What do you get when you cross British-Tamil pop, avant-garde piano and ancient Vedic chanting? Sheela Bringi PRI's The World
from Public Radio International's 'The World', 2/04/2014
Reporter Bruce Wallace
February 04, 2014 · 12:30 PM EST
About 50 people braved a miserable, cold mid-winter Manhattan evening recently, gathering in the front room of a Hare Krishna center to listen to a quick set by Sheela Bringi and DJ Drez. Bringi alternated between singing and playing the traditional Indian harmonium keyboard and bansuri flute.
Listen to the Full Story:
"...Indian music expands to accommodate the spirit and whatever human circumstances enclose it. This new take on classical mantras by a classically trained vocalist, harpist and virtuosi of the bamboo flute is deeply respectful of tradition, but open to all of the sounds of Bringi's native Western United States. Hip-hop, Balkan music and the blues all meld within grooves that only gain intensity from the reformulations Bringi and her collaborators explore. This music isn't just for your yoga practice..."
Sheela Bringi was brought up in Colorado, the daughter of a professor of Hinduism, Sanskrit and yoga studies, and has developed a subtle musical fusion in which Hindu devotional chants are reworked with influences that range from jazz and blues to Balkan brass. It succeeds because she is respectful of the original material and is an excellent musician, matching her cool, clear vocals against her skills on the harp, harmonium and bansuri bamboo flute. The western influences come from her producer, Clinton Patterson, who adds thoughtful jazz trumpet and bluesy guitar. Elsewhere, the backing includes anything from wailing drone effects to carefully muted drum'n'bass. The mood is often gently hypnotic, as with the harp-backed Bhajamana Ram, but on Buffalo-Demon Slayer she uses Indian thavil drums, saxophone, clarinet and trumpet for a rousing exploration of the links between India and the Balkans.
from LA Yoga
by Kiara Kinghorn
February 10, 2014
The first time I was introduced to the mystical sounds of Sheela Bringi was at her informal performance during the savasana portion of Sacred Dance Live in Santa Monica. With rave-like lasers still swirling from the exhausting dance party, and sweaty, panting bodies laying side by side on the wooden floor, it was easy to feel like Sheela’s music was taking you on a journey.
Her subsequent performance at the WitzEnd in Venice was no exception. With a gentleness and sensitivity, Sheela’s ethereal sound is both eerie and seductive. I ran into a friend there who offered her opinion of Sheela simply saying, “It’s amazing that God put so much talent and light into one tiny being.”
Tiny she may be but out of her diminutive frame comes a smoldering voice that is surprisingly nostalgic for her age. Incantations is Sheela at her newest and best, an elixir of sounds and traditions that are compellingly complex. Layered with traditional Indian music and vocals, Sheela transitions smoothly between instruments, melodies, and arrangements. Harmonium, harp, and bansuri are woven throughout the album, expectedly, but are also juxtaposed by a heavy element of jazz, one of Sheela’s prime influences.
from UK's fRoots: The essential folk, roots and world music guide.
There was another of our special FREE and exclusive download compilation albums with the April issue. 16 great tracks from Adrian Raso & Fanfare Ciocarlia, Mor Karbasi, You Are Wolf, Sheela Bringi feat. Clinton Patterson, Jamisa Jalis, The Furrow Collective, Marit And Rona, Andy Irvine with Rens Van Der Zalm, Patsy Reid, Chris Morphitis, Chipindura Mbira Trio, Helen Dorothy, Shanren, Harp And A Monkey, Kepa Junkera feat. Os Cempés and Artús. The download includes booklet and label artwork and sleeve notes for those who want to burn to CD.
from fRoots: the Essential Worldwide Folk & Roots Music Guide
by Ken Hunts
February 1, 2014
In October 2012 the Colorado-raised singer and instrumentalist Sheela Bringi launched a crowdfunding video on YouTube. It's a niftyly edited three-and-a-half minute burst of self-promotion and an ear-pleasing plea for funding for a 'tavel harp' and the finances to finish her debut album. Well, this is it.
The background information cites such influences as the Tamil singer-songwriter MIA and US voice artist Meredith Monk, and studies with the bansuri (bamboo flute) player GS Sachdev and sarodist Aashish Khan. It also refers to American blues and jazz and her mother teaching at Naropa University at Boulder, Colorado - once home of the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. It's an intriguing backcloth.
Jazz influences creep in on Peacock (based on an Assamese folksong) and Saraswati with wafts of cool jazz trumpet (played by Clinton Patterson, the album's producer)...read more
Dave Stringer’s Magic & Logic tour, with Indian American singer and multi-instrumentalist Sheela Bringi, and will be a launch party for both Dave’s soulful, energetic and critically acclaimed new album, Ojas, and Sheela’s powerful debut album Incantations.
March 14 - Columbus, OH
March 15 - Fort Wayne, IN
March 16 - Louisville, KY
March 23 - Boise, ID
March 27 - Ashland, OR
March 28 - Portland, OR
March 29 - Corvalis, OR