CD Review: Shakti Guitar by Steve McNamara
Shakti Guitar by Steve McNamara (White Swan Records) takes us on a mystical sound journey through time. As the impeccable touch of McNamara’s guitar opens our senses, we become enveloped by the emotive melodies lilting throughout this beautiful album.
I have always loved the sound of the guitar; from that alone I was looking forward to hearing Shakti Guitar. Yet, as I listened, it became clear that I was hearing much more than mere guitar artistry. McNamara’s approach to this instrument is based on the traditional Indian musical form called Raga, which means “that which colors the mind.”
It is believed that when this music is played properly at the correct time of day, the musician and the Raga blend to create a new musical being.It is this unique musical being that I heard emanating from McNamara’s touch caressing the guitar. In this song cycle, McNamara moves us through the moods of a 24-hour day. It begins by awakening us into a radiant dawn; we then enter midday and evening; it continues until we are resting in our night dreams.
Included on this emotional ride are the exquisite percussive beats played by Christo Pellani, beautiful vocals by Sheela Bringi and Mala Ganguly, plus other artists playing world instruments such as bansuri, sarod, and tabla. You will find your own resonant journey as you travel through this wonderful mood experience.
Reviewed by Jahna Perricone, founder of M2 Project: A Mindful Music Concert and a UCLA Certified Mindfulness Facilitator.