At the Sonic Turtle Studio, recording Santiao Sadhana...

This week my brain hurts, but in a good way. I’ve been working on my new mantra album (well, sort of new) that I began over 2 years ago in LA with Krishan Khalsa. Back then, we laid the bed tracks down, and got some great sketches, but I actually haven’t taken the time to re-visit them, or finish them off, as I’ve been traveling, and dealing with health issues, which has taken up a lot of my time and energy. When I recorded it, I wasn't in the best headspace: jet-lagged, broken-hearted at the then-recent end of a romance, and didn't realize my adrenals were burnt out. So, I left it. 

I also really wanted to work with Adham Shaikh, an amazing musician and DJ who lives in the Kootenays. I’ve been a fan of his since I moved here 15 years ago, and wanted to add his energy and sound (electronica) to my more folky/jazzy sound. This fall, he had some time, so we’ve been in the studio for the past couple of weeks rockin’ and rollin’. Or, mantra-ing and electronica-ing. With his encouragement, I’ve been pushing myself beyond what I thought was capable of. He’ll introduce new vocal ideas (ie: beat boxing etc.), or come up with new ways of presenting myself vocally, which has been amazing. To think, I almost stopped singing in high school when I auditioned for the Eastview Concert Choir, and didn’t make it the first year I tried. Granted, I auditioned to be a second soprano (super high range), and I’m actually an alto, with a much lower voice. So glad I never stopped singing. I’ve also been learning what it means to focus on ONE thing (ie: singing). When I perform, I’m also playing an instrument, and so my attention isn’t really focused on my voice 100%. In the studio, it’s SO not like that; all my attention is on my voice when we’re recording the vocal tracks, and it’s actually a bit intimidating. I kinda like “hiding” behind an instrument, and I still consider myself more of a player than a singer. It’s been humbling, and it’s been eye-and-ear—opening. I also found out that eating a piece of dark chocolate whilst in the recording process isn’t such a great idea. I was basically a phlegm-bag while trying to sing (we edited out all the coughs etc.). I asked Adham (who told me it was the sugar/cacao combo) why he didn’t tell me not to eat the chocolate, to which he replied, “Uh…I know better than to tell a woman to not have chocolate. That’s just a no-no.”  True. Besides the phlegm filled afternoon, every day has been pretty sweet. I show up with my thermos of tea, my slippers and Adham’s studio is somewhat reminiscent of my little cabin here, so I feel quite at home.  

I’ve been re-living the journey of the Camino for the past few weeks in the studio, recording mantras I made up along the Way. A friend has also started to walk, and giving him suggestions, revisiting the mantras, and autumn, brings me back to where I was at this time 3 years ago: Chateau Anand in France. It’s a Kundalini Yoga ashram located near Bordeaux, and it was there that I began my Camino, starting each day with reciting the Aquarian Sadhana, with people from all over Europe. I was there doing Seva for a few weeks before I began the walk. Good old Facebook gives me reminders (“this is where you were 3 years ago) often, so I’m really allowing myself to go back to that space. The place where there was only one plan for the day: walk, eat, rest. There was such a feeling of spaciousness to each day, and to be in that state for almost 2 months was truly a gift. I’m trying to retain that feeling of spaciousness, as I am planning concerts, travel, arranging, practicing, recording and healing, but it isn’t easy. Patience isn't really my thing (when it comes to me, personally, yet I have heaps of patience for others). Sometimes I find myself overwhelmed, with the feeling that I can just finish the album in the spring when I’m back. The usual procrastination. Then I think back to walking the Camino. I didn’t put off “finishing” it. I just went day by day…poco a poco (little by little) and eventually reached my goal. 

I’m grateful that you are with me on this journey, and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.

Question for You: On your camino in life, what is one project that you may have started, (and still want to finish!) that you have left behind in the woodworks? Can you make space (poco a poco) to achieve its completion? I know you can do it. 

Much Love and Light,


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