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For many, Krishna is undeniably the God of Compassion. One of Krishna's many personas is as a flute player, giving the gifts of music and joy to the world. It is no surprise to me that supreme vocalist Shashika
Mooruthincorporates the magic of the flute in her performances. Her latest offering, Krishna, The Flute Player echoes generously with resonance of ethnic flute, mesmerizing vocals, and world infused compositions. The nine tracks feature a list of other talented performers as well including Rakesh Chaurasia and Atul Sharma on flute, Pradeep Pandit on bulbul tarang (Punjabi banjo), Rajeev Mahavir on batajon (wooden drum) and Sandeep Mishra on sarangi (Pakistani violin). The native instruments lend an organic authenticity to the music that makes it natural and truthful. Shashika Mooruth is an international singing star with several awards to her credit. She started her own label, Urja Music in 2003 and she has had more than fifteen successful releases for the label. The magic on this album Krishna, the Flute Player takes you where you want to go.The Flute Breathes is the opening tune and I could tell from the start that Mooruth knows how to use her own instrument well. Her voice is soft, sometimes whispery, and as clear as a diamond with a great deal of luster. The tune is almost eight minutes long, but it could have gone on forever. Haunting refrains begin the music, but as it continues it sounds like a restless bird on the wing. There is joy here and the ebullient measure of freedom.Playing out with musical abandon, Conversations with a Flute is polyphonic duet between Shashika's enchanting voice and the flute flitting about. The sound is almost improvisational, but most pleasing. What we hear is an agreement that everything is good in the now. We agree on the sunshine, we agree on the goodness.The woods are full of life as suggested by the song Deep in the Forest. Shashika's voice is gentle and sweet as she calls to her friends. There is the sound of the wind through the trees, water spilling over rocks, and life every where. The music has a dreamlike quality to it. The atmosphere is full of sun powered vitality.The Inner Calling is an energy driven tune with a playful spirit. The flute is dominant in this song, pulsing though the air, rising, falling, and punctuating the atmosphere. Knowing that music stems from within gives a great deal of inspiration to this music. The trilling melody is the knowledge of happiness.Electronic piano opens the song Kirtan Mela. It is a lively group chant asking for blessings. Invoking the "Holy Name", the expectation is one of a miraculous happening. Anyone listening to this song could not help from joining in whether in song or rhythm. Shashika's voice has a hypnotic quality to it as if we cannot help but follow along with the invocation. The Soul Dancer, the final cut on the recording is tender, with Western refrains in it that remind me of a theme song for someone hopeful. Someone looking for assurance. Shashika's vocal has an adolescent quality to it, as if a young girl is asking the world to tell her the future. There was a compassionate feel to the song that I liked.Shashika Mooruth and company seemed to have achieved their goals of kindness and love on the album. Every song was gentle, every note poignant. Every vocal was peaceful and pleasurable. Why am I here is a question one asks oneself, probably all their lives. I do it daily. Perhaps somewhere hidden in these notes is the responses. I’m pretty sure I heard some of the answers in the music. Reviewed by RJ Lannan, The Sounding Board.

Recorded in Mumbai. 

Genre: World Music

Run time: 46 mins.

Release date: 2016.

Format: mp3

Credits: Shashika Mooruth (singer); Composed and Arranged: Shashika Mooruth, Rajeev Mahavir Lyrics: Shashika Mooruth, Rajeev Mahavir

Flute: Rakesh Chaurasia and Atul Sharma Sarangi: Sandeep Mishra Batajon: Rajeev Mahavir Bulbul Tarang: Pradeep Pandit 

Produced by Urja Music (Pty) Ltd


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