Monday, August 25, 2008

Santa Cecilia - In Your Hand Part.2

VH: I listened very carefully to the song Shiva´s Song and I heard the hint of „sami joik“. I know this style of singing from Mari Boine – I have several CDs of hers. Acoustic guitar is fantastic and the song wonderful. Can you tell me more about it?

SC: Shiva’s song is one of my favourites. It is a song that grows. And I never get tired of playing or to listening to it. This is a great gift from Shri Mataji.
The inspiration came when I was watching Indian dance. It is so beautiful to see how they use them selves when they dance. And I got the idea, why not write a song, and use the metaphor dance to describe life. And in Indian dance they really tell about life.
When I sing the song now I can see Shri Mataji dancing on the beach in Nargol.
I can feel how She is washing away all the negativity through her feet. How She is dancing, like the most beautiful queen. And She is never sleeping, always taking care of us. When I am composing a song it can have one meaning, but when it matures after sometime I can see a deeper meaning. The resemblance with Mari Boine and “joik” is not intentional. But I love her music. She is a great inspiration, and a major contributor on the global “world-music” arena.. “Joik” is wordless singing and a very natural, spontaneous art form. It is handed over orally through generations, sort of like Indian music. So perhaps there is a connection.

VH: You are the author of the majority of music and lyrics. Your lyrics are wonderful. I had never met anybody from the western world who would have so many feelings and much tenderness towards our Mother. How did your inspiration come for writing such lyrics?

SC: First I wan to tell you that before I came to Sahaja yoga I had some problems with my English. But in SY we are collective with people from all over the world, so we have to use English. It is like it is innate. Now it is almost natural for me to speak and write in English. It is sometimes even better to express some things in English rather than in Norwegian.
When you ask me about the inspiration for the songs, there is only one answer, Shri Mataji.
She has been guiding me all through the process. When I first met Shri Mataji (at Ganesha puja in Cabella 2003), something very, very strong happened. After the puja, there were marriages and the hangar was full. So I could not get in to where Mother was.
I had a wish to see Her one more time. So I went to one of the side entrances to the hangar. Suddenly I could hear a conch and there She was right in front of me. In a few seconds everything changed inside.
One moment I could see myself standing on a very big stage singing in front of a crowded audience. And in the next moment I was looking in to Mothers eyes, and I could see the whole universe.
After this experience I started travelling around the world with Shri Mataji on the pujas. It was like I could not get enough.

In 2005 I was at the Vaitarna academy. And the first day I was resting in my room. I could hear some students playing tabla downstairs. And suddenly in front of my feet, I could see Shri Ganesha dancing. And he was so happy. Like I was happy to be in Mothers house. While I was at the academy I had some very strong dreams. I remember in one of them Mother came to me. And She told me that I was Her voice, that I was Her instrument. Then She played the songs or the CD before it was made.
So first of all, Mother told me to do this CD.
There are many yogis who have been the source to the songs and the lyrics. Mother gave me everything I needed. She even let me meet people that could inspire me to write. It is so beautiful how everything is taken care of.
I am really very thankful to allot of people who have given me such strength and belief in myself. Most of all I thank Mother everyday, for allowing me to be an instrument for Her. It is all about Her love.

VH: The end of your CD belongs to the song Krupa by Arun Apte. Is there any cryptical meaning in it

SC: The lyrics is a prayer and it means something like “Mother, please give your blessings. Help us to be in rhythm and tune with the divine. I wanted it to be on the CD I don’t know why. But I think it is important.

VH: You spent time in musical Academy in Vaitarna. How did the study of Indian music enrich you personally?

SC: The Vaitarna academy is very close to my heart. And my music teacher Arunji is like a father to me. He is not only teaching me music but also allot about life. To learn is about giving and receiving, and when I am at the Vaitarna academy I learn how to grow spiritually through the Indian music.
At Vaitarna, I studied music therapy. First of all, music therapy gives a direct connection with the divine. It really does. Whenever I do music therapy I become thoughtlessly aware. I can use it everywhere, and now it is built up inside of me.
Before I go on stage, I use it. Then I am so much more in balance and can be a worthy instrument of Mother.
Everybody can learn it. You don’t have to be a singer. After staying at the Academy for some months my subtle system was literally transformed and put in to balance.
It is such a great gift of Shri Mataji.

VH: Could you tell to our listeners some story from your sahaja life?

SC: When I came to Sahaja yoga in 2001, I had suffered from severe anxiety and depressions for many years. But after attending the first program, things started to work out. Because I had this positive reaction, I began meditating nearly the whole day for 3 months. There where only time to eat, sleep, doing workshops and meditations. I just wanted to get over my past conditionings and to be established in this wonderful reality. And it gave such belief and strength in me. I learned the entire cross mantras in two weeks, and I looked at videos of Shri Mataji almost every day. I remember that in the first dream I had with Mother, I was sitting on Her lap as a little child and She was reading me fairytales. She was there all the time. In my meditations, dreams always taking care of me. And She told me everything. If something were wrong or good. And if there were signs of doubt in me, She washed them away. I could never have done it without Mothers guidance, because there was a lot to work out. And Her support has been limitless ....

Like: For me it is very challanging to travel with airplanes, so I always travel with someone I know. So the first time I traveled alone to India, I felt extremely insecure being all by myself on the trip . When I came to England it was such a mess just getting to the next airplane. I had to ask one person at the check-in counter if she could help me to get my seat and to deliver the luggage. She started to print out the ticket. Suddenly something happened; my “low price ticket” was upgraded to “business class” without any extra charges.
After I got through the security check, I couldn’t find my credit card. And I went back to the security officers, but they couldn’t help me. I almost started to cry and I wanted to return home. Suddenly I could hear like a voice was talking to me: “Everything will work out, don’t worry”. And I felt so secure inside.

So I began walking towards the gate, and around the next corner Shri Mataji was there sitting in Her wheelchair with Sir CP by Her side. I was totally dumb folded; looking at Mother. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was no need to say anything so respectfully I kept on walking towards the gate, to give Her some space. And after five minutes She was there again, sitting right in front of me. We where so close, that I could touch Her hand. And I knew that She knew, I could feel it strongly in my heart. The love, the compassion. So I just followed Her all the way on board the plane. And on the trip there were only a couple of seat rows between us. And I can tell you I have never felt so secure on a plane before. But it was strange feeling to sit so close to our Mother for such a long time. And I had to ask my self is this really happening to me.

VH: How is it possible to order your CD for our people here?

SC: If someone wants to order a CD for them selves or distribute in their local centre/ area just mail us and we will make the necessary arrangements. Price for the CD is: 15 € + Porto. The mail address is: [email protected]


I love You more than words can tell
Behind the wall
Behind the waterfall
I love to hear the sweetness in Your voice
For all that we share

Knowing that You are so near
Knowing that You are everywhere…everywhere

I love the way You care
About everyone who is here
I love the way You share all the beauty
All the endless love that make us grow

Knowing that You are so near
Knowing that You are everywhere…everywhere

Loving You more than words can tell
Loving You each and every day

Knowing that You are so near
Knowing that You are everywhere…everywhere

I love You more that words can tell
Beyond the the time, beyond every day


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Santa Cecilia - In Your Hand Part.1

Album "In Your Hand"

An excellent abum. Perhaps this way I would shortly like to hit off the CD by a Norwegian singer, sahaja yogi and a guitar player Cecilie Nirmala Andersen. Why is this album so special? It has got some nice features: perfectly recorded, great and beautiful texts with contexts telling about the friendship of the author and Shri Mataji, a specific and inimitable voice of the singer and last but not least, the instruments.
She lives in a Norwegian town of Bergen. Because of her voice she is compared to Joni Mitchell or to Bjork. But I remebered Susanne Vega during the first listening. Cecile looks for inspiration both in the Indian classical music but also in Mozart, Simon and Garfunkel, Joni Mitchell, Carole King and a lot of others. She recorded her first album with her music band called Ildfugl (Firebird) together with her husband Ketil Fersum and she called the album „I am Butterfly“. Cecile went to India in 2004 to study in Academy. Here a new chapter of her life began. She fully commited herself to the spiritual atmosphere and under the leading of her teacher she started to compose songs. When she returned back from India she started to cooperate with Haraldji Sorejde, who guids her at concerts and also records the violin … and this album was made…

What to say about the music? Maybe the only thing: it really impressed me. But not only impressed, I was taken by it and got into it. I switched it on through a big stereo several times but the closest to me was the evening listening through earphones. Suddenly I felt connected to Cecile. To her music, her own creativity… Through the texts I could feel the great love to Shri Mataji which covered both of us up and at that time we were incredibly and tangibly close to our Mother. If this album comes your way record to it as often as possible. Certainly it offers you an extraordinery experience – maybe it will be you who is to be taken close to Shri Mataji by listening to this music, just like me, and your heart will get full of the unrepeatable feeling – feeling of the contact to Her, Mother – you will find yourself in „Her hands“ …

VH: All yogis understand the cryptical meaning of your CD title, anyway I would like to ask you – why the title „In your hand“?

SC: This is a very special song, because the lyrics came through my Brazilian sister Ana Paula Crezende. One day in Vaitarna she woke up with the lyrics in her head. She wrote it down while she had in mind, that I could make a song of it.
So she gave the words to me. And I was inspired to put them together and to make the song. I cannot make any song if I do not feel connected to the words.
But this song I just had to do. I knew it came from Shri Mataji.
It means that we got everything in our hands. And it is about wanting to be with Mother, to be transformed. But it is not always easy. Life goes up and down, and we still seek to become the one who we really are inside.
I can recognize my self from the past in the lyrics. How I was seeking, and wanting to believe in something beautiful, something better.
So the lyrics are meant to reach out to the seekers.

VH: Can you recollect a little bit your musical beginnings?

SC: Music is my life. In my early childhood, I used to listen to music for many hours a day.
And when I was 8-9 years old, I could hear “symphonies” coming into my head.
I guess I knew that I was going to sing and to compose when I became an adult.
I started one band after another, playing my own music with different musicians.
But nothing really happened until I began in a theatre group. Then I was asked to compose the music to a play.
In 2000, my husband and I made our first Norwegian album. In Norwegian it was called “I am Butterfly”. The name of the group was “Ildfugl” (Firebird).
I then spent three years fighting for better treatments to people with mental illnesses. And I used the music and lyrics as a language to reach out to politicians.
Music has also been a very good therapist and friend for me through the years.
Whenever I felt sad, I could always compose.
In 2003 after composing music for some theatre plays, I made my own play, here I used my experiences from the past. And all the music I had made through the years, before I got my self-realization.
The instruments that I play (guitar and piano) I learned to play by my self. All the composing has just been given to me like a gift.
For me it is like picking up something from past lives.

VH: The CD has a wonderful sound of acoustic instruments, is very rhythmical and melodic at the same time. Your husband Ketil and violinist Harald accompanies you. The violin sound gives a very soft hint to your music. How did you meet each other and how did the idea of this arrangement come to you?

SC: Whenever, I compose a song. I have to be alone in a very quiet room. It is like a room inside with God. And a tremendously love just takes over everything inside of me.
And when the lyrics are there and the melody is ready, then there is space for my husband too. This is a funny part of the process. We can sit there playing together and my ears are filled with instruments. And since I do not have many hands, I have to sing the melodies to my him. Then he starts playing. I of cause give him some freedom to arrange the songs too. And sometimes I record my ideas on the keyboard.
We met Harald, the violinist at the SY collective in Bergen.
We played bhajans and devotional songs together, and it just came natural that he played on some of the songs with his Norwegian violin. It is a very mighty instrument, sort of like a fiddlers answer to the Indian sitar. He also used to live with us during the recording process. So we would meditate together and maintain the collective spirit.


Everything seems so strange to me her
I never know where I go
Where I need to be
What I need to see on my way

I have done so many things in life
But nothing compares to you
All I seek is truth
All I feel with you, on my way

I just know that I want to be with you
In your heart and feelings too
I just know that I want to be
In your hand
In your hand

Everything seems like a challenge to me
I never know where the river flows
Where I need to be
What I need to see on my way

I just know that I won to be with you
In your heart and feelings too
I just know that I want to be
In your hand
In your hand

Everything seems so strange to me here
Everything seems like a challenge to me
I never now where the river flows
I never know where it goes

I just know that I want to be with you
In your heart and feelings too
I just know that I want to be
In your hands
In your hands

I have done so many strange things in my life,
But I still don’t know who I am
Who I am
Who I am

to be continue in Part.2

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Daniel Wagner and Jeremy Clancy - Harvest

Harvest – it is the name of the CD of two Sahaja yogis, Jeremy Clancy and Daniel Wagner. I have known Daniel Wagner because of his nice song She Does It All on the record of a band called IPO and I could hear Jeremy at the festival in Borotin 02, where he was the main character in a band of his friend Ian Bremner „Ian´s Friends.“ At that time he impressed me by his spontaneous singing and the guitar playing, which I immediately fell in love with. That is why I was first looking forward to his solo album which he was speaking about at the festival.But the record Harvest is completely different.

When I put it into my stereo when I came back from England, I could hear the singing of two musicians and got to the second composition (Mountain), by the way I got an idea – it is slightly like two singers Simon and Garfunkel, reported to the beginning of the millenium. Both singers support each other, the acoustic guitar and the electric guitar blends together and everything sounds really modern. No doubt of the British hand which is similar to present music groups in England.

Which songs impressed me most? Not only introducing Change with a part of a speech of Shri Mataji which speaks about the necessity of the change in our lives and not waiting for anything, then also swinging Katie which immediatelly became my favourite one, but of course, the most beautiful for me is still Harvest…You, who like this kind of music, the sound of the acoustic guitar and simple songs, get this album… and just play it … it is very good .... really…

Borotin Summer Festival 2004 - from left: Justin, Jeremy and Derek

Jeremy Clancy answers:

VH: I thought you would make your first album on your own. How did this cooperation with Daniel and the idea of recording this album started?

JC: Daniel and I used to meet up regularly a few years ago to write songs. Every Thursday and sometimes monday to. We always intended to record our songs but to anyone who has tried to make a recording of a musical performance there is a lot of bad emotion tied up in the experience and often what you end up with has nothing of the magic the original songs had to you; so, we put things off for about 7 years. Then finally after all that time we decided that enough was enough and got down to recording them. And that's what we did - with a couple of guitars and 4 microphones. The drums, the guitars and all the other stuff was put on later.

Borotin Summer Festival 2004 - Ian´s Friends in concert

VH: The title song Change is about an opportunity not to miss a chance for a change in one´s life. What was the inspiration for writing this song?

JC: The song "Change" was written in Chelsham Road, the very first ashram in the world that Mother established. Daniel and I were sitting on the floor and the whole verse melody came in a flash. After that we messed around with what we had and the song gradually assembled itself. We wanted the song to be positive and confrontational - blasting peoples apathy and self doubt with a splash of joy and mirth. That's what we intended it to be. Change - you can make it! What are you frightened of anyway?
One of the main reasons Daniel and I used to meet up to write songs was to try to communicate some of the joy and and depth we had both experienced of Sahaja Yoga in the idiom of popular music. We always wanted our melodies and arrangements to be easy on the average ear but secretly hoped that they would somehow register with the listener on a deeper vibrational level. I don't if we achieved this but we still feel that it should be done.

Sahasrara 2006 - England

VH: Your songs are about an ordinary life, about Shri Mataji, about Self-realisation. How are such compositions made?

JC: All the songs were created in different moods. What tended to happen was that I would sit across from Daniel with a Guitar and after raising our kundalinis or saying a prayer to Shri Saraswati, or something, we would just start singing stuff hoping that some utterance would lead us to a song. Sometimes a song would come in its entirety - other times nothing but an odd phrase would come and at times, of course, nothing at all would come. It's like fishing! Daniel and I used to share the philosophy that the great songs are already in existance somewhere in sahasrara and it is our job to try to harness them and bring them down to earth without spoiling them too much. Bob Dylan says the same thing so we are in good company!

VH: Why the name Harvest? (By the way, my favourite song…)

JC: The song Harvest - started as a mood I seem to remember. The word itself Harvest is so beautiful - the sound it makes when you say it and the power and imagery the word seems to contain. I recall a lot of christian songs I heard as a kid and maybe I was influenced by them. I love the idea of a Karmic Harvest at the end of days when "all that we sowed we shall reap and all that we gave we receive". Awesome. Maybe it is like this. The melody was based on the chord pattern and really came to life when Daniel created the harmonies. When the mood is right we still enjoy singing this song.

Thanks Vlada.



Links: videos on YOU TUBE

Katie´s song , So Free , England ,