Like a River to the Sea uses traditional kirtan instruments to produce chakra-expanding sounds.
Singer, violinist, and composer Jahnavi Harrison has an interesting backstory; she grew up in the Hare Krishna community Bhaktivedanta Manor, a beautiful country estate in the UK donated by George Harrison and the largest Hare Krishna community in Europe. At 19, she was part of a group of 50 Hare Krishna youth touring America; this experience inspired her to found Kirtan London, which provides mantra performance and education worldwide.
Like a River to the Sea features songs from the Bhakti yoga tradition, set to new melodies and musical arrangements. Its diverse instrumentation includes traditional kirtan instruments (like the harmonium) as well as piano, West African kora, and cello. I was moved and stunned by the beauty of the instruments and arrangements here. The cello is one of my favorite elements throughout this album, providing a delightful counterpoint voice to Jahnavi.
“Hymn for Govinda” is possibly the most gorgeous, heart chakra-expanding version of this mantra I’ve ever heard. “Madhava’s Lullaby” is another standout that maintains a lovely balance between creative musical momentum and grounded, thoughtful mantra. Being raised in a loving, expressive childhood helped lend a pure, angelic quality to Jahnavi’s voice. I love that it is pitched a little bit more on the alto side, and she reminds me of indie artist Butterfly Boucher. There is an impressive maturity to her musical composition.
Like a River to the Sea is a deeply satisfying masterpiece for any lover of great music, not just within the devotional music scene.
Like a River to the Sea
By McKenna Rowe, a DJ, yoga teacher, and founder of Chakra 5 Yoga & Wellness: chakra5.la.
McKenna caught the “yoga bug” as a little girl, watching Lilias Folan on PBS. She leads an active life hiking, running, sometimes snowboarding, and once was a nationally-ranked equestrian. After years of working in the digital industry for clients in entertainment, publishing and fashion, she took a sabbatical to acquire her yoga teacher certification. A desire to help people heal soon followed. Also a successful musician and composer, McKenna shares cutting-edge music during yoga classes, recruiting musicians and DJs to perform with her. She owned and operated East Hollywood’s Chakra 5 Yoga studio throughout 2011, creating a vibrant community on and offline, but decided to shift to a mobile model. Now Chakra 5 brings yoga classes on site and by appointment to businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. McKenna was certified in Hatha/Kundalini at Karuna Yoga, and has additional teacher training in Restorative Yoga with Master Teacher Judith Lasater. She teaches yoga at Chakra 5 classes and international retreats.