“Amrita,” literally meaning “immortality,” and sometimes referred to as “nectar,” is 5 tracks and almost 22 minutes of sacred, ancient chants from Kamini Natarajan and Oleg Smirnov.
Kamini is renowned for her authentic Indian classical vocals, and the album includes intricate, multi-layered, electro-acoustic compositions by Oleg, who is a well-known multi-instrumentalist, composer, and music producer, whose music has been featured in film, TV, and major music media.
The album is engaging and deeply spiritual, lifting listeners away from everyday stress and up into a higher state of consciousness.
“Amrita” begins with “Om Tare.” My understanding is that this ancient mantra correlates to Tara, the “Mother of all Buddhas,” and is one that basically liberates you from all suffering. This mantra is multi-layered; gentle vocals on a bed of soothing electronica, and a great opening for this album.
Following is “Shri Krishan Sharanam Mamah,” which I believe is also known as the “eight-syllable mantra.” It means, “Lord Krishna is my refuge.” This is also very nicely done, with detailed electronica underneath.
“Om Namah Shivaya” is a famous healing mantra in India that dates back thousands of years. If I have it right, this five-syllable mantra is an invitation to delve deeply into your inner self, to call upon the higher self, and bow to Shiva. The mantra calms the mind, purifies the ego, and helps bring spiritual insight, as well as peace to the heart and joy to the soul. This track is brilliant, quite calming, and with excellent production.
“Sohum” comes next. I believe this translates into “I am one with the universe.” Gentle, droning electronica underneath and soft drumming in all the right places provides the perfect underlay for Kamini’s gentle exhortations here. This is extremely meditative and almost “trance inducing.” Wonderful, and a favorite, although you will surely benefit most by getting the whole album.
The album closes out with “Loka Samasta Sukinho Bhavantu,” which means, “May All Beings Everywhere Be Happy and Free.” Certainly, we can all resonate with that right now. May we all, indeed. This is a brilliantly produced piece with exceptional, flowing electronica, including expansive strings, that soothes the soul along with the perfect and ethereal chant. Wonderful for all that ails you in this troubled world.
Available on all streaming platforms.
Kamini Natarajan: Voice, Indian harmonium, and vocal composition.
Oleg Smirnov: Keyboards, guitars, basses, synthesizers, composition, arranging, and sound design.
Hector Quintanilla Galvan: Percussion on “Om Tare”
Kirill Parenchuk: Percussion on “Shri Krishan Sharanam Mamah,” “Sohum,” and “Loka Samasta Sukinho Bhavantu”
Mikhail Bugaev: Violin on “Sohum” and “Loka Samasta Sukinho Bhavantu”