Music for me has always been a vessel, something that has undoubtingly taken me somewhere very special. Sometimes it’s a rollercoaster, with twists and turns, dips and dives. Sometimes it’s a jet engine plane, blasting you somewhere so completely new and so ostensibly out there that upon flight arrival it takes a moment to fully flesh back into the surrounding moment. Other times it’s a gentle ride through known territory and a soft, warming comfort is induced. Music is one of the oldest and most powerful tools for communion and connection. It’s a pathway to somewhere deep within ourselves. This time around, that pathway is a bridge, and it takes you right to where You are.
“The Bridge to Where You Are” is an aptly titled bhakti album by the powerfully devoted kirtan wallah Mirabai Moon. The first time I heard Mirabai was when I was beginning to learn the Hanuman Chalisa, a 40 line Sanskrit chant to Hanuman, a monkey god who represents pure devotion to both Ram and Sita, whose relationship is the total union of both the masculine and feminine aspects of God. At the time I was going around “trying on” different Chalisas to learn from, and when I came across Mirabai’s I was floored and completed whisked away. It was as if she was weaving this beautifully subtle, intricate story-web. It felt cosmic, airy, and holographic, and through it I was able to intuit the epic devotional story of Hanuman, as each word and note completely perforating and permeating the scene. A year later, I feel honored and humbled to have the opportunity to delve into and review “The Bridge to Where You Are,” Mirabai’s first full-length album.
While cruising the winding Blue Ridge Parkway along the awe-inspiring Appalachian Mountains, I turned on the album and let the Mystical Kirtan of Mirabai Moon wash over me. The first soft notes began budding out of the album in what felt like total congruence with the opening of springtime on the mountains around me as I drove. As Mirabai’s voice floated out of my speakers with the same soft and floating whimsy of smoke rising from incense, I could feel the music encapsulating me in an auditory blanket of delicate and refined loving attention. Mirabai voice is powerful, soft, melodic and mindfully caring, striking me sonically as the divine feminine coming through to awaken us in the time when it is so needed on this earth. You can tell through her singing that she is not “trying” to become anything, or go anywhere, or change what is. She is simply being. She is pure is-ness, and that is-ness, that total sense of here-ness is contagious, and through her music is a gift she is giving anyway who takes the time to listen.
The album itself is as twinkling, shimmering, glimmering, and balanced as the night sky reflected in the clear ocean. It’s this clarity that allows a mirror like reflection of the mind, softly dissipating our “story of me” and gently placing our awareness right Here in the moment. This crystal-like lucidity of the music is accompanied by the pure devotional bhav that her mantras so passionately exude. This, to me, is pure bhakti, and the essence of it I can try to describe, but it’s spirit is beyond words and is something that must be heard to fully experience. “The Bridge to Where You Are” is truly a full and totally encompassing album, keeping a perfect balance between deep, dark, obsidian chants that take you on a powerful journey through the shadow, contrasted with light effervescent devotional romps with the boundy eclecticism of birds swooping in and out of clouds in unison.
Mirabai has created an auditory portal to the purity of the devotional yogic experience. Bhakti yoga is based in union, a dualistic path that finally merges into the One, the One that is not separate from the Here and Now. “The Bridge To Where You Are” is just that. It is a musical journey that will take you on an expedition through lively settings, lush forests, hypnotic serenades, dark hollows, and celebratory sunshine, but that journey will always lead you right to where You are. Mirabai Moon, with this album, offers a sensuous and enlightening devotional ride filled with an endearing and graceful whimsy that will undoubtedly lift your spirits and bring you right into the lap of the joyful present. Hari Om! Pick up the album "The Bridge to Where You Are," find tour dates, and keep up with all things Mirabai Moon at: www.mysticalkirtan.com