Celebration!

We just made it to the finish line with my heart’s project, my first CD of kirtan music, Heart Beats OneThe album—a collection of soulful interpretations of sacred chants from the traditions of yoga— took way longer than I first anticipated. As it took shape, four things happened: I deepened my practice of meditation through music, I came up with all kinds of new ideas for the music, a number of stellar musicians and production people became available to contribute their gifts, and I redefined “good enough” over and over and over.

When I listened to the final product, I was filled with gratitude. It was worth the wait. I actually found myself in tears listening to the title track—my own song—as I thought of all the other souls whose hearts have been beating in time with mine while the CD evolved. My gratitude spills over.

But that’s not the only cause for celebration. I’ve got a beautiful new web site, redesigned from the ground up to better serve all of you. It now includes jukeboxes for sampling each of my albums, Many of the sample tracks play all the way through, and all are available for download with a clickthrough to CD Baby, where you can also buy physical CDs at discount prices. (In a few days the album will be on iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, and other Web music outlets, but why wait? CD Baby has it now!)

And then there’s the ever-growing list of exciting events on my calendar. For starters, I’ll be singing and chanting at Bhaktifest, the gigantic yoga/kirtan festival in early September in Joshua Tree, California. On the opening morning of the festival I’ll be playing for Kristin Olson’s yoga class and on the closing day I’ll be singing with David Newman -and others throughout the beautiful weekend. For years I’ve longed to attend, but other things always got in the way. I never thought that I’d be going for the first time with my own just-released CD under my belt. (Again, when I say “my own,” I really mean “the CD that so many talented individuals—and the Universe—supported me in creating every step of the way.)

At the end of September I’ll rejoin the RhythmAsana team for our first Moving-Into-Deep-Joy event in several months in my Corvallis hometown. and then I’ll start packing for the One Heart One Soul Tour with Mike Cohen. We’ll be doing joint kirtans, Lullaby Yoga classes, mini-workshops, festivals (including the Om Festival with Girish) and more from Seattle to San Diego. (See Events in the sidebar.) If you’re interested in bringing us to your area, let us know right away; we still have a few open dates.

In the meantime, I’m happily imagining all the ways I’ll be connecting with each of you, as you listen to my songs, sing along, come to a kirtan or Lullaby Yoga class.

May our hearts continue to beat as one.

Johanna

Taking a Moment to Breathe

For more than a year I’ve been giving most of my attention to Heart Beats One, the kirtan CD we’ll be releasing in September. But every once in a while something reminds me that my music can take on a life of its own. That happened last week when I discovered a YouTube video of  Singing Out performing Free to Decide (Breathe) at a Toronto pride concert last June.

I’ve never met any of these people, but I’m deeply grateful to them for creating such a beautiful rendition of my song. The timing of my discovery couldn’t be more appropriate, and I’m ever-so-proud.

The Joy of Creation

It’s been a over a year now since I began recording a CD of original kirtan music. Little did I know, when I began, what it would take. For one thing, this process keeps driving me deeper into my practice of chanting and yoga. I can’t imagine how I could have been here without the gifts (and challenges) or my practice.
Life has supported me in so many ways.For one thing, there’s my loyal and incredibly patient production team, and they’ve stayed by me. (Thank you, Lyris, George, and the rest of you!)
For the last few months I’ve spent most of my free time in the recording studio,  but I’ve never been alone. For one thing, I’ve had the help of a talented sound engineer, Daniel Riddle. And then there’s Ben Leinbach, who’s adding his touch. Benjy Wertheimer, Girish, Gina Sala, and Michael Sterling and a big array of gifted kirtan practitioners have added their unique flavor. So far it’s exceeding my wildest expectations about what is possible.
Stay tuned for more….

Back to the Future with Girish

Hi, All!

It has been a while since I posted a blog, but it’s time. I’ve got big news. But first, some background.

Flash back to five years ago. I’m on a mini-tour with Lyris, my best friend and bassist. It’s a rough time for both of us, but especially for her—she’s experiencing PTSD from an recent auto accident.

During our show it starts snowing. As we load our gear into my funky Toyota, panic begins to overtake her. I tuck a blanket around her and put on one of the half-dozen CDs I have in the car. A soothing voice works its magic on both of us and we’re able to drive home safely, embraced by a deep sense of serenity. The magical music was from kirtan singer Girish.

Over the next few years I embraced kirtan as an art form and a spiritual practice. A community of singers and players, in turn, embraced me and helped me to create my own album of original kirtan music.

Fast forward to one month ago. I open an email and see that name again. Girish, one of my inspirations on my journey, is asking me to back him up on his Northwest tour! What do you think I said?

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be joining him from February 28th through March 2nd in Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia. And one of the best parts is that Lyris, still my BFF and sometimes bassist, will join us for the last couple of stops on the tour. Check out the details here: http://www.girishmusic.com.

In the meantime, back to the studio; the almost-finished album needs my attention. Big news about that coming soon….

–Johanna

On the Edge of a Divine Year

2014 was a busy year for Johanna.

Before the dust could settle on the newly-launched CD The Edge of Divine and the companion web site (this one), Johanna and company launched a new recording project—her first kirtan CD. We convinced ourselves that it would be much easier to record than the singer/songwriter CDs she’d done before. “How hard can it be to record kirtan? We’ll have this out before summer is over.” (more…)

Johannasings Again!

Welcome to the all-new Johannasings.com!

When we created the original johannasings site, we were rightfully proud. It was pretty much state-of-the-art multimedia for its day. But that day was a long time ago. The typical computer screen was 640×480, videos had to be delivered via proprietary technologies like QuickTime, and nobody we knew checked the web on their phone.

So when Johanna released her new album, we decided it wouldn’t work to simply update the old site. We needed to kill it and start fresh. You’re looking at the results. And if we did it right, those results should look OK whether you’re using a massive computer monitor or a pocket-sized device. We think it looks best on a bigger screen, but it does the job on mobile devices, too. Whatever portal you’re using, we want you to be able to easily find what you need.

We also want it to be easy for you to communicate with us. We’d love your feedback about this site and how we can make it work better for you. The Contact page makes it easy to send us a message, join our email list, or become our Facebook friend. Of course, the best kind of contact is the in-person kind. Come see us at a concert, a kirtan, or a RhythmAsana workshop. Join us on the journey!

—George