In the four years since she recorded her last album, Love Abounds, kirtan singer-songwriter Brenda McMorrow has toured the world, playing her music at festivals near and abroad, connecting with a wider (and increasingly) dedicated audience and discovering something about her self along the way. Her new release, Igniting the Beauty, reflects the learning and growth she’s experienced exploring the vast territory of Bhakti Yoga (the Yoga of Devotion).
The album’s title, taken from the writings of St. Hildegard von Bingen, speaks to the divine spark that exists within each one of us - the miraculous, unique beauty that we all embody even when we’re not in direct awareness of it. Devotional chant music – or kirtan – can be a vehicle for this “divine ignition” within our hearts.
Each one of the mantras selected for the album holds a special resonance for Brenda and she’s excited to share her musical take on them with her growing audience. “I sing these mantras and songs because they help me remember the Truth of the love and perfection that I am beneath the sometimes ‘crazy-making’ workings of my mind,” say Brenda. “I hope that they can somehow serve others in revealing this for themselves as well.”
While Brenda was the principal songwriter on and driving force behind Igniting the Beauty, she recruited many to assist in the endeavor, starting with acclaimed producer Ben Leinbach, with whom she worked on her previous two releases (Ameya and Love Abounds). Guest artists on the record include Grammy-winner David Darling, Todd Boston, Philippo Franchini, Narada Wise, Adam Bauer, Shannon Kingsbury and Beth Gatchell.
The most notable contribution, however, came from the nearly 250 people who partook in the making of the album by donating to Brenda’s successful crowd funding campaign. The participation of others lent additional inspiration to Brenda through the recording process. To her, “the whole project has felt extra special and very inspired because of it being such a blessed group creation!”
1.) Maha Lahkshmi/Jai Ma -5:36
2.) Sri Ram -8:10
3.) Gayatri/Shine the Light -7:43
4.) Loka Samastha/Om Shanti -6:35
5.) Igniting the Beauty/Namah Shivaya -6:36
6.) Ganesha Om -5:05
7.) Anandamayi -6:22
8.) May I Awaken/Govinda Bolo -3:54