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Throughout the 1990’s Carmella experienced a fruitful career in pop music. Performing on television and radio nationally, from Hey Hey it’s Saturday, to Good Morning Australia, the Today Show. Radio stations ABC and 2MMM, 2DAY FM and so on. Carmella opened for artists as diverse as Eartha Kitt, Darryl Braithwaite, Jenny Morris and many more. In 1993 Carmella recorded the beautiful international release of popular hit single “Sweet Silence” with world renowned music producer Murray Burns (a celebrated song written with Rolf Harris about the call for sorry day) which charted in Australia and South East Asia.
Having performed Sacred music in Latin and Aramaic from a very early age and an initiated practitioner of meditation and yoga, from the age of 19, Carmella’s lifetime of spiritual practise began to lead her into very different arenas. Upon leaving the pop industry behind, Carmella then digressed into World music, performing with African sensation Afro Moses O’Jah and Epizo Bangoura, members of accapella group Blindman’s Holiday and more recently kirtan legends, Dave Stringer, Gaura Vani, The Mayapuris, Karnamrita Dasi throughout the USA and in India. In 1993 Carmella returned to her roots and began a fifteen year study in Western classical singing ( AMUSA) and classical Indian devotional singing in West Bengal and Vrindavan, here she truly discovered the power and beauty of devotional singing.
Carmella has enjoyed many years of performance with her beautiful blend of enchanting devotional music. Carmella’s Cd’s ASHRAYA and DARSHAN (out through New World Music and Media) has garnered critical acclaim throughout Australia , New Zealand, China, India and the United States
1) What is the inspiration for your music?
My spiritual teacher gives me continued strength by showing his fervent dedication to unity of the world, through sacred music/chanting and the upliftment of humanity towards God consciousness /the awakening of the human spirit.
My own personal Sadhana (spiritual practice) Japa chanting (chanting on beads) Yoga Asana, also the practise of following principles (disciplines) according to Bhakti Yoga. The ever-growing world community of like-minded people from all walks of life who are gathering together, singing, dancing, chanting. Lifting hands, hearts and voices up in praise and gratitude, meditating together for the betterment of humanity at large, these are my inspirations.
My clients/students from all walks of life, who yearn to discover, deepen and awaken their voice, not only their singing voice, but their inner voice, their wellspring, true self- that spark of divine consciousness within the heart of all (Sat, Cit, ananda -Knowledge, eternality, bliss) and the many miracles that occur every day as a direct result of awakening their voice/self/heart .
2) How does your yoga and spiritual life shape your music?
It was only when I renounced my attachments to material life in my early twenties, that my spiritual life was given the space to really blossom. After a lifetime of goal orientated, competitive aspirations, singing in the pop music industry and dealing with a rather soul-less business..my only aspiration then became quite simply- union with the Divine. A dedicated twenty year yoga practise eventually gave me this gift.
As I deepen my practise into Bhakti Yoga (kirtan, the art of chanting Holy Names,) that I can dovetail my singing experience into this spiritual practise is a miracle, all my worlds are colliding. As my spiritual practise deepens, my music grows....I yearn to make beautiful - the power of the Holy Names, in holy languages and share that music with the world. ' one God-many names!' Chanting cleanses the mirror of the heart of all the impressions (samskaras) that have accumulated over time. Why? Because these names come from the spiritual sky, the spiritual platform.They are untouched by the material platform. They contain a potentiality -Shakti (Divine energy) It purifies the mind, heals hearts, and unifies people, and it is said the Name and the Divine are one in the same. We are thus in union with the Divine and in turn all living beings. My music is my yoga.
3) Tell us how the practice of kirtan/spiritual music can become part of the
life of a women doing yoga and the benefits of this practice?
It is of paramount importance that a woman can feel, atune to, and draw inspiration from, the wellspring of Divine love that lies within and without. Kirtan -the art of chanting in groups or even alone, can help us feel 'loved' and can assist us in finding deep healing and forgiveness deep within the heart. In the heart of all lies the seed of Divine love, the original energy of the Supreme, when chanting the Holy Names this consciousness is immediately revived.
As I said, Kirtan and spiritual chanting 'cleanses the heart of the dust accumulating for lifetimes.' We accumulate impressions in the heart from past experiences. A woman's role is of nurturer - of others, and of the self. If we have the tools whereby we can cleanse the heart and enable us to fall deep into our true nature, when we have access to this wellspring, we can tap into limitless love. Then we have so much more to offer, we are filled with spiritualstrength...the strength of ten thousand Suns....We can give from a full cup!!
4) What do you learn from your music that teaches you about your daily life- please give examples.
I have learnt to live in breath, to lead with the breath...to flow with life and all it presents, to find harmony not simply in my music but in every step. To speak from a singing heart, to encourage others to sing, to find medicine in music, to be at peace with others, to be at one with the music of the spheres- from the spiritual world, through to the heavenly planets - on Earth, and in the hearts of all. To hear music in everything, to live music, to be music. to fly lightly, with fluidity, to walk in beauty and Grace.
5) As a woman musician where do you garner your creativity, strength and
Connection to nature and mother earth. My child and all the beautiful children in my life. From my Mother and all the woman who are dear to me, those who are supportive nurturing, encouraging, entertaining. My spiritual practise. Community. Love. Friendship. Knowledge
6) How do you find balance in your life?
Solitude. Spiritual practise. Cooking nourishing karma free foods. Walking in nature
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