Noted for his heartfelt renditions and upbeat barn burners of classic Kirtans (Sanskrit chants from ancient India), Jai Uttal, who has just passed his 70th birthday, and was part of the successful Chant For India event that raised over 100,000 USD for COVID relief in Mother India, is excited to announce tomorrow’s release of his new single, “After the Fire (Shiva’s Lullaby).” The song is available in all audio formats at ffm.to/afterthefire.
“After the Fire (Shiva’s Lullaby)” is the first single release from Jai’s upcoming album, Let Me Burn, that will be coming out on August 4. For the last year and half the world has been in a cocoon, inwardly burning, waiting for the chrysalis to fall away. As we enter the summer months and our hearts begin to emerge, ready to fly, and feeling the global need for a healing and nurturing sonic balm, Jai decided to make his first single release from Let Me Burn this deeply meditative piece.
Jai describes the song as, “Concealed in the vast glaciers of Mount Kailash, after the fires of destruction, even Lord Shiva sleeps. With Mahadev’s head in Parvati’s lap, dreadlocks askew, the divine Goddess intones to her beloved the sacred five syllable mantra ‘Na Ma Shi Va Ya’, and peace shrouds the universes.”
Jai sang and played guitar and harmonium on the song, with keyboards, engineering, and mixing handled by his longtime collaborator and producer, Marin music scene stalwart Ben Leinbach.
With COVID-19, the intense fires of Northern California and the social and political strife of the last year or so, Jai notes, “2020 was a year full of challenges, but it has also been a year of deep healing, personal growth and more intimate family interaction. It’s also been a time of deeply connecting with my extended family and greater Bhakti community. I’ve been doing weekly live stream concerts and Kirtans, that have been a great point of focus for myself in terms of preparing and creating new songs and practicing my older songs, as well as bringing our extended Bhakti family and community together over Zoom. The pandemic has also pushed us to create online Kirtan Camps. These events have been greatly appreciated, and have enabled people from all over the world, who would never have been able to attend a Kirtan Camp in person, to join us. The recent loosening of restrictions and the recent opportunity to give back to India, a country that has given me so much, have given me hope that 2021 will be a vast improvement over last year.”