At a Celebrate Ananda event in our Mountain View Ananda Community, at the end of the day after night had fallen, the choir stood on the steps of the Yogananda Shrine and sang “Brothers” and “Many Hands Make a Miracle.” The wonderful part was that we invited people to mingle with us and sing the melody while we sang the harmony parts.
The sequel was that three or four people inquired afterward about joining the choir, they were so inspired by the experience of getting in the middle of this wonderful music and singing it “from the inside.”
Here’s a photo sequence from the evening in question. You can click the photos to see larger versions.
For a long time, I (Rambhakta) have thought how wonderful it would be if we could repeat the experience so that people could be surrounded by the the music and bring it deep into their hearts. If there’s quadrophonic stereo, I guess you could call it Anandaphonic.
I acquired some video equipment as part of my work with Living Wisdom School. I’ll be recording interviews with Helen and Gary and the other teachers, partially overlaid on scenes of kids and teachers in the classrooms and playgrounds.
I thought it might be possible to give people a small total-immersion baptism in Swamiji’s music, if I could shoot candid video during our choir and small group rehearsals. For starters, here’s a rehearsal video of “O Master.” I would love to hear your thoughts. I am hoping the videos will convey that we are just simple people who love to sing — no big talents, no Pavarottis or Bartolis, just your plain ol’ lonesome buddy gurubhais.
The videos will give prospective singers a chance to share the atmosphere during rehearsals, feel the inspiration, see that we laugh a lot, and be reassured that we ALL make mistakes and it’s completely okay. (In fact, Swamiji deliberately wrote most of the harmony parts so they would be enjoyable and easy to sing.) I’ll email the Ananda Palo Alto members when new pieces are posted. Or you can subscribe to Ananda Garden (sign up at right), or follow my YouTube channel.