This week, we caught up with Lyon-based music group Kurma on the eve of the release of their very first album.
” Hi it’s Kurma ! We are a rather atypical group from Lyon (we sing mantras) and we just released our first album “Sangha”!
Kurmå who means “turtle”is very symbolic: in Europe, she invites us to slow down, while in China, it is the allegory of the world. In Africa, she represents fertility and in Native American traditions, she contributes with her wisdom to building the world.In India, hence the name ” Kurma came from, the tortoise is the incarnation of Vishnu, descended to earth to show the way to men.
The adventure begins in 2016with Samuel LenaertsGabriel Girard and Stephane Wintenberger. All three yoga teachers, and passionate about music. At the crossroads of these passions, we find the mantras. Mantras are repetitive songs composed of sacred formulas endowed with a vibratory power. We finds them in many spiritual traditions, and in particular in Hinduism and Buddhism. Inspired by the “Kirtan” who comes to us from India, we meet to play, sing and meditate around the mantras.
Our musical understanding was instantaneous, we managed to combine spiritual and intuitive music to our influence (rock, blues, jazz, classical, world…)and we quickly started composing original works. We then played them at parties with friends, then opened to the public. In the Kirtaneveryone is invited to sing. The public is a full member of the group. These evenings were very successful and we received many feedbacks from people affected. Singing, vibrating together, is overwhelming, deeply soothing. The collective act of presence and the power of the coming together of beings is wonderful. This is why people have been gathering since time immemorial to sing, meditate, or pray together.
Over the past 6 years, our musical encounters have grown to become long-awaited evenings where the Lyon community gathers around songs and meditation. In the meantime, the group has grown by welcoming opera singer and bassist Louise Rolleau as well as the talented percussionist Antoine Chretienthus consolidating the musical structure of the group. Finally, the cello presence of Michael Cobbwho is an international conductor, brings real magic to the haunting music of Kurma.
It is in the logical sequence of things that the project to record an album has emerged : An album entitled “Sangha”, which here represents the idea of reliancecommunity, being together.We find on this album, a selection of the most beautiful improvisations and compositions of recent years. Performed by a choir of 25 people, and accompanied by many instruments: ViolinCello, Mohan VeenaGuitar, Glockenspiel, Drums, Percussion, hand panBass Guitar and Synths; A album at the crossroads of genres…
We hope you like the album and we wish you a good listening!”
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Portrait of Lyonnais: the music group Kurma | Live Lyon
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