From combined efforts in India and California, comes a groundbreaking new project called OMKARA. Just released is an album of chakra balancing music called OMKARA – The Sound of Divine Love. But OMKARA represents much more than just a musical recording. It is also an ongoing research project that deals with sound in conjunction with medical facilities in India that work with conditions such as cancer, cerebral palsy, autism, epilepsy, mental retardation, pain relief, depression, and more.
For thousands of years various cultures around the world have been aware of and have used the power of sound in their healing and spiritual practices. In modern times, science is catching up with these ancient teachings and providing the research to prove their validity. Contrary to the old notion that art and music are processed in the right side of the brain, the language and math in the left, recent findings show that music is distributed throughout the brain. Research supports connections between speech and singing, rhythm and motor skills, enhancement of mood, distraction from the pain and anxiety. Contemporary applications of sound also include the use of ultrasound to check internal organs, to break up kidney stones, repair DNA, and the calming effects of music to treat a variety of conditions. However, music and sound can also affect the energy systems of the body beyond the physical.
While awareness of chakras, or energy centers in our body may be considered esoteric in the West, in India it is common knowledge. Each of the chakras, which balance the emotional, intellectual, physical and spiritual aspect of being, can be related to certain sound frequencies and musical notes. Everything in this Universe has energy, vibrations, and sound, and we are connected with each other through vibrations.
Although many people from different countries are involved on various levels with this project, the director and visionary behind the endeavor is Rupam Sarmah. Originally from Assam, India, Rupam currently lives in California and is an engineer, film director, award-winning singer-songwriter, and producer who spent years researching ancient music and science, and the relationship of the body and mind. He is known for creating a Guinness World Record® by composing and directing a symphony entitled: A Musical Journey for World Peace, with 315 unique musical instruments from all over the world and over 500 performers on the stage! He has also written screenplays, numerous songs in various languages, and film scores for over 20 years.
It was actually his work in film that led to the creation of OMKARA. As Rupam explains: “I was doing research about my next film that I am directing, where the theme is ‘Possibility in Disability’. Music therapy is an integral part of this film. While studying and meeting different people with physical and mental challenges, it gave me the inspiration to know more about them and how I can help them. I have started using various instruments and songs that helped with motor skills, improved behavior, increased attention, etc. This motivated me further to look into the science of musical notes, frequency and chakra energy that helped me create OMKARA – The Sound of Divine Love.”
The album, recorded in both India and California, represents collaborations with top international artists, featuring GRAMMY winners Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Laura Sullivan, Rocio Marron, and others. The CD was mixed and mastered by 4-time GRAMMY winner Brian Vibberts who has worked with Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, and Elton John. With eight tracks and more than 105 minutes of music, the recording combines classical Indian ragas, Western music, and World music with deliberately crafted frequencies. Instrumentation includes Mohan Veena (slide guitar), piano, keyboards, viola, tabla, percussion, acoustic guitar, saxophone, flute, sarengi, dotara, tamboura, vocals and many other acoustic instruments. Each of the tracks represents one of the seven chakras. The eighth track, a new energy point named “Heaven Bridge” is composed with nine different creative frequencies that take listeners on a journey from birth to enlightenment. OMKARA literally means “Sound of God.” Based on years of research, the music demonstrates the positive connection between musical notes, fundamental science, the creative frequencies of the universe, and chakra energy.
The album includes a beautiful full-color booklet with extensive information regarding the work of the OMKARA project in general, as well as specific details on each chakra, such as where it is located, the color, element, musical note, emotional qualities when balanced and unbalanced, frequency, and Indian ragas associated with it. Not surprisingly, the music in general has a strong Indian influence, with Western and World music instruments tastefully woven into the mix. While some chakra albums tend to be very meditative throughout, the music here blends meditative elements with earthy rhythms, some of which are quite upbeat and energizing. Each chakra reflects it’s own distinctive sound. The music is incredibly deep and detailed. The level of musicianship is astounding – absolutely world class.
A particularly interesting feature that distinguishes this recording is the inclusion the aforementioned eighth track called“Heaven Bridge,” which represents a realm beyond the traditional seven chakras. This is an extended piece that is almost 24 minutes in length. Like the other pieces, it is based on traditional melodies with influences of Indian raga’s, however this one has a more free-flowing, almost jazzy improvisational-sounding feel to it. The music on the album is extremely well recorded and produced, which adds to the dimensionality of the listening experience. For those who want to go to the next level with it, the album available in multiple versions – stereo, high-resolution, 5.1 surround sound, and special edition. The album can be purchased from iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and other retail stores. www.OmkaraDivineLove.com/store.
This impressive recording, which is up for GRAMMY consideration in the World Music category, represents but one aspect of the work being done with OMKARA. According to Rupam: “With the concept and sounds of OMKARA, we have brought World music a large step forward. It is a unique experience of Eastern and Western music, based on tradition yet with forward-thinking creations of sound. There will be much more music composed with this concept and will continue doing the research and release new OMKARA music in the future.” In addition to its contribution to the musical landscape, OMKARA, based on years of scientific research about ancient music, is continuing to explore this fascinating frontier. Rupamʼs goal is to uplift consciousness in the world however he can, and his work reflects, in his words.“the message of Oneness in God, Humanity, World Peace, and Love.”