The artistic temperament is always looking forward toward new levels of refinement, new colors and moods of expression, new ways to manifest and communicate the deepest feelings of the heart. The soul of the Bhakta (one endeavoring to walk the yogic path of devotion) is also always looking forward toward meeting the Beloved, experiencing the play of love, seeing His beautiful face, somehow discovering the key to divine love and service in this world. When combined, devotion and art create an inner world of turbulent longing, of passionate experience, of deep emotion. Read the life stories of the poet saints of India and you’ll know what I mean. (Please don’t think I’m comparing myself to those amazing beings! But they are my inspiration.)
When I was first asked to “remake” my album, Shiva Station, my response was, “No way! I can’t go backwards—that was then, and this is now! At this moment, I have so many new songs coursing through me.” I was very resistant, to say the least. My sweet little ego can sometimes speak very loudly. But after thinking about it for a while, I began to see the idea through fresh eyes. I reflected that the thread woven through all of my music, from my very first album, Footprints, to my last Kirtan Kids project is God’s names, and a deep, non-verbal longing for divine grace. Why not revisit my music from fifteen years ago to discover what, if anything, was timeless in each song? So I accepted the challenge.
Returning to this album wasn’t always a comfortable process, not that recording an album ever is. You know how every melody is filled with memories? Well, many of those memories were pretty harsh. Imagine going through a box of photos from a period of your life when you were very unhappy and out of balance. While I had the same devotional practices and feelings in those days, I also felt I was struggling just to be alive, to keep my head above the raging sea. Nonetheless, I dived in and lo and behold, the process turned out to be deeply healing and inspiring—both musically and spiritually. Through each of these songs I was able to reconnect with my soul, my Guru, my Beloved, remembering how desperately they were sung fifteen years ago and resinging them with a new mood of gentleness, surrender, and acceptance.
I sincerely hope that you, the listener, will enjoy the results of this process. I’m consistently humbled and honored when people tell me that my music has helped them through their life’s challenges. With Return to Shiva Station, may our journey together through this strange and wondrous world continue in love, joy, and grace.
Love and peace,