It was October 2010 when The Kirtaniyas were last together as a full group on a pilgrimage in the sacred land of Vrindavana, India celebrating the holy month of Kartik for the last time with our beloved Gurudeva: Srila B.V Narayana Goswami Maharaja.
Since then Sarasvati and I spent January to June mostly in Europe roaming around doing a few Kirtaniyas events here and there. In March we had the opportunity to take part in the very first Ashtaprahar 24 hour Kirtan in Toronto which was totally off the hook!
We decided that we wanted to bring Rasika and Nitai over to join us in Europe to record our first studio album in Berlin, Germany (all thanks to everyone who participated in the Kickstarter fundraiser- thank you!). We had them fly into london, UK where we had a really nice program with the Gangamatas (http://uk-lon.gangamatas.com) in a hall in East London. The Gangamatas are a group of young fired up group of girls who run an Ashram in the city, and they are some of the biggest Kirtan enthusiasts around!
The next week we went up to Birmingham, which is the birthplace of Ozzy Osbourne, Shakespeare and myself to name a few. It has a good history of Sanga (devotee community) in which I grew up and had my education in Bhakti Yoga and Kirtan, spending every Sunday at the local temple.
For this festival around one hundred devotees gathered at the Nam Dhari Gurudwar for five days of Sat Sangs (discourses on Bhakti), Kirtan and my fathers amazing organic, vegan prasadam from the garden! The guest of honor was Bhaktivedanta Vana Maharaja, a very special monk from India who helped make this festival very joyful, also with great Kirtans and everyone appreciating the loving mood between all of the devotees.
From Birmingham we flew to Berlin, Germany where we caught up with some rest and started our work in the studio!
We spent the first week laying down all the tracks developing them bit by bit with different instruments, dynamic rhythms, sweet harmonies etc. Recording was a great experience, we learnt so much. Leading a live Kirtan is completely different than being in a studio situation, where one really has to consider timing, having a good tone when singing, playing on beat and so on. Its an interesting experience and its wonderful to see how a track can develop.
After an intense ten days in the studio we flew to Barcelona, Spain for the first ever Yoga conference to join Jai Uttal as his entire band. Yep, it was just him and us, “no need for rehearsing, just be at sound check at 5pm” he said… thats the way we like it
The Kirtan was so awesome and we had such a blast playing with Jai and the Spanish really know how to get down with the beat!
Pau and his brother and sister did an awesome job putting on the very first Barcelona Yoga Conference. It was a great Yoga and Kirtan festival and I think we all look forward to attending again in the future.
Oh, I should not forget to mention that the beach was heavenly too!
To be continued in part 2 coming soon…
Love from Vijay