MA Music - Journey to Om

If the bhajan is sung with one‑pointedness, it is beneficial for the singer, the listeners, and Nature as well. Later when the listeners reflect on the songs, they will try to live in accordance with the lessons enunciated therein.”-Amma

 

Amongst the saints, many were highly proficient musicians. Bhajans, hymns and music were part and parcel of their lives. From Meerabhai to Saint Tukaram to Amma, music was the essence of their lives. Their longing for God, the import of having a human life and their teachings all came through such music. They transformed the ordinary into the divine.
 

Music is the bridge between the known and the unknown––from the abstract to the real and physical. It is the best medium to engage the mind––in order to take it beyond the known––the mind has to go beyond the known to merge in the unknown. Even if there is structure in music, as Amma points out, if we sing with devotion, forgetting everything, our mind can indeed explore those unreachable realms. To reach such a state the musician needs some proficiency in music like the pitch, rhythm etc. Here we are undertaking a journey to learn the basics of music, so that these fundamental principles can be practiced and at the same time, we can go beyond the constraints of the rules of music.

-Br.  Dayamrita Chaitanya

 

FEATURED MUSICIANS

Violin with Raushan Amvedhavoya

Raushan joined the SF Symphony in 2006, is a native of Kazkstan and comes from a family of musicians. Watch this to find out more of Raushan’s story: https://youtu.be/iTttAnDIO78

Raushan has graciously offered to come and volunteer her time to teaching violin to budding artists. Don’t miss an opportunity to study with a master.

Guitar & Piano with Jeremy

Jeremy has a 4 year degree in Music Composition from CalArts.  His most popular song to date has over 6 million plays on Spotify and 11 million on YouTube.  He’s currently focused on writing for TV and Movies, and song-writing for other artists.  He’s involved in different collaborations with song-writers in LA and abroad.  He’s been teaching lessons in Piano, Guitar, Drum-Set, and Song-Writing as a primary job for about 12 years.

"Music amplifies feelings. And it can help people soar to spiritual heights, or give them the motivation to accomplish important personal goals. It stays embedded in our hearts and minds our whole lives, and it brings us back to the chapters of our lives more quickly than anything else. On rare occasions, it can become magic. The closest thing to magic that is available to all of us in our ordinary worlds. And learning how to give people those magic moments is why I study and pursue music. " -Jeremy

Harmonium with Swarna

Swarna Iyer has been blessed to be a musician in Amma’s musical repertoire and play keyboard and harmonium for Amma on all of her world tours since 1992, as well as at Amma’s Ashram in Kerala and Indian Tours. Having met Amma in 1987 at age 13, with little musical skill, was invited to sit on stage by Amma for Amma’s Bhajans. Within a year or so, Swarna picked up playing harmonium and was soon playing for the Swamis, Amma’s senior disciples who are extremely accomplished musicians. At age 21, in 1995, Amma called Swarna to play harmonium for Amma on stage during Her October visit to Paris. This incredible experience led to many more wonderful opportunities for Swarna to play for Amma, and within a few years she picked up keyboard.

Harmonium with Smitha

Smitha Shashikumar has been blessed with the opportunity to sing bhajans and play harmonium for the M.A. Center’s bhajan programs, the South Bay satsang group and children’s programs, since moving to the Bay area in 2007. She also teaches bhajans to the children of the Amrita Balakendra program in the South Bay area. She has been training in North Indian vocal classical music under Smt. Anupama Chandratreya for the past 8 years.   Prior to that, she also trained in the Carnatic style of Indian classical music from Smt. Bharathi Mahadevan and grew up listening to and singing Amma’s melodious bhajans.  She particularly enjoys the calmness that comes from focused singing of bhajans and believes that being able to play the harmonium, while also singing bhajans, enhances one's overall concentration and mental relaxation.

Songwriting & music composition with Sharani

Sharani sings and plays keyboard, bass, and guitar. She grew up singing, playing, and composing for various musical groups in a wide range of styles such as bluegrass, blues, folk, gospel, pop, soul, and traditional world music.  Since 2008, Sharani has been singing and playing bhajans with Amma's Swamis and regularly performs with the M.A. Center bhajan group in San Ramon, CA.  She also records and co-produces her original songs at her home studio in the California Bay Area. Her experience with songwriting and performing with various instrumentalists and singers has given her valuable insight on how to create musical compositions that are a joy to experience.

Tabla with Lalitha

Lalitha considers music a major part of her spiritual practice and feels blessed grateful that Amma has blessed her teaching of tabla at the MA Center. She is currently studying classical Hindustani tabla with Shri Satish Tare at Tabla Niketan. With a deep love for the arts she keeps up with latest by attending workshops and camps with Zakir Hussain and other great artists.

Tablas are highly complex drums, commonly used in North Indian classical music, but its versatility in all musical styles has enabled it to become the most popular percussion instrument in all of India. The level of sophistication and tonal beauty it possess has elevated the instrument to an unmatched status in the world of percussion.

 

For more information contact music@amma.org