aeonsWe are LOVING Charpanpal’s beautiful new album Aeons. If you haven’t heard it yet, do yourself a favor and listen to it immediately! Allow yourself to be transported by the soothing sonic soundscape created on this gorgeous album! We wanted to find out a little bit more about Charanpal and the inspiration behind Aeons – she graciously answered some questions for us!

Spirit Voyage: What was your inspiration for this album?

Charanpal: Right at the beginning of recording Aeons, I had a really profound dream that just blew me away. I was going through some tough challenges at the time, and in the dream, a friend came up to me assuredly and said, “The aeons of dust turn positive.” I woke up and knew that everything would be ok, and was so moved by those words that they became the working title of the album. Overcoming grief was my motivation, and creating a sound powerful enough to lift me up out of my darkness became my main focus and inspiration. The album has an epic feel to it at moments. I was using these mantras to get through and feel victorious.

Spirit Voyage: What makes this album different from the rest of the albums in your catalog?

Charanpal: We recorded this album in my hometown of Santa Cruz, California. I called upon my local musician friends that I have been playing music with for more than a decade. Prior to singing mantra, I was in a touring band with them. We played mostly reggae and world-influenced music.

I have a really deep connection to these musicians, and together we create a unique sound, and so when recording Aeons, I wasn’t afraid to let that sound come through, even though it is not a traditional sacred chant sound.

There’s a strong presence of African and Caribbean drumming on the opening tracks. Those grooves are testament to our affinity for roots music and the influence it has had on us. The drummer on Aeons, Johnny B, has played with numerous reggae and afrobeat bands, included the late and great Babatunde Olatunji. I love the way he creates a deep spacey pocket and groove for the mantra to just soar on!

Spirit Voyage: Can you share a story from the making of this album?

Charanpal: Yes! When it was time to wrap up the album, I was feeling bummed out because I was hoping my friend, Gurunam Singh, would be able to record backing vocals on the last track, The Lighthouse. He is super busy, traveling a lot, so it was looking like he was not going to be able to make the time for it. Right in the nick of time, he gives us a call from Ram Dass Khalsa’s studio and says he has a small window where they could make it happen.

CHARANPAL-KAUR---PROMO-PHOTO-CROPPED-SQUAREI had been driving at the time of his call, and had pulled over to talk. Right after he shared the good news, I hung up the phone and looked up to see that I had pulled over right in front of a sign that said, “The Lighthouse” on it!!! No joke! It’s a company that does window installations. I had never seen that sign before, though I must have passed it a thousand times. Sometimes you just know you are being guided, and that was one of those times.

Spirit Voyage: Is there something that your fans would love to know from the making of this album?

Charanpal: I was just reading the other day about how Divine Creativity comes through the channels that are most open to it. Certain ideas, and inventions, for example, come to the planet when the planet is ready for it. Those who are open, receive the information.

I have to say that when making Aeons, there were certain moments where I felt like I was totally out of control… in the good kind of way. I went up a hill with my guitar one day, for instance, and the power of the sun was so strong, it felt like the melody for Pavan was being poured into my heart by those sun rays. In one sitting, Pavan in its entirety was birthed by the sun.

Another example is when I was writing Stay Close, My Heart. I had fallen in love with the Rumi poem of the same title, and crafted a melody using some of the words from that poem. The song felt pretty complete to me, but then, ‘Antarjami purkh bhidate’, the words of Guru Nanak started entering the creative space before I had a chance to put my guitar down.

I wasn’t very familiar with the words of ‘Antarjami’ at the time, and so I resisted placing them into the song. Upon meditation, however, it seemed to fit perfectly. Antarjami is the knower-of-hearts. Rumi’s poem expresses, ‘Stay Close, My Heart, to the one who knows your ways.”

Charanpal-(Pink-Chunni)It all just seemed to fall from the sky, and I happened to be open enough to let it all come in. On a mental level, I didn’t even know what it all meant, or how the two parts of the song were at all related, but I knew that I wasn’t in control, and so I stopped resisting.

I learned a lot. Mostly, that creating isn’t a mental act. The magic of creating is in emptying the mind so the mind can hear, and be filled with whatever wants to come through from Spirit.

Spirit Voyage: Are there any special contributors to this album? If so, tell us about them!

Charanpal: Aside from Gurunam and Johnny B, the man that co-produced Aeons with me, Andy Zenczak, played a large role in defining the sound. He is a studio engineer, and owner of Gadgetbox Studios here in Santa Cruz. I’ve been recording music with him since 2003! I really trust his ear. Recording engineers play a huge role in making an album. Basically, Andy helped set the tone for Aeons; a lush, warm and round tone.

I also called upon four of my sister friends that love to sing and we gathered in the studio in front of 3 microphones and created the group choir vocals for Ad Guray Nameh and Har Mukande. Those two songs were sounding pretty good, but once we added the shakti energy, it brought everything up. Wow.



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