It is truly amazing how the five senses human beings are blessed with can put us in touch with senses that reach further out and deeper within our very bodies. Even more phenomenal is how the senses can interlock, and help you to experience sensations that are even beyond touch, sight, smell, hearing, and taste – to a realm so far removed from the physical being that it can only be felt with your soul.
Some find this sort of depth through prayer; some through drugs, even; and some through music. It’s indescribable how the unique combination of the vibrations enlightening and awakening the inner being can begin singularly through the ear and reverberate through every fiber of the body.
For me, there are two specific pieces that truly take me beyond my body- so much so that they have become a form of unique meditation for me.
“Abyss” – Anoushka Shankar & Karsh Kale
Daughter of world-renowned Indian classical musician, Ravi Shankar and half-sister to equally gifted sister, Norah Jones, Anoushka Shankar creates beautiful music similar to that of her father’s. Anoushka’s signature sound almost always involves the sound of the sitar, but her venture into a genre of Indian Classical-Electronica Fusion with mastermind producers like Karsh Kale couldn’t have created more beautiful sound.
My personal favorite is wrongfully named “Abyss” (from the album, “Breathing Under Water”) suggesting of darkness, endlessness, hopelessness. More appropriately, it should’ve been named “Awakening” because it is exactly how I feel when I hear it. You’ll be reminded of God’s splendor on Earth, that gives rise to life everyday no matter what darkness befalls our world. There are specific moments that the rise and fall of the song even leave me breathless. The juxtaposition of old and new; modern and classical are brilliant, and that holds true for the voices of Karsh Kale and Qawwali vocalist Vishal Vaid that seamlessly complement one another on this track.
“Om Namah Shivaya” – Sonicjoy
A group that identifies with the Electronica genre, Sonicjoy pairs a hypnotic and edgy beat with the raw sound of the classic Hindu mantra. The combination has an unexpected result in calming the mind, and easing it into a state of enchantment. The mantra doesn’t lose any of its spiritual powers by being encased in electronic beats, and the snaky song, with its tablas and synths, is one that I always turn to in form of both prayer and meditation.