Unfortunately, after the live session, Facebook removed the sound, because they had used recorded music and the platform’s AI recognized it as copyrighted.
The idea struck me immediately that we could remediate the problem by recording the music ourselves. So I grabbed my handy recorder and guitar, played some arpeggios, then decided to add some keyboard sweetening. After a few hours I had the basic track together. We refined it over the next few days, adding some reference vocals and such. Done. It wasn’t what I would consider to be “listening” quality, but it was fine for the background to chanting.
It hadn’t occurred to me that this would be anything other than a fun, one-off project. But then my wife said “we should record Long Time Sun too.” So I got out the recorder and guitar again, and this time decided to add a bass guitar track in addition to guitar and keys. I had learned some things from the process for the first recording, and was noticing things during this second one that could be improved as well. Before I knew it, I found myself saying “the next one of these we do, I’ll want to start with a click track.”
By now I was absolutely hooked, and began searching all over the Web for anything I could learn about Kirtan music and devotional chanting. At this point I was still thinking of the music as a pleasant and interesting hobby or diversion. Then, something odd happened.
Although I already had a vague notion that the chanting had a spiritual basis and spiritual benefits (we chanted at the end of Kundalini Yoga sessions and our instructor always spoke about the deeper meaning of the chants), I hadn’t realized that it is at the very center of some folks’ devotional life. The practice already had a pretty firm grip on me, and now it pulled me in. It suddenly felt as if every thing that I have experienced throughout my life, from the time I was a small child, was leading to this moment of discovery.
Claudia and I continue to chant together every evening, and now I’ve added an afternoon session to my daily practice as well. I’ve also begun to read the Tulsidas Ramayana, and to consider how singing the names of Hindu deities each day relates to my life as a faithful Roman Catholic Christian. I’ll be writing more about that in the days to come.
In the meantime, we’ve ordered a harmonium. :)