The Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, TX
by Features Editor: Carol Nuckols September 2002
To live fully in the moment, to surrender to the divine plan when you can't possibly know what it is - these are difficult challenges. It helps to know that someone has gone before. California singer/songwriter Kirtana has, with great caring and insight and devotion.
With her dusky vocals and gentle guitar work, Kirtana professes necessary truths. "Stop to hear the music in your heart... Surrender to the music", she besseches on the opening track of her latest CD, A Deeper Surrender.
'Do You Hear the Music' is only one song on the new disc to accept an invititation to the dance of life. "When you asked me if I'd like to dance... I took your hand. I didn't know where you would dance me to... ", she sings on 'Open Secret'. It's all about trust, about being open to the mysteries that can be revealed if only you answer "Yes".
Not that it's always easy, as 'The Satguru Song' indicates. Love can be excruciating as well as exhilarating when it strips you down to pure essence.
But are these love songs to the human or the divine? Is there any difference? When you fully experience the here and now, and surrender to it, as she suggests, don't you sanctify the mundane? Kirtana helps us to dissolve artificial boundaries. With gracious melodies, life-affirming lyrics and spare but lovely acoustic arrangements (guitar, violin, cello, the occasional mandolin, flute or organ), she leads us to union with nature, spirit and our fellow travelers on this path.
"Can you separate yourself from the sum?"
Why would you want to try?
Branches of Light / Banyen Books and Sound (Vol.21)
In September 2002, Kirtana, sitting on stage with only her guitar in the darkened Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver, sang two or three songs that opened thirteen hundred hearts into the tenderness of living presence. She was "the warm-up band" for Eckhart Tolle, who spent the afternoon speaking about "The Power of Now". Several hundred of these people wanted to buy Kirtana's recordings, and A Deeper Surrender is her latest release. Her lyrics, inspired by a firsthand taste of the magnificence of Spirit, are beautifully set amid musical accompaniments that include, in addition to her guitar, David Darling on cello, and tasteful passages of violins, piano, dumbek, flute, and harmony vocals.
Is it in the sunlit meadow? Is it in the rocks and trees?
Is it in the blue and yellow? Is it in the one who sees?
This radiance I recognize, even when I close my eyes.
Lovely liner notes provide texts of the lyrics (thankfully Kirtana gets her message across in really very few words, that shine in a warm space of the heart), context for each song, and lists of musicians for each track. Following the river of her music and Kirtana's images will take you to a refreshing, resonant openness.
Kirtana's earlier CD, This Embrace, contains the songs she sang at the Orpheum mentioned above. It's a heart-jewel, too.
New Renaissance Books
by Cori Wardle
" ...An extraordinary journey into the heart and soul of a truth seeker. Through her gentle acoustical guitar and angelic alto voice, she asks the big questions, ponders the wonders and expresses her joy in the Divine. She conveys the love of an all-permeating, ever-present energy that exists within and surrounds all. 'A Deeper Surrender' is an excellent addition to anyone's collection of beautiful, high vibrational music. I highly recommend this CD as a unique and ever-giving gift."