Available Jan. 15, 2021; new single & video releases Oct. 23
Moroccan artist Hassan Hakmoun and producer Jamshied Sharifi join Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson, aka Shunia, for a new album that blends Sanskrit chants, Latin prayer, ancient poetry, and exquisite orchestration into a sound that feels both new and timeless.
This album features the fusion of classical instruments from different countries, multiple styles of vocals, and the focusing energy of ancient chants, to bring feelings of joy, hope, and awareness to Western culture at a crucial moment in time.
In advance of the album’s full release on January 15, 2021, three tracks are releasing in the coming weeks, including “Sa Re Sa Sa” (Oct. 23, 2020); “Breeze At Dawn” (Nov. 13, 2020); and “Alleluia” (Dec. 4, 2020).
To create their self-titled album of transcendent music and melodic harmonies, Shunia, music duo Lisa Reagan and Suzanne Jackson co-composed with Tony Award-winning producer Jamshied Sharifi. The album takes the listener through mantra melodies, energetic vocals, and dynamic compositions worthy of a feature film score (www.shuniasound.com). They are joined by renowned Moroccan artist Hassan Hakmoun on two of the tracks.
Asked for their thoughts on making the album,Reagan and Jackson said, “When we set out to make this album, our focus was to make it musically stunning. As musicians whose lives have been enriched by chanting, we wanted to create a beautiful garden of sound where the chants could come alive. We thought about the unique energy of each of these mantras and created music that would be in harmony with it. Our hope is that people will sing and dance along with this album because it profoundly moves them.”
Reagan and Jackson became friends while attending graduate school at University of Maryland. Both performed with the Washington National Opera for 20 years while launching successful solo careers. The duo decided to meld their love for the power of chanting with their Western vocal prowess. This led them to form Shunia (pronounced SHOON-ya), choosing the Sanskrit word meaning “stillness and receptivity” as the name of their duo. “Shunia” describes a stillness of power, not passivity; quiet, unmoving and totally focused.
There is indeed a sense of deep focus present in each track on Shunia, which invites listening on dual levels. On one level, listeners are entertained by stunning compositions, virtuosic playing, and the duos’ rich vocals. On another level, one can focus on the wisdom of each mantra and lyric as it is expressed with deep conviction and impressive clarity.
Music journalist Robin James previewed Shunia, writing, “Overall, the album has a powerful sound that brings clarity and joy to the spirit,” going on to highlight a few of the new tracks as such: “Sa Re Sa Sa” (4:54) featuring the bright energetic voice of Hakmoun and the choral voices of Reagan and Jackson; followed by “Breeze at Dawn” (4:12), a traditional poem of mystical romance by the beloved 13th Century Persian poet Rumi, accented with percussion, oud, flute and choral vocals. Heading into the winter holidays, radio programmers will embrace “Alleluia” (6:51) performed in Latin with a celebratory feeling including vocals, drums, bass and flute.
If charting singles are an indication of future album success, it bodes well that the sensitive and empathetic “Akal” landed in the Top 10 of the New Age Music Guide chart for two months after its June release. Shunia felt called to release it ahead of the album in response to the mournful period of loss in the United States, hoping to lend some comfort. It garnered positive reviews from the U.S. to India; LA-based music writer Jonathan Widran of THE JW VIBE wrote, “You certainly don’t need to know these deeper meanings to appreciate, and more importantly, feel and connect with, the subtle yet sweeping energy wafting through ‘Akal.’”
Shunia’s popular debut album Ascend, released in 2017,offers exquisite harmonies and nine powerful mantras in a healing balm of sound. Both Shunia and Ascend are available worldwide in both physical and digital format, and available for streaming on your favorite music and video platforms.
Shunia is recommended for group classes or personal practice of yoga, or for simply gathering inspiration to move through the remainder of 2020 and into a healthier and more enlightened future.
Shunia Album Track List (Playing Time) – Releasing January 15, 2021
Sa Re Sa Sa (4:54) – releasing Oct. 23, 2020
Breeze At Dawn (4:12) – releasing Nov. 13, 2020
Alleluia (6:51) – releasing Dec. 4, 2020
Har Hare Han Wahe Guru (6:21)
Ang Sang Wahe Guru (6:42)
Ong Namo (5:37)
Sa Ta Na Ma (8:27)
Primary Music & Social Media Links:
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToSqyE2nGmI (new video October 24th)
Lisa Reagan, Suzanne Jackson, and Jamshied Sharifi are available for media interviews about the album. Shunia, individually or as a duo, are available to give guest commentary regarding the power of breathwork, yoga and chant, while Jamshied can speak to producing across all formats from music to TV to stage.
Physical CDs and digital dropbox of the album are available upon request to Windy Campbell at The B Company, firstname.lastname@example.org