Water Down the Ganges
Manish Vyas, Prem Joshua
Copyright 2002 all rights reserved
Take a trip on a boat floating down your inner Ganges… this album enters your senses with rich images of the east – from rhythmical and energetic pieces - all masterfully played on instruments like Sitar, Santoor, Bamboo flute, Soprano Sax, Tabla.
Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas, both extraordinary multi-instrumentalists, composers and musical partners for 15 years – have recorded some works jointly as well as touring together in Europe and US during many years.
This is their first album under both their names – an Eastern inspired collection of compositions plated with high craftsmanship and creativity.
This album captures that deep feel of India and its music with two fantastic musicians: through Manish's typical Eastern-trained voice, and tabla, santoor, keyboards, darbuka and percussions; and Prem Joshua contributing with vocals, sitar, saxophone and bansuri; both nicely merging into a unique fusion East and West: graceful, romantic, melodic, relaxing, just beautiful to listen ... close the eyes and travel into the depths of River Ganga and its ancient and mystical stories, unique in the world of mysticism ...yesterday, today and forever.
I heard 'Water down the Ganges' on sirius radio today and went immediately to iTunes and purchased. Totally awesome. I am sure I speak on behalf of all the yogis here in the Arizona desert that we would love to hear you play a concert here. Namaste.
-- Robert McIntosh , AR, USA
I listen to this CD virtually every day now. I particularly like Sawari and Trust. I am looking forward to the next release. Thank you so much for the gift of your music. It is incredible.
-- Anita Bardalai, Danbury, CT, USA
I like vocals alaps in "Shivoham" and "Water down the Ganges". Prem Joshua & Manish Vyas' music is the best combination in the whole world.
-- Mayur Vyas, Jhambua, INDIA
Stretch The Mind Into Silence
Vyas and Joshua have played together since 1987 and have collaborated on ten recordings, but this is the first album that they have conceived and composed together. Though they are accustomed to working in large ensembles, on this record, available from the White Swan label, they play every instrument themselves.
This is notable because nine different instruments, including sitar, tabla, santoor, a traditional Indian instrument with 86 strings, and soprano saxophone are included to create a big sound that is alternately energetic and meditative, ancient and contemporary. The Indian classical music style is pervasive on the record, and the tracks seem to bleed from one song to the next.
Tempo and instrumentation vary from track to track, but the entirety sounds like one extended piece. Joshua plays soprano saxophone with the mystery of a snake charmer on Sawari, above Vyas’ rapid fire percussion. On Trust, Joshua plays sitar and traverses the Eastern scale, while Vyas’ tabla fills the space between the notes. Moon Song is the most meditative piece, with Vyas on harmonium and Joshua on flute.
Throughout, the duo creates a sound that is passionate and soulful, and its complexity stretches the mind into silence.
- Adam Skolnick, LA Yoga Magazine
If rivers live, India lives
Manish: composition, vocals, santoor, tabla keyboard, dharbuka, percussions
Prem Joshua: composition, sitar, flute, saxofone, vocals
This river Ganga is the longest in India. During the early vedic age, the Indus and the Sarasvati Rivers were the major sacred rivers, not the Ganga. But the later three Vedas gave much more importance to the Ganga.
The Ganga is a sacred river along every fragment of its length. All along its course, people bathe in its waters, paying homage to their ancestors and to their gods by cupping the water in their hands, lifting it and letting it fall back into the river. On the journey back home from the Ganga, they carry small quantities of river water with them for use in rituals (Ganga jal). The Ganga is the embodiment of all sacred waters in our mythology. Local rivers are said to be like the Ganga and are sometimes called "the local Ganga". The Kaveri river of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu in Southern India is called the Ganges of the South; the Godavari, is the Ganges that was led by the sage Gautama to flow through Central India. The Ganga is invoked whenever water is used in Hindu ritual, and is therefore present in all sacred waters.
Om the Ganga, Jamuna, Godavari, Sarasvati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri, these waters (of the seven sacred rivers of the Indian Subcontinent) are brought together (in order to make the water sacred, a reflection of both the wonders of the external waters of Earth and the internal rivers, the nadis, of our spiritual bodies).
This mantra is used during our Kali Puja to bless water that is used during the ceremony. Use it to bless all water you may have for any ritual use, even in the daily karmic meditations of your spiritual life, such as when taking a bath. You may also wish to use it prior to drinking water to imbue it with sacred intention.