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Sunday, January 04, 2009

grant us peace

the past few days have been one big chantfest for me. not only did i chant for change on new year's eve, but i also chanted for peace the weekend before that. what can i say... i'm a kirtan junkie :)

featuring joey lugassy and zat baraka, the first annual holiday chant for peace was held last saturday, december 27th, at power yoga west in santa monica. the event also spotlighted the angelic voice of lisbeth scott, the spoken word of j brave, and the musical talents of josh balbien, domonic dean breaux, mathew huffschmidt, ambika leigh, patrick richey, and eddie young.

i had shown up, not only to support the cause, but to chant along with joey lugassy, a familiar figure in the LA kirtan scene. wherever he performs, his fans are sure to be there (including myself, whenever i can!).

it was an evening of quiet meditation and ecstatic chanting. i was so busy loving the bliss generated by the community gathered in the large room that i never got a chance to spend time in the lounge where raw food provided by rawsheed was being served. from my vantage point in the back of the room, i seemed to be surrounded by familiar faces. richard wegman from exhale. nathalie canessa from santa monica yoga and goda yoga. daniel stewart from rising lotus yoga and santa monica yoga. dearbhla kelly from goda yoga. singer-songwriter spring gross. even kirtan wallah dave stringer was in the audience!

midway through the evening, spring sprung up from her seat (yeah, pun intended) and joined the musicians up on the stage. with the addition of her magical voice to the mix, the room started rocking. soon after that, joey asked dave to come sit with them, and once he got going, the energy in the room went through the roof! we may have come together to chant for peace, but it was by no means a peaceful affair -- i'm sure our voices carried out the room, through the courtyard, all the way out to the 3rd street promenade a block away :)

on a related note...

daniel stewart recently sent this out to all his facebook friends:

Please support my dear friend Lisbeth Scott! She's an extremely talented musician, who's in a contest to sing with Yo Yo Ma! Vote for her at this link! All love.. all music.. all the time! Daniel

the contest, Celebrate & Collaborate with Yo-Yo Ma, invited musicians to add their own counter-melody or to record an entirely new set of variations based on cellist yo-yo ma's recording of dona nobis pacem (give us peace).

lisbeth scott (who performed at last week's chant for peace) is one of 300+ musicians who've submitted entries to the contest. and as of this writing, she's received enough votes to place her in the top five. now i realize that the voting procedure for this contest is similar to that of american idol -- i.e., it can almost be considered a popularity contest -- but once you listen to lisbeth's entry, you can't help but vote for her; her rendition of the song is just so compelling... so vote now, and good luck, lisbeth!