Review of Pt. Deobrat Mishra’s New Album: Yoga Mantra
Traditionally, you might have listened to various Sanskrit mantras chanted like hymns or may be sung in what the Western world knows as the Kīrtana style. With “Yoga Mantra”, you will hear some of the choicest Sanskrit Mantras sung in the traditional Hindustani style of Indian classical music. Well, for me at least, this was the first time and truly a beautiful experience to listen to these mantras riding on those Rāgas.
Interspersed beautifully with Sitar and silver flute, the mantras have a very strong impact on the
listener. If you have ever heard of Indian classical music and you appreciate a bit of its finer aspects, you will love the whole album!
Album Name: Yoga Mantra
Artist (s) Name: Deobrat Mishra, Dean Evenson, Prashant Mishra
Total Time: 59:42
There are seven tracks on the album including mantras and bhajans and all of them are associated with different deities, though three are dedicated to Lord Shiva.
The album starts with the Gayatri Mantra, which happens to be the longest one on the album, and for almost four minutes into the piece, you will get to experience the Alāpa style where the rendition opens like the petals of a morning flower. Imagine putting aside the slumber and getting into the groove, as the Tabla invites you to get into the rhythm of the dynamism, slowly. Dean Evenson’s touch on the flute makes it heavenly. Pt. Deobrat’s soothing voice allows you to move gradually into the feel of this powerful mantra and the harmonized chant of ‘Om’ is also very powerful. I like the subtlety with which the mantra has been rendered—it is not esoteric in its approach and therefore talks to you like your friend.
Welcome to the percussive power of Ganesha, as Prashant Mishra begins the piece giving you the imagery of the arrival of a god that is worshipped as the first one among everybody and carries the head of an elephant. It is in this piece that you will get a glimpse of the play of the classical Rāgas and the prowess of Pt. Deobrat’s vocal capabilities. I remember the tune playing in my mind over and over again throughout the day. Very beautifully done!
The next three pieces are dedicated to Lord Shiva showcasing different nuances of the classical style. Ample duration is given for the instruments to shine through, which adds to its beauty. The ease with which Pt. Deobrat delivers the mantras supported by the Sitar is truly mesmerizing. It is rare to listen to an artist who sings and plays simultaneously with such finesse!
The penultimate one is dedicated to the Guru and the last one is dedicated to the feminine form of God.
Like a fresh breeze, the album allows you to marvel and enjoy various genres and styles and offers a full devotional experience suitable for oriental and western listeners, alike. I asked my daughter to close her eyes and listen to a couple of the pieces and even she liked the collaboration between the western flute and Indian instruments. If a fifth-grader could appreciate it, I am sure a serious listener would love it!