Editor’s Note: This is the second of a two-part interview with Ajeet Kaur. You can also read Part 1, where she shares a truly magical experience that she had while recording “Adi Shakti” for her new album Shuniya.
Are there any special contributors to this album? If so, tell us about them!
Maneesh de Moor produced this album, and he did an incredible job with the music, creating a sacred space that really takes you on a journey. I’m so grateful for this creative genius and the meditative space he brings to his music.
Nirmal, my husband, designed all of the artwork for the book and whole product. He created something so visually beautiful, and it carries the feeling of spaciousness, meditation, and healing that is the intention of this creation. I’m so grateful for his subtlety, talent, and the deep attention he gave to get it to this place.
The musicians on the album are truly incredible. Praful played Bansuri on “Maha Mrityunjai,” and it’s pure magic. Chris Lane played Bansuri on “Adi Shakti” with such powerful subtlety. Sukhmani brought tabla to “Maha Mrityunjai” with the elegance and power that only she could. Ram Dass sang super sweet harmonies of “Ra Ma Da Sa” And, of course, Maneesh offered incredible instrumentation throughout the album.
Last but not least, Arterium took the cover photo and a number of other gorgeous shots for the book and album artwork.
Can you give us a sneak peak into your creative process?
Ajeet: With the Maha Mrityunjai Mantra, I tried to stay as close as possible to the recording Yogi Bhajan used in his classes. I’ve had such profound experiences with those meditations, that I didn’t want to change the music enough that it would change the experience. This was new for me, because usually I write my own melodies and get really creative with the instrumentation and so on. But it was actually really powerful doing so little, because Maneesh and I were able to find such creativity in the most subtle harmonies, the most subtle shifts, while still keeping the essence as close to the original as possible. I also loved that the process of recording this album was very meditative. We recorded late at night, burning sage and palo santo, and really creating space as we recorded that reflected the healing space we want this music to bring you.
The book is another aspect of this project that was really huge for me. I knew that I wanted more than a couple meditations in the liner notes with this project because the meditations that go with this chant are so beautiful, and very difficult to find published anywhere. I’m so blessed that my husband, Nirmal, is a very gifted graphic designer. Together we spent almost a full year finding all the practices that go with this chant, writing the book that shares all of the practices, and then photographing, editing, designing, and editing some more. It was really special for me to go through this process with Nirmal. He is so gifted, and really brought the feeling of Shuniya, silent stillness, to the product itself. He made it the kind of book that you want to hold in your hands as you practice, bringing a vision I had in my heart to life. I feel really blessed now to be able to share our creation with you.
What do you love most about your Kundalini Yoga practice?
Ajeet: I feel very empowered by being able to heal in my own space, without any middle-man, doctor or healer. It lets me support myself, balance myself, and feel more connected to my deeper nature and inner connection. It’s precious.
What do you hope your listeners experience or learn as they listen to your album?
Ajeet: Healing, stillness, silence.
How did come to start practicing Kundalini Yoga?
Ajeet: I grew up practicing Kundalini Yoga as I mother has been practicing since she was in her twenties, but I really began my practice when I had health issues as a child. I met Guru Dev Singh, a healer, who helped me discover how to support my healing with these practices. That relationship and the way I learned to practice with him are a huge part of my inspiration to create this project, and my continued path of healing myself and doing healing work with others.