An eclectic mix of beats, layers, and chants.
Today’s episode is a flow of music and exclusive interviews with musician, singer, and bhakti-yogi, Jai Uttal.
We start things off with a remix entitled Hari Om from the album Dial M for Mantra, and produced by Rara Avis of the Desert Dwellers. The track contains chants to the Divine Couple, Sita and Rama.
We move into the first part of the interview where Jai talks about his upbringing in New York, and his first trip to India in the 1970’s, where he met his beloved Guru. This is followed by a track from the album Loveland, a collaboration with Ben Leinbach, entitled Gopala Lullaby, containing chants to Krishna in his form as a young cowherd boy. Jai then talks about his time in Bengal, India, where he lived and played with various musicians from the Baul tradition. We then hear a track from Beggars and Saints entitled Lake of Exploits, an album which was inspired by that period of his life, and which was recorded with his band at that time Pagan Love Orchestra.
Jai then speaks about the place Vrindavan in India, the parikrama path which circles the town, and his experiences walking there in a mood of devotion. Vrindavan is the place where Krishna grew up, and we hear a song containing some of his Divine names “Sri Krishna Govinda Hari Murari He Natha Narayana Vasudeva”, from the album Dial M for Mantra. In the next segment Jai explains the experience of coming from such places of pilgrimage and translating that feeling into the process of recording albums, and performing in more varied environments, such as at large kirtan festivals.
Next Jai talks about the aspect of dance and kirtan, and how one can be literally moved to movement by ecstatic devotional feelings. He talks about his wife Nubia, a yogini and classical Indian dancer, and we hear a song entitled Shakya Muni Prayer, from an album she made with Jai and Ben Leinbach called Pranayama. This contains the chant “Om Muni Muni Mahamuni Shakyamuni Swaha” – a Buddhist chant to Gautama Buddha.
In the next segment Jai talks about his Kirtan Camp which happens twice a year, and also his recent Kirtan Kids album, an album featuring devotional themed stories by Jai, and enthusiastic kirtan chanted by children. We hear also the track Sita Rama-Raghupati from the live album Nectar.
Nearing the end of the show, we hear Syama Bolo from Jai and Ben Leinbach’s release Bhakti Bazaar, along with some words about Jai’s album Queen of Hearts, a collection of songs dedicated to Radha and Krishna. He talks about the role Radha plays in pure devotion, and how we can understand the mood of selfless service through her embodiment of it. We cap things off with a track called Radha Remix from the album Nectar, a track produced by Ben Leinbach.
Also featured in this show are the songs Govinda and Surya from Music for Yoga, Gopala’s Dream from Dial M for Mantra, and Distant Episode from Monkey.
Alternate MP3 Link – Mantra Radio – May 16th 2013.mp3