David Newman, Chant Troubadour, Releases Stars, Celebrates Power of the Human Spirit

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Accompanying video “Love Belongs to Everyone/Gayatri” to benefit WITNESS, Peter Gabriel’s human rights organization

David Newman's Stars

The message of Stars is a shout out, which reads… YES, this is for real, and we’re all in it together!

White Swan Records announces the release of Stars, David Newman’s multicultural musical celebration of love and the resilient human spirit. Long a believer in the power of music to transform, Stars represents a culmination of Newman’s lifelong works as a practitioner and teacher of Bhakti Yoga (The Path of Love). "I know that we live in times of struggle, but we also live in times of great hope, inspiration and capacity for change,” shares Newman. “There is definitely a shift that is taking place on the planet today."

As well as the release of the CD, Newman is simultaneously releasing the video “Love Belongs To Everyone/Gayatri,”, with proceeds from sales going to benefit Peter Gabriel’s WITNESS project (in conjunction with Human Rights First and the Reebok Human Rights Foundation), the non-profit humanitarian organization which engages millions of ordinary citizens in the struggle for human rights. The CD and the video represent a continuation for Newman that began with the Stay Strong Project, and his lifelong commitment to music being the path to social action. For the first six months of the CD’s March 2012 release, 50% of all proceeds from digital sales, as well as a portion of on-going sales from both physical and digital sales will be donated to WITNESS.

Newman or Durga Das, as he is also known, travels extensively, sharing Kirtan, devotional music and the spiritual, meditative and musical aspects of Yoga. A dedicated chant troubadour, David tours throughout the world with his wife, Mira, a celebrated devotional singer, recording artist and percussionist. He is also the author of Merging with Grace, the founder of The Stay Strong Project and of Yoga on Main in Philadelphia.

Returning to his home base of Philadelphia, Newman’s seventh release is produced by Bill Moriarty, acclaimed for his work with Dr. Dog. Rooted in rock recording, Moriarty, a practicing Buddhist and meditator, quite naturally connected with the spirit and essence of David's music. As well, Stars features several Philadelphia-based musicians from all genres of music, allowing Newman to also explore new territory as a musician, arranger and producer. Fully engaging in his expanding his creative edge, David takes his music in a new direction by playing lead electric guitar (using a violin bow) and employing a muted trumpet.

One of the highlights of the new release is the contribution of Mira, whose work as a vocalist and percussionist is "an immeasurable asset to the sound on Stars. Her beautiful voice, sense of groove and invaluable input on arrangements leave a palpable imprint on the texture and beauty of the music."

Beyond the beautiful and varied music, a number of significant personal life events in 2011 shaped the creation of Stars. The album opener, "Dreaming," was written while Mira was pregnant with their first child, daughter Tulsi. As David explains, "The lyrics were conceived from Tulsi’s perspective as she was dreaming herself into our lives. When I sat down to write the song, it was with her in mind. In a sense, I felt as if we were writing the song together. If you listen closely to the lyrics, you'll see what I mean."

‘My mother's love awaits me, my father's song I hear, held in the everlasting,
so near, so dear, I'm dreaming.’

As "Dreaming" was inspired by birth, the song "Thinking of You/Sri Krishna" was inspired by the illness and passing of Rama Bala, a dear friend and guitar player in David's band. Rama had been in the hospital for several months when David sat down with his guitar to write "Thinking of You," the first single from the album, which emerged as a prayer for this friend. With its reggae inflections, centered around a playful ukulele part and an upbeat groove, it is one of the most joyous and cheerful pieces on the CD. For David, "the song is a celebration of Rama’s spirit, which always exuded a child-like innocence and a lighthearted love of life." In addition to being the album's first single, it's also the first track for which a video was released.

Newman’s music has long been a stronghold for many in the yoga community and yoga music genre, which is quickly taking hold with mainstream audiences, as demonstrated by the new “Yoga Channel,” on Sirius radio, as well as a recent in-person concert by Snatam Kaur for Oprah Winfrey’s recent birthday celebration cruise.

Stars is David's contribution to this growing genre, and is a musical offering for global transformation. "Perhaps this planetary awakening is the true meaning of 2012," David proposes. "The music, the songs, the chants, the sentiment, and the message of Stars is a shout out, which reads… YES, this is for real, and we’re all in it together!"

Acclaim for David Newman and Stars:

“I've always loved the heart that so clearly is the force within David Newman's music - it makes me happy and grateful to be alive!” -- Elena Brower, Yoga Educator

"A natural anti-depressant, Stars will put a smile on your face. The contagious melodies reveal an unmistakably sincere connection to the infinite, while the original lyrics courageously lead us to experience bhakti- unconditional love. Like the Pied Piper, Durga Das lures you into musical bliss-you won't be able to resist singing along!" -- Sara Ivanhoe, Master Yoga Instructor

"David Newman has been a great inspiration for me being a devotional artist. His music is a precious gift, a reminder of the divine that dwells within us always." -- Donna De Lory
Sacred Musician & Recording Artist

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