Music Review: River of Light
River of Light
Ashana’s new River of Light begins with the gentle ringing tone of a crystal bowl, gently drawing in attention. Vocals soon enter the meditative picture of the song, “Ong Namo-Harnam,” with Ashana singing in a melodic style drawing on music from the Middle Ages, reminding my ears of Hildegard of Bingen. A splash of sensitive flute by Sheela Bringi adds the perfect touch. Each track on this kundalini yoga mantra album flows and builds with supportive percussion, bass, and guitar.
These delicate aural poems are a long time coming: Ashana was attracted to music as a girl in New York City, where she sang at churches, temples, sweat lodges, and gurdwaras. After receiving a degree in vocal studies, she discovered yoga and mantra chanting and became a devoted student of kundalini yoga. Her spiritual practice and musical experience are brought to life in River of Light, with sweet vocals and quartz-crystal singing bowls that were uniquely designed for sound healing and contemplative practices. Ashana’s previous albums include All Is Forgiven,Jewels of Silence, and The Illuminated Path.
Ashana’s path to become a recording artist took courage and leaps of faith. When she was 48, Ashana sold her business and used the money to record her first album. In a 2013 blog, she writes: “There are defining moments in life when all you can do is leap. You can’t worry about the net appearing.” Now 55 years old, Ashana tours worldwide: “It has brought me to my knees and expanded my heart beyond anything I could have dreamed possible.”