Japa

by Dave Stringer

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about

"Dave Stringer has integrated his interest in Kirtan, an Indian tradition of devotional chanting, with his masterful grasp of Western popular music, creating an exciting style of psychedelic pop as informed by traditional Eastern music as the Beatles."
--- All Music Guide

“Stringer is an amazing, passionate performer. No, this isn't just gentle, soothing new age music and shouldn't be mistaken for it. It is there to engage the listener and speaks in an intuitive manner to the soul within.”
--- Amazon

“Ecstasy on a Disc. For me Dave Stringer has become the barometer by which all other devotional music is measured. These songs energize me spiritually. Time passes without notice when I listen to Japa. I find myself looking for more housework to do or wishing my drive was longer so I could keep listening.“

“Amazing!!! His voice is just incredible. I'm practically addicted to this CD. I find myself taking time out to dance to it in my office during my work day.”

“Hey Shiva Shankara rocks!!!! It changes my day.”
--- Customer reviews from CD Baby

Dave Stringer’s joyous and gospel-tinged Sanskrit Kirtan CD 'Japa' was made to drive and sing along to. The staff at City Yoga in West Hollywood, CA have called it “the perfect cure for road rage”. Recorded in a series of live-in-the-studio sessions, 'Japa' a call-and response Kirtan CD infused with gospel-inflected vocals, barefoot grooves and improvisational epiphanies.

Produced by Saul David Raye with guest appearances by Toni Childs, Donna De Lory, Danny Peck, C.C. White, Suzanne Sterling, Joni Allen, Steve Ross, Seane Corn and Girish.

"Kirtan is a folk form that arose from the Bhakti movement of 15th century India. The Bhaktis wrote ecstatic love poems to the divine, and went around singing all the time. Their message was simple: Cultivate joy. See the divine in one another. In the eyes of Love, we are all the same. This was, and still is, a radical message. They taught Sanskrit mantras to common people using simple melodies, accompanied by handclaps and finger cymbals and drums.

Kirtan is consciousness-transformative, directing the singers to vanish into the song as drops merge into the ocean. From a linguistic perspective, Sanskrit is the mother tongue of many modern languages, and a kind of periodic table of elemental sound-meaning. The mantras are primarily recitations of names given to the divine. But perhaps the true understanding of the mantras can be found in the sense of unity, well-being and timelessness that they elicit. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart. Ecstasy is both the process and the product.

The primary musical feature of kirtan is the use of call and response, a figure that also deeply informs bluegrass, gospel music and jazz. Kirtan is not a piece of dusty ethnomusicological taxidermy, it’s a living, breathing organism spreading its genes out into the world. The Bhaktis had no use for orthodoxy. They saw the expression and form of the divine in every direction they looked. From this perspective, even music that cannot be characterized as traditional can still be expressive of the Bhaktis’ original intention.

Inquiring into the origin and nature of the universe, both Western science and Eastern philosophy arrive at the obstacle of the mind. How can the mind come to see beyond itself? Is it all just a matter of chemistry? Even if it is, doesn’t that deepen the mystery in unexpected new directions? Isn’t it amazing that you can now look at an MRI of someone’s brain, and see how chanting changes it? Singing, we move ourselves into a field out beyond questions and answers. Encountering bliss, the mind is still."

Dave Stringer

credits

released August 6, 2002

Ganapati Om

C.C. White: Featured Vocals
Danny Peck: Vocals
Dave Stringer: Harmonium,Tamboura, Vocals,
Donna de Lory: Vocals
Girish Gambhira: Ektar, Manjira, Shakers,Tablas
Ian Walker: Electric Bass
James Harrah: Electric Guitar
Jay Bellerose: Drum Set
Jay Gibson: Trumpet
Joni Allen: Vocals
Mark Smith: Vocals
Michael Mollura: Piano, Rhodes
Scott Mills: Tenor Saxophone
Seane Corn: Vocals
Suzanne Sterling: Vocals
Choir: Aaron Reed, Anthony Benenati, Caleb Brennan, Christi Minarovich,
Elizabeth Rossa, Greg Wendt, Haribol Siddhadas, Ira Rosen, Jaik Grace,
Laria Saunders, Liz Burnette, Mark Kennedy, Micheline Berry, Nirlepa Howard,Patricia Sill, Rebecca Parks, Samantha Mehra, Saul Raye, Sean O’Byrne, Shakti Gray, Shanti Shivani, Shauna Hellewell

Jay Ambe Jagadambe

C.C. White: Vocals
Danny Peck: Vocals
Dave Stringer: Harmonium, Swaramandala, Tamboura, Vocals
Donna de Lory: Vocals
Girish Gambhira: Mridangam, Moreching
Ian Walker: Electric Bass
James Harrah: Electric Guitar
Jay Bellerose: Drum Set, Tambourine, Tympani
Joni Allen: Vocals
Mark Smith: Vocals
Marty Allen: Sitar
Suzanne Sterling: Featured Vocals

Hey Shiva Shankara

C.C. White: Vocals
Danny Peck: Vocals
Dave Stringer: Harmonium, Vocals
Domonic Dean Breaux: Soprano Saxophone
Donna de Lory: Vocals
Girish Gambhira: Manjira, Tablas, Tamboura
Ian Walker: Electric Bass
James Harrah: Electric Guitar
Jay Bellerose: Drum Set, Dumbek
Joni Allen: Featured Vocals
Mark Smith: Vocals
Marty Allen: Sitar
Samantha Mehra: Vocals
Scott Mills: Tenor Saxophone
Suzanne Sterling: Vocals
Steve Ross: Featured Vocals
Wynne Paris: Sarod
Choir: Aaron Reed, Anthony Benenati, Christi Minarovich, Elizabeth Rossa, Ira Rosen, Micheline Berry, Rebecca Parks, Samantha Mehra, Saul Raye, Shauna Hellewell

Devakinandana Gopala (Major Key)

C.C. White: Vocals
Danny Peck: Vocals
Dave Stringer: Harmonium, Vocals
Donna de Lory: Vocals
Girish Gambhira: Tablas, Shaker
Ian Walker: Electric Bass
James Harrah: Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Jay Bellerose: Drum Set, Tambourine
Mark Smith: Vocals
Michael Mollura: B-3
Nirlepa Howard: Manjira
Scott Mills: Irish Flute
Seane Corn: Vocals
Toni Childs: Featured Vocals
Choir: Aaron Reed, Anthony Benenati, Caleb Brennan, Christi Minarovich,
Elizabeth Rossa, Greg Wendt, Haribol Siddhadas, Ira Rosen, Jaik Grace,
Laria Saunders, Liz Burnette, Mark Kennedy, Micheline Berry, Nirlepa Howard, Patricia Sill, Rebecca Parks, Samantha Mehra, Saul Raye, Sean O’Byrne, Shakti Gray, Shanti Shivani, Shauna Hellewell

Shri Ram Jay Ram

Cameron Stone: Cello, String Arrangement
Candy Girard: Violin
Dave Stringer: Acoustic Guitar, Harmonium, Vocals
Donna de Lory: Featured Vocals
Girish Gambhira: Tablas, Shaker, Tamboura
Ian Walker: Acoustic Bass
Mark Smith: Viola
Shanti Om
Candy Girard: Violin
Dave Stringer: Guitar, Harmonium, Tamboura, Vocals
Michael Mollura: Piano
Travis Huff: Ride Cymbal

Produced by Saul David Raye and Dave Stringer
Engineered by Saul David Raye
‘Shanti Om’ Produced and Engineered by Travis Huff
Mixed by John Potoker at Saturn Sound
Mastered by Michael Lazer at Extasy Recording
Pro Tools Engineer: Travis Huff
Additional Production: Ian Walker

All songs written by Dave Stringer ©2000- 2003 Magnetic Melodies BMI except:
Hey Shiva Shankara: Traditional - Arrangement ©2002 Magnetic Melodies BMI
Shanti Om: Traditional - Arrangement ©2003 Magnetic Melodies BMI

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Dave Stringer Los Angeles

Grammy-nominated producer, singer, composer and innovative international Kirtan artist. Stringer’s sound connects the transcendent mysticism of East Indian ragas to the exuberant grooves of Gospel and the ringing harmonies of Appalachia.

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Track Name: Ganapati
Ganapati Om Jaya Ganapati Om
Ganapati Om Jaya Ganapati Om
Ganapati Ganapati
Tatvamasi Tatvamasi

Om namaste Ganapataye
Tvameva pratyaksham tattvamasi
Tvameva kevalam kartaasi
Tvameva kevalam dhartaasi
Tvameva kevalam hartaasi
Tvameva sarvam khalvidam brahmaasi
Tvam saakshad aatmaasi nityam.

A prayer to Ganapati, another name for the elephant-headed god Ganesha. Ganapati means Lord of the multitudes- the multitudes of experiences, perspectives and paths that emanate from and lead back to the one source of all being.
Track Name: Jay Ambe Jagadambe
Jay Ambe Jagadambe Mata Bhavani Jay Ambe
Jaya Jagad Janani Jagadambe Mata Bhavani Jay Ambe

Jagadambe means mother of the world. Bhavani means the one who gives all things existence, and Janani means she who gives birth. What is essential about the womb is the space that lies within it. No matter how beautiful the pottery, it is the empty space in the cup that makes it useful. In music, the spaces that are left give grace to the notes that are played.
Track Name: Hey Shiva Shankara
Hey Shiva Shankara Hey Maheshwara
Sukha Kara Dukha Hara Hara Hara Shankara
Om Namah Shivaya
Hey Shiva Shankara Hey Maheshwara Hara Shambho Hara Shambho


Shiva is the destroyer of the ego, and the witness of all that passes, the eternal cycle of forms arising and dissolving. In yoga, all sorrow is seen as arising from identification with transient things, and all happiness from identification with the eternal. Om Namah Shivaya means salutations to Shiva, or I am at one with the power of the infinite.
Track Name: Devakinandana Gopala
Devakinandana Gopala Devakinandana Gopala Gopala Govinda Govinda Gopala

Deva means shining god, Nandana means joy. It can also be expressed as one who comes from what is bright and shining (Devaki is also the name of Krishna’s mother). Govinda and Gopala are names of Krishna meaning the knower of speech and the master of the senses and mind. The mantra expresses the radiance of love, imminent and present in all beings.
Track Name: Shri Ram Jay Ram
Shri Ram Jay Ram Jay Jay Ram

Ram is an image of the divine in human form, and a parable of the soul and the ego on the spiritual path. He incarnated as a king who lost his kingdom and his love to demons. He underwent a great journey and many trials, finding in service the means to ultimately reclaim what he had lost.
Track Name: Shanti Om
Om Shanti Om

Om. Peace. Om.