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Album Tracks: Vocal Medicine

The Vocal Medicine album tracks were recorded and produced in the fall of 2019. They were released during an all-day event on winter solstice. The celebration included four different kirtan bands, Tibetan bowls, yoga, gongs and a special visit by Santa. Organized by Kathleen Karlsen and held in Bozeman, Montana, the event was nicknamed a “chant-a-thon.”

After the album tracks were released, the band held two more performances in Bozeman. Then they traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona to offer a one-day workshop and kirtan combination. By March 2020, future events were cancelled due to concerns about COVID-19. Since then, Kathleen has held well over 100 solo events online. In addition, she has lead kirtan and mantras in outdoor locations including forests, parks and alongside the beautiful Yellowstone River. 

All of the Vocal Medicine album tracks are linked below. Contributing artists include Kathleen Karlsen, Andrew Karlsen, Mahima Giri and Paul Bohak. The title “Vocal Medicine” is a reference to the benefits of devotional mantras and chanting on all levels. This can be a solitary spiritual practice or the practice of kirtan (group singing). Please subscribe in the footer below or on YouTube for future release notifications.

Sita Ram: Sita Ram refers to the Hindu goddess, Sita, and her consort, Ram, or Rama. Sita is the main female character in the Hindu epic poem, the Ramayana, and is an incarnation of Lakshmi. Rama is the central male character and an incarnation of Vishnu. Reciting these names is believed to balance both sides of the brain. They represent the yin and the yang or the masculine and the feminine. Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Sita Ram.

Padmadevi Chant: This is a chant to Pandaravasini, one of the five female Buddhas associated with the Dhyani Buddhas. Her name means the White Robed One which suggests that she is vested with purity. Pandaravarsini’s mantra is “Om Padmadevi Pushpadevi Pam Svaha.”  Padma means a lotus flower and devi means a goddess or queen. Pushpa also means a flower. The mantra honors Pandaravasini as the goddess of the lotus and of flowers. Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Padmadevi Chant.

Lalita Shanti Om: The name Lalita means “she who plays.” Lalita is highly independent. She insists on retaining complete freedom. Lalita is a consort of Shiva, signified by the garland she places around his neck. Lalita’s beauty is noted in the term “sundari” meaning beautiful. “Ma amba” means “mother of the universe” and “shanti” means “peace.” This chant can be translated as “Victory to Lalita, the beautiful goddess, Mother of the universe who brings peace.” Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Lalita Shanti Om.

Om Tare Tuttare: This is called the Green Tara Mantra, a traditional Buddhist mantra. The word-name Tara is variously interpreted as Shining Star, Liberator, Rescuer or Savior. Tara is a Bodhisattva of compassion who manifests in female form. She represents compassion in action. Tara exists as a goddess in many other traditions including Hinduism, Polynesian mythology, Druidism, Finland, Roman mythology, and South America (Tarahumara). Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Om Tare Tuttare.

Devakinanadana Gopala: Gopala is one of the childhood names of Krishna, the son of Devaki. Krishna was sent to live in the country for his own protection from Kansa, an evil tyrant. As a result, Krishna’s childhood was spent as a herder. This is the origin of Krishna’s childhood names, Gopala and Govinda. “Go” means cow, a sacred animal that may also symbolically represent sacred scriptures. “Go”is sometimes translated as “light.” Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Devakinandana Gopala.

Parvati Parashakti: Parvati is the Hindu goddess of love and devotion as well as divine strength and power. She is the gentle and nurturing aspect of the Hindu goddess Shakti. Parvati carries a trident. The three-pronged trident removes evil on the physical, mental and spiritual levels. In the human body, the trident represents the place where three main energy channels meet at the third eye. This is a chant calling to the divine feminine in all of us. Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Parvati Parashakti.

Lokah Samastah: One of  the Vocal Medicine Band’s favorite chants! This mantra is one of the most beautiful of all prayers, meaning “May all beings be happy and free and may my life contribute in some way to the happiness and freedom of all”. This melody for chant was written specifically for an event devoted to preserving peace in spite of political differences and difficulties through the world. Music by Kathleen Karlsen. Listen to Lokah Samastah.

Vocal Medicine Album Contributing Artists

Kathleen is the lead vocalist and composer for the Vocal Medicine Band. She plays harmonium and manages the band and events.

Andrew Karlsen Vocal Medicine Band

Andrew Karlsen contributes vocals, recorder and udu drum to the Vocal Medicine band. He was born and raised in Norway.

Mahima Giri Vocal Medicine Album

Originally from Nepal, Mahima plays the hand cymbals (kartals), provides vocal support and expertise in Sanskrit for mantras. 

Paul Bohak Vocal medicine Album

Paul plays bass and acoustic guitar for Vocal Medicine. Paul also mixed and produced the Vocal Medicine album.

Responses to Vocal Medicine Album Tracks

“I put on your CD every night while I do my yoga. I love ending with Lokah Samastah. It is wonderful!” P.D.H., Boise, ID

“Love to listen, even if only for a minute! Fills my house with upbeat tunes!” SH, Livingston, MT

“The last few days my baby Callie has been very cranky with teething. After an hour of non-stop crying, I turned on your CD and she literally started bouncing up and down! Your CD makes Callie happy! I enjoy the cheerful spirit of your mantras too!” AL, Albuquerque, NM

“Loved the chant CD! Just listened to it while doing my dishes and really got into dancing and singing with it! Thank you! I can’t wait to buy CDs for friends for Christmas.” CH, Bozeman, MT


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