Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Angela Nambiar - I see a moutain

Immediately at the beginning of this year I was pleasantly surprised. I got into my hands another interesting and nice album. It is full of beautiful melodies with the scent of Southern America including small surprises. You certainly have heard musicalized poems or mantras by Shri Mataji. There are several of them on this album. The author´s name was unknown to me till the last moment – Angela Nambiar. Her voice seemed to me very familiar, so I listened to the first album of yogis of Nagpur – Universal Silence. Yes, Angela also sings there, but under her name Angela Cruz. As Angela offered me this album for publication on our radio, I asked her for a short interview about this album.

Angela, can you briefly introduce yourself?

Jai Shri Mataji!
Hello all,
My name is Angela Nambiar (Cruz), and I am originally from Colombia, South America. Currently I live in Washington DC, USA. I have been living here for 10 years.
I am a house wife mainly, but I also give Spanish and Music lessons to adults and children.
I got my realization in Colombia thanks to my brother Mauricio, who was introduced to Sahaja Yoga before me.

What were your musical beginnings and what musical instruments do you play?

My love for music started from childhood. I belong to a very musical family and even though we were not formally trained, music was always part of our day to day life.
We used to play music together, write lyrics, sing and compose. I guess music for us was a gift from God!
At school, I continued this discipline a little bit more deeply participating in all kinds of musical groups.
My music teacher suggested me to study a career related to music, and I did it. I became a Music Educator.
I play piano, guitar, flute, harmonium and I love singing...

Your music is light, airy as well as simply instrumentally cast (guitar, flute, tablas, percussion). Who helped you to record the songs?

I love simple music, natural and real...I am more oriented towards acoustic sounds.
This particular CD was a result of an ardent desire of mine to offer to Shri Mataji couple of songs I wrote in the past and I felt I should share...

My rakhi brother Gabriel Cifuentes, a Colombian too, who lives currently in Miami, helped me. He has a great capacity and heart to understand what people wants and how to contribute, so Shri Mataji made it possible.

The album is called I see a mountain. The same title has a poem in the mantrabook by Shri Mataji – was it your inspiration? How did it enter to your mind to set it into music – or were you inspired by the visit of Matterhorn?

Yes, Shri Mataji‘s poem was my inspiration. I always felt Shri Mataji’s words are poetry and when I read Her poem, I felt it could be a song. It came out very spontaneously.
I feel this poem is soft and gentle, reason why I composed a music for it.

I was enthused when I heard the piece Prayer. There is only few mantras, which are set to music but this one belongs to the most beautiful. Can you tell us something about it?

Recently I felt the desire to compose music for Mantras. I know the importance of saying Mantras for our ascent, but sometimes when we repeat and repeat they tend to become mechanical.
When I sing Mantras I feel more connected and also come from my heart.

Among the first songs which I heard was a piece called Alla Hu Akbar. It is a very pleasant version. How did it come to your mind?

We live in Shri Krishna’s land, and we love to sing His praise. We need His help to evolve in this beautiful country. Singing these names came also effortless. It is a very simple melody but I guess the vocal and instrumental arrangements created a pleasant effect.

Together with Steve Day, Matt Malley and others you perfomed at the small concert in the UN building with the song Namaste. What are your memories and experience about this?

Yes, we performed together with very great musicians. It was a tremendous collective effort. We practiced over the phone on several occasions and one day before the concert we all met in New York city.
It was exciting to perform in this venue, where many things and decisions happen and affect the entire world.
We really hope to have more similar opportunities to spread the beauty of music that opens hearts and minds.

One day I would like to write something about the first album Universal Silence which was probably my first encounter with the yogis music. With the benefit of hindsight (it was recorded in 1998) how do you look at your performance on this album?

The experience of this recording was unique. We were in this wonderful academy learning Indian Music, and to fusion this with our songs was a dream come true.
Babamama’s support, as well as our teacher’s was incredible and gave us great confidence.
This was again a great collective project, people from all the continents participated in this album, and together we succeeded.

Thanks for this interview!!!!
With love,