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While working on other songs in quarantine, I was inspired to create this album after my aunt and uncle became very ill with coronavirus. My family held a virtual prayer and service to commemorate the Sikh holiday Vaisakhi, and my mother asked me to perform a shabad, or Sikh hymn, for our online gathering. I probably sing hymns at family occasions at least a couple of times a year, but every time, I forget how much the music and my voice move and uplift people.
Prayer (and moments of internal reflection) feel more important during this time--for too many reasons. We’re living in an unprecedented time of change: it’s difficult to plan anything this year, and a dark shadow has fallen over the world. Whether you or a loved one are ill, you’ve lost work, or are feeling general anxiety about the state of the world, these meditations are for you.
“Tension, Tension, Release” is a vocal meditation. Feel free to sing along with my voice and find the moments of tension in the syllables “ni, ni” and allow them to fully release when you sing, “sa.” These syllables are solfege (like do, re, mi) in Hindustani classical music. Fully experience your breath when you fill your diaphragm and lungs with air and then lean into that release when you sing (or listen to my voice and breathe along with the track if you don’t wish to sing). Even if you don’t commit to sitting silently for a few minutes, you can find moments of peace to “meditate” while you do ordinary things--maybe you are stirring a pot of stew, brushing your teeth, stretching after a workout or doing yoga.
My goal is to fully engage my mind in these quiet moments and try to push out the nervous, upset, or worried thoughts. In the process, re-evaluate your relationship to the material goods (your stuff!) around you and remember that the only thing that is going to get us through this is love, belief in humanity and lifting up everyone. Together, we are divine, and to feel truly peaceful and secure (on the individual level), we must have a society that treats everyone equally and where everyone is uplifted.
Amrita “Ami” Kaur Dang is a South Asian-American vocalist, sitarist, composer and producer from Baltimore. Her sound blends
elements of North Indian classical, noise/ambient electronics, beat-driven psych and experimental dance pop.
supported by 345 fans who also own “Meditations Mixtape, Vol. I”
I love this album! It helps me imagine the micro and macrocosms in the earth and in the soil and in space! a multi-scalar, multi sensory experience of ecosystems across time and space. Warm golden light, slow crystal growth over eons, geological forces and deep time, walking through woods, looking at plants and the smell of petrichor (the earthy scent produced when rain falls on dry soil) jen-du-chatsein