Welcome friends, fans, and extended family!
It's a very, very hot day in Northern California and I'm reminded of the first time I walked through my fear and pushed myself to go out and share Kirtan with you. The setting was Bakersfield, in the center of the dry, dusty California desert, and the year was 1969. My friends and I were on a mission to bring Kirtan to the young people of the world! So we packed up our instruments (sarod, guitar, tabla and violin) and set up a 'portable temple' at Cal State University and began jamming. Before we knew it, a crowd was gathered around singing and swaying, and we were on our way....
Well, pretty soon I realized that I actually didn't know enough about anything to be on any kind of a 'mission'! But I did know that I loved music and that I loved sharing the practice of devotional singing, and that I had absolutely no other skills! There was nothing else for me to do... And those of you who have been with me from the beginning know that sacred music is not just a career for me, it's a deep life calling. And there has never really been a question about my answering that call.
Time has passed, and I realize that I've been a part of your lives for over 45 years; driving with you, dancing with you, cooking with you, loving with you, and hopefully helping your inner healing and bringing happiness to your heart. So what's next? I'm 65 and my soul is calling for a slightly different tempo, a new rhythm, and I'd like to invite you and give you the opportunity to join me in a beautiful circle of sharing called Patreon.
What is patronage?
My musical Guru, Ali Akbar Khan, used to speak so sweetly about his time in the Rajasthani court, playing for the king who became his patron and benefactor. It was a time where he didn't need to think about the basic necessities of life and he could concentrate solely on his music. Khansahib, as we lovingly called him, claimed he would never have become the maestro that he was without having had that patronage. And the same is true for so many of the greatest artists, playwrights, scientists and musicians of history - they all had patrons helping them to achieve their life's vision. In the traditions of Ancient India this concept was taken much further. Even today it's considered a blessing to offer food or money to any sadhu, or spiritual seeker, who comes to your door.
Well, it's 2016 and times have changed. The days of royal patronage are long gone. But now, with crowdfunding and other miracles, we're relearning the art of giving in a new and very modern way. As we rediscover our interconnectedness and interdependence, we find the awareness that we all need to become patrons of each other.
Enter Patreon - a new web platform based upon an ancient principal, wherein fans can become an integral part of the lives of the artists they love. Through Patreon, I'm creating a circle of devotion; an opportunity for us to be involved in something bigger than ourselves. My devotion to you, my fans, echoes and mirrors your devotion to me and to my music, and, together, like pebbles dropping into still water, our spirits can ripple outward with more energy, integrity and light. I'm not asking you to 'support' me in my creative process; I'm inviting you to become part of my creative and devotional world. Be my co-creator by joining me on Patreon and allowing me to keep on giving my art and my heart to you!
Thank youYou can become a patron for as little as $1 a month, but you can give AS MUCH as you want!
Your support is very meaningful to me, and I look forward to connecting with you here on Patreon!