Stevin McNamara’s seventh solo album, Shakti Guitar, is a mesmerizing 75-minute soundtrack that pairs well with the ebb and flow of a yoga practice. This mystical sonic journey begins with the soothing sounds of nylon-string guitar, bansuri flute and tambora, inspired by the quiet and awakening energies of dawn. We are slowly brought into the fiery aliveness of midday in the fourth track with a faster tempo through the addition of upbeat drums and percussion. The remainder of the CD travels into the nighttime with slower tempos, less instrumentation and the notable addition of beautiful Indian female vocals.
While McNamara’s unique personal style is based on the classical music of Northern India, he is quick to point out that his work is not traditional raga music. While this may sound like a detriment, Western ears will resonate more easily with these Western musical influences while still feeling the depth, beauty and mystery of the East.
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