Wow! We reached our goal, thanks to the support of so many! We are so moved by the generosity of all who believe and support this project. Thank you so much!
If you still feel inspired to make a contribution and receive some of the limited edition perks here, contact us at SeanJohnsonAndTheWildLotusBand@gmail.com. We will devote all additional resources to making a greater impact with the new music. All additional funds will go towards strengthening our budget to get the album out to a wider worldwide audience and to support an extensive CD-release tour.
With Great Love and Gratitude,
Sean, Alvin, and Gwendolyn
My name is Sean Johnson. I am a mantra music artist and yoga teacher based in New Orleans, LA. I would also like to introduce you to my friends Alvin Young and Gwendolyn Colman of The Wild Lotus Band. We have been making music and touring together steadily for the last seven years. We seek to build bridges within and beyond the yoga world by sincerely expressing kirtan music from the authenticity of our own American, New Orleans, and personal roots-- passionately merging mantras with rock, funk, world grooves, and more.
Recently we decided to make a leap of faith to move away from the traditional music label business model. Our dream and goal is to independently release our next full-length studio album, bring the inspiration of mantra music to a wider audience, and support that outreach in a more financially sustainable way. The new cd will celebrate the unity between spiritual traditions, culture, and music. Songs from our current tours that we’ll be recording include: Unity (Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu) - watch the video above ; the gospel classic I’ll Fly Away; the Sufi chant La ilaha illa Allah; The Way Of Love (Jai Kali Ma); I Will Rise Again; Hare Krishna; Ramachandra; and more. All the songs are original compositions, except for I'll Fly Away. Lyrics include chants and mantras from different spiritual traditions as well as the inspirational poetry of Rumi.
Background and History
The kind of music we play, called kirtan, is the practice of chanting mantras, powerful energy based sounds that help to clear the clutter from our minds and create deeper spiritual connection. The mantras awaken qualities that we all have inside us no matter what language we speak, what culture we come from, or what our spiritual path is or isn't. Traditionally kirtan is a form of participatory sacred music from India. As yoga has spread beyond India, a growing community of international musicians are creating kirtan music that integrates mantras with instrumentation from a variety of cultures and genres. We feel blessed to be a part of this community and contribute to a form of music that is intended to be transformative. We have experienced personally, and hear people around the globe share that this music is cathartic, therapeutic, healing, and helps connect us to a deeper place within ourselves that is difficult to put into words.
Our journey as a band has taken us to many festivals and yoga conferences in the U.S. and Europe, including Yoga Journal, Bhakti Fest, The German Yoga Conference, Omega Institute, Kripalu Center, and many more. We are also the first kirtan band to ever play The New Orleans Jazz Festival, which was a huge highlight. Our music has appeared on Nettwerk/Nutone Records with label mates Krishna Das, Jai Uttal, Bhagavan Das, Wah!, David Newman, Donna DeLory, and more; Putumayo World Music; and Sounds True.
Though we have had great opportunities to share our music live and recorded, like many bands who are driven by their love of music over everything else, we are still seeking a basic level of financial sustainability that can greater serve our creativity and provide the necessary resources to share our music with a wider audience.
Previous Releases and Compilations:
The estimated cost of professional recording, mixing, mastering, artwork, printing, manufacturing, and effectively marketing our next album is $30,000. See the pie chart below for the breakdown. Any additional funds raised will go towards supporting CD release events across the U.S.
Some people have asked: "It costs $30,000 to make a cd? That sounds like a lot."
Of course it's possible to make a low budget album for much less than $30,000 in a living room, home studio, or studio designed for more casual recording. In fact, we've all done recordings like this before. But, our dream and our goal is to share with you a top-quality, full length recording that is sonically on par with our last album Devaloka and the best of today's world music releases. The engineer/producer we work with is a connoisseur of sound and has invested many years and a small fortune on the finest vintage microphones, boards, pre-amps, and other specialized equipment. We will also continue our tradition of supporting painters whose art we love to create the cover art, sharing the spirit of the music visually. The album costs you see in the budget below are directly on par with the costs for the making of Devaloka in 2009. The difference is that our label at the time paid for all of these expenses with an advance on sales. Otherwise, we never would have been able to afford to make Devaloka.
In gratitude and celebration of your contribution, we're offering valuable perks and rewards. You can contribute as little as $10, essentially an advance even exchange purchase of a download of the album, or make larger contributions. Perks include:
Signed copies of the cd;copies of our previous cds Calling The Spirits and Devaloka; stickers; posters; limited edition t-shirt; one of a kind tambourine handpainted by Gwendolyn; yoga classes with Sean; live recording of a "Bhakti On The Mat" yoga class guided by Sean with musical accompaniment by Gwendolyn and Alvin; print of handmade album booklet with art, doodles, and lyrics created by the band; Bhakti Package including Portable bhakti altar including mala bag, bhakti blend aromatherapy spray made by Gwendolyn, little statue of Ganesha, and wrist mala; Carnival package including festive Mardi Gras goodies Mardi Gras mask, Mardi Gras beads, feather boa, voodoo doll, and New Orleans made pralines; VIP package with complimentary attendance to 10 kirtans; attendance (for 1 or 2) at our annual 8 Day BHAKTImmersion retreat in New Orleans; dinner party with the band; a harmonium, drum, or guitar lesson with Sean, Gwendolyn, or Alvin; private concert for you and your community in your home, yoga studio, or other venue of your choice; Executive Producer credit on the album.
Please note: All rewards will be sent out after the album is complete.
Your support will make our dream of creating this album come true. Your help will bring more positive, inspiring, and healing music to the world. And, in a time that often feels divisive, your generousity will help us deliver a powerful, musical message of unity.
Other Ways You Can Help
The more people find out about this campaign, the better our chances of reaching our goal, so please help spread the word. And you can use the Indiegogo share tools to reach others.
Thanks so much for your support!
Sean, Alvin, and Gwendolyn