2014 was a busy year for Johanna.
Before the dust could settle on the newly-launched CD The Edge of Divine and the companion web site (this one), Johanna and company launched a new recording project—her first kirtan CD. We convinced ourselves that it would be much easier to record than the singer/songwriter CDs she’d done before. “How hard can it be to record kirtan? We’ll have this out before summer is over.”
By summer’s end, the CD was “almost done.” Now it’s 2015, and the CD is still “almost done.” That’s not because the project stalled; it’s because the tracks were sounding sooooo good that we decided to redefine “done.” Good isn’t good enough anymore. Great is the new done. The Light Inside is Johanna’s most ambitious recording project ever. With help from an amazingly talented team, including a few of the best known musicians in the global kirtan community, she’s pulling together a gorgeous album.
Much of the inspiration for the new album came from Johanna’s frequent kirtan events in Portland, Corvallis, and elsewhere. Singing and playing with an ever-changing cast of musicians, she’s had ample opportunity to create and refine her original interpretations of timeless chants.
But Johanna hasn’t just been doing kirtan. She has played an ever-more-important role in RhythmAsana, the unique and joyous blend of yoga, dance, and world music. She and her band Rhythmantra have provided the musical soul for two multi-day RhythmAsana workshops and several mini workshops and classes, including a jam-packed joy-fest at Pranafest.
2014 was also the year that Johanna’s original Lullaby Yoga came into full fruition. In Lullaby Yoga classes, Johanna served as both restorative yoga teacher and soothing songstress. As the year progressed, the blend got sweeter and sweeter.
One other big event capped the year: the long-overdue Portland CD-Release Concert for The Edge of Divine. The concert—a double-bill with Jo Alexis and Happy for No Reason— happened just about one year after the gala Corvallis CD-Release event. Johanna and the band—George, Lyris, and Sabine—had a great time playing and singing songs that spanned Johanna’s entire musical history.
As we look back on the year, we’re overcome with gratitude for the love and support that all of you have given us throughout the year. We look forward to continuing the journey of the heart with you in the year ahead.
May you have the happiest of new years.
George for Johanna and the Johannasings team