Joan Jeannie Yoga and a Remix : How Yoga on the Dance Floor was born

August 21, 2014

how our third eye led to yoga on the dance floor

how our third eye led to yoga on the dance floor


Joan Jeannie Yoga and A Remix – How Yoga on the dance Floor was Born
armatrading_show
Joan Armatrading came to my aural attention one summer in Vermont as I was preparing to go to France for a very 1970’s program called The Experiment in International Living. I was 14 and as I sat on the grass on that sunny day I heard something magical coming from a very deep female voice singing Show Some Emotion. It was her coaxing followed by a thunderous demand to laugh, feel sad and let the tears roll down that I was riveted by in the oft emotionally repressed people I was surrounded by in school on the West Coast and in life in general. Joan was booming her desires in a vocal range that was decidedly lower than the Olivia Newtown Johns of the world when high pitched singers dominated the airwaves.For a child like me, I had had nothing to identify with and never thought I could ever sing because I didn’t have the “right” kind of voice. Nobody was telling me at that time that I reminded them of Sade or Tracy Thorn or that my voice was like “liquid chocolate” (Thanks KidLucky BeatzRhymer). I would walk around the house and the voices of the songbirds would waft in my ears and I’d dream about becoming a singer one day in a hazy dreamy kind of a way. My brother was the musical talent in the family as far as I was concerned and I never really thought I ‘d be doing what I am doing today.
Jeannie Hopper founder of the Liquid Sound Lounge gave memo first break playing my Healing Band version of Like Fire. It was Jeannie's prodding for a Remix that led to Third Eye

Jeannie Hopper founder of the Liquid Sound Lounge gave memo first break playing my Healing Band version of Like Fire. It was Jeannie’s prodding for a Remix that led to Third Eye


A Remix
Years later I would do a cover of Joan’s Like Fire with Paul M. that would eventually hit the airwaves of New York City thanks to Jeannie Hopper’s Liquid Sound Lounge. Jeannie has been running LSL since 1993 and thanks to her support that track became a popular interpretation on her Saturday night show in regular rotation for weeks. That was way back in 2000 and Jeannie began asking for a remix. How to get her one? I thought of my old friend Tom Glide the French music producer and after tracking Tom down thanks to the search engine provided by the digital phone service Skype I relayed Jeannie’s request in 2007. In fact, this had been the second time I had contacted Tom about doing a remix. He had sent me a rough demo for it back in 2000 or 2001 but without thousands of dollars there would be no mastered remix. Remember in those days Engineering Studios were in their hey day before the mass advent of the laptops, iTunes and Protools so if you needed to do anything it was going to be in a studio and you were going to pay through the nose. In 2000 living an artists life in New York City I was in no position to fork over $3000.00 for one days mixing session in Naples, Italy where Tom was working at the time. And so time passed, this project lay dormant,the rough demo lay in the bottom of a drawer and it seemed that what came to be known as “Yoga on the Dance Floor” would never be conceived. Isn’t life crazy?

TomGlideAura
Tom has a hit with Ilona
About seven years had elapsed between the first time I had contacted Tom about doing the remix in 2000 and the second time in 2007. In the interim he had a smash hit with a children’s song based on a character called Ilona. Tom, as you may have gathered by now is wildly talented composer and producer and this song charted through seven European countries including France, Spain, Italy, Sweden and so on. This miracle had blessed Tom with the funds to purchase his own mastering table and have a professional studio at home. We were in business! He graciously agreed to do the remix. But there was one thing he asked of me: Could I write some poetry about the third eye? I remember thinking that was really out of left field. I had no idea that Tom was thinking about meditation much less doing any. But I said “Okay!” up for the challenge. There were so many new agey songs at the time, not one of which I can remember, with people spouting platitudes. I was motivated to find verses with substance even if the challenge was to make a track short enough (read memorable) to stick in peoples minds. And this is where my curatorial powers went to work. I went to my book shelf and looked through my copy of the uncompromising Bhagavad Gita As It Is with the translation by devotional scholar and saint A.C. BhaktiVedanta Swami and looked through the 6th Chapter on Dhyana Yoga or the yoga of controlling the mind to achieve spiritual focus. I picked three verses that I thought would lend themselves the best to Tom’s style, sang them into my Garage Band program and sent the condensed files to Tom. Within a short period of time Third Eye was created. As I shared it with my musical fans I began getting requests for the rest of the album. Thing is there was no rest of the album… yet.
But you can get the album on iTunes or TRAXSOURCE Now! http://www.traxsource.com/title/355533/yoga-on-the-dancefloor

Ekayani grew up to be a singer. Her album Yoga on the Dance Floor is available on all fine digital sites Now!

Ekayani grew up to be a singer. Her album Yoga on the Dance Floor is available on all fine digital sites Now!

It’s Midnight – Ekayani’s Musical Avatar on iTunes Now!

August 19, 2014

Tonight August 20, 2014 at Midnight – The Re Edition!
EKAYANI – YOGA ON THE DANCEFLOOR – TGEE RECORDS AAA006
Available everywhere!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yoga-on-the-dancefloor/id904706276

Ekayani grew up to be a singer. Her album Yoga on the Dance Floor is available on all fine digital sites Now! (August 20, 2014)

Ekayani grew up to be a singer. Her album Yoga on the Dance Floor is available on all fine digital sites Now! (August 20, 2014)


The refrain that keeps coming to mind is:
“At Midnight! At Midnight! At Midnight!
My love, my love, will lift you up! Up! Up! And Up!”
– Chaka Khan

Ladies and gentleman with the blessings of my “big sister” I pray you take my music at MIDNIGHT and get lifted UP anytime you need it! Here is a taste with SPACE the opening track of Yoga on the Dance Floor.
Peace and Blessings! – EKAYANI

Ekayani in Rock: “No Quarter Backstage with Plant Page”

August 9, 2014
Ruined in the  Basement - Manic Nirvana Single Hurting Kind

Ruined in the Basement – Manic Nirvana Single Hurting Kind

This now ruined artifact was a gift given to me as a thank you for entry with – you guessed it- backstage passes to the incredible NO QUARTER show at Bercy (Paris) about 1995/6 just before I was about to leave France for good. Said person was quite the music aficionado with about 10,000 vinyl records alone in their private collection.This 45 was one of them. (CD’s in the mid 90’s were just starting to catch on).The Andy Warhol like cover of Plant for “Hurting Kind” was a rarity and unless Jimmy Page gives me another copy I think that’s it. He strikes me as “the squirrel” in the bunch archiving everything precious and rare. (Everything else is now going into plastic containers. I live in a post Hurricane Sandy world). We sat about 20 rows back and had a superb view of the goings on which I most appreciated. – EKAYANI

“Lay Down Your Arms”
Amazing Concert that had two orchestras! This was the BIG news and world music at it’s most intriguing and diplomatic. You see for France,that continues to have a contentious relationship with citizens of former colonies,(Algeria for one) this very bold musical statement was a validation of the enormous yet seemingly eternally unrecognized musical contributions of Algeria, Morocco and Egypt by the Gods of Rock. During this time period in Paris there was an explosion of “world” music coming in from Africa,the Balkans,Algeria and fusions thereof. Rachid Taha, a very talented bold artist who was regularly working with Steve Hillage had the nerve to question with his track “Voila Voila” from his album Carte de Sejour the institutionalized discrimination and racism in France openly challenging the extreme right wing and xenophobia politics of Jean Marie Le Pen. KHALED was crossing over to the mainstream with his joyous riffs and infectious smile. Down south in Marseille “I AM” was asserting a North African’s human right to live and love through hip hop. And how could I not mention “L’Orchestre Nationale de Barbes” a fantastic group made of a band of Tunisians and other North Africans living in the Parisian neighborhood Barbes creating a musical quilt. Ah and I would be remiss not to mention Ekova Diem Ekova signed to Six Degree Records or the resurgent appreciation of RAI music by the mother of RAI Oum Kalsoum. Nelson Mandela was now president of South Africa,apartheid was officially over with Hugh Masekela newly named as the country’s Cultural Ambassador coming to Parc de La Villette with arguably the best show I had ever seen in my life. Kudos to Plant and Page for going in this North African direction and exploring the other side of their “roots” bringing a looming large richness to the musical landscape at this moment as they carried their fans further along in human understanding. If we are real and stop talking about the Greeks for just a moment, we know that the West was built on the shoulders of the Orient with everything from advanced mathematics (Algebra), University study (Alhambra), and nautical navigation (Astronomy). As my friend Cheb i Sabbah said so wisely Music knows no Prejudices. He was commenting specifically on his learning in Constantine, Algeria and the fluid interchange between Muslim and Jewish musicians and composers and cheiks (master teachers).Playing on each others projects was the norm and after all a gig is a gig! If music has the power to transcend and bind communities then we all should be listening and playing more music.
Getting back to the evening at hand.
The configuration was in thirds. One third was a classical Western style orchestra with a bevy of violins perfect for the new arrangement of KASHMIR with the second third being the wonderful addition of an Egyptian ensemble of 14. From the precious little I picked up about “la musique Orientale” during my sojourn in France, this part of the world had masterful string sections (let’s not forget Turkey) as well as bad ass funky drumming. In fact I would say that the Egyptians were the originators of funk. Try not to move when you hear them play! I was just bowled over by this whole configuration as it was a time so right for diplomacy and cultural exchange from the Arab world but alas… Too many wars now 13 years and raging. And the last but not least third were the classic rock musicians with Charlie on bass, Porl Thompson of The Cure on guitar and even a hurry gurdy that one man band workhorse of street culture of a century gone by.Their dress was handsome wearing flowing tunics and leggings.Part of the multi level appeal of Led Zeppelin was of course Page’s immersion in Celtic influences. It seems to me that this is an inevitable part of music coming out of Ireland and England. It’s stamp is strong. This wandering of the troubadour, the itinerant musician’s bag pipes found in the hills of North Africa and carried back to Ireland or even in dancing known as clogging. It’s a small world after all.Thanks to these labels: Musiques Du Mondes for their excellent series of world music, Melody Music, and producer and bassist Bill Laswell who was producing tracks with artists as far off as Iceland (not Bjork). The Zap Mamas were on fire at this time putting out one incredible release after another on a Belgian label if memory serves. MC Solar was talking his poetry. So there I was in the thick of it all.

Lost in the Maze
Backstage I was trying to find my way out
My first attempt had been unsuccessful as Bercy is labyrinth. Having failed the first time I was looking down at the floor so I would not lose my way a second time distracted by my senses. Concentrating on the instructions that had been given me by a man that worked down there,I walked intently tracing my way without the advantages of Ariadne. And then suddenly feeling a presence I stopped abruptly only to look up at a towering Robert Plant having almost smacked right into him. How does he see anything from that height? He made a crack but I didn’t hear it as I was rather speechless by surprise. I just mumbled a “I am sorry” with my New York sensibility about personal space realizing he was quite the cut up. I was just kind of dumbfounded and eventually found my guest who had been rifling through Page’s sheet music backstage! Say what? I should qualify respectfully rifling through with the temptation to touch the score sheets just too great. My memory is not linear as the night was just dotted with outstanding moments. It is images and exchanges I recall. Like Plants beautiful daughter Carmen then a new mother proudly pushing her baby in a stroller ahead of herself followed by a long procession of the artists I’d just seen on stage. They all had a satisfied smile on their faces as well they should have. Carmen was blonde like her father with long tresses that fell all the way to her waist. I was just dumbstruck by her. How to explain seeing the child and grand child of someone you have followed for so long? Flashback: Making my way out of the stadium via the only apparent way out via the car port, I find myself walking past Jimmy Page who was standing back on his heels,hands in his pocket and asked me “Haven’t we met before?” Considering the countless people he has met in his life it was incredible to me that he’d remembered in some form the introduction months earlier at the cafe. He was wearing a pin stripe suit. Just funny ya know?

Don’t Meet Your Idols for You May be Disappointed (You May Be A Rock Star but I’m a Woman)
At last we were standing next to Robert who was holding court talking and talking and talking with a woman whom as I understood it had sung one song with him.This went on for an hour and I am not kidding. While I respected him as the star that he was, I have never understood how someone who had me or anybody else standing at their elbow could just plain ignore them especially when bearing gifts. Sidney Poitier didn’t act like that and that was the standard I had come to consider right based on my mother’s appreciation for the gentle dealings he had with his fans. Bartenders have a knack for ignoring you but there were only four of us: Me,my guest,Robert and his conversationalist. Finally their conversation drew to an end but instead of turning to us he walked away.Something snapped in me and in a loud terse voice I half shouted “Robert”!” much in the way your mother enunciated your name when you were in trouble. It worked. He stopped and turned our way. My mood and demeanor immediately changed and with a big smile I introduced Robert to my guest who was offering him half a dozen carefully selected records of Turkish and North African music that he knew Plant wouldn’t have. Plant may specialize in the blues but this person specialized in la musique Orientale. At the end of the exchange I offered Robert an invitation card to Jagganatha’s Restaurant a lovely devotional vegetarian restaurant run by my friend Animisa dasa. I knew he had a fondness and appreciation for Hare Krsna food and just like a little boy as soon as he saw the image of Jagganattha’s face he smiled and said “Bless you!”. Our work done we left the venue and had a lot of fun talking about the tremendous evening we had until the wee hours of the morning.

Topics in this post were:
Rifling Though Jimmy’s Sheet Music? Oh No You Didn’t
Haven’t I You Seen You Before?

John Kruth passed it on.

John Kruth passed it on.


Up Next…
Black Crowes and Jimmy Page 2000 Joes Beach Theatre
BP Fallon and a Ride Back on the Tour Bus

Ekayani grew up to be a singer. Her album Yoga on the Dance Floor is available on all fine digital sites August 20, 2014

Ekayani grew up to be a singer. Her album Yoga on the Dance Floor is available on all fine digital sites August 20, 2014


Here is the link my friends. It goes LIVE August 20th https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yoga-on-the-dancefloor/id904706276
Out August 20th
Pre order your copy on iTunes!!!

Ekayani in Rock Is That Ahmet Ertegun? I Have to Meet Him

August 4, 2014
Ahmet Ertegun as graffiti at NuBlu Thanks to Will Vaultz & Cavassa Nickens

Ahmet Ertegun as graffiti at NuBlu Thanks to Will Vaultz & Cavassa Nickens

We all know who Ahmet Ertegun is right? Born in the year 1923 in Istanbul,Turkey he lived until 2006 in New York City where he raised the bar in the music business creating excitement with a touch of class by establishing Atlantic Records. Mr. Ertegun always wore a suit when he appeared in public and while that may not sound like a big deal his sartorial statement that music commanded R.E.S.P.E.C.T coupled with his élan in my mind single handedly defined what an A & R man should be: Classy and smart with excellent business acumen. He loved music. Atlantic Records was outfitted with a stellar cast of madly talented individuals who made the label something worth listening to. Sound engineer Tom Dowd,Jerry Wexler’s passion for soul and whiz and fellow countryman the late Arif Mardin who produced a long list of stars that included Chaka Khan,Carly Simon and Anita Baker wore many hats within the organization, set the gold standard in the industry. They were on fire with so many hits coming out of that house it boggles the mind to think of just how much money was being made. If you bought a record from Atlantic you knew you were getting a quality product with a qualified artist.This label figured prominently in my Dad’s record collection. If you haven’t guessed by now EKAYANI,(yours truly writing this blog) was conceived born and raised in New York City on the island of Manhattan. I mean this was all happening in my home town! Ahmet’s influence ,the man with a sharp ear who knew a star when he heard one, was felt all over the city what to speak of world wide. During those days New York was the undisputed epicenter of world class culture. We had Nureyev and Baryshnikov defecting to dance at Lincoln Center! I mean if you think NYC is good now I’d love to put you in a time machine and whisk you backwards 40 years! I am only just scratching the surface here.Thanks to Dad, I grew up listening to Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Bessie Smith and later,through no fault of his own,Led Zeppelin. All were signed to Atlantic that covered the water front in the popular genres of the day including jazz, soul, R & B and the Rock N Roll. Arif Mardin lived on the Upper West Side in the magnificent El Dorado. I lived with my family in the more modest Belnord on West 86 Street.

Me age 10 at Walden School NYC.

Me age 10 at Walden School NYC.


This resulted in me going to The Walden School (now defunct) with his son Joe. Word on the street was that Arif was making a record with Aretha Franklin and we were definitely fans. When I got to school I stopped Joe in the hallway and said ” I heard your Dad is working with Aretha Franklin! How’s it going?” Joe beamed a smile as bright as sunshine and said “Great! It’s fantastic!” I grinned back as we headed to our classrooms. We were about 12 years old and not long on words but the feeling was tremendous. This everyday encounter gives you a glimpse of what life was like for me in terms of the atmosphere created by the movers,shakers and creative personalities that lived and worked where I grew up.So by the time I found myself at Bercy in Paris watching Plant perform, the vision of Ahmet appeared just like white lightning in the dark. As I stepped forward to meet him it was visceral and I was just full of gratitude for someone who had enriched the life of my family and myself with the sounds of so many fantastic artists. As I took a break from singing my self hoarse,there was Mr. Etrgeun walking on the VIP platform making his way to I presume a seat. He was wearing a white summer suit and still dapper at 70 something. I went over to shake his hand and tell him how nice it was to meet him. He was so cordial and told me the same. Clearly he was a man accustomed to being recognized in public and wasn’t phased one bit by me. I felt happy and proud for Plant and pleased that Ertegun had come see “his boy” as we say. And then he was gone. This memory was sparked by a recent visit to Nublu owned by another musical Turkish emigre Ilhan Ersahin. The illustration at the top of this post is housed there.I don’t get to meet a lot of ‘show biz kids” and i enjoyed talking with Ilhan and hearing his story of how Ahmet just loved him. This surprised and mystified Ilhan a bit but in his own right he is mad creative; playing the horn,making films, traveling the world and most of all creating a musical club house and a sanctuary where musicians can learn and push boundaries.

Ekayani grew up to be a  recording and performing artist. Her  music "Yoga on the Dance Floor" will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records

Ekayani grew up to be a recording and performing artist. Her music “Yoga on the Dance Floor” will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records


It goes LIVE August 20th https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yoga-on-the-dancefloor/id904706276
Out August 20th
Pre order your copy on iTunes then when it goes LIVE.

Ekayani in Rock What Do You Mean You Didn’t See Jimmy Page?

July 31, 2014

Cirque D'Hiver Ticket stub 9/22/1995
And now the blur of my memory on exact dates.
Stamped onto backstage passes buried deep in my basement coupled with the fact of having lived a nomadic existence with me moving from place to place for the past 19 years I present to you my impressions and feelings.(I have two “above ground” artifacts in the form of the photos from my scrap book and one lanier from the year 2000 Jimmy Page and Black Crowes Tour). With one concert running into another during this time period the word Mythical comes to mind.In the mid nineties with the release of Fate of Nations (1993) and the reworking of Zep classics on the magnificent NO QUARTER (1994) by Page and Plant, Paris was a regular tour stop. Somehow I had proximity to this magic circle. As all this was going on Jeff Buckley’s presence at Le Bataclan that I walked past everyday went right over my head. Acts that were doing very well in the States would be introduced to French audiences there but I hadn’t been back to the States in 2 years and so missed out on Jeff’s live performance.I would be introduced to his music only posthumously when I returned to New York by meeting Jack Buchbinder and his managerial partner who had managed Jeff for a time. But it would be later in the East Village due to my affiliation with the Howl!Festival dedicated to Allen Ginsberg that I would meet people that actually knew Jeff like the lovely Rebecca Moore and photographer Shell Sheddy. I digress although there is no doubt about the inspiration Jeff got from Led Zeppelin and the appreciation and respect Page and Plant felt for their spiritual son. In 1995 Lenny Kravitz was very much THE rock star and when asked who was “it now” Plant would always say Lenny Kravitz. And so you see it was due to my childhood connection with Lenny (aside from my straight up fanaticism) that I was insured two tickets for the first show Robert did at The Zenith and from there I just kept getting in.

 Hotel Crillon with Lenny  sprawled across our laps.Upper left me and Lenny playing backgammon. I was 15 Lenny  14 and pre dread locks. Pastiche of me singing at Cafe de la Plage. Gerard Gentil took those.

Hotel Crillon with Lenny sprawled across our laps.Upper left me and Lenny playing backgammon. I was 15 Lenny 14 and pre dread locks. Pastiche of me singing at Cafe de la Plage. Gerard gentile took those.


Bigger than life. For example Le Cirque D’Hiver located at 110 Rue Amelot was right on my route home to the Rue Oberkampf. There, on a huge billboard as I meandered home one evening though the Marais, was a magnificent image of Page and Plant side by side.They’d be playing there in just a few nights but I knew I wasn’t going to get into see that show. I had been caught unawares and had no “in” to this intimate venue. I was disappointed as this was a No Quarter show but I wouldn’t be disappointed for long. I didn’t yet understand the scope of the stage production which would assemble an Egyptian style orchestra and a classical Western orchestra with wonderful embellishments like the hurdy gurdy made more widely known outside of England because of Donovan’s song “Hurdy Gurdy Man”. The stretching of time and the juxtaposition of historically curious instruments with contemporary ones is something I loved about the band, the pair, the project.It was enriching,exciting and so well done. I was going to be lucky enough to see and hear this amazing cast of musicians at Bercy where I was again granted two tickets with backstage passes. Looking back it seems I was going to a show of either Lenny K’s or Roberts all the time. But how many times did I see Jimmy Page? That depends who you ask.
I saw jimmy wearing a black on red version of his dragon suit crossing the stage from left to right gracefully. I'm sorry if you didn't.

I saw jimmy wearing a black on red version of his dragon suit crossing the stage from left to right gracefully. I’m sorry if you didn’t.


What Do You Mean You Didn’t See Jimmy? Back at Bercy
I had invited an American expat designer to see Plant. The show was rocking and I was transfixed. As the show came to a close a wonderful surprise unfolded on stage. From stage left from behind the keyboards Jimmy Page wearing his signature ZoSo red bell bottom pants embroidered with a black dragon walked across the stage with his guitar. He was a vision with matching red shirt that had bell like sleeves and an Elvis like stand up collar. I just thought it was brilliant move to have him just appear like this unannounced with no hype and fanfare. It was thrilling and classy and I just couldn’t believe my good fortune. I yelled out “There’s Jimmy Page! Oh my God it’s Jimmy Page!” but in the was uproar of sound nobody heard me let alone J.M.K my companion for the night. When we got in the cab to go home I was talking excitedly about the show until I got to he part where I asked her “Wasn’t that cool that Jimmy Page came out on stage like that?”
“Jimmy Page wasn’t on stage” JMK replied.
“Yes he was! Didn’t you see him? He came right out at the end of the show walking from stage left to stage right from behind the keyboard! How did you miss that?”
“Jimmy Page was not on stage.”
“Yes he was!”
“No he wasn’t.”
“Yes he was!”

and back and forth we went until I vowed I would verify that he was there and obviously she must have just missed him by turning her head. He moved quickly across stage gracefully like a cat.I t was unmistakably him and I attributed the end of concert ecstatic uproar of the crowd to his magical appearance.
zoso
Scouring the papers the next day there was no mention of Jimmy at all and I thought that was very strange. Etienne a regular at the Cafe du L’Industrie was also a Led Zeppelin fan and so I told him what I saw and asked him what he thought. Etienne explained he had had a similar experience years before at one of their shows. He had marveled at a burning scaffolding that appeared on stage at the end of the concert and like me had exclaimed to his friends how wonderful it had been. And like me he was the only one who had seen it but he was sure he had seen it. He then mentioned that he thought it was possible that Jimmy could have projected that scaffolding or himself onto the stage astrally. It’s old news at this point that Page was attracted to mysticism and frankly the ability to add stage effects at no cost seems like a stroke of genius to me. More deeply at the time of this show the public was completely unaware of the next projects about to spill forth from Plant and Page; the aforementioned NO QUARTER or the 1998 Walking Into Clarksdale. My feeling is that I had seen a vision of Jimmy where he felt he belonged and felt happiest; in partnership with his longtime collaborator and frontman Robert Plant. Jimmy is one of the greatest guitarists in the world and by mundane calculation he could have found any number of singers to work with after Plant but he hasn’t And that is the magic of music; it lies in the creative chemistry of the collaborators.
Ekayani grew up to be a  recording and performing artist. Her  music "Yoga on the Dance Floor" will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records

Ekayani grew up to be a recording and performing artist. Her music “Yoga on the Dance Floor” will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records


It goes LIVE August 20th https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yoga-on-the-dancefloor/id904706276
Out August 20th
Pre order your copy on iTunes then when it goes LIVE.

Ekayani in Rock #2 Almost Getting Thrown Out Agony Ecstasy Paris New York Robert Plant

July 30, 2014

Almost Getting Thrown Out  – The Agony and the Ecstasy!

I wore that mock white turtle neck to the show photo by Julie Andrieu

After I had called Triumph the management group that was handling Robert to make good on his sweet offer that I “come along” on their next tour I was beside myself with excitement. I was on a perpetual high for two weeks leading up to the show. Like any fanatic I went as far as painting my own banner to display to Robert (who I felt needed as much support and outpouring of love as we fans could muster) for his first solo record after Manic Nirvana. So on the roof of 12 Rue Oberkampf I put out my fitted sheet and painted the words ” We Love You Robert U are Unique!” The sheet was a very strange color…like saffron or something.The only paint I had was green but I reasoned with myself that Robert would appreciate the saffron color as he had sung “Sing out Hare Hare” in the Song Remains the Same.(There’s your yoga reference.) It was the devotion that counted. Every one knows that and surely he would. My plan was that once inside the show I would leap up into the air opening the banner wide while shouting “I love you Robert!” so he could see what was written on it before touching back down. I think you’d agree it wasn’t a very good plan but it was the only one I had. I was fearful that if I went in with a full blown sign given my special entry status it would be confiscated. In my mind France being France just wouldn’t understand and love Rock and Roll signage like we Americans, the inventors of said signage did so why take any chances? It was just imperative that Robert get the encouragement he needed from me since somehow I was upholding him on this show. My friend Steve Forward once said I was the most fanatical Led Zeppelin fan he had ever encountered in his life and I think my previous statement bears out his conclusion.

Bercy the Parisian mega stadium

 So.There I was 10 feet in front of the monitor right in front of the elevated stage in Bercy. It took me a second to realize where I was spatially as I walked towards the crowd after Honey had escorted me in. My God I was actually standing where security was stationed to carry any one out who might make a bums rush for the stage! My mind was blown and it was then that I knew in my feverish brain that I would be able to fulfill my plan of showing my idol the banner I had made just for him. As the music began I leapt up into the air shouting “Robert!” loudly in his direction as he turned his head quizzically to one side trying to make out what was written on my badly painted banner. I was connecting with him! Oh joy! And then ladies and gentleman just as quickly as I had soared on the wings of euphoria only felt by a true fan, I plummeted to the depths of despair like Icarus on waxed wings who had flown to close to the sun.I was caught on the way down by two very burly security men wearing tight white polo shirts.I felt a grief and a regret that after coming so close,after waiting 20 years and of legal age to be in a concert with Led Zepp I was now going to be carried out of the show due a breach of security. What was I thinking? I wasn’t thinking at all! I was swept away on pure emotion.
The_Fall_of_Icarus_by_AshenMask
And then another incredible thing happened and I don’t know why.These bears of men carried me over to the VIP section, an elevated metal construct with seating catty corner to the stage and deposited me there! My emotions soaring upward once again I had an even better view of Mr. Plant and his band then before.In fact,it was a direct view of Me to Them and as they would probably come to regret,Them of Me. I went insane singing at the top of my lungs to every song with a wild abandon until I was hoarse.I stood the entire time,everybody could see me and I just didn’t care.I was there for one reason and one reason only:To make sure that Robert felt loved and supported in his new endeavor Fate of Nations. Yes I had seen his Fate of Nations first stop with Paul but here he was with another band formation. His old Zep material be dammed! (Unless he didn’t want it damned of course) I sang and sang and sang to the point where one band member after another walked across the stage to see who was this nut? The lead guitarist on this tour (He was blonde and cute and Dude,I am sorry I don’t remember your name) pointed at me and mouthed “Who? Are? You?” with accompanying sign language. That’s what was on everyone’s mind with one VIP wanting to know who was doing the show me or them? I just laughed. When Robert crouched to sing “Whole Lotta Love” (Oh My God! Finally in person!!!) I shouted out in the silence; “Sing it Robert!” because as I mentioned before Robert needed my encouragement. He hesitated a moment before launching into it because nut job here had managed to shatter his concentration. But it’s when he got to the chorus and held up his microphone in a standing pose over his head and pointed in my direction bellowing “Sing it Girl!” that I really lost my shit. As far as I was concerned I had just sang this duet with Robert Plant dedicated to me. (Did I mention I was delirious with joy and high on life?) As the band departed off stage as they had to skedaddle to the Isle of Wight Music Festival they chatted amongst themselves and I knew in my heart for just a moment I was the topic of conversation. But when would we meet again? Backstage at Bercy for NO QUARTER…  

No Quarter

No Quarter by Page and Plant a world music take on classic Zep

 

 

 

Ekayani grew up to be a  recording and performing artist. Her  music "Yoga on the Dance Floor" will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records

Ekayani grew up to be a recording and performing artist. Her music “Yoga on the Dance Floor” will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records


It goes LIVE August 20th https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yoga-on-the-dancefloor/id904706276
Out August 20th
Pre order your copy on iTunes then when it goes LIVE.

Ekayani in Rock Paris New York Robert Plant

July 30, 2014

Robert Plant - Dreamland - Front
I have been saying I am going to write a book of my memoirs “someday” for the past 6 years maybe longer. But is 51 too young to start writing such a thing ? What is too late or too old or too soon? What this really means is When do I run out of time? I don’t know the answer to that last question and so based on a dream I begin. Someone once said to me that most people would be happy to live a quarter of what I have lived but being the adventuress sort I feel I haven’t even scratched the surface of my dreams. Here are my observations as much of my life has been as a priveledged observer. Well it’s more like one long observation. Enjoy these anecdotes. – EKAYANI

Dream (7/29/14)
I make a record with Robert Plant. We pose together both curly headed characters and as usual Robert has a practicality about him mixed with his wry sense of humor. How did I get here? Ah yes I desired it.

Radio
The first time I heard Robert spelling out his anger it was a hot New York summer night as I was listening to the radio and staring out the window. The radio was a recent discovery for me and I marveled, though didn’t aways care for everything that came out of the box.(have you ever been mellow?) I was 11 years old and found myself completely thunderstruck that a man could be so upset at a woman for the way she treated him as this was the era when men didn’t show emotions because they didn’t have any. Remember I was 11 so this whole boy girl territory was like landing on Mars. Boys had feelings? They got upset? He was vulnerable? And that ladies and gentleman launched a four decades long listening in. It’s a totally good thing my parents wouldn’t allow me to go see Led Zeppelin at Madison Square Garden (Heck they wouldn’t even let me go hear Stevie Wonder at MSG which was beyond my 12 year old comprehension. We were fans!) as I surely would have found a way to run away with them. And in the 70’s things like that could and would happen.

Fate of Nations Paris 1993
Paul and I were working on tracks for what would become my first “studio” EP later morphing into Ekayani and the Healing Band. Paul a very talented, but very introverted guitarist and composer lived right next to the Goutte D’Or on La Rue Stephenson. A beautiful little church of Saint Matthieu was on his block. I took this is a very good sign especially since my own brother was named Matthew who was in his day an excellent jazz drummer. One day as I got off the metro I spotted the poster advertising Roberts upcoming July dates at the Zenith and all I remember is jumping up and down in the street in front of said poster. Did I look crazy? I am sure I did but a fan cares not for external judgements from non fans. I ran like a fool to Paul’s and breathlessly shared the exciting news about Roberts imminent arrival and proclaiming that we were going to the show! We had to! It was important! This took some determination as I remember being so broke that baguette money was a big deal. But nothing was going to stop me. I remember Paul saying at the end of the concert that it had been an “interesting” experience for him. Just how far out of familiar territory was he? Apparently very. I was on a cloud.

The Zenith Paris - Sometime later I met this character named Laurent who was some sort of television mogul producing shows for broadcast in France (a small pond) with The Three Tenors and such. Somehow he was involved in the taping of this solo show or the interview or both. I wore a blue catsuit which I thought was very “rock chick” but Laurent took to calling me “Pyjama” as he thought my outfit looked like pajamas. Maybe he was right but for whatever reason we got to go backstage and see the Plant himself.The man is towering. At least 7 feet tall and by no means puny. I sacrificed an expensive designer shirt to my idol only to realize there would be no possible way shape or form he could wear it. Hopefully he gave it to his girlfriend. Before you bring someone a gift of clothing get their approximate measurements as photography can be deceptive. I made small talk backstage with Charlie the bass player in the band that I would meet again several years later after the No Quarter show. A very nice guy happy to be touring on such a cool project who was (and may still be) Mr. Plants son in law. I remember giving Robert a cassette tape. At least you can’t say I didn’t try. The cassette had this music on it. I thought he might appreciate the ambient feelings on it but of course he’d been there and done that with John Paul Jones and crew. I have to thank LK for getting me the pass to get in in the first place.

and yes that was the shirt i miss that shirt lol

and yes that was the shirt i miss that shirt lol

Intuitive Meeting at Cafe de L’Industrie leads to No Quarter at Bercy 1995 (Thank you Honey)

Elle magazine shoot  at the Cafe de L'Industrie Paris.

Elle magazine shoot at the Cafe de L’Industrie Paris.


I was dating a very tall Argentinian man whom I had met at another big concert in Paris when Linton Kwesi Johnson was playing the Zenith circa 1994. Naturally he learned of my obsession with this band. And then one day a funny thing happened. My second home was a cafe owned by my friend Gerard LeFlem. Gerard had been wildly successful creating a restaurant in Les Halles called Le Bon Pecheur selling it for a sum unheard of in those days. Being the restless sort he opened another wildly successful enterprise this time in the Bastiile section of Paris. I went there almost everyday and not being there more than three or four days in a row I felt a palpable absence. It was my social hub and I knew almost all the waitresses, the cooks,the bartenders,the regulars and would join Gerard for lunch at least once a week. So I stopped by as I was feeling a very strong pull to go there with the distinct impression that there was something or someone waiting for me there. And as soon as I got there I stepped in the main hall and looked around. Nobody there not even the regulars I knew. So I just took my place along the comptoir and ordered myself a cafe. Karinne greeted me warmly as she always did that beautiful girl who was a stunning mix of North African and Vietnamese parentage. She never let me pay for anything as ‘artistes ne paie pas”. This was the girl who told me I was “une demi ange, demi animale’ something I could only be told in Paris with a mandate to live up to it. As no sign of what was meant for me appeared I sat at a little table situated underneath the circular metal staircase leading upstairs. There I sat eating my vegetable soup with anticipation when suddenly 5 gentleman strolled into the cafe and stood at the bar. I almost died. I couldn’t believe my eyes or how BIG this surprise was for me! Thank goodness I had listened to that feeling I had inside. There stood Robert Plant, Jimmy Page and three or four more members of their entourage deciding what to have before they were escorted to a bigger round wooden table in the next room. (Can you feel my heart racing? Can you see my hands trembling?) I thought to myself, Well this is my chance,this is my time to be brave and in fact,I told myself, I have the right to introduce myself. Get up, go over there Ekayani and introduce yourself and remember who you are! I was wearing a burgundy colored red crushed velveteen dress. Ah the things one remembers and taking my coffee cup in hand,trying my best not to let it rattle in it’s saucer, I stood at the table and said ; “Excuse me gentleman. I just wanted to come over and say hello and introduce myself again.I am a friend of Lenny Kravitz’s and I just wanted to say how nice is to see you again. (The balls!) Robert immediately stood up and said; “Please won’t you join us?” (Yes! I replied) “but first”, he said, “let me introduce everyone”. (Oh my God! Is this really happening to me?) And around the table he went. “This is Jimmy Page. He plays the guitar for us.” (Really?) at which point Jimmy stood up and extended his hand to me with everyone else following suit. When we got to the gentleman I was being seated next to Robert informed me that this man had designed most of their record covers and had just designed a record cover for Madonna and I should talk to him. (Okay!That must have been George Hardie) And talk I did. After 40 minutes I could hear the voice of my mother in my head reminding to me maintain my dignity, “act like a lady” and take my leave now so as not to overstay my welcome. I complied.I got up thanked them all and bade them to kindly excuse me. (My date was waiting for me after all at the bar). Now at this point It gets truly incredible. To my house guest who stole the “sacred napkin” as I refer to the brown paper napkin that Robert wrote his agency’s phone number upon so I “could come along” on the next tour you will Iive in hell for taking it! If you’d like to see countless pens materialize out of nowhere just ask for 1 when Robert Plant asks you if you have his phone number. A short time later say 6 months? it was announced that Robert would be returning to Paris to play and I used that phone number. I was told to look out for a lady who went by the name Honey. Honey would be taking care of me. So around I went to the entree des artistes at the back gate and waited and waited and waited. At last I spotted Rex whom I had met at the Cafe du L’Industrie with the boys.Thankfully he recognized me and asked me who I was looking for. “Honey” I said listlessly. At this juncture I had almost given up hope that I would ever get in as there was no VIP help as the official French tour manager was indifferent to my plight and couldn’t have cared whether I lived or died. I think she was jealous of me when I stupidly replied that I was not Lenny’s sister backstage. I should have just said yes as for all extent and purposes we are brother and sister. Rex was kind and said “just wait a few minutes while I take care of the press”. Another 30 minutes went by. My legs were aching and my heart sank when I heard the downbeat on the drums inside the stadium. But the First Rule of Rock and Roll is to be cool. Be very cool and keep acting like things will work out and they most likely will. And just when I thought I had been forgotten,a voluptuous brown haired woman appeared.
‘Ekayani?” “Honey?” and I was in!
She apologized for the seat she was going to give me for in fact it was no seat at all. I was smack in front of the stage literally in front of Robert near the monitors. I just thought to myself; “Wow! I can’t believe how polite these people are! Sorry? She is sorry that she could “only” put me within ten feet of my idol??” In spite of any legendary rock and roll “bad boy” reputation at the end of the day this crew was English and was going to follow decorum. There is more to this section and I’ll just pick that up in the next posting. Thanks for reading thus far.
Coming Up…

Almost Getting Thrown Out The Ecstasy and the Agony!
Is that Ahmet Ertegun? I’ve got to meet him!
Visions of Jimmy Page – What Do You Mean You Didn’t See Him?
No Quarter 1995 Bercy (Paris)
No Robert – Jimmy Page and the Black Crowes Jones Beach Theater 2000
Dreamland New York Hammerstein Ballroom 2002

Ekayani grew up to be a  recording and performing artist. Her  music "Yoga on the Dance Floor" will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records

Ekayani grew up to be a recording and performing artist. Her music “Yoga on the Dance Floor” will be available on iTunes August 20th, 2014 thanks to TGEE Records


It goes LIVE August 20th https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/yoga-on-the-dancefloor/id904706276
Out August 20th
Pre order your copy on iTunes then when it goes LIVE.

NOAH – An Earth Day Tale

April 21, 2014
The sky

The sky

I saw the movie NOAH on a rainy April day. Talk about set up.

Taking the story of NOAH and The Ark out of it’s traditional depiction in the middle east brought the focus to the story itself. This is a story about the abundance of life or lack of it depending on one’s vision and how one’s vision dictates ones behavior.This drama throws into high relief a very loud dialogue taking place on our planet right now. Is there enough or not enough for everyone? The two protagonists, NOAH and his mortal enemy the man that killed his father, a cruel tribal leader who fancies himself a king, have views that are diametrically opposed.These two archetypes could be called the Green Movement vs Fossil Fuels.The bad guys live a kind of self fulfilling prophecy. Waste is a way of life and they constantly complain how harsh life is,always casting blame on the Creator whom they like to claim does not hear them. Noah has the view that he should tread gently upon the earth and act as caretaker and he displays a tenderness and awe towards a simple flower or the cosmos revealed in the night sky.The garb he and his family dons reminds me of clothing worn at and made for our outdoor festival culture in America and points slightly south where modern seekers retreat to commune with nature,themselves and each other for ten day chunks in the desserts and remaining wildernesses of the world.Practical with no frills you find no flowing robes of the Ten Commandmants variety here. Set in a post apocalyptic world that reminded me of Mad Max in the Scottish Highlands, the landscape Noah and his family inhabit is scorched and barren of trees. Noah’s family,descendants of Seth are far, far away from the lush and fertile Garden of Eden but they are SINGULARLY moving towards it because they know the time of waste is over. They are vegetarians. I appreciated this reference to the Old Testament where foods such as nuts and seeds are recommended… and they will be unto you as meat.(I found a lot of bhakti in this movie). In Noah’s case lichen is the order of the day as forests have virtually vanished. Now how to build that ark? Is there hope?

NOAH Shot in the Brooklyn Marcy street Armory,it is a visually stunning film, majestic in scope where everything looms large.The natural world is intelligent and supernatural in it’s grandeur because life is just so darn simple. Intuitively the beasts and birds find Noah’s ark which is wonderful to watch as it dwarfs the human ego. After the avians flock to the ark they settle in among the roosts. You see Noah and his good wife handling a small bird near a metal bowl with flower like embers. “It’s asleep” she utters. As I watched Shem and his mother (a talented herbalist) stroll through the avian deck while gently swinging incense pots to and fro the symbolism was strong. This sacred moment was a blessing of the animals in real terms and a lesson for man giving us a gentler interpretation of what it means to have dominion over the Earth.This was Church with every players level of commitment exposed due to sheer proximity to the meek. Anyone who has ever had to transport animals by freight or air understands how traumatic it is for the hound,cat or other beloved companion to be confined to a cage,buffeted by luggage and the wind in a dark lonely place. So many dying of fright. It was a thoughtful touch to imagine what the Birds,Beasts,and Everything That Crawls and Slithers would have required to make it through an extremely harrowing flood in a story that is notoriously free of detail.In this respect the story reminds me of Native American prophecy. It’s blunt, earth bound and so simple we can barely understand it. To be merciful and kind to all of Gods Creatures, particularly the vulnerable is a task that Noah points out repeatedly that they have been entrusted with.

Faith That All Needs Will Be Met in God’s Time
And that is the test is it not?
As aspiring yogi’s do we cultivate this feeling that we have all that we need when we need it? Do we fear that we have been forgotten in the way closest to our hearts desires ? That we need not covet or hoard more than is necessary? Can we be practical AND be free to live in the moment,confident that life is steering us towards our highest good? Are we brave enough to act on faith? This theme is played out in the relationship of father and son, Noah and Ham. While Ham is naturally curious and Noah has a gruff parenting style,in the end it’s Ham’s lack of faith that he will not be provided for that creates a rift between the father and son. Noah says – Wait be patient. Have you not seen all the miracles that have come to pass? How about a forest coming forth from one seed when we had no wood to build an ark with for starters? But Ham doesn’t want to wait. He wants what he wants when he wants it and he doesn’t think things through.For all it’s Shaekespearen edge the message is simple:God is a God of Divine Harmony and He expects all His children to get along with the burden of that cooperative spirit placed squarely on man. He expects man to be patient and listen closely and quietly to Nature, to Him speaking to you in dreams,to be guided by kindness. Trying to jostle ahead in any way creates a disruptive outcome. And who is Ham? We can all admit we are a little childish, no?
Environmental Conservation and Rising Tides
The BIG BIG theme that cannot be over looked is The Flood. It is the entire reason for the movie and while you may argue for or against the possibility of the world really being inundated with that much water,for anyone who has lived through the harsh realities (and frightening indifference of aid agencies) of Hurricane Katrina in Louisiana, Hurricane Sandy in New York, the typhoon in The Phillippines or the Oso Washington state land slide you may be seeing things in a different way now. Water rose fast and hard and washed away children,homes and businesses in a matter of hours.Environmental conservation is no longer a nice cocktail party conversation among the well heeled but a matter of having or not having a home right in the middle of working class neighborhoods and white collar alike. I can think of no greater irony than the residents of Breezy Point,the majority of whom were firefighters having to watch their homes – about 200 homes burn- to the ground during Hurricane Sandy because the fire trucks could not be moved out of the firehouses in 8 feet of water. If that is not a metaphor for what is happening now I don’t know what is. Warning.

Breezy Point What didn't burn flooded

Breezy Point What didn’t burn flooded

P.S.Anthony Hopkins as Methusaleh is Delightful&Loves Berries
Sir Anthony Hopkins is delightful as Methuthelah
Aside from any other drama and near nervous breakdowns on the part of Russell Crowe,Sir Anthony Hopkins is delightful as the hoary old mystic who lives on top of a mountain like great mystic yogis do. He lends charm, practicality, humanity & humor to the proceedings. He is THE patriarch who really HAS seen it all and still has more than a few tricks up his sleeve. He is powerful. He reminded me of my own grandfather Bernando LaPallo who loves berries too…and especially blueberries.Eat more berries and you may live just as long as Methuseleh or maybe as long as Bernando.

p.p.s. *Wikipedia has this to say about Methusaleh. Extra-Biblical mentions:
Methuselah appears in two important Jewish works from the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. In the Book of Enoch,[6] Enoch (as the narrator) tells Methuselah of the coming worldwide flood and of the future Messianic kingdom. The Book of Jubilees names Methuselah’s mother and his wife – both are named Edna – and his daughter-in-law, Betenos, Lamech’s wife.
The 17th century midrashic Sefer haYashar (“Book of Jasher”)[7] describes Methuselah with his grandson Noah attempting to persuade the people of the earth to return to godliness.[8] All other very long-lived people died, and Methuselah was the only one of this class left.[9] God planned to bring the flood after all the men who walked in the ways of the Lord had died (besides Noah and his family).[10] Methuselah lived until the ark was built, but died before the flood, since God had promised he would not be killed with the unrighteous.[9] The Sefer haYashar gives Methuselah’s age at death as 960[11] and does not synchronize his death with the flood.
The Sumerian king list mentions a character named Ubaratutu who seems almost identical to Methuselah. He was the son of Enmunderana the Sumerian Enoch, and king of Sumeria until the flood swept over the land. Although their ages are different their father and year of death remain the same.

Buy Yoga on the Dance Floor at These Stores & Studios

April 17, 2014

Jumping? Okay Smiling joyfully! Tom and Ekayani are thrilled you're buying the CD!In case it wasn’t perfectly clear we are jumping for joy over here at Ekayani and the Tom Glide Space because 3 – count them THREE NEW Very Fine locations are now carrying the REISSUE of Yoga on the Dance Floor and Sanskrit Mantras first released at the Amsterdam Dance Event in 2008! Manhattan, Brooklyn and Jersey City all have the CD now! So here is the list! Drum roll please!

Namaste Books on 14 Street NYC

Namaste Books on 14 Street NYC


1. NAMASTE BOOKSHOP – The Eastern & Western Spirituality Bookshop located on that busy thoroughfare in the heart of Greenwich Village and right next to Union Square is conveniently located near the Q,N,R,4,5,6,2.3.1 trains right on 14 Street off Fifth Avenue! Open 7 Days a week please support them (and us) by shopping there! Thank you Rakesh Samani holding it since East West Books shut it’s doors. Workshops, book signings, readings check out their event space too!
Sacred Studio Brooklyn is a lot of fun!
2.SACREDStudio Brooklyn 197 Clifton Place is carrying Yoga on the Dance Floor and Sanskrit Mantras and we just adore Dara Cole the founder for all the incredible fun and outreach to be had for kids, the community, for young women in prison on Riker’s Island who are getting yoga classes now and so much more! Ekayani sang at the opening gala for SACRED and it is a relationship she cherishes.Go check them out! Near the G Train!

3.JERSEY CITY JIVAMUKTI YOGA- Yes Jersey City now has a JivaMukti Yoga Studio run by Austin and they are rocking it out at 171 Newark Avenue! Weekly kirtans, lectures, workshops are all part of the yoga mix. Please support! They are open 7 days a week and if all sells well we’ll be bringing the party to Jersey City in the Fall!!!
Austin Teaching Asana's in Jersey City
Jer- zee!!!

the cult classic has a bar code and everything!

the cult classic has a bar code and everything!

Loren Russo & The Eternal Soundtrack

March 27, 2014

With Loren Russo @ Miami New Life Center March 29, 2010. Little did I know it would be one of many classes we'd do together.

With Loren Russo @ Miami New Life Center March 29, 2010. Little did I know it would be one of many classes we’d do together.


I first met Loren Russo because of the nudge I received from the General Director of Jiva Mukti Yoga School back in 2010 (NYC).I was on a national DIY tour with Yoga on the Dance Floor the concert and meditation party I had cooked up with composer,producer and friend Tom Glide.Headed to Miami Beach specifically to do an evening at H2OM a weekly program at the Standard Spa and Hotel a magical beautiful place situated right on the Venetican Causeway. spaceparty
Miami Meeting
“Well if you are going to Miami, you should meet Loren Russo.She is a very successful Jiva Mukti yoga teacher”.I nodded and said I would look her up. She commanded my respect right away because it was immediately apparent that yoga was her life.Extremely athletic in her approach,Loren has tenderness with students and an impeccable technique.Even more than all this she LOVES yoga in all it’s forms. I have never seen her do the same sequence twice.Her vocabulary in asana seems never ending and if it seems that way it’s because it nearly IS that way with her extensive study, mastery and enthusiasm in Ashtanga. Nowadays through some great blessing I get to have her association and that of her students nearly every Monday Night unless one or the other of us is out of town.I provide the music for her asana class helping students soldier through the challenges right through to the relaxation. I am so glad to be with her again because I felt a strong bond with her from the very first class she allowed me to sing for at The MIami New Life Center almost four years ago to the day today. I witness week after week how she challenges students to go further in what they can coax their bodies and more importantly their minds to allow on the mat.

The Eternal Soundtrack
A class at Miami New Life (see video), one at Bhakti House on Alton Road and then myself giving her class a try at The Standard and she was gone. It would be 3 years until I would see her again standing one day in the Bhakti Center in the East Village for a special occasion we were both attending. I felt a nudge and looked to see who it was to discover it was Lila – Padma!! Not long after exchanging telephone numbers she invited me to sing and be the DJ for her Monday class. Week after week I would search and select music that looked to the East. After all I couldn’t sing the same songs every week right? I covered the waterfront playing devotional artists;Trevor Hall brilliant and emotional ONE, DJ Cheb I Sabbah’s mysterious sound poems and even India Arie. After 5 months of this Loren told me she only wanted my music in her class.

“Are you sure???” I asked ” There are only 19 tracks!”
“It doesn’t matter! Stretch it out!”
“Okay” I replied, ” Daso’smi. I am your servant and it’s your class so whatever you want.”
How could this be? I decided to simply accept her love of these interpretations of sacred mantras and prayers as a blessing. How else could I take it? Apparently I need to take the Name, Fame, Form and Pastimes as a living breathing reality. Check this exchange.
————————————————————————————–
Loren Russo (March 25, 2014 to me):
“Was super awesome.Love love love the whole vibe last night. Exactly in sync with me”
EKAYANI: “LOL! My darling I am so glad but it is so funny because it is the same every week! Somehow our soundtrack seems to adapt to the listener every time.I can only attribute that magic to the Holy Name. He is amazing! Thank you for the blessing. Wow.”
L.R.
“A. said you were singing so gloriously.Really good vibe and perfect timing with katha (talk). It’s not the same It’s always different. Your music is my eternal soundtrack. I love it.”
EKAYANI: “Wow! Unbeliveable!”

…and so although I was convinced many years ago that these songs would remain fresh due their pure spiritual content based on the writings,realizations and the purity of heart of Narottama dasa Thakur,Locana dasa Thakur, Bhaktivinoda Thakur and the generous translations and commentary by A.C. Bhaktivedanta Prabupada of the sacred texts of the Sri Isopanishad and Bhagavad Gita As It Is I could have not anticipated this development. My humble realization is that this Music is truly Alive, Ever Fresh and Ever Expanding. If this blessing of assisting in Monday Night Yoga Class ends next week I remain overwhelmed and grateful for this small glimpse into the substantiative realm of Spiritual Sound Vibration. There is another world for us,there really is and it’s dancing on our tongue.


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