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Album Review: Compassion
Sangeeta Kaur
Cover image of the album Compassion by Sangeeta Kaur
Sangeeta Kaur
2019 / Sangeeta Kaur Music
55 minutes
Review by Kathy Parsons
Compassion is the fourth new age/classical crossover album by Vietnamese/American singer and composer Sangeeta Kaur. A trained opera singer, Kaur co-composed all of the music with Nicholas Neidhardt (7 tracks), Danae Vlasse (1 track) and Hila Plitmann (1 track). Also collaborating on the project are the Hungarian Studio Orchestra, Hungarian Studio Choir and The Sterling Ensemble (a Los Angeles-based choir); Danae Vlasse and Duy Tran also contributed their talents in choir composition. In addition to her vocals, Kaur improvises on crystal singing bowls with Hila Plitmann. Most of the lyrics are chants that are explained or translated in the liner notes; three songs have lyrics in English. Sangeeta Kaur’s voice is clear and very pure, expressing heartfelt emotion. The production is flawless - sometimes very big and cinematic and sometimes much quieter and more intimate.

It is interesting to note that Kaur combines classical opera, Kundalini yoga and a deep Tibetan Buddhist practice to create a unique sound and listening experience. She has performed all over the world and created the first mantra opera, Niguma: A Mantra Project and its sequel, Ascension, the first work of its kind to combine ancient sacred wisdom of the East with cinematic choreography while effectively building a bridge between sacred chant, classical opera and modern dance.

Sangeeta Kaur explains her inspiration and motivation: “The songs must serve a true purpose and for anyone being challenged in these times, I am committed to share music that uplifts and inspires the soul. I want my performances to shift the audience’s perspective to a more positive point of view. There is a great personal empowerment and liberation when we allow ourselves to truly be seen. It takes courage and it takes faith. I want these songs to help inspire the journey that redefines the concept of reflection and how we see ourselves.” Thank you for filling that very real need, Sangeeta!

Compassion begins with “Om Tare Tuttare Ture Soha,” a mantra that invokes the blessings of the compassionate female Buddha, Green Tara. It opens with a light string accompaniment behind Kaur’s angelic voice. As the piece evolves, it eventually becomes quite a big production with choir voices and more orchestration. “Rise Up” is a beautiful song with words of encouragement and loving support. Ethereal vocals are backed with a simple harp and strings accompaniment. “May the Long Time Sun” is an arrangement of a 1968 song by Mike Heron of Incredible String Band and has a more pop feeling to support the spiritual lyrics - a favorite. “We Are One” is a dramatic piece where voices become part of the orchestration (no lyrics) - a triumphant and powerful anthem to unity. “Sa Re Sa Sa” is based on a mantra that takes away negativity within and awakens the Infinite Creative energy to burn away obstacles to achieving higher consciousness. Gentle, quiet and soothing, it’s another favorite. “Voices of Compassion” closes the album with a selection of choral highlights from the album.

Compassion beautifully expresses what the world needs more of and offers a way to achieve it through music and mantras. It is available from SangeetaKaurMusic.com, Amazon, Apple Music and many streaming sites.
September 4, 2019
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