My friend Kirana Stover over at Integral Yoga Barcelona put me on to this amazing new collection of Alice Coltrane’s devotional chant.
She shared this article from the venerable New Yorker Magazine. (http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/04/24/alice-coltranes-devotional-music?mbid=rss). So, me being me, I immediately decided to buy the disc. And, of course, being a fan of Bandcamp, I was doubly happy to find it for sale over there. Why not have a listen, while you read on? Here it is:
In the liner notes, there is a lovely quote that reads:
“One of the directives given to me was to start the Ashram. I felt I could serve in any way that God wished. If He wants you to do charity work or humanitarian work or however He wishes to utilize you, maybe just talking or giving musical concerts is fine. Many people have a musical ministry. Whatever was ordered, I would have been happy to receive.”
I think that it is true – although in these things there are no certainties – that one must put oneself in the hands of that greater power and resolve to serve humanity. I think that even one who does not have faith in a “God” can resolve to serve humanity through scientific research or humanist endeavours. In the case of Coltrane, her faith made her serve a God, or Gods.
Mantra is a very interesting beast. The track that I shared says “Om Jai Ram, Jai Krishna Hari Om”, therefore, it is a mantra to the deity Krishna. Krishna is a rather famous God, if such a thing exists. He is the protagonist of the Bhagavad Gita, and an incarnation of Vishnu. Devotional chant can be either vedic chant, mantra japa or kirtan. The musical nature of Alice Coltrane’s work means that it is more kirtan than anything else. This melodic, tuneful quality makes it more accessible to the layman.
The album in on pre-order, so I only have one track to delight me, for now. I can’t wait for the rest.
Now, to pay attention to my daughter, who has math homework. Another kind of devotion, one that makes me leave the computer screen and tune into her frequency. Have a lovely Sunday, wherever you are.