WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING ABOUT BREATHE
"Rob and Melissa have created magic again, Breathe is an inspiring and uplifting album with sweet melodies and sincere Bhakti devotion...a definite add to your yoga and chant playlist!"
-Govind Das, Director of Bhakti Yoga Shala, Santa Monica, CA
"This stirring and beautiful album moves me to tears every time I listen to it, which is a lot! The orchestration is simple, but simple in this case brings extreme power. It is the perfect backdrop for the purity of the voices and their bhakti hearts to shine through."
-Devi Bhaktananda, Seattle, WA
"Love this divine nectar. "
-Lincoln Houde, San Diego, CA
"Such a wonderful new album. It is simply beautiful from start to finish. The Hanuman Chalisa is one of the most beautiful I've ever heard."
-chanting.om.108 (iTunes review)
"Weeping tears of JOY for this BEAUTIFUL ALBUM!"
-PJ Harris, Sequim, WA
"I love Breathe so much!! So much uplifting sweet energy coming from it!!"
-Anne Brauckmann, Seattle, WA
"This album is amazing. A beautiful blend of instruments, voices, and clear devotion. I teach vinyasa yoga, and these songs are the perfect length to add to class playlists, bringing bhakti to the mat practice."
-Dancing_with_divine, (iTunes review)
Breathe is our second full-length kirtan album composed of eight passionate and devotional love songs to the Divine. It is our deepest prayer that these songs touch you in some way. Each one of them is very special to us, and sharing them with you is one of the sweetest things we could ever imagine.
The name of the album, Breathe, was inspired by Rob’s original song of the same name, which led us to sing kirtan. The original song “Breathe,” was on the first CD we made back in 2009, entitled Lundsgaard. We began playing it around at New Age Spiritual Centers (Unity, Centers for Spiritual Living, etc) where a yoga teacher bought the album and began playing "Breathe" the song in her classes. We were quite surprised when she called and asked us to sing kirtan at her studio, but we said yes anyway! Rob quickly learned a few Krishna Das chants on his guitar and we gave it a shot. It must’ve gone okay because we've been singing kirtan ever since!
In honor of the original song, and the path of love and devotion it pointed us toward, we have re-made it, incorporating the magical mantra “Sri Ram Jai Ram Jai Jai Ram" and re-named it, “Breath of Ram.” The new title is the way Neem Karoli Baba described Hanuman, both of whom have a very special place in our hearts. Hanuman is also the Son of the Wind (Vayu), so it seems fitting that a song about the breath opened the door that led us down this Bhakti Path.
The opening track “Maha Mrityunjaya” is one of those magical songs that almost wrote itself, much like “Lakshmi” from our last album, Tejase. The melody emerged from Melissa’s lips one day while playing her harmonium, and has remained virtually unchanged since. We hope that we have managed to capture some of the transformative healing energy that this liberating mantra offers us.
“Shiva’s Prayer” will always remind us of going to India for the first time. It was our second night there; Rob was still jet-lagged and couldn’t sleep. After tossing and turning until 4 am, he finally got up, grabbed his ukulele and went down to the yoga studio at the retreat center where we were staying. There, in the beautiful yoga hall situated on the edge of a mountain river, high in the jungles near Rishikesh, was the most enormous Shiva statue we’d ever seen. Seeing that Shiva suddenly made it true, we were really in India. We had wanted to come for so long; the process of getting here had taken years. Rob sat underneath the Shiva statue and began to pray. This is the song that emerged.
We just love everything about “Radhe Govinda.” We love the Spanish flair, the unexpected harmonica, the groovy bassline and the uplifting joy that comes from singing Radha and Krishna's names. There's only one thing to say for this one: Hari Bol!
“Ganga Ma” takes us back to the banks of Ganga (Ganges River) every time. We learned this chant from our beloved teacher and friend, Govind Das while sitting at the river's edge in the Himalayan foothills. It’s hard to describe Ganga to someone who’s never been there. For those who have, no description is necessary. But when you close your eyes, and Melissa starts singing this one, you can feel Ganga’s powerful and purifying spirit coming straight through. Jai Ma!
(from Rob) The melody for “Shambo” came about while I was grieving the loss of our dog, Humphrey. Right after he passed away, a big part of my suffering was self-inflicted. Although it happened naturally, I couldn’t help feel guilt around his death and I began to blame myself in little ways. Not only was I missing him like crazy, but I was also beating myself up! It was at that time that I began reading about the aspect of Shiva called Shambo. Shambo represents the auspicious, gentle and compassionate aspect of Shiva, the Lord of Transformation. It dawned on me, big transitions are hard and challenging enough as it is…losing Humphrey was no exception, and I was in serious need of some self-compassion. This awareness of Shambo helped me let go of the blame and guilt I was feeling, and why I was inspired to sing his name for this track.
The "Hanuman Chalisa" on this album is dedicated to Kaia, a very special young lady in our lives. When we stay with her family, we often sing a lullaby to her and her sister at bedtime. When Kaia became interested in the Hanuman Chalisa - declaring it her favorite no less! - the idea for a lush, lullaby-type Chalisa came into our minds. Then, one day, this melody appeared and we can’t sing it without thinking of the sweet generosity and grace that Kaia brings to this world. This one’s for you, Kaia! May Hanuman's grace follow and protect you throughout your life. Jai Hanuman!
The final track on the album is called “Prayer for Peace,” and is our version of “Lokah Samasta Sukhino Bhavantu,” which translates to “May all beings be happy and free from suffering.” It’s how we end most of our kirtans and so it seems like a perfect way to end the album. May we all experience peace and happiness in our lifetime and may we be filled with Grace. Namaste.
Blessings, Rob and Melissa
Music by Rob and Melissa Lundsgaard
Produced by Ben Leinbach
Recorded, Mixed and Mastered @ Old Bull Productions, San Anselmo, CA
Rob Lundsgaard (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Ukulele, Mridanga, Kartals)
Melissa Lundsgaard (Vocals, Harmonium)
Ben Leinbach (Drums, Percussion, Synths, Backing Vocals)
Lucas Cheadle (Bass)
Daniel Paul (Tabla on "Ganga Ma," and "Shambo")
Clayton Campbell (Cajon on “Radhe Govinda”)
Anastasia Allison (Violin on “Ganga Ma”)
Sweet Danny Ray (Harmonica on “Radhe Govinda”)
CD design and layout by Samantha Fisher (samazing.com)
Back cover photo by Jess Rush
Executive Producers: John Tinker, Carrie Reese
Family of Supporters: Jeff, Tim, TC & Myn, Jess, Ann B, Stacey, Ann T, Carol, Trudi, Donna, Kathy, Levine Family, Rick, Meghan, Mac, Connie, Rhonda, Karyn, Kathleen, Lee, Aeryll, Joellen, Shahn, Diane, Jane, Bonnie, Holly, Janell, Blanche, Steve, Lincoln, Erin, Tracy, Sally, Beth, Gina, Heather, Jill, Wayne, Gerard, Eric, Krishna, Melody, Anne, Carla, Vicki, Katie, Pablo, Eric, Nancy, Tyann, Meghan, Jen, Susan, Shannon, Tom, Grace, Dee, Gaia & Shannon, Charlotte, Michelle, Diana, Marta, Kathleen, Renee, David, Joanna, Andy, Jen, Dave & Nancy
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