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From Yoga Chicago:
Jim Beckwith’s River of Song opens with the rockin’ “Saturn and Venus” (Sambasadashiva) The song has rockin’ electric guitar, with a mid-70’s rock-pop vibe and some tabla flavor thrown in for juicy measure. A polyrhythmic chorus and saxophone take the song out. Jim’s lyrics show insight, bridging the outer world of experience and modern living with the deep reflection of spiritual practice. “In Love Again” is sweet, with nicely delivered poetry and inspired lyrics. “Free Me” (Om Gum Ganapataye) is dreamy and mystical. “Give It Away” is my favorite—it’s catchy, upbeat, and prime for some radio play. I’m singing it right now! Jim is a superb producer, composer, and musician. I’ve had the good fortune to see Jim accompany many artists, and it’s a pleasure to see him sail his own ship. River of Song has won my heart. yogachicago.com
Interview with Jim Beckwith: Sound Colorist and Kirtan Singer
Yoga Interviews - by Silvia Mordini - Nov 1, 2015
Having just released his seventh album, “The River of Song,” Jim Beckwith’s music is becoming increasingly well-known. Over a musical career of 25 years, he has long been a well-loved singer, songwriter and fixture in various genres of music, including chant.
Jim Beckwith will be at the Northwest Yoga Conference in March 2016, offering healing through vibrational medicine of chant music and accompanying teachers such as Janet Stone and Silvia Mordini.
SYN: What inspired your new album “The River of Song”?
Beckwith: In part, traveling to India and other exotic places allowed me to witness firsthand how people everywhere are so much alike and have so much love to give. Walking around, it’s clear that music is the shared language of the soul. It speaks volumes – you can see how people’s faces light up especially through chanting! My life, too, has been transformed by the power of feeling the flow of music and chant as medicine.
Saul David Raye Newsletter
Big Shout out to my musical dharma brother Jim Beckwith / Hanuman Das, who is currently lovng life in Bali! Last month Jim released his new album ' River of Song' - it is a beautiful collection of chants and english lyrics with soulful rhythms, melodies and the beauty of Jims voice. Many of these songs have been coming into being through the last years of sharing music in many yoga classes. So please check it out and share with your friends Check it out on iTunes here !
The Eclectic Heart-Centered Wisdom of Saul David Raye:
A Workshop Review By Jaclyn Bauer, Yoga Chicago
----- About the music - >
Students at Moksha navigated their own heart center not only through asana (physical postures), but also through heart-centered meditation and dancing. Yes, dancing. Every day of the workshop we were all asked, in the middle of asana practice, to move and sway to live music played by accompanist Jim Beckwith. With instruments of all kinds including guitar, drums, sitar, and the use of his own vocal cords in deeply resonant ways, Jim created sounds unlike any I had heard before. The music was a sort of world-beat, jazzy compilation of authentic sound. Coming from someone who normally doesn't listen to music while practicing yoga because of how distracting I find it, I can't express how divinely uplifting and sublime Jim's soulful in-class concerts were. The music was beyond beautiful, and was so intuitively tied to the practice that students couldn't help but be absorbed by it. Even when we weren't outright dancing, you could see in every student's movement a quality of fluidity and rhythm that matched Jim's beats.
Just as Jim's compositions seemed to wind their way out of his spirit and fit themselves perfectly into the hearts of the students, Saul poured forth his teachings from the authenticity of his heart. Saul focused heavily on the divinity within all human beings, and he stressed the importance of connecting with this inner spirit while also recognizing the spirit of others and of Mother Earth. The weekend was filled with lessons on yoga history, pluralistic divinity, Thai massage, ecology, and kirtan (participatory music experience involving call-and-response chanting). Full article here
"Sound Colorist" - an excerpt from The Bhakti Beat:
Is it us, or is Jim Beckwith showing up everywhere these days? He is one of those guys who seems to always be on stage at festivals like Bhakti Fest, surrounded by a pile of instruments from shakers to sitar and diligently backing up the lead wallah in whatever way is needed. A “sound colorist,” Beckwith calls himself — someone who can pick up whatever instrument is necessary to add just the right shade of acoustic toning to support the flow of the music at that moment. Sounds right to us.
That said, Beckwith is a vocalist first and foremost. In an interview with The Bhakti Beat from his car, dodging tumbleweeds enroute from his home in Ojai, Calif. to play at a retreat with Saul David Raye in Denver, he said, without hesitation: “I am a singer,” when asked which, among the many he proffers, is his instrument of choice. Singing, he said, “is the passion at my core. I only started playing any instrument to support the singing.”
The passion shows. Beckwith has a vocal range that would make an opera singer do a double-take. (In fact, Placido Domingo, Jr., the opera singer and son of the famed tenor and conductor, apparently did just that, telling Beckwith he had a voice like “a refined Sting.”) He can soar to lilting heights or ground you like a bass line. He is completely self-taught; his formal vocal training consists of a single voice class in college. “I always had some fear around taking formal vocal lessons,” he told The Bhakti Beat. “I guess I was afraid someone would try to tell me how to sing.”