Both parents played piano and her father frequently performed at parties and restaurants. There was music around of every kind--musicals, standards, and classical music. Sat Kartar played piano at 5, guitar at 14, and picked out everything on piano and guitar, from the Beatles to the Spanish classical Malaguena. She trained in ballet, and other dance forms. In college, she was gigging, doing covers of singer-songwriters and folk artists.
One big influence was Joni Mitchell, whose open tunings and unusual melodies were a doorway and vicarious permission to explore uncharted territory, musically. Trying to find her lyric voice to express the rising spiritual revolution she felt, in this time, she tried a Kundalini yoga class, hoping for some kind of release from songwriter's block. Sat Kartar recalls, “My first experience of chanting was being mezmerized with the sound of this yoga teacher, named Livtar Singh, who was singing these words over and over to someone named Guru Ram Das (a spirit guide in the Sikh faith) while playing a drone instrument called a tamboura. I felt as though I had opened Pandora's Box on a mysterious unknown world of sound.” Sat Kartar went on to sing in 2 Sikh spiritual bands, Sat Nam East, one of the first American chant groups, and later the Khalsa String Band. In the mid-seventies, she began what would be a life study of Northern Indian classical kirtan, with numerous Sikh musicians, called Ragis (who sing devotionally in Eastern raga scales). “I wanted to bring the enchantment of this world of music to an American audience in a simpler, sensuous form, so Westerners could appreciate the haunting beauty of these ancient scales.” In 1984 and '85, collaborating with veteran New Age producer Liv Khalsa, they created 2 timelessly beautiful recordings, Spirit in Blossom and Domain of Shiva, a group of hymns from the sacred Sikh texts, containing 4 raga scales.
Symphonically orchestrated and ahead of its time, this music found a new audience, in the early stages of the World and New Age Music movement. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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