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World Music CD Reviews New Age & Avant Garde

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Deva Premal
Dakshina
Narada

By Stacy Meyn

Published September 27, 2005

As a child, Deva Premal was encouraged by her father Wolfgang to perform mantras, even during simple tasks such as setting the table or flicking on a light switch. She learned the value of vocalizing, and after reading Thomas Ashley-Farrand's Healing Mantras, really got into the vibe. Miten was a London guitarist who toured with Fleetwood Mac, Ry Cooder, and Lou Reed before realizing what he really wanted to be when he grew up. Premal and Miten met at the Osho Commune in India and have been together nearly 15 years, releasing mantra CDs of Sanskrit songs of devotion and divine love. Dakshina is the latest, following the namesake Siddha Yoga tradition of offering to one’s spiritual path from one’s own wealth. Premal’s been called the “Enya of chant” (although I am reminded of Karen Carpenter’s burnished contralto), and her voice can become interchangeable with a sitar. That and flute and tabla provide a gentle bed of sound, sans cheese. The pair has had HH the Dalai Lama as an audience and Cher claims them as a favorite for her yoga sessions.

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