We are known as "FREE-LIFE"--SHASHANA & ROLANDO--an improvisational duo--keyboard/synthesizer and guitar/guitar synth. We perform in a classically based New Age/Smooth Jazz and World Music style, and specialize (especially with our current CD) in original "Garden Music"--music composed exclusively for the plants, flowers, shrubs, and trees in your garden to help them grow and flourish more productively. Our music can also be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates soothing, meditative, and sometimes up-beat rhythms and melodies. The guitar style is in the tradition of PAT METHENY, the violin/cello synth sound is in the style of YO YO MA, and the overall ambient world/earth music sound is in the style of SECRET GARDEN. It's as if Pat Metheny met Yo Yo Ma who met Secret Garden and then all three decided to include in their music, the exotic melodies and rhythms of WORLD BEAT--all ready to heal and up-lift the sometimes restless, wandering, and meditative soul-searching spirit of both you and all of your "organic" garden friends.
Shashana and I formed "Free-Life" a number of years ago after we both recognized the need for a musical group specializing in World Music which could easily and effectively present and translate the complex rhythms and melodies of this music to a western audience. We have consistently sought out simpler ways of presenting our music and rhythms to make them more compatible for western listeners. Through our music, we wish to offer everyone the gift of an "enlivened compassion," and our desire to present participatory workshops and performances on World Music is a reflection of our understanding of the continuous and energized journey we are all on toward a world filled with wholeness, peace, harmony, and love.
Yes. Summer festivals. Beautiful botanical gardens on private estates open to the public and museum gardens as well as world music events. Every time we perform it is a special moment. It doesn't get any better.
It's like Pat Metheny meeting Yo Yo Ma meeting Secret Garden, and then joined by Acoustic Alchemy.
Shashana and I are practitioners of what is known as Sacred Sound Healing, a system that uses music as a therapeutic tool to help align and balance the body, mind, and spirit of the individual. We apply these same sacred principles to the musical attunement, nourishment, and healing of plants and flowers. "Just as you are a living, breathing, and feeling organism," says Shashana, "so too are your plants, flowers, vegetables, shrubs, and trees. And just as you need a balance between your body, mind, and spirit, your plants and vegetables need that same balance too."
Shashana and I also apply and are proponents of, the notion of "Gaia"--a concept and belief stemming from an ancient philosophy that claims the Earth is a living, breathing organism. "Gaia," Shashana explains, "is a Greek word that means 'Mother Earth.' Mother Earth was honored on the Isle of Crete in ancient Greece 5,000 years ago by the Minoan civilization. This civilization valued education, art, science, and recreation, as well as the environment, and believed that the Earth was directly connected to their existence and daily life.
"Rolando and I recognize that all of the Earth's living matter--air, oceans and land--form an interconnected system that can be seen as a single, pulsating entity. The word 'Gaia' also represents planetary awareness--the preservation and support of the interconnectedness of all living things. Thus by nurturing, protecting, and respecting our planet, its natural resources, and its inhabitants, we enrich not only our own lives, but those of future generations as well."
"Free-Life's" original music can best be described as a melding of the musical minds of Pat Metheny, Yo Yo Ma, and Secret Garden, encrusted in a canopy of World Beat and New Age ambience, with the compositional influences of Ravel and other early French Impressionist composers like Satie and Faure. This amalgam then spins and weaves a magical spell around both gardener and a very satisfied group of garden inhabitants.
Shashana & Rolando feel that their original music for the garden can play an integral part in the maintenance and care of plants and flowers, in much the same way that fertilizer and other nutrients do. They see their CD functioning as a "practical and useful tool" like pruning shears or a rake, to make working in the garden a more pleasant and easygoing task; and they insist that "no one should pass up this opportunity to provide the musical nourishment their plants and flowers deserve." Shashana & Rolando want you to "check out this CD" and give back to your 'garden friends' something beautiful. "After all," they claim,"it's only natural."