I have no idea what called me to produce an album of chant but I was called to do so. I am not a singer and have never sung anything other than backing vocals in my musical career but all of a sudden one day, I just had it in my head that I needed to create an album of chant music.
So I started researching chant music and came across the great Buddhist chants. Well, they were so powerful I just had to make my own versions of these incredible chants.
So Cantatia has my version of Om Mane Padme Hum, the six-syllabled Sanskrit mantra. The word Om connects us with the divine. Mani means jewel or bead. Padme is the great Buddhist symbol of the lotus flower and Hum represents the spirit of enlightenment. So Mani Padme together means jewel in the lotus. Tsangsar Tulku Rinpoche expands upon the mantra's meaning, taking its six syllables to represent the purification of the six realms of existence, generosity, patience, ethics, diligence, renunciation and wisdom.
The next great Buddhist chant on the album is the Vajra Guru mantra (Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddi Hum. The Vajra Guru Mantra is the mantra associated with Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava. The great 14th Century Kharma Lingpa explains some of the benefits of reciting this mantra :
"This will avert all of the negative forces of disease, famine, unrest, bad harvests and all bad omens and indications in all the countries of the world, such that the rain will fall in a timely manner for the crops so there will always be a plentiful supply of water for agriculture and for human and animal life, and all regions and areas will experience prosperity and auspicious conditions. If this mantra is recited a hundred times a day, merely a hundred times a day without interruption, one will become attractive to others and will effortlessly come by food and wealth and the necessities of life." So fairly powerful then.
The all-powerful Om chant is also included. Read this excellent article to understand the full power of this chant here
I then wanted to create my own powerful chants based on positive affirmations. Being a Latin scholar at school and having been brought up a catholic, the obvious language for these chants was Latin. So Cantatia has a track called Efficere Possum Opto which translates as I can achieve anything I desire. This is, of course, is alluding to the law of attraction and the concept that we can manifest in our lives whatever we think and dream because the subconscious mind is not capable of distinguishing between fact and fiction and when we start to think and dream, the whole universe opens doors and moves to make those dreams a reality. Every great idea, invention or creative work started with a thought or a dream. So use this powerful chant to start manifesting your dreams and whilst reciting the words of the chant visualise what you want to create in your life.
As a companion chant to the Efficere chant is another Latin chant on Cantatia called Universi Semper Providere which translates as The Universe Always Provides. So this is a great affirmation to reassure us that everything happens for a reason and that there are no coincidences. It tells us that the universe will create the perfect places, the perfect people, the perfect opportunities just at the right time for our spiritual development because the universe always provides what is just perfect for us at that time in our lives. Use this chant to restore your faith in the universe and to know we are guided at all times.
I have included a powerful chant for bringing peace and love into the world with the chant In Caritate Et Pace Salvamus which translates as Let us Live in Peace and Love. It may seem to us that the world is in conflict with man pitted against man and woman competing with woman. We know that the only way we are going to raise our spiritual level is to work as a single united planet, this beautiful seemingly isolated blue planet of ours. We need to feel the sense that we are connected. We are all spirit on our journeys learning and discovering and yes making mistakes. However, when we sing this chant we break down the boundaries of nation states. We break down the dogma of religion and unite as a single connected whole. We look at things from our neighbour's point of view because we are a part of our neighbour. We know that the only way of truly making this planet a better place to live on is by filling our hearts with love. Love for this planet. Love for our neighbour. Use this chant to effect the change you desire in this planet with love and peace.
The Ah Uh mantra is included on Cantatia. The Ah mantra is traditionally practiced in the morning but can be used at any time of the day. It awakens your mind and spirit. It clears the claustrophobia and stress of the day. The Uh mantra lifts the diaphragm which commutes the energy of prana and apana across the heart area.
The track Angel Rush is a glorious blissed out track which has a lush sound wash (a patch gorgeously named Saviour Chord) with a pastoral flute floating over the top. You will here the gentle ring of the tibetan bowl in the background. A dulcimer can be rear around 1.35 of the track. A bowed waterharp is deep in the mix. The use of my voice here is much more subtle. My vocals appear at around 2.25. A gentle low chant that blends with the lush landscape. A deep drone with a soft vowel movement overlaid. A bowed harp enters at 3.15. This is music for contemplation and meditation. Music for relaxation. A little over 8 minutes of quiet reflection for the soul.
Drone Dreams opens with the glorious sound of the hurdy gurdy and is soon joined by the Swedish pump organ. The vocals here feel Eastern and mystical. The use of a drone in vocal music dates back thousands of years and this feels ancient in its approach. The Swedish harjedalen pipe (Härjedalspipa) enters at 2.15. The pipe is long and has five finger holes and makes use of the technique of overblowing with a drilled cylindrical cavity and six finger holes. It closes the track at 5.21. More deep reflective music for soul contemplation.
Evolution Chant takes its name from the Evolutions pad, a Malstrom Graintable synth sound which is central to this piece. A celtic harp plays harmonics in the opening and throughout the track. The chant unfolds over this backdrop. An eery Berg sound enters at 2.40. Clay bells can be heard at 5.15 and close the track as it gently ebbs away. This is another great track for meditation and reflection.
The closing track on this album is called Escape the Night and taps into my celtic Irish roots wich a pump organ being overlaid with a hypnotic cahon drum. The Swedish Harjedalen pipe is the lead instrument here. This is punctuated with bowed celtic harp. The chant is a simple drone and blends with the glorious celtic weave of the track. This is music to dance to. Music to uplift and fill you with hope.