Chakram is about the songs of an ancient world where gods and goddesses were treated with respect and gratitude. They lived in the celestial realms enjoying heavenly music and dance, occasionally coming down to earth to sing their songs and give their wisdom to the humans. In the making of this album there were many earth-bound gods and goddesses who kindly wove their voices and instrumental talents to create a unique musical landscape. I offer my respect and gratitude to them all.
Born into a family of Bhakti Yogis and growing up in ashrams around the world and in India, Chakrini has Kirtan flowing through her veins. A childhood and a lifetime spent immersed in sacred chants and music, has given her devotional singing a depth that goes straight to the heart and the soul.
Sarah has a beautifully warm voice and personality and is a singer,songwriter, and the voice of Athenia. For Chakram she turned her hand to Sanskrit and Latin, and created the lush vocals on several songs.
As a baby the first sounds Jahnavi heard was the devotional singing of kirtan. She now sings kirtan to appreciative audiences in USA, Australia, India and Europe. When she’s not singing herself, she’ll be accompanying other singers by playing her violin or harmonium. She loves the music and dance of south India and is an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer. She works with a collaborative arts project known as Mantralogy, a fresh venture backed by the recording industry to deliver music, lifestyle products and events to support the growing subculture of sacred music.
Tulasi has a powerful and expressive voice and such a young singer lends a fresh colour to CHAKRAM. Tulasi is an enthusiastic kirtan singer who has taken her love for sacred music to Mexico, USA, and to many countries throughout Europe.
Kirtan by name and by nature, Hari Kirtan has a voice like honey and an astounding range. He has recorded and performed sacred music internationally and particularly likes to sing to the sound of the clay mridanga drum and the small hand cymbals, the kirtaniya’s musical instruments: simple yet sublime. Hari Kirtan has even taken his unique style of kirtan to Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria and Jamaica.
Joseph is a well respected and much loved singer who has provided his amazing voice talents to many of the UK’s stars; names like Mick Hucknall, Chrissie Hynde, Soul II Soul, Alison Limerick, Maxi Priest and Jocelyn Brown.
Kripamoya has been singing in Sanskrit and Bengali for more than thirty years and Chakram is a collection of some his favourite songs that he felt would sound great decorated by fresh musical instrumentation and vocal colour.
The heavenly orchestra – The Mick Stephens Quartet
Two violins, a viola and a cello – what a beautiful sound, and expertly orchestrated and conducted by Mick Stephens. When they are not playing with the BBC Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra they are creating beautiful atmospheres for Chakram. The quartet is Becky Cox, Lucy Butler, Jo Stephens and Lorraine Kelly
Pete J Booker, Kripamoya, Kiron J (Jaganatha Suta)
Producer – Kiron J
Kiron J has produced for universal Music, Sony Toryumon, and Transient Records. Chakram is the result of his prompting, reminding, scheduling, resource-location, sheer musical creative brilliance and patient attention to detail. He remained well-mannered and soft-spoken throughout the two year project despite all provocation.
Composer and Engineer – Pete J Booker
The owner and engineer of Arcade Studio, Pete J Booker has produced for world music artist Pia, the BBC and Channel 4. Pete is a synthesizer guru, a formidable pianist and composer who can take the simplest folk melody and transform it into a lush orchestral soundtrack. He is great fun to be with and very generous with his time.
Mastering Engineer – Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin
Andy ‘Hippy’ Baldwin has mastered albums for David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), The Who, and K T Tunstall. We were all very grateful to have Andy’s keenly sought-after expertise and professionalism right up to the last minute. Chakram was mastered at Metropolis Studio.