicians Bramhachari Ananta Nitai on vocals, Krishna followers Adinath and Bhakth Gaurang on the tabla and Mridangam, faded jeans and sneaker-clad Karan on bass guitar, Florida girl Rupa Manjari on piano, Briton Jhanvi on violin, Prabhu Gaurang on bansuri and Rupa Manjari on vocals. As they croon "Govinda, Gopala", Gaura suddenly says, "Next time, let's chill on that melody.
Take it cool guys!"

The music may be kirtan, but the vibe is surely hip. And that's what Gaura, son to a Krishna-loving American mother who converted to Hindusim, wants his band, As Kindred Spirits' genre of music to be known as hip, spiritually-rich world music.

It's been quite a journey. He was once a wannabe teen actor in Hollywood, grabbing a bit role as Michelle Pfeiffer's student in Dangerous Minds. "It's ironic. On its soundtrack, there was a Coolio song called Gangasta's Paradise, which was inspired by a song called Pastime Paradise, originally a Hare Krishna mantra. How's that for fate?" he says breaking into a serene smile.

Hollywood was fun, with beautiful people and plenty of parties, but Gaura "wanted more from life". Having studied at a gurukul in Mathura, he knew what spiritual life felt like, and was aching to get back to his roots. "I was losing focus. I wasn't happy. So, I decided to go back to my childhood love music, and here we are."

The band's music, which sets kirtans to a strictly Western structure, with a mix of blues and jazz accents, is unique if even a bit weird to the uninitiated. The US-based band has performed across both the coasts of US as well as Brazil, India, Europe, and Africa. When they play at a nightclub, they experiment with hip-hop beats and admit to "going crazy". And if the venue is a yoga studio, they keep it calm and subtle. It's no wonder then that they have been a hit across America's bars while finding mention in this year's Bhakti Fest, the largest gathering of yoga musicians in the US. "This music will take you to another place," Gaura claims. "Even as children, we were aware that though it felt like we were partying when we played music, we were in the physical presence of God, who danced with us. An old friend said he saw me as a baby for the first time, cradled in the arms of my father with a group of devotees, chanting God's ancient names. Hare. Krishna. Rama.
It's in my blood."

As he comes out of his reverie, his voice grows soft with pride. "I have to tell you a very strong story. A friend who is serving in Iraq, was following his fellow officer in a Humvee. Suddenly, his colleague's vehicle blew up. In a situation like that, the officers are supposed to empty out the deceased's pockets so that the body can't be identified. As he was doing that, he came across an iPod. That guy was listening to one of our songs when he died!"

http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2009/aug/310809-Gaura-Vani-American-musician-hip-hop-kirtans-fusion-music-FYI-Mumbai.htm - Mid-Day News India


Soumyadipta Banerjee / DNA
Monday, August 31, 2009 23:56 IST

Mumbai: He has been a Hollywood bad boy in hits such as Virtuosity, Dangerous Minds and Brady Brunch, but he chose to give it up to form a kirtan band.

Washigton based 32-year-old Gaura Vani, the lead singer of the kirtan band Kindred Spirits says, "My parents were closelyassociated with ISKON. After a point, when I realised that my acting career was not going anywhere, I felt a strong attraction towards this culture. Now, my whole family is deeply rooted in the Hare Krishna culture"

Kindred Spirits have grown to be the most sought -after religious band in the world. Born and brought up in the US, Gaura has spent his six years of education in gurukuls (boarding schools run by ISKON) India and believesthat returning to India was his attempt to get back to his roots. "My wife Brinda, two daughters Revathy (five years), Kairava (three years) and son Kirtan (no points for guessing this four-month-old's name) feel that forming a kirtan band is the best decision that I have taken in my life," says Gaura who recently performed his maiden concert in the city.

Post his career switch and the founding of his new band, they have been slowly climbing the charts in religious music in the US and his improvisations of mixing hip-hop and rock sounds with kirtans seems to be working wonders for him. Rightly, after his widely sold first album called Nectar of Devotion, Gaura is now working on a kirtan album which incorporates hip-hop beats called Mantralogy. Reportedly, Hollywood-based Warner Brothers music who have produced one of their albums is already working on a second one.

Gaura admits that he is a great fan of Bollywood music as well. "I like the beats and the way it sounds. My music is also widely influenced by it and I keep buying Bollywood albums to find out the innovations they do; it's amazing the way they modify western sounds," he says.

DID YOU KNOW?
The troupe is currently on a world tour and have visited Australia, England and South Africa before making their way to India.

Gaura Vani and his band were invited to perform for president Obama at a music festival which was part of the presidential inauguration celebrations at Washington, DC.

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report_the-kool-kats-of-kirtans_1286727 - DNA India


Mantralogy Wants To Move You
Jul 10, 2009
Story by: Marisa Aveling

Home to hard rocking acts such as Coheed And Cambria, Equal Vision Records has announced the creation of their new mellower sub-label: Mantralogy. Initially conceptualized by punk monk Gaura Vani and Equal Vision founder Steve Reddy at a backyard yoga retreat, Mantralogy aims to unite the punk ethos with ancient philosophies and the culture of conscious living with music. The new imprint centers around kirtan, the 5,000-year-old practice of sacred Hindu chant that enables people step out of their habitual selves and collectively open up to a powerful, spirituality through repeated musical mantras. Mantralogy’s first release will be Gaura Vani And As Kindred Spirits’ Ten Million Moons, a mixture of Indian-inspired music and chanting.

Tracklist For Ten Million Moons:
01. My Body Is A Temple (Krishna Murari)
02. Moods Of Kirtan (Siksastakam)
03. Stop And Talk (Hey Natha)
04. Miras Song (Mharo Pranam)
05. Ten Million Moons (Nitai Pada Kamala)
06. Sleeping Soul (Jiv Jago)
07. Surrender
08. Where Was I Last Night? (Nami Danam Chi Manzil)
09. Pirate Song (Dina Dayal)
10. Worship The Golden Lord (Bhaja Gauranga)
11. Thunder And Lightning (Radha Krishna Pran)

www.mantralogy.com


http://prod1.cmj.com/articles/display_article.php?id=133048065 - CMJ New Music First


An Instrument of God’s Peace

An Interview with Kirtan Artist Gaura Vani
By Tom Crenshaw and Trevor Harden

Guara Vani 1“I was given the gift of devotional song from birth, raised with the music of the temple, taught to sing and play beautiful instruments and dance... for love and for God,” says Gaura Vani, the heralded musician and leader of what Jai Uttal calls, “Simply the most wonderful kirtan band in the Western world.” Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits has released their second CD entitled Ten Million Moons and are in the midst of a prolific year. Not only has the band been featured at the sold-out Obama Presidential Inaugural event Chant4Change, they have also recently been heard on NPR’s All Things Considered and seen in the CBS Television Special, Faith, Music and Culture.

At the age of six Gaura Vani left the US to study sacred music in a gurukula or temple school in the timeless town of Vrindavan, India. He learned ancient prayers in Sanskrit and Bengali and to sing and play ethnic instruments like the harmonium and mrdanga. Twenty-five years later he continues to share the magic he received and performs extensively with his kirtan ensemble, As Kindred Spirits, throughout the world from Europe and Asia, to the Americas.

The kirtan sub-culture is a lotus growing from the mud of materialism. Kirtan refers to the ancient practice of gathering for musical worship in the ancient traditions of India. It’s still very alive today. Empty rooms quickly transform into a churning mass of bodies, dancing feet, eyes flashing, hands striking two headed mrdanga drums. This is the epicenter of the kirtan subculture. Gathering together in yoga studios, temples, ashrams, homes (in the basement of your seemingly average neighbor) this vibrant spiritual and musical subculture thrives.

Gaura Vani founded As Kindred Spirits in 1998 with percussionist/multi-instrumentalist, Shyam Kishore, who studied classical Indian music directly from living masters like Zakhir Hussein. Together they have created a special style. Rooted in the Indian kirtan tradition, their diverse influences span the musical spectrum from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Jai Uttal, Jagjit Singh, and Axiom of Choice to Beck, Bjork, Peter Gabriel and DJ Cheb I Sabbah. This group brings a fresh take to sacred world-music.

RockOm: What was the inspiration behind Ten Million Moons and how is it different than your past CD?

Gaura: Well my last CD was almost like it fell on my head. I've lived in Washington, DC for the past 10 years and a friend of mine called me up from California and said, "I got a hold of some recording equipment. What are the chances of you flying out to California so we can make an album together?" So we got together in a friend's bedroom in a house full of people and tried to record during the times when no one was making noise. We did basically the whole album, give or take a couple of tracks, in a week. We threw a couple more songs on, some live recordings, and that was the first album. It had a lot of raw energy and was really from the heart and was coming from the love we all share as musicians.

This album, although I tried my absolute best to maintain some of that love, energy and spirit, was from a very different place. It was a much deeper place and I was going through some very tough times in my life. I was working at a job as a filmmaker doing training films for the US government, the Department of Homeland Security. It's a very politically-charged environment, very difficult for someone who's more artistic. It's very hard to function sometimes. I put everything I had into my music whenever I could. I would come home from working a 10, 12, or 14-hour day and put in one or two hours in the studio before falling asleep at the soundboard. Myself, along with my business partner Rasa Acharya, just put everything we could into this album after hours. It was such a personal creation, an exploration, and I honestly didn't know if anyone was going to like it. First of all, I didn't even know if the musicians on the album were going to like it because they come from such a wide array of influences - everything from very classical Indian to very modern and funky Western. I just was trying to use my sensibilities to honor their contributions while at the same time trying to create something brand new. Little by little I started showing it to some of the musicians who were on it and started to get a good response from them. Then I started to show it to other friends and record labels, and people liked it. I'm just so grateful and thankful.

The two albums come from such different places - the first was just a pure joy of creation with friends and the second one was more of a yearning, a longing for a more free and innocent time to be able to create like that, which didn't exist for me during the creation of this album.

Guara Vani 3RockOm: You founded As Kindred Spirits in 1998 with your percussionist and associate Shyam K - Rock Om


Ten Million Moons
By Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits
Mantralogy & Equal Vision Records Inc. (2009) 68:11 minutes

www.gauravani.com / www.equalvision.com / www.mantralogy.com

Review by Kate Russell

Trying to make traditional forms of music more appealing to the mainstream is certainly a challenging prospect, especially when dealing with a form as ancient and obscure (at least to most western ears) as Kirtan - devotional chants set to music that originate from 15th Century India. A balance must then be sought between retaining the integrity of the original genre whilst at the same time adding enough variation to make it more accessible to a wider audience. A tough task - but ‘monk turned punk’ Kirtan-adept, Guara Vani has attempted it with his new album ‘Ten Million Moons’ through Mantralogy records.

This album could as well be called, ‘Ten Million Moods’ for its richly varied and eclectic content - throughout the duration of the CD, the listener is pulled from devotion to wonder to excitement to reflection and around again. Even some of the individual tracks have different moods within them - the combination of eastern and western musical styles making these changes even more alluring.

Slower and more reflective songs on the album include Mira’s Song (Mharo Pranam) - a tender, haunting melody sung over sparse accompaniment and harmony and perfect for yoga or meditation, Moods of Kirtan (Siksastakam) gives a slower, more transcendent feel with sitar playing moody narration to mellow strings and voices, Where was I last night? (Nami Danam Chi Manzi) is a classic call and response track and Worship the Golden Lord (Bhaja Gauranga) is a pensive worship track. In ‘Thunder and Lightning’ (Radha Krishna Pran) ambient sounds intersperse with a range of moods, creating a track that is both reflective and celebratory.

If you are looking for something more upbeat and high energy, you’ll find a few tracks like this too. Whipping up excitement at the beginning of the album, ‘My Body is a Temple’ (Krishna Murari) introduces the listener to chanting via an intoxicating beat, and a much more contemporary ‘Stop and Talk’ (Hey Natha) hits the listener with a fusion of rap, eastern melody and spoken mantra - a track of many conversations and a wonderfully unexpected change of direction. Another musical surprise on the album, ‘Sleeping Soul’ combines gospel choir melodies with Kirtan - a delicious and rousing mix that one wouldn’t expect to work, but somehow does, and very well! In ‘The Pirate Song’ (Dina Dayal), the Maha Mantra is sung to different intensities by male, female and choral voices. The steady rapid clapping and excited bursts of flute pull the excitement one level higher in this track.

I expected the album’s title track, ‘Ten Million Moons’ (Nitai Pada Kamala) to be more rousing somehow, instead, it is a slowly building track of steadily growing choral response. To be honest, I’m not sure what to make of this track - the lack of musical variation coupled with the unfamiliar words made it a more challenging listen for this Kirtan newbie. The most traditional feeling track on the album, this is maybe one for the real Krishna-core devotees. Still one track out of eleven isn’t bad - and perhaps acts more as the marker of traditional Kirtan against which the rest of the tracks can be contrasted. On the other hand, ‘Surrender’ is reminiscent of ’90s indie, mellow guitar chords and English language vocals making it a stand out track, and feeling perhaps like the biggest diversion from traditional Kirtan on the whole album.

Will Gaura Vani and Mantralogy records succeed in their mission to make sacred music more relevant to the mainstream? I think at the very least, this album is a good start towards making it so. Refreshing and surprising, ‘Ten Million Moons’ provides a variety of music to suit both the Krishna-core and world music lovers alike.


http://newagejournal.com/2007/music-reviews/ten-million-moons-cd-review - New Age Journal


Music
Featured Artist: Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits

Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits
Bio:
At the age of six Gaura Vani left the US to study sacred music in a gurukula or temple school in the timeless town of Vrindavan, India. He learned ancient prayers in Sanskrit and Bengali and to sing and play ethnic instruments like the harmonium and mrdanga. 25 years later he continues to share... more
Bio:
At the age of six Gaura Vani left the US to study sacred music in a gurukula or temple school in the timeless town of Vrindavan, India. He learned ancient prayers in Sanskrit and Bengali and to sing and play ethnic instruments like the harmonium and mrdanga. 25 years later he continues to share the magic he received and performs extensively with his kirtan ensemble, As Kindred Spirits, throughout the world from Europe and Asia, to the Americas.


Interview with Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits
YM: Where did you come from?
GV: Great question. That is the question that fuels all of our search for meaning in life. Right? My mother became a Hare Krishna devotee when she was sixteen, so I grew up a "Krishna Kid." As a child, I lived in India and studied ancient music culture in a temple school, or Gurukula. I am now based in Washington, DC but travel the world singing devotional music, or kirtan.

YM: Where did you get your name and what does it mean?
GV: My mother gave me my name. It means literally "the song of the Golden One." My name refers to Gauranga, also called Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, whose street kirtans were a protest against India's rigid cast system and whose teachings were a predecessor to Gandhi's reform movement.

YM: When did your connection to spirituality begin?
GV: I was born into it. My parents were always deeply spiritual people and raised me like that. So of course I rebelled. I ran as fast and as hard as I could for a few years. Then one day I realized I was running in place. So I started to rethink things. It's a journey that continues to deepen every day. The mind of the novice...right?

YM: What/who are As Kindred Spirits and how was this formed?
GV: I started AKS with my dear friend Shyam in Washington in 1997. We've been making music ever since. It's all about the living culture of Kirtan as a musical form of expressing our eternal connection with the divine world. Many of us are Krishna kids who grew up together playing music and singing kirtan since before we can remember. Essentially, we are family. It's our kirtan tribe. Ananta Govinda - drummer, Acyuta Gopi - singer and kartals, Janaki Priya - Singer, Syama Kishor - multi-instrumentalist, and Nishta Raj - violinist.

YM: Describe your music/vibe.
GV: Elvis Costello meets Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in the living room of Ravi Shankar while they're watching a Bollywood remake of the story of Radha and Krishna.

YM: Congratulations on your new album “Ten Million Moons”! Please tell us about the creation of this beautiful album!
GV: This album is from the deepest regions of my heart. I've been working on this album for a couple of years at least. I was working on this album while I was working in a cube for the government in Washington, DC, dreaming of a better day...for myself and the country. This is a prayer and an offering. Steven Rosen the respected author on kirtan, says he thinks of this album as Jimmy Hendrix and the Band of Gypsies. We have lots of friends sitting in and singing, playing. It's a kirtan tribe. Mixed by Ben Leinbach, who co-produces with Jai Uttal, this album is a real labor of love. This is the sound of my dreams.

YM: What are your major influences?
GV: I grew up listening to nothing but traditional sacred Indian music until I was 9. Then I added the pop music that was playing on the radio in the 80's. Then I discovered the music of parent's generation - the revolutionary music of the 1960s and that really opened my mind up to new kinds of expression. After that I started gathering world music and music collections from various festivals around the world and compilations. Recently I've been listening to the live "bootleg" recordings of the kirtans going on around the world. The quality is sometimes terrible, but the energy and the shakti is indescribable.

YM: Do you practice Yoga? What does your daily spiritual practice look/sound like?
GV: Yes I do. Bhakti Yoga and a little Asana Yoga. I come from a tradition of Bhakti Yoga, which is the practice of creating a personal loving relationship with God in everything we do. My main 'sadhana' is to try and build that relationship through chanting and calling out His many names. Our album is a great example of what this sounds like. Sometimes my kids wake up in the morning and hear me chanting. They come into our temple room and lay in my lap and fall asleep again. So sweet.

YM: What is your favorite part of making devotional music?
GV: The comraderie. Kirtan is best when it's done together. Caitanya, the founder of modern kirtan, is f - Yogamates.com


Discography

Ten Million Moons - 2009 On Mantralogy, Distro by Warner Brothers ADA
Nectar of Devotion - 1998

Mantralogy is a venture by Equal Vision Records (home to such acts as Coheed And Cambria) and film/music producers Gaura Vani and Rasa Acharya that brings together the edgy punk rock attitude and underground ethos with the ancient uplifting philosophies and culture of conscious living and music.

Photos

Bio

These young, multi-cultural musicians blend western harmonies and lush instrumental layers with ethnic rhythms and hypnotic grooves. From grassroots get-togethers in yoga studios to rocking the main stage for festival crowds of tens of thousands, from NPR to CBS to Lollapalooza to the Obama Inauguration’s Chant4Change, Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits move people to sing, dance, and be transformed.

“Gaura Vani combines sitars and chants with rock for a genre-defying musical mix…The result is a hybrid of ancient Indian sacred music and modern Western styles. Sitars, mridanga drums, and chanted vocals meld smoothly with guitars and the occasional hip-hop vocal flow, all with clearly defined verses and choruses and a focus on melody not usually found in traditional Indian music.” – The Boston Globe

”This second offering from ground-breaking group ‘Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits’ presents world music as you've never heard it before. Their first album 'Nectar of Devotion' has attained the status of 'cult classic' in yoga circles around the globe, but 'Ten Million Moons' sees the kirtan-masters follow a clear progression on their past work to generate something joyfully modern. “ – Verve Magazine (UK)

“Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits are simply the most wonderful kirtan band in the Western world. Listen, sing, and be transported.” -Jai Uttal

“Gaura Vani and Kindred Spirits is bringing the ecstatic kirtan traditions of Bhakti yoga to America with full loving force. From Burning Man, to yoga studios, to chanting for change in Washington DC, Gaura Vani is a sacred activist and artist leading the way. Recommended with all my heart.” -Shiva Rea

“…Some of the most talented musicians you will ever hear in America. This is music to awaken wild longing in the soul—this is soul music—authentically rocking. Incredible musicianship, rapturous vocals, mystical soundscapes, hand clapping, cymbals smashing; this is rhythm, blues, gospel...”- Sharon Gannon (Co-Founder Jivamukti Yoga)

“This is Trancendental music at its best. Brings us to the Doorstep of the Divine!” – MC Yogi

“Chanting with Gaura Vani & As Kindred Spirits is incredibly thrilling. The ecstasy is highly contagious. Simultaneously wild and serene, it is an amazing flavor combination.” – Dave Stringer