Megan Chaskey
Naam Radiance
Heartways Music
CD Review

The Megan Chaskey CD, NAAM RADIANCE, is full of chants for the modern world. Chaskey wrote new, contemporary new age music to go with her Sanskrit singing. The instrumentation is classic new age (cello, guitar, piano, Celtic harp and percussion) and she has moved her singing out of the realm of Tibetan temples and into the yoga class down the street.

This is warm, passionate music. Her supporting musicians are incredible: cellist David Darling (a New Age Album Grammy Award winner), guitarist and pianist Scott Petito (who studied at the Berklee College of Music), percussionist Mike Guglielmo (who attended Molloy College for Music Therapy and is a board-certified music therapist), Celtic harpist Aine Minogue (a popular Irish recording artist, folklorist and lecturer), and supporting vocalists Leslie Ritter (Amy Fradon, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin) and Beth Reineke (Rick Danko, Pete Seeger, Anne Hills).

Some of the tunes are short, like the prayer-sounding beginning and ending tracks, while others are deep, thoughtful and lengthy to help you get in the chant zone and mid-set (“Aardas Bahee” is 12-and-a-half-minutes long, “Aapa Sahee Hoa” in over 12-minutes, and “Ajai Alai” is nearly 11-minutes). There is one instrumental piece, “Cello Interlude,” which is two-minutes of David Darling giving his cello a workout.

This music is recommended for yoga workouts, but also is catchy enough to put on at a dinner party.