Baird Hersey and his a cappella vocal ensemble Prana are always an otherworldly listen, whether it’s at home with headphones or a bone-piercing live show. A few years ago, he promised to collaborate with well-known chant master Krishna Das, and now he’s done it.
On Gathering in the Light, Krishna Das channels the divine using chants he composed on his own, providing rich lead vocals on top of the overtones of Hersey and Prana. For the first time on one of his recordings, Hersey has brought in (minimal) percussion, but everything else you hear is the amazing harmonics of the human voice. Because of his obsession with the Gyoto monks, Hersey mastered multi-phonic throat singing and, in turn, assembled eight local singers with impressive resumes, teaching each of them to sing two mellifluous pitches at once. The resulting chorus is something that must be heard to be believed, and, by throwing Krishna Das into the mix, Hersey has created something truly extraordinary and profound. Of particular note is Krishna Das’s trademark number, “Hare Krishna,” which he gives an entirely new twist—a one-and-a-half-minute lead of unbelievably gorgeous tones.
So if you want to turn your home into a temple, or simply bliss out for 48 minutes, look no further.