Prayers of Heart
A Mystical voyage through the music of our Hearts
There is almost no being that doesn’t love music. Even plants and animals feel its beneficial effect. It’s no secret that plants grow faster and develop better when exposed to music that carries positive vibrations. Human beings cannot imagine life without music. Even those who live isolated in nature, adore and enjoy compositions that spontaneously happen in the nature, such as a beautiful bird song, relaxing sound of water purl, the sound of rain, thunder and all the other divine songs that nature has to offer us. It is no wonder that many people love listening to ambient music, which often contains samples of these sounds heard in the nature. There are various kinds of music, you could say, to satisfy every existing human feeling. Somebody who is sad will listen to romantic music, someone who is joyful surely chooses the music that expresses this feeling best, there are ones that feel good while listening to religious songs or a choir, others choose classic music, it all depends of the current state of mind and the overall personality itself. It is common knowledge that feelings change, easily. They come and go quickly, their nature is unstable, yet there is a special feeling, or a state that is called bhava in Indian tradition (to be, to exist, to be one with yourself) and it falls out of that unstable category, it is unchangeable. Bhava could appear while we listen to some glorious conduct of a classic master piece, or while we lose ourselves to harmonious and divine voices of the choir that performs religious music – it could be some monastery chanter or a different religious song from the many temples of the world. It could also be felt while we enjoy ethno, ambient or even rock music, that can lift us above the state of those ordinary, daily emotions. It is all highly related to ourselves, our inner state and depth of consciousness we live in. There are certain types of music that can take a person to the state of bhava, more easily than others, among them Indian kirtan and bhajan, Sufi Qawwali music, certain African ritual music, Tibetan music and many others. All of these types of music have a ethno-line of some kind, something ancient, in some ways traditional, something that has been maintained over the centuries and what has its roots in the divine autochthonous heritage and culture of various nations.
It is that heritage and something almost ancient that drew all of us from the Shaktipat Diksha band to begin studying and feeling just that music that is from and is in the heart, that can take us to certain higher levels of consciousness. Each one of us felt in some way that a godly source lives in the music. In earlier times and epochs, music was divine, derived from the very deities, not only in Indian, but also in many other traditions.
In those days, music wasn’t just performed, people were at a more subtle level of consciousness and music was felt and lived spiritually. As human consciousness became more and more materialized, so did the music. Various music styles and genres appeared that had to do with the changes in society and even changes in the consciousness of the entire nations. The music lost much of its original spirit, the true state from which it originated, over time. As materialization intensified, music became earthlier, and less divine in its character.
There still are, and hopefully there always will be, the types of music we’ve mentioned earlier, that are capable of connecting the human being to something ancient and subtle, important for the rise of the both soul and the spirit. If we were to be more precise, we would say that these are not types of music, but “ways” of performing it.
What is the fundamental difference between the “common” music and these “different” types and modes? In the first case the performing musicians are separated from the those who listen and the listeners are passivated, while in the latter those who perform music are one with those who listen, as listeners themselves actively participate in various ways. This can best be experienced in kirtan and bhakti yoga music, or in bhajan, and sufi qawwali music. Their common place is singing and repetition of certain words with a deeper spiritual background, that takes both those who play and those who listen to a certain state and level beyond usual human feelings, no matter how intense and strong they could be at the time. This is because the words spoken and chanted carry a certain epic, ancient and spiritual vibration. Those are the names of gods, deities, prayers, descriptions of high spiritual states, love, and all other higher human qualities. These are the words of the Heart. The power of the spoken word is well-known, but the word that is spoken directly from the Heart has the highest value of all.
That is why our album is called – Prayers of Heart, and it stands as our message to all of the people – the greatest significance for all of us have actions taken, spoken and lived directly from the Heart. The Heart is where the state of love exists, yet it is covered with many layers and obstacles. Music of the heart is something that can soften the barriers of stress, tension and all that hinder us, so that we can come close to our true nature, and the state of relaxation and real peace. We want to share it with everyone, to send an invitation for getting to those places together, through being dedicated to music. That is how the name of the bend itself had arisen – Shaktipat Diksha, as it stands for the direct transmission on Sanskrit, be it the vibration, the energy, sensitivity of Love and Heart.
SHAKTIPAT DIKSHA ARE:
Lead Vocal, Djembe, Tambourine, Shaker
Born on August 8, 1972 in Belgrade, Serbia.
From her early childhood she showed a real love, partiality and talent for music. Besides singing she had perfect sense of rhythm and played percussion instruments such as daraboukas, djembe, tambourine and the like. When she was seven years old, she made her first serious steps in music meeting an outstanding professor of music school, Mrs. Jelena Popovic Miletic. In her class she finished primary music education including singing. She completed her solfeggio knowledge in Prof. Mrs. Jelena Oljaca class.
During her primal music education Prof. Jelena Popovic Miletic invited her to join the choir where she had been singing for twelve years, including diverse performances at cultural and musical manifestations. After moving to Belgrade Vaznesenski Choir, she discovered different musical and spiritual values.
Her love for music and constant self-development was going forward and spreading.
In her 19 she discovered handful of new musical styles. Her attention was especially drawn to oriental sounds. She got acquainted with the Eastern music of China, India, Egypt etc. Soon she bought her first African drum – djembe – and started to cooperate with people of the same interests and became a part of a Yoga (kirtan) music band. Being a part of that band, she had been singing and playing musical instruments, giving concerts and performances of oriental and traditional Indian music in Yoga centers in Belgrade and out.
A few years later she took an extended break because of founding her family, she was being devoted to a lot. During that period of her life she discovered her another major „love” – Astrology. Then she began a serious study and decided to dedicate her life to Astrology and to work on a professional level desiring to help people. Music was still close to her heart but there was a special place there reserved for Astrology, both in her heart and her life.
After a certain time, she started to get some calls and offers from mass media and began her cooperation with them. She appeared as a special guest on TV and radio shows, gave lots of interviews for magazines and organized diverse Astrological seminars and classes. Then there was born a tremendous desire to share all that knowledge and experience she had been acquiring during those years. Excited by that idea she decided to write a book about Astrology, which should be published soon.
She has been playing and singing individually, for her own pleasure, for years. In spite of everything she hasn`t left the music.
In addition to Astrology and music she studied mythology of different cultures and tribes, their traditions, psychology and similar scientific fields. She has been practicing eastern martial arts.
After a long period, a brand-new creative dimension opened up, starting a new cycle of her life, bringing her back to the world of musical culture and art.
As a member of Yoga school she met an outstanding professor of tabla drum, a traditional Indian musical instrument, Prof. Mrs. Reema Johri from Dayalabagh University in India, who was engaged by Indian embassy in Belgrade. Then, together with a small number of Yoga practitioners, she decided to attend tabla classes, but very soon returned to her instrument – jembe – supported by professor Reema and encouraged to improve her skills of playing it.
The same year (2016) she founded world music kirtan band called „Shaktipat Diksha “together with her old friends and partners in previous musical projects. They began with various musical, cultural and artistic manifestations, having their performances untill the middle of 2018. In the meantime they started a project „Reunification and introduction of different nations through their musical culture and tradition“. They decided to go to the music studio and record an album, which was finished in April 2018. They chose Indian music to be presented through traditional songs, making the sound a bit more modern.
After that, in July 2018, a big record label „Multimedia Music“ released the first Shaktipat Diksha-world kirtan band`s studio album called „Prayers of Heart“. It was soon distributed for the commercial sale. So now the band is preparing for its promotion.
Svetlana is still a professional Astrologer, but now she gives to her music an equal and very special and important place in her future life. Besides singing and playing African drums (djembe) she is constantly improving and spreading her musical skills and education, learning to play harmonuim (a traditional instrument) and having acoustic guitar in her future plans.
She has a strong desire to touch, to make people`s hearts and souls feel happy, to fill them with love, joy, beauty, creativity and warmness, all that through the inspiring music of her world kirtan music band Shaktipat Diksha. Their music, melodies and songs are the place for reunification and introduction of many unlike nations and tribes. The place where they can express their diversity, through their culture, traditions and arts,where they can share their feelings right from their hearts.
Guitars, tabla, backing vocal, djembe, darbuka, kartal, tambourine, shaker
Dragan was born on March 7, 1973, in Belgrade, Serbia.
He had affinities and love for music from an early age. At the age of 10, he bought his first drum sticks and started practicing on his own, on an improvised timpans he constructed himself. At the age of 14, he gets his first set of drums. At the age of 15, he assembles his first more serious band. After that, with another bend, rehearsals are being held in a private garage and first public jams in front of the open garage where many people from the neighbourhood had gathered to listen. The band played covers of different famous bands, mainly rock, hard rock and blues. Meanwhile, Dragan got an acoustic guitar and started practicing. A little bit later, he got an electric guitar. Public performances ensued. He played drums in a few rock and blues bands.
At the age of 19, he discovers a whole new music styles, different percussion instruments and ways of playing. He got very interested in ambiental, ethno, kirtan and Indian music, as well as Sufi (Qawwali) and Egyptian music. It could be stated that he discovered and deeply felt beautiful and ancient music of the East. It is as if then, something was initiated. He met new people with the same or similar interests and a kirtan band was formed. During a short trip to Istanbul, he bought a high quality darbuka. Soon he also got a traditional Indian percussion instrument tabla, and started to practice with devotion, but in some way of his own, not according to the traditional Indian way of practicing and playing this instrument.
Since 1993, an exceptionally creative period of making original kirtan compositions started, and intensive playing of kirtans in different yoga centers that were very well visited. In 1997 he collaborated with another kirtan group from Belgrade. Then, a kirtan album was recorded in a professional studio. Dragan participated in recording the album by playing tabla. At that time, an expansion of ethno and world music occurred in Serbia and Dragan had connected with a few known musicians and, together with them, participated in projects and public performances which were very well visited and accepted from the audience. Hostings on television and performances in a few TV shows followed. In those years, in Belgrade and Serbia not many people even knew about the Indian instrument tabla, so in some way this was also a public promotion of that beautiful instrument and Indian culture. Afterwards, Dragan was a guest on a concert of a popular Belgrade rock band, Van Gogh, in front of a few thousand people, where he played tabla, which fit well into such kind of music and brought something entirely new.
After this very fruitful and creative period, there was a lighter period in which Dragan still composed, but rarely performed live. At one point, for a short period of time he went on private timpani classical music classes, but he mostly used electric and acoustic guitar for composing. Along with music, he did yoga, meditations, researched spirituality and psychology, astrology , dreams and did writing. He self-published a collection of poems and books about different spiritual subjects and studying dreams are in preparation.
Since 2015, he begins again to intensively compose and perform kirtan and world music. During 2016, a world music kirtan band Shaktipat Diksha was formed. Exactly at that period, an exceptional possibility opened up, one he had been thinking about in the past – to learn to play tabla In the traditional way. Indian embassy in Belgrade organized arrival of respected teacher of tabla instrument, Dr Reema Johri, who teaches this instrument on Dayalbagh Educational Institute in India. Dragan applied and during one year, on individual classes, he learned the basics of playing tabla in the traditional way, the way it is being played in India.
Since the beginning of 2016, until the second half of 2018, he participated on many public performances with group Shaktipat Diksha and some other kirtan and bhajan groups where he played electric guitar or tabla, depending on the performance. It was around then, that the idea for a new project and album came up, one that will not be colored by classical Indian kirtan music, but will have a note of ambiental, world and ethno sound, in a contemporary way. The album was finished in April 2018. It was published by Multimedia Music Company and went for sale in July, 2018.
Currently, Dragan is preparing with other members of the group Shaktipat Diksha, for the promotion of the album Prayers of Heart and performances that will soon follow.
Keyboards, backing vocal, tracking, mixdown and mastering
Born on June 15th, 1975, in Belgrade, Serbia.
Started playing piano at the age of 7. Finished Music High School ” Stankovic”, Belgrade, at the jazz piano section. Got into audio production in 1992, with creating recordings for local Belgrade bands.
Holder of Bachelor Degree in Audio Design and Audio Engineering Diploma of SAE Institute, Oxford.
In 2003, he is starting his production work in New York. Since then, he did 33 Albums and EPs for US and EU clients (currently finishing two more). Recording at the
high end studios in New York, Avatar and MSR, he set up a high level of audio production for his customers, for which is well known among music business professionals.
Specialized in advanced mixing and mastering techniques, combining analog and high end digital.
Senior Partner at Crystal Dome Records LLC, Brainstorm Records LLC, Loud Labs D.O.O, and PRISM D.O.O.
In 2004 started playing piano at Zak Smith Band, and touring around US for four years. After that, he collaborated as a piano player and co-producer with: Manu Katche,
Gloria Estefan, Peter Gabriel, Nathaniel Kunkel, Tony Levin, Spin Doctors, Zak Smith,Christin Thomas,Gavy Grodsky,Teodulija,Keith Robertson,Jessica Labus, Fred
Kevorkian, Dave Smith, Electrica, Rhimah, Dave Darlington, Igor Kisil, Zhana Janeen, etc…
Starting from 2012, he is working as a piano player for NTW Productions from Amsterdam, gigging in Chamonix, Val Thorens, and Val-d’Isere. He was giving lectures to
the students at SkyLabMusic University at Amsterdam and Milano, in 2012, about mixing rock and mainstream music.