World music: a language
without borders

Whether it’s rock, classical, fusion or contemporary - music has many forms. Each form wraps itself around us. It defines the mood of our day, brings back old memories, infuses energy and uplifts our spirits when we’re low. Music is a language that doesn’t need prior learning, training - it's felt.

Music affects the mind. Music influences an individual. Music affects us. How does this happen?

We asked three musicians from different parts of the world to share their journeys with us. Their paths epitomize an odyssey through world music. Each rhythm, piece, beat reflects a unique culture that is universal.

Sounds of Latin America: Santiago Goss



I’ve been playing music since I was seven years old. One Christmas I got a guitar as a gift. I started playing on my own, and then went on to learn the piano, and charango (an instrument from Bolivia).

What kind of music do you like?

I was born in Argentina. My mother is from North Argentina so I grew up listening to folk music from Argentina. I’m very passionate about the folk music. I also like a lot of pop music, some rock, but mainly Argentinian music.

Before I learnt about meditation, I used to play and compose songs based on my experience in life, about relationships. That music was a way to connect with reality. I would like the listeners to know that they are not alone. But after that, when I started my spiritual journey, I realized music is beyond words. I discovered mantras.

When you start saying a mantra, although you might not know the meaning, your mind will settle down. It will be at peace. While you’re repeating a mantra, your mind enters that vibration. When you keep chanting, you become that vibration. The power resides in you to continue chanting. For example, if a thought comes, you need to go back to the chanting. That way, you will be in the space of no mind.

What kind of impact can music have on people?

That depends on the kind of music. You can be on the street and listen to a car’s honking and this might negatively affect you. Or you might listen to birds and it could invoke love and inspiration in you. So , different melodies and instruments will affect your mood.

Quantum physics says we are all vibrations. Every song will affect different parts of the body. Music is essential, and it is a world language,  even if the listeners can’t understand the language.

It is important to realize what kind of music will touch your soul. Music is a good field for research.  Life has taken me to a world with mantras and kirtans. I find I have a way to connect people to themselves. Mantras bring a lot of people to meditation and yoga.

My artistic name is Namaha, and I’m exploring mixing mantras with Latin American music.

The purpose of sound is silence. Sound originates from silence, and its goal is silence. Silence simply means total harmony. When there is total harmony deep within you, then even sound seems like an object, it seems heavy. But the way is through sound, through music. Music is that which connects the individual to the universal. The limited mind expands through music and realizes it is already part of the big consciousness or the big mind.

~ Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

From India, with love: Sahil Jagtiani



I was a seeker who found his Guru 20 years ago. Ever since then life has been a rollercoaster ride filled with constant fun and inner contemplation. Being a Masters Degree holder from London in Business, I never thought I would be a singer. It’s all credit to the Guru. My interest in spiritual music came after attending my first satsang in London. I was encouraged to sing and have not stopped since then. In celebration, singing happens, and music is all around us. We just need to calm the mind and creativity bursts through.

Q. ​How long have you been involved with music​?

I started learning the guitar at the age of 16 (24 years ago) and was involved with music initially as a hobby and then as a passion. Until today I like to make music that I like to hear and not what is the run of the mill. I always like experimenting with new styles and genres. I have 30 studio musical releases of my own and have worked as a producer, guitarist, music director and programer on around 50 more. But actually, I feel that when I sit to create music, things just happen!

Q. ​What kind of music do you like? How does music affect the mind and one’s emotions?

I mostly listen to music that caters to a particular mood depending on the state of my mind. There are certain sound frequencies like 430.86hz that can bring harmony to the body-mind consciousness. It's the topic of the next album that I am working on. Certain raagas and tempos can induce healing like Shankarabharanam or Bilawal (major scale) to reduce high blood pressure. Gurudev has often spoken about certain sounds that activate the chakras. But after listening to all the music, it’s always good to meditate in silence. Music has its limitations!

Q. ​According to you, what kind of music should one listen to? Any specific mood changers?

Whatever you want to, but know that sound has an impact on the consciousness just like it does on water. It is too vast a field to discuss, and it's better that a layman just puts on relaxing flute music with bells and running water sounds to create an amazing space. Bhajans and chanting along with them (not only listening to them) uplifts the consciousness as well.

Rhythm of Africa: Taz



What kind of music do you like?

I like music that speaks of people’s experiences, but also most importantly, pleasant music. Music that makes you dance, music that makes you feel good.

How does music affect the mind and one’s emotions?

Calm music will obviously rest your mind. But if you’re playing music that is loud, obnoxious, then your mind will be all over the place.If anyone is meditating, they won’t be meditating on rock music or rap music. They would choose soothing, serene music.

Q. ​According to you, what kind of music should one listen to? Any specific mood changers?

Music that is positive makes you think of positive things. Something that won’t get you down. Not get you down. If you’re going through something, it will further depress you. You want to play music that will encourage you, lift your mood. I listen to a lot of cosmic music - it really lifts my mood.

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