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

"The inspiration for this song and intention behind my music as a whole is simply to bring love to others," says Newman.

White Swan Records announces the release of the video “Love Belongs To Everyone/Gayatri,” the second video from the new David Newman album, Stars (March 27, 2012, White Swan Records). Proceeds from sales of the album go to benefit Peter Gabriel’s WITNESS project (in conjunction with Human Rights First and the Reebok Human Rights Foundation), a 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 release, 50% of all proceeds from digital sales will be donated to WITNESS. In addition, White Swan is donating an ongoing portion of all sales – both physical and digital – of the full album.

“The inspiration for this song and intention behind my music as a whole is simply to bring love to others,” says Newman. “I also understand that it is important for individuals and organizations such as WITNESS to identify love's absence and act in ways that revive its lost presence. By sharing images and personal stories of injustice and instigating awareness, behavioral shifts and policy change, WITNESS is playing their role in relieving the suffering of others and demonstrating, in action, that 'love belongs to everyone'. Also, knowing the affiliation of WITNESS with its co-founder Peter Gabriel was, for me, the icing on the cake; as I've always had the utmost respect for his art and compassion for humanity!”

Stars is 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 work 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."
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 and singer/songwriter, David tours throughout the world with his wife, Mira, who is also a celebrated devotional singer, 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 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 Newman’s wife 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," 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."

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. He will be a featured performer at the upcoming Hanuman Yoga + Music Festival (June 8-10, 2012) in Boulder, Colorado. "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

  •     Learn more about David Newman:

        David Newman on White Swan Records

For over 20 years, Boulder, Colorado-based White Swan Records has remained steadfastly attuned to the creative listener’s yogic sensibility, developing an alluring, heartful, and diverse catalog of music styles including Sanskrit mantra, Kirtan Americana, Indo-Jazz Fusion, Zen moods, and Sufi melodies. Our imprint, Black Swan Sounds (launched in 2011), patrols the cutting edge of yoga music, presenting a full measure of “Beats with Devotion.” Uplift, positivity, and community are the unifying themes in a catalog ranging from Ethno-dub and organic hip-hop, to psycho-chill soundscapes and global electronica.

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Lisa Trank
One Purpose PR & Communications
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Joel Davis
White Swan Records
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