KAMAL: Interview

Kamal and Ghata of Byron Bay, Australia, visited the New Earth Records office to discuss the creation of his release ‘Shamanic Healing.' Kamal dedicated this album to his wife Ghata, who he calls “a Shaman and healer in her own right.” Ghata, who is a Reiki master, sings on the track entitled ‘Heart Initiation'.


KamalQ: I understand you began your musical career as a classical guitarist. Has your style of musical expression changed much over the years?

Kamal: I studied classical guitar at the Robert Schumann Conservatory in Düsseldorf, Germany. When I felt the limitations of classical music, I began playing bass guitar in a variety of jazz and rock bands. In 1984. I discovered synthesizers and sequencers and realized that I could develop complex instrumentation and arrangements using this new technology.


Q: How would you describe the music you are creating today?

Kamal: This kind of music is difficult to categorize. It is both dynamic and soothing, celebrative and reflective. Most arrangements are with drums and percussion and have a strong melodic orientation.


Q: You had released 11 records with a major German label and won several music awards, including the Dolphin Award (Australian Entertainment Industry Association), before signing with New Earth Records. What prompted you to make this change?

Kamal: When my exclusive contract expired, I decided it was time to move on and find a new record label that would support my music in a way that is built on trust and commitment. I see potential for my music in the U.S. Market, which has hardly been touched by my former record company.


Q: How did ‘Shamanic Healing,' your first album with New Earth Records, develop?

Kamal: It was actually quite magical. Bhikkhu, Waduda, Ghata and I were discussing our possibilities of our working together when we looked out the window and saw this double rainbow. We interpreted this as a sign and felt this amazing synergy.


Q: During the creation of this album, it sounds as if you had your own a kind of soul retrieval to gather dispersed energies. Is this how you decided on the title of the album?

Kamal: We wanted to give it a Shamanic feeling of ritual and healing; a certain space or atmosphere for change and magic to happen. During the recording process, I did a ritualistic burial and participated in a men's group.


Q: What was that like?

Kamal: I felt the burial was a kind of quest. It was going away from everything that is known and surrendering to this empty space. You dig a grave and the people who accompany you during the ritual bury you in the earth. It definitely realigns the energies and it brought me back on track and helped me to feel grounded and have more trust in what I'm doing. I did this right in the middle of the recording process.


КамальQ: What about the men's gatherings?

Kamal: I participated in the men's gathering in the beginning and end stages of the recording. The gathering was called ‘The Grail' and it can best be described as a rite of passage. It is a group of men sitting in a circle sharing what is going on for them to focus on a purpose: What is the purpose of your life? What do you want to change or shed?


Q: Kamal, would you share some of the details of each of the tracks on ‘Shamanic Healing'?

Kamal: It was very important for me to find the right sequence of the pieces to create an energetic flow. With each musical expression I can feel the healing within me. People can resonate with that same frequency and it can heal that part in themselves which needs to be healed. The first piece is called: ‘Spirit Gathering.' It is an Indian chant and the other prominent element in the song is the Ney flute. It is a very haunting invocation. The second piece is called: ‘Water Healing' because it creates an atmosphere of flowing, female energy. The Native American voice on this track gradually becomes a whisper which creates a very intimate feeling. It draws the listener in. The third piece ‘Vision of the Eagle' has this flurry energy of air. The instruments featured here are synthesizer and sitar; one can imagine a clear day with an eagle circling over the desert. For the fourth track ‘Heart Initiation' I invited a didgeridoo player, Dr. Didge Dolphin, who is actually an M.D. When you hear the piece it resonates here in the heart chakra. It has powerful, supralingual vocals and a strong vibrational quality. Ghata's voice is very sweet and innocent and complements my voice beautifully.‘Snake Medicine' features the monochord, which is like a tamboura, with 50 strings tuned to the same pitch, that creates a drone. It also features the santoor that creates a snakelike rhythm that represents transformation and shedding of old skin. ‘Dreamcatcher' features the bamboo flute and has a somber vibe. It's the final culmination. After one has completed a task that is very intense, there is often a sober feeling. The dreamcatcher captures these feelings and frees the psyche. The final piece, ‘Completion', is simply soothing ocean sounds recorded in Goa. It doesn't feed you any melody, it is just a peaceful environment.