on a hill there is a house
and in the house there is a room -
an octagonal, high ceilinged, sunny room - perfect for sound says joby.
and in the room there are five musicians, their instruments and some recording equipment.
and in each musician there is a heart,
and in each heart there is a sound.
outside the house, cockatoos squawk
kookaburras chuckle, cicadas buzz, magpies sing and cows moo - all contributing to the music the five hearts are hearing
we began our days early - around 10 am - with a super-deva-green smoothie, croissants and bullet proof coffee -green tea for deva!
by 11:00 we'd finished breakfast, closed the windows, turned off the fridge, and joby was at work comping, editing, creating the palette.
by lunch we'd usually have a take.
it was a new feeling - watching layers of old ideas being discarded...
making way for new sound-shapes that were beginning to emerge.
nothing was wasted - every song we brought to the sessions made it onto the album
we're a five-piece honest-to-god band!
we're feeling that spark of being creative together with the music and the mantras.
looking for hidden gems, deva and i browsed our library one day and discovered a sketch of the brahma gayatri mantra, sent to us by a our dear friend, esra. we explored her melody, looking for structure.
sure enough, we find the heart of the song and a chord sequence. we present it to spencer and joby, who take the song/chant way out into another stratosphere...out further than any of us could've imagined individually ... the spirit was calling us ... a step further, into a new, enchanted landscape.
late one night manose and spencer begin jamming on the guru mantra.
it was a truly ethereal moment.
time stopped and grace descended, as it does whenever manose puts the bansuri to his lips.
and accompanied by spencer's transcendent chords ... even the cicadas stop to listen.
we consciously sang for friends ... we sung for the healing of our wise and gentle friend, aboriginal elder, uncle bob randall - uncle bob.
teaches us the great virtues of compassion and forgiveness, simply by being himself.
we sang for all our aboriginal friends in australia
we sang for all the displaced souls across the world whose homes have been destroyed by so much senseless human violence
we sang for our friends in kiev - many people died in this square.
in russia - where so many open-hearted russian friends come to sing with us...
in israel, where we brought together sufi whirlers and israeli musicians, on stage as one family.
...for our tibetan friends...
we sang for our children - the children of the world.
we sang for our beloved nura's soul as it flies through the bardo and we sang for her soulmate, rahasya, left behind.
we sang for our sangha - those of you who come to share your voices and your hearts with us.
your spirits are present in every note.
and all the while hanuman watched over us, reminding us that if the music we're making isn't played in the spirit of devotion, it isn't music.
half way through the sessions,
while shopping at our local farmers market in the town of mullumbimby,
we heard the news that a cyclone was on the way.
scary, magnificent clouds gathered
when it hit, everything shook...rain poured, wind howled and rivers rose and roads disappeared in a flash.
we battened down the hatches and kept singing.
one evening our friends ami & tamar braved the storm for a visit. we played them the rough mixes. none of us had heard the album in its entirety yet, and as we sat in the darkened room we all felt the power of hanuman - his spirit was guiding us deeper into the mystery of the music we'd created.
and then, as the last notes faded into silence, we were suddenly plunged into darkness - the electricity had crashed!
nobody had thought to wonder whether we were over-using the solar power that the rented house ran on
with no sun for days and a heavy load to deal with - it was all too much bliss for the system to handle ... so all work suddenly ground to an abrupt, mystical standstill
we hugged in the darkness. ami and tamar fed back the joy they'd felt listening to the music, and exhausted but fulfilled, we all head for our beds.
next day, up early, we make a plan B and decamp to our friend kamal's art-of-audio studio where we spend the day recording vocals. kamal welcomed us, ghata, his wife, fed us, and time flew...
before we knew it it was 10:30 at night and we'd taken a giant step.
with the finishing line in view and with the rain still falling we made it back to our roundhouse on the hill
the generator was still pumping up the solar batteries and by next morning the sun had returned, bringing with it a magnificent rainbow
and so it went, day by day, moment to moment. on the last day we finally made it to the beach. you can't invite friends to come all the way to australia from canada, usa and england and not take them to the beach.
but we'd been on a mission and we were all determined to finish the job we came to do.
... but still ... the beach!
...we made it that final afternoon, with pelicans and sea birds for company
manose set up his tripod, and immortalised the auspicious moment - not quite sharp, but we forgive him - we were all a little bleary eyed
by then ... but our spirits were nourished, clear and free. we hope you enjoy! with love.