I learned to play guitar at the age of 14 in a course with a young couple that could have sprung out of the movie „Hair“. His finger-picked guitar and her wonderful Joan Baez-like voice inspired me from the start – my „musical fire“ was ignited!
Making music soon became an essential part of my life. The first school band- and self-written song-performances encouraged me to keep going. I was very fortunate to grow further in my studies with a skilled classical guitar teacher for several years.
Different band- and ballad-experiences later, I came in touch with Kundalini Yoga, and at the end of my very first Yoga class, the teacher sang the mantra „Aap Sahai Hoa“ while playing a simple yet wonderful sequence of chords on his guitar. How wonderful! I was fascinated by this music which was totally new to me. It was like a fresh beam of light. The incredible meditative space it created was simply heart-moving!
I was soon asked to regularly play the mantras for the meditations at the end of each Yoga class in that Ashram. This in-depth experience of sound, mantra-chanting and meditation was another „musical initiation“ that seemed to have waited for right there, so I fully embraced it.
I was again very fortunate to meet inspiring, talented Kundalini Yoga musicians, playing with and learning from them personally, singing and performing together, especially at our famous „rock out nights“ at the European Yoga Festivals.
This encouraged me to compose my own melodies to Mantras and Shabads, which gave me a fulfillment beyond any other.
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.
After some years, when the other members of the Khalsa Jetha band eventually chose another path in their lifes, I was left with a void that I was longing to fill.
Still regularly performing with my old rock band, having weekend gigs with „open hair“, it was evident that the regular playing of mantras in Yoga classes and shabads in Gurdwara (Sikh Temple) had become the real love of my heart and soul.
It even sometimes happened that I played a rock concert until 04.00 in the morning, going to a Yoga center right after where I quickly showered and played the early morning Sadhana meditations at 05.30 a.m. (with fingers almost bleeding)!
For me, it feels like all this is fusing into the richness and harmony that I experience with our band mardana today, and that keeps nourishing me, with every single note.