When I was 14, my mother encouraged me to learn an instrument – but I was everything but „motivated“.
So she borrowed a guitar from a friend and booked a low priced guitar course in a public teaching center, leaving me the choice to drop it if I wouldn‘t like it. Well, that was a deal!
A young couple was teaching – the teacher and his girlfriend looked like from the movie „Hair“.
With no further introduction, he began to play, and his girlfriend began to sing: „House of the Rising Sun“. That was it! The way he played the guitar (finger picking), and her wonderful Joan Baez-like voice struck me head-to-toe from the very first second – that‘s all it took to conquer me and awaken the „musical fire“!
And I said to myself that very moment: THAT‘s the thing I wanna do!
So, music became an essential part of my life. I seemed to be talented enough, the first school band performances and self-written songs played at school events or private parties made people tell me to keep going – and that‘s what I did.
Several years with a very good guitar teacher, as well as different rock band experiences and ballad-performances later, I came in touch with Kundalini Yoga through a friend. At the end of my very first yoga-class, my yoga teacher played the mantra „Aap Sahai Hoa“ with his guitar. Wow – how wonderful!
I didn‘t know this kind of music would even exist!
I began attending yoga classes regularly and soon was asked to play the mantras for the meditations at the end of the class.
That was another „initiation“ in music – the experience of sound, mantra and chanting. It was another dimension of music that I seemed to have longed for, and now it was right there for me. Still performing with my rock band, playing lots of gigs with „open hair“, regularly playing mantras in yoga classes and more complex shabads in Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) became the real love of my heart and soul.
Listening to influencial Kundalini Yoga musicians and having been blessed with meeting and learing from some of them personally, such as Guru Dass Singh and Gurudass Kaur, or Mata Mandir Singh at the early European Yoga Festivals, singing together with them, performing their songs, and also composing my own melodies to Mantras and Shabads, gave me a fulfillment that is beyond any other.
It‘s a treasure of the soul that is a true gift of the Divine – and the direct connection to it.
In the mid 1980‘s, I was one of the founders of the german mantra band „Khalsa Jetha“, of which some „Evergreen“-compositions like the „German Akhan Jor“ arose… We regularly played live at Gurdwaras, and at Sadhanas and Yoga classes whenever we could.
After the other members of Khalsa Jetha eventually chose another path in their lifes, I was looking for a long time for new fellow musicians – that‘s when I met Gurusurya and I was fascinated from the beginning by his wonderful voice and his multiple musical skills. We began working together, making new compositions and experiencing a wider musical dimension.
We felt very blessed when Anna Japa Bhakti joined in summer 2019, right at the European Yoga Festival, with only 1 day for rehearsing for the morning sadhana the next day – and it went so great!
It felt like it had to be – the three of us were one from the start and the band mardana keeps working on new compositions, this time with an emphasis on shabads.