Well, April 2011 is the eleven year anniversary of Aradhna’s first recording, Deep Jale. Chris and Pete had been living in Lucknow, India writing and rearranging bhajans for the album but headed to Fayetteville, Ga to record at the back of a mail order milking goat supply company.
The studio was little more than a closed in barn that struggled to keep out the rain. We ran an early version of Cool Edit Pro on a PC and lined up the shure SM 57s and 58s to make Deep Jale. It was a whirlwind 3 weeks of trial and error. We didn’t even have a tabla player. Thankfully a friend introduced us to Naren Bhudakar from New York and he flew down for a couple of days and saved the recording. We were completely inexperienced but full of excitement and abundant youth.
Deep Jale was supposed to be a one off; something simple and reproducible in intimate or congregational settings. We made it that way on purpose, trying to capture the worship experience that had already changed both our lives dramatically.
We called in a thousands favors (that we never earned) from friends to put up a website, make the cd booklet, cover art etc. and we printed off 1000 copies expecting them to lie around for years. But it wasn’t long before we started getting emails and calls from all over the world asking us to come perform. That was really the beginning of Aradhna.
So 11 years, 5 continents, hundreds of concerts, 5 albums, and 1 DVD later, here we are, touring and loving this music more than ever. Thanks to all of you that have joined us for the journey. Look for us in your town (or near by) this year…we will probably be there at some point.
In celebration, we are offering 50% OFF at the Aradhna online store, basically Buy 1 Get 1 FREE for the next week (thru May 7). Just use COUPON CODE: DEEPJALEBIRTHDAY. Aradhna is happy to still be making music and happier still that it just keeps getting better.
Thank you All!
Pete and Chris
Aradhna will be spending the end of March in OH & KY. With concerts in Toledo, Cincinnati, Louisville & Columbus. Hope to see you there.
Namaste Saté & Companion DVD Sau Guna
For Immediate Release | January 26, 2011
“Aradhna … digs deep in a contemplative, meditative way.” — Paste Magazine
“Aradhna … could easily be a hit on radio stations playing independent or world music.” — The Phantom Tollbooth
On January 26th, 2011, acclaimed Indian/North American fusion band Aradhna will release their fifth album, Namaste Saté. Band members Chris Hale (sitar, vocals), Peter Hicks (acoustic and electric guitars, vocals), Jim Feist (tablas), and Travis McAfee (bass, vocals) blend traditional Indian devotional music (bhajans) with western folk and rock instrumentation. The lyrics are Christ-centered, but composed primarily in the Hindi language.
As is true of every Aradhna album, Namaste Saté is a study in contrasts, featuring eastern and western instrumentation, Hindi and English lyrics, ancient texts and modern beats, and soothing, contemplative whispers and soaring, post-rock crescendos. While Aradhna’s musical approach remains as searching and eclectic as ever, the new album features a more rock-oriented approach than 2007’s Amrit Vani. “Yapudhe” sounds like what might have happened if U2 had been raised in New Delhi instead of Dublin, and the title track employs the trademarked slow build of post-rock giants such as Sigur Ros and Mogwai. “Suralata” even mixes in a little Eagles country rock. However, longtime fans of Aradhna need not fear. The foundation of Aradhna’s music remains the music of India’s devotional past and present, and sitars and tablas are still the dominant instruments. Those who treasure Aradhna’s albums for their commitment to classical Indian music will find much to love. Those who come looking for a contemplative worship experience will find music to soothe their souls. And those who cherish soaring, post-rock crescendos may find a new band to champion. Jonsi and his Icelandic falsetto have got nothing on Chris Hale and his soulful Hindi vocals.
A companion DVD, Sau Guna, will also be released simultaneously with the album. Produced by filmmaker Ben Stamper, and filmed in and around the holy city of Varanasi (formerly Benares) and the Ganges River, Sau Guna’s six videos showcase both the music of Namaste Saté and the breathaking region that inspired the songs. Much more than a traditional music video, Sau Guna serves as a cinematic feast for the eyes, a sumptuously filmed travelog that captures the soul of an ancient city.
A U.S. tour will follow the album and DVD release.
For further information, contact: Pete Hicks or (678) 467-7758