Although I was aware of Livtar Singh. I was not aware he has been known for over 30 years as one of the most inspirational singers and songwriters of the Khalsa musical heritage. He was also one of the founding members of The Peace Family band along with Guru Ganesha and Snatam Kaur.
His latest album Mountain of Smoke has taken some years to come into fruition for a variety of reasons as you’ll hear in the audio interview. It features Snatam Kaur who recently told me that it initially brought her to tears on first listening to the album.
The album happened due to him playing at the all night music events at the 3HO Summer and Winter Solstices. The people attending these finally persuaded him by taking matters into their own hands. By launching a crowd funding campaign to support the recording of the album.
He was encouraged by Mahan Kalpa Singh (Paul Mahern) The lead singer of the punk band Zero boys. Who produced and engineered the album. To go back into the recording studio, along with Heidi Gluck who plays a variety of instruments on the album. Livtar says he actually really enjoyed the recording process this time not having been in the studio for over 30 years.
The album features 9 tracks, Livtar’s favourite track from the album is I bow. Every time we tune in through yoga and meditation using the mantra Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo. Ong being the creative energy of the universe. Guru Dev the inner teacher. He says we could make this mantra our entire life’s work. Bowing to the creator within, getting out of the way and letting that flow through us, that’s everything.
Livtar was asked to start an Ashram in Atlanta Georgia in the early 70’s. Over the years as it grew they set up health food stores. Through all of this service it ultimately lead to his own revelation which he shares through the track Into the Radiance.
He is open about his own health challenges which lasted some 20 years. Created by an intolerance to Gluten. Through a change of diet and looking at his DNA with his Doctors. He has now recovered.
This album was originally supposed to feature Nirinjan Kaur who became occupied with her family. He invited Snatam Kaur who felt honoured to be asked to contribute. Their duet on Mountain of Smoke which is based on a concept in eastern philosophy. When we go in to our real self the oneness, is sublime.
He is well known for his Song of the Khalsa which has a fascinating story behind it. About how the song came to him which you can hear in the audio interview.
I love this album it feels real and authentic, not over rehearsed. It has been well worth the years it has taken to happen. As Livtar says we have one plan, but God has another.