I began my Recording Journey for CD3 on March 12-13 at Magic Cottage Studios (Lagunitas, CA) with Todd Boston co-producing and Andrea M. Boston covering photography and videography. Here are some outtakes from the first sessions.

 

I’ll be writing more about the album, the session and the players, in posts to follow.

 

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As I approached recording Dreaming of Now, I recalled the excitement I felt performing live at East-West Bookstore in Mountain View, CA and wanted to recreate the freshness of a live performance on my next CD.

Adam Muñoz and Shambhu at Fantasy Studios

In July 2012 I booked a weekend at Fantasy Studios, Studio D, in Berkeley, CA with myself producing and Adam Muñoz as recording engineer.

Joining me were the world’s best instrumentalists: George Brooks (sax), Kai Eckhardt (bass), Frank Martin (piano) and Celso Albert (drums). We recorded 12 songs over two days and had an incredibly fun weekend together.

In the Fall I invited percussionist Jeff Haynes (who recorded on my debut CD Sacred Love), to add percussion to those 12 tracks from his own home studio in Beacon, NY. Grammy-winning recording engineer Corin Nelsen, who did the honors on Sacred Love, engineered Jeff’s sessions.

In October 2012, I took all the tracks to Imaginary Road Studio in Windham County, VT, the home of Grammy Award-winning producer Will Ackerman and recording engineer Thomas Eaton. We re-recorded all the acoustic guitars and added cello – with Will Ackerman producing. Over a week’s time, we redid guitar on 8 songs, added Eugene Friesen’s cello to 4 songs, and I also flowed three new songs (Sanctuary, Dreaming of Now and Searching) live in studio – that appear on Dreaming of Now.

By December 2012, Thomas Eaton completed the first rough mix, which was so impressive that I added Tom as co-producer along with myself and Will Ackerman.

In early 2013, I met Will Ackerman at Entourage Studios in North Hollywood, and we recorded violinist Charlie Bisharat on two songs with Will Ackerman producing.

By summer I was hearing keyboard and string  pads for many of the songs. So I got together with keyboardist Frank Martin, featured throughout the CD, who graced the songs with gorgeous tones that completed them. Celso Alberti, who played drums on almost the entire CD, engineered that very fun session.

Going into summer 2013, I spent months working with the tracks in my own studio producing Jeff Oster (flugelhorn) on Devodance and adding electric guitar solo to Starbucks Landing with Todd Boston engineering. The final recording session was with Premik Russell Tubbs who added wind synth to the title track, Dreaming of Now and Jasmine.

Once we had all the tracks done, the final mix happened at Imaginary Road Studios over a week’s time working with Thomas Eaton and Will Ackerman.

This summer, Tom mastered Dreaming of Now at Thomas Eaton Recording in Newburyport, MA… and then we were done. Two years in the making, and almost three years to the day when Sacred Love was released.

Top two photos by Mario Covic. MarioCovic.com

Will Ackerman / Imaginary Road Studio – WilliamAckerman.com

Thomas Eaton Recording – ThomasEaton.com

 

EWBSacred Love is the 4th best selling CD at East-West Bookstore in Mountain View, CA. If you’re in the area, visit this beautiful store and buy copies for friends and family. East-West is an oasis — a resource for conscious living with amazing products for a holistic life of peace, love, calm, and joy. Looking for a beautiful scarf from Tibet, Wayne Dyer’s latest book,  a Buddha statue for your shrine, or a seminar on chanting? This is the place to visit.

We are also forever delighted that East-West hosted Shambhu’s sold-out performance last November with David DiLullo and friends…and we hope to set up a new concert date soon.

Thanks to recording artist and journalist Michael Diamond for this kind review of Sacred Love in Awareness Magazine:

Shambhu
Sacred Love: Feel the Journey
www.ShambhuMusic.com

While there are many musicians in this genre hunched over computers recording in home studios (myself included), there are very few who have taken the music-making process to the heights that Shambhu has on his “Sacred Love” CD. Sparing no expense to work with some of the top people in the music industry, Shambhu set out from California for the bucolic splendor of Vermont to record at the studio of Windham Hill Records founder and Grammy winner Will Ackerman.

To say that the supporting musicians are an all-star cast would be an understatement, and includes bassist Tony Levin, who plays with Peter Gabriel, Eugene Friesen on cello, and a host of other top-notch musicians who tour with the likes of Santana, Pat Metheny, Ravi Shankar, Yanni, and more.

But at the center of this luminous universe is acoustic guitarist and composer Shambhu. In his own words, “My compositions reflect a diversity of musical influences from across the globe, from contemplative to Indian-jazz fusion to contemporary instrumental.” All radiating a “heartfelt feeling throughout.” This is simply some of the finest music of this type that I have ever heard.

One of the outstanding features of this project is that it is actually a multi-media experience. Shambhu thoughtfully filmed the entire recording process, and in the beautiful accompanying booklet, entitled “A Guide To The Journey,” as well as on his website are links for the videos on YouTube, which I found absolutely fascinating. “Sacred Love” is a journey well worth taking.

Thanks to Ed Jennings for this beautiful review of Sacred Love for Music of Our Heart Blog.

Excerpts below.

I actually hear something more profound when I open my heart to Shambhu’s tone and resonance. I arrive at a place of renewal and spiritual awakening when I listen to Sacred Love. Shambhu’s music is the essence of the morning light unfolding the soft petals of a rose, revealing the fragrance of the flower to the joy of our senses. :)…

You’re in for a rare treat. So unplug yourself from all the electronic trappings that prevent us from floating downstream and listen to Shambhu’s gift of spiritual, healing music. The happiness you have long been seeking will truly become your natural reward.

Read more

Thanks to RJ Lannan for this review of Sacred Love. You can also read it at Zone Music Reporter.

Unanticipated

I read the song titles and scanned the liner notes and I immediately got the impression that this music would have a strong connection to the earth. I mean the earth as a planet and as a cosmos. My theory was validated after the first two or three cuts. There is something organic in the music. It is almost palpable. Guitarist and composer Shambhu, along with many talented musicians created a plethora of emotional and romantic songs on his album Sacred Love – Feel the Journey. After I was finished I became a believer. I did feel the journey. The music has a rare quality to it. It is virtually lighter than aire. The sound is clean and pure and it was not hard to imagine, once I read the notes that told me that Will Ackerman and his studio musicians had their hands in the project.

The guitar and the violin dance an aural bossa nova in the opening number called Together. There is that sweet, sensual audible push and pull, sway and swirl and the surrender of two lovers into their own special world for just the time it takes to play the song. The music suggests that whenever they are together, they have escaped the ordinary.

My vote for one of the most peaceful songs ever written goes to Edge of Eternal. The horns and voices are that of the angels and the guitar melody is celestial. After a minute into the song you feel weightless, after the end, you feel blessed. Some of the credit is due from Jill Haley‘s English horn and Eugene Freisen‘s cello. This was my absolute favorite on Sacred Love.

The track Natural Moment had a funky east tumbles into west kind of vibe. It was likeable for its lively tempo, its great mix of sitar and electric guitar and its cheeky melody. It felt like the song was improvised, reworked and improvised again. It was just the kind of tune that had endless potential.

I can always tell when producer and guitar great Will Ackerman starts plucking on a tune and it was he that started the song Imagine. Ackerman has a quality that I call musical grace and it is that approbation that mixes with Shambhu’s tune and makes it on the one hand, very familiar and on the other, new and exciting. Together they make the music timeless.

Premik Russell Tubbs is the flute player for the ethereal tune Nirab Amare. The song was originally written by spiritualist and teacher Sri Chinmoy who is credited with a body of works in words, music and art that staggers the imagination. The free flowing tune sets the physical free to roam in the endless possibilities of the spirit. This probably is the best song on the album for its poignancy and sense of pure bliss. Chinmoy’s teaching of divine surrender does not go unheeded.

The final track is called Humility. The guitar is somewhat more insistent in its lead and the flute also plays a large part in a tune that considers man’s worthiness. There is a polyphonous marriage of sound that was not as reverent as I thought it could be, but more of a mild celebration. Still the joyous tune of Eastern and Western influences was pleasantly satiating.

If ever there was an album that invited introspection, Sacred Love is the one. The album as a whole was a pleasing blend of acoustics and a harmonious mixture of philosophies. And there is the overwhelming sense of the spiritual love. Shambhu is a first rate song writer and guitarist, and perhaps an even better dreamer.

ZMR

Sending thanks to radio broadcasters worldwide who nominated Shambhu and “Sacred Love” for four ZMR Annual Music Awards:

  • Album of the Year
  • Best Instrumental Album (Acoustic)
  • Best World Album, and
  • Best New Artist.

Grateful to Will, Corin and all the musicians and friends who have supported the project.

Read More at Zone Music Reporter.

Here is the english translation of a wonderful review of Sacred Love by Alejandro Clavijo González in New Age Reviews (Spain).

The debut of composer and guitarist Shambhu is entitled Sacred Love. It is an award-winning work in which the artist features his guitar through different genres on the same CD, from the soft sound of jazz rhythm merging into perfect music for healing and suitable for mantra. Enjoying the sound of different instruments, Shambhu is accompanied by fantastic musicians who are featured  prominently in different parts accompanying his guitar. Great artists such as Will Ackerman himself, who also co-produced Sacred Love, accompanying on guitar, Tony Levin on bass, George Brooks on sax, Jeff Haynes on percussion, Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Ravichandra Kulur on flute, Celso Alberti on drums, and many other talents who enhance the already fascinating compositions of Shambhu.

It starts with the best.  The CD opens with “Together”, a seductive and interesting piece with a rhythmic sound and melody. Shambhu plays guitar and introduces the melody that slowly evolves over the gentle rhythm of kalimba, bass, sarod, and percussion. Other instruments, like violin, play some amazing solos. What a beauty! My favorite.

“Edge of Eternal” is an intimate and very delicate composition featuring soft guitar strums and notes, slow and fragile, and these are followed with great tenderness by the voice of Noah Wilding, Eugene Friesen’s cello and English horn by Jill Haley. It’s another of Shambhu’s amazing and exciting compositions. I like it!

He displays a deep innocense in “Eyes of a Child.” This touching and kind work is like the sweet notes of a lullaby written for guitar and Shambhu’s instrument is infused with a superhuman passion, achieving a vivid and really emotional feeling. Another wonder of Sacred Love!

“Natural Moment” rules with a mysterious and haunting Eastern rhythm. This piece reveals surprises, like the piano of the great Rocky Fretz, who adds life to the composition born into a magical dance of the guitar, violin, sitar and other instruments.

In “Revelation”, Shambhu’s guitar arpeggios convey an amazing sweetness and accompaniment for the other instruments. One of the most exciting songs of the entire album, “Revelation” has a deep, nostalgic tone that reveals great depth. The cello and English horn describe a passionate and most beautiful music. I like it!

Three great artists are featured on the composition “Imagine.” Shambhu and Will Ackerman on guitar and bassist Michael Manring give life to this serene work, a piece in which the guitars come together to offer a loving and thoughtful music, creator of wonderful dreams.

Shambhu’s solo guitar opens “Maui Breeze.” He creates a subtle rhythm with the beat of percussion and voice of singer Claytoven Richardson. Radiant and optimistic with a nice, quiet feel, “Maui Breeze” is mesmerizing.

“Nirab Amare” lets us go deep within and feel illumination. So sweet, so slow, the music is created by Shambhu’s arpeggios that accompany the soothing flute of Premik Russell Tubbs and bird calls and natural sounds of Windham County, in Vermont. A great way to say: “Restful”. Another of my favorites!

The amazing beauty of “Hide and Seek” lies not only in composition, but also in the two voices of the main melody of this impressive work, the voices of Claytoven and Michael Denten. Shambhu just follows the voices with arpeggios, percussion and bass to maintain the flow of this very catchy music. It’s peaceful composition and I love it.

Guitar, flute and sax give life to “Shiva Grove”, a track where two instruments maintain a relaxed conversation, while the guitar creates a musical background. George Brooks on sax and Ravichandra Kulur on flute create a most interesting fusion, as if the jazz and Eastern music were united in a new genre. A perfect, relaxing music for meditation.

“Call to Spirit.”  The feeling of the East winds again in another piece by Shambhu, but this time with great force. Another perfect music for meditation and relaxation, as mysterious Indian chants emerge to the passage of sound of the guitar, cello, flute, percussion and some bells.

As a finale to Sacred Love, Shambhu opts for a bonus track titled “Humility.” This is the larger theme of the album, more than seven minutes of great peace and harmony, where alternating guitar and flute melodies on Asian instrument sound are maintained from start to finish. I like it!

Sacred Love is the launch of the new award-winning composer and guitarist Shambhu. A great job with rich melodies and fascinating compositions where no one piece goes unnoticed to the listener. The different rhythms and nuances in these twelve interesting songs create a power of seduction difficult to explain. Sacred Love is a very highly recommended album. Check it out!

5 Stars of out 5