New beginnings

The daffodils are out - spring is coming! After hibernating a fair bit musically over the last year, spring is setting change in motion.

Change #1 I am embracing my birth name of Sarah. Since many know me as Premratna, this will continue to be used for context. 

 Change #2 I have moved away from the big smoke Auckland and to the stunning Bay of Plenty. It's amazing. I intend to continue trips to my home town and stay connected to the communities there, especially where I've shared music in the last year: Wise Cicada, Golden Yogi, Om Yoga Studio, Yoga Ground and Kawai Purapura. So far in the Tauranga area I've been leading kirtan in conjunction with Wild and Grace and aim to diversify now that I'm finding my feet.

LYF 2017

Change #3 An additional tier to my bow: I'm helping out coordinating music for the Little Yoga Festival in Mount Maunganui September 15-17. It's a wellness festival with fabulous music, yoga, plenty of other workshops and talks. Kids under 14 are free. The tickets are so reasonably priced that you can travel here and get accommodation (with discounts) all for less than a bigger festival in the big smoke. I'll be playing there too. Come say hi!

Autumn - Spring - Summer - Winter

Festival season continued well into the autumn in NZ this year. And then...!!!

I went to Switzerland where I had an amazing week making music as part of the Free Soul School collaboration where musicians from around the world recorded an album together. Completely from scratch. One track started with exploring the sound of dripping water. Another with an accordian jam. The track I started came through while eating yummy Swiss cheese a couple of hours after a cacao ceremony. Check out the album, especially my favourites Light Refraction (cacao induced) and Swingatomique.

The rest of my travels in Japan, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Germany, France and China were pretty epic and doubtless will reflect in my music - watch this space ;) 

Now I'm back in NZ, it's winter, and I'm enjoying hibernation alongside the swift fading of my tan. A perfect time to hunker in and listen to/play music. Except really, every time is a great time for that. For some chill out acoustic vibes, here's my 2001 song as filmed at the Delightful Festival of Body and Sound.

Summer music and kirtan!

The sun is shining, the weather is sweet... makes me wanna move my dancing feet! Festival season is in full swing and so far has been a heap of fun.

The year started with my band Shakti Sacred Music playing in the rain in the Coromandel on Prana's Circle stage for the final New Year festival there. It was my 9th Prana and 5th as a performing musician, and a beautiful way to finish this chapter.

For Evolve Festival in Nelson - I teamed up with my mate Gareth Edwards amidst the bubbles.

For Wanderlust this year in Taupo, I created a soundscape accompaniment for a few of Vincent Boletta's classes using Native American flute, guitar and voice. It was very creatively satisfying to interpret the class into music and there was great feedback - my first time using flute for asana class, and boy, was it a pranayama (breathing) practice in itself! My friends Emma (Shakti), Gabrielle (The Gaya Tree) and I also shared a couple of tracks at the Open Mic on Saturday night.

Awakening Vajra Centre opening

Awakening Vajra Centre opening

The Awakening Vajra Buddhist Centre opened at Auckland's Kawai Purapura retreat centre and my group Shakti Sacred Music played in the afternoon amongst a fabulous line up - after us came Johnny Boon's Rhythm Interactive then Matiu Te Huki in the evening!

 

And there's more to come! Kawai Purapura's yoga festival is on 19-21 February. Shakti Sacred Music are playing Friday night and I'm playing on the kirtan stage Saturday 2pm. Sunday 4pm is my workshop Yoga, Singing and the Heart - it was beautiful at last year's festival and no doubt will be incredible this year too. I meet such lovely people with this type of sharing - maybe I'll see you there? On yogafestival.nz, straight away you'll hear my track Gayatri as the soundtrack on the video playing.

Shakti Sacred Music will also be at Voices of Sacred Earth at Kawai Purapura in March too. Also keep your eyes peeled for Earthbeat in early April.

 

Spring has sprung

Spring is busting through - the freesias and the jonquils are out and so am I!

I'm really excited to have had my first taste of playing live music during a yin yoga class. It was magic.

"I loved it. I've never done yoga to music before," was one yogi's feedback.

I sang one of my favourite songs called Awake my dear. You can watch a snippet of this from a fabulous variety gig I did recent;y alongside acrobatics, silks and a ceilidh - a snippet is here: 

Awake my dear was the kind of song that came to me at a time I needed it most. I called my answerphone so that I wouldn't lose it - ah, life before smartphones. The chorus came from the front of a card I was given when I left Yasodhara ashram after a year living there:

Awake my dear, be kind to your sleeping heart.

Take it out into the vast field of Light and let it breathe.

Divine guidance indeed. 

AWAKE Debut Album Release Celebration

Premratna's debut album Awake is out very soon! Aucklanders can come and join in the celebration, complete with live musicians playing tracks from the album on Sunday March 22.

Don't live in Auckland? You can purchase the album (or the single track Awake My Dear) on iTunes from March 22.