Kirtan is call and response singing of the names of the Divine, or God, sung in the ancient poetic language of sanskrit. This is a practice that started in 15th century India as a yogic practice of devotion to the higher self, or Bhakti Yoga, as a way of knowing and feeling the Divine in our lives. Through the repetition of the chanting a meditative vibe organizes and is fostered through the group, lifting us up, helping us to relax and let go of the negative that is dragging us down, and ultimately knowing the divine within.
Bradford Smith and the Bhavantu Band
Developing a Kirtan sound with influences from traditional Haidakhan chants along with original songs, Bradford and the Bhavantu Band are creating a unique and accessible sound that will inspire the beauty and joy of Ecstatic Kirtan and Bhakti music.
Below are my recordings of kirtan Songs that I have been working on with my friends. This is a collection of songs that I have been working on over the past few years. Some of it is amazing and some of it is ok, yikes.... the internal critic getting in the way again, Om Gum Ganapatayei Namaha!
Amba Bhavani, Jai Ma
Amba Bhavani Jai Ma
Composed and Produced by Bradford Smith
Vocals; Bradford Smith, Lydia Brown, Jill Duncan, Jai Chand Saltarelli
Amba Bhavani [Giver of life]
Tripura Sundari [Beautiful in the Three Worlds]
Bhuvaneshvari [Whose Body is the Cosmos]
Adi Parashakti [Primal shakti]
Sarab shakti [All encompassing shakti]
Karunaswaroopini [Filled with mercy]
When you can realize that the creative force, the infinite, the oneness or god is a loving, supportive, compassionate energy, then you can relax into the flow that we are connecting to a feminine relationship to source in our lives.
This song is embracing this love that becomes present when we go with-in through meditation, developing compassion for ourselves and everyone around us, finding a flow of life that lifts us up in the flow of love that is always present.
Relaxing into this flow helps us to realize that through all the struggle and chaos that is becoming apparent, we can stay in our power and confidence that everything will work out, that no matter what we are one with our source, in the flow of compassion and love.
Parts of this song have been with me for a few years. I have been fascinated with the chord progression of the Jai Ma section, breaking some of the rules of music theory, in an uplifting way. But, I was for the longest time not finding a progression to complement this section. On my sound cloud account I have a version of Jai Ma recorded 2 years ago that was ok but left me longing. This new version I feel captures a new energy that brings our focus to this connection with Diving Mother and then celebrates it through the Jai Ma, an expansion of our awareness, compassion and love.
With this recording I love the way the response of Lydia Jill and Jai Chand add to the flow of the song. Experimenting with the percussion sounds I could create I found Tabla hits that I combined with a 606 bass drum that I even added the Banyan pitch bend, hoping to feel this vibration inside our hearts. I started out only hoping to create a feel that I could groove with, and it became a trance that I could melt into.
Kali Durga Lakshmi Saraswati
Kali Durga Maha Lakshmi Saraswati Maha Devi