MUSIC Shanti Shanti Something Beautiful Text Markelor Berthoumieux Album photo by Joel Santos
Something Beautiful As Shanti Shanti, Andrea Santos and Sara Gracey fully represent peace in body, speech and mind. Their name is a spiritual chant deriving from the Indian root language Sanskrit, which these two have practiced since they were children. At a young age they naturally picked up Sanskrit, being able to recite and understand the ancient text with absolutely no training. They grew into experts, which led them to form their group, becoming ambassadors of its peaceful message with their self-titled debut in 1996. Shanti Shanti's seventh album finds them in a state of celebration and healing. Dedicated to their late father Robert Forman, they use Something Beautiful to explore those tough emotions. But rather than pain, listeners will feel calm and uplifted throughout this project. The clean vocals over their live instruments work as intended, placing you in a state of meditation. Honing their gift has allowed them to teach and impact others across the world. Their fluency and delivery on this album exudes the confidence their studies have given them. The effortless flow on tracks like “Gayatri Mantra” and “Purnamada” display their ability to arrange music around such intricate poems and prayers. Positive lyrics are the focus, as they sing about loving life and finding peace within. This album’s range of topics can be used as a guide to navigate all facets of life. These sisters assume the role of wise masters coming forth to invoke motivation through life’s rough patches. Within the nine year process of making this album, they mastered their songwriting and production, tasks that their father who worked as a musician, performed. Using hard work to surpass their limitations, they’ve now released music that 34 Reno Tahoe Tonight
is a true reflection of who they are and who they want to be going forward. I spoke with Andrea Santos and veteran engineer Lane Cameron of Reno’s Cameron Lane Music Services, who mastered the album, by phone to get their take on it. Markelor Berthoumieux: What was the inspiration behind Something Beautiful? Andrea Santos: Finding your inner peace and moving into the best part of yourself. Asking yourself those tough questions and letting go of fear or whatever is holding you back. Markelor Berthoumieux: What was the recording process like? Andrea Santos: Sara and I each have our own home studios so we worked together on most of it and separately on some parts. All the instrumentation and vocals were done by us, our brother Micah Forman and thankfully our father Robert Forman contributed a lot to this album and all our previous music before he passed. We created this as a family. Markelor Berthoumieux: “Carry Me” is a soothing record with some thoughtful lyrics. What went into creating that? Andrea Santos: Sara wrote that for her mother-in-law who passed away due to cancer. It’s a song about living life to fullest while we still have the chance. Markelor Berthoumieux: Many songs on the album, “Shine On” especially, have relatable qualities to them. What’s the feedback you’re getting from fans?