“Truly magical concept album, “Mirror of Desire” is “out of this world.” Extraordinarily beautiful, this will take you on a journey to the center of your soul.” – Dyan Garris
Well. . .I think I might actually be speechless. San Francisco-based spiritual musician Ananta Govinda’s 6th album, “Mirror of Desire” is a reflective concept album; an epic, ambitious project that is part of a multi-media blitz that includes the album, a fantasy novel (trilogy, first of which is releasing October 30, 2020), and a visual “story-telling” show presented in a 360-degree projection dome, and more.
The album, “Mirror of Desire,” which released on August 28, 2020, is 8 tracks of “New-Agey,” world fusion music with a truly magical feel. Really, the music feels like it’s “out of this world,” as in from somewhere else. Fascinating.
A host of VERY impressive talent joins Ananta here. For example, the title track, which opens the album, features not only Sanskrit chants by Ananta, but ambient guitar textures by Alex Liapin (Sir Paul McCartney, DDT, Aquarium), drums and percussion by Will Calhoun (Living Color), Scott Page (Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Toto), on sax and others.
The track is a creative collaboration between renowned producer Sylvia Massy (Tool, Johnny Cash, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers), and Ananta Govinda. The track was mastered by Nicolas Essig (Coldplay, Madonna, Sir Paul McCartney, Daft Punk), at the East-West Studios, Los Angeles. Quite remarkable.
Is there a better version of yourself? Sure, there is, somewhere inside you. The song is about facing your own inner reflection and not only accepting, but loving that version. Now, that’s just the first track. Whew! Get it? This is an amazing production, all through.
What if there was a magical device that turned words into “reality?” That would be incredibly interesting, and that’s what the 2nd track on “Mirror of Desire” is about. Featuring reggae hitmakers, Indubious, who added the ragga style chants here, and Will Calhoun on drums and percussion, the song “Self-Writing Book” was recorded and mixed by Sylvia Massy who also contributed arrangements on this track. It’s cool. Very cool.
“Golden Goddess” celebrates divine feminine energy. This is an easy, flowing track with a wonderful beat, and features another host of prominent musical talent. I particularly love the bansuri flute performance by John Wubbenhurst along with the 5-string bass arrangements by Jared May. Together with the excellent vocal performance by Ananta, this is a beautiful, harmonious piece.
It’s easy in this earthbound “reality” to get sucked into the repetitive illusions of the mind. “Mazes of the Mind” is about conquering those illusions, getting unstuck, and coming into a state of balance. This is a hypnotic, sinuous, engaging piece, and a favorite on the album. The guitar performance by Ananta, with its illustrative repetitive pattern is just wonderful, and the track is a collaboration with Grammy® Winner Lili Haydn, who contributed her talents on violin and vocals. Ronnie Ray is also wonderful on flute performance and Tibetan-style throat singing. What is also notable is that the harmony stacks created here are based on the theory of natural harmonic frequencies.
Now, here we come into a whole new reality with “Into The Timelessness.” The concept of this track is about a “pilgrim” who passes through the Gates of Time and steps into a new reality which is not affected by time. The flavor here is “Eastern Indian ambient.” Underneath, we have a perfect heartbeat and beautiful vocals by opera singer Paulette Penzvalto initially leading us through the gates of Time. The strings score was written by Grammy® Winner Nahuel Bronzini (Fantastic Negrito). Again, tuned to natural harmonic frequencies, this track is currently being mixed for a sound healing experience in a 360-degree surround sound format (Atmos). This is an extraordinary track. And I really don’t know why you wouldn’t want to get the whole album, but if you get nothing else, be sure to get this one.
The mythical “River of Time” is an illusory place which is said to divide this world from the other worlds. The track “River of Time” is a relaxing, flowy piece with the soothing saxophone of Scott Page calming our spirit and ethereal vocals by Ananta. This is a collaboration with Pierre Edel, the Voice of France, and the Voice of Russia (both 2014), who added vocal texture and improvisation to the song. As well, Alex Liapin, the legendary Russian rocker helped create multilayered guitar textures found here. Just gorgeous.
In fact, it’s as if the album gets even more gorgeous as it goes on. The short, ambient, “Room of Darshan” features more of Scott Page’s masterful and effortless saxophone, more textured guitar layers by Alex Liapin, and orchestral string arrangements by Grammy® Winner Nahuel Bronzini. Along with Ananta’s ethereal chants, this is ultra-relaxing, albeit brief.
The album closes out (No, don’t go!) with “Mantra of ParaDesha,” a version of well-known 16 syllable chant made popular in the West by Allen Ginsberg, George Harrison, and Swami Bhaktivedanta. The introductory chant is performed by Indian Classical singer Gopal Krishna Balaram, and is an invocation from Bhagavata Purana explaining the power of pronouncing the Holy Name. Ananta adds his wonderful, calming, ethereal vocals which lead us into tranquility. Drums, sax, strings, complete this perfect perfection, leading us to extremely peaceful “Nirvana.” Is there somewhere else you’d rather be?
More details: https://anantagovinda.com/
Everything about this “epic-ness” found here: www.mirrorofdesire.com
Contact email: [email protected]
Ananta Govinda on vocals, keyboards and production
Will Calhoun (Living Color), on drums and percussion
Lili Haydn (Grammy® Winner), on violin and vocals
Scott Page (Pink Floyd, Supertramp, Toto), on sax
Ayaan Ali Khan on sarod
John Wubbenhorst on flute
Ronny Ray on ud and throat singing
Alex Liapin (Paul McCartney, DDT, Aquarium), on guitars;
Ben Leinbach (Grammy® Nominated, Jai Uttal, Joan Boez), on percussion;
Nahuel Bronzini (Grammy® Winner, Fantastic Negrito), strings arrangements;
Bret Levick, additional mixing;
Thomas Juth, additional mixing (A-ha, Elton John, Cat Stevens)
Nicolas Essig, mastering (Coldplay, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Daft Punk)
Sylvia Massy (Tool, Prince, Red Hot Chili Peppers) production and mixing
Ed & Stacey Bonk
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