The music of Patrick Bernhardt has already reached out to thousands of people in deeply personal ways. This intimate connection will continue to grow with the release of Shamanyka — but his music as an art form has made a dramatic shift. Moving toward rhythmic motion and full-bodied vocal expression, Bernhardt shows an ever-widening skill for creating dramatic settings in which to place his potent chanting. While ethereal hues, instrumental textures and multi-layered vocal passages continue to underscore many of the tracks, Shamanyka is, in a word, ritualistic. The tracks include chants, as before, with their basis in Vedic/East Indian rituals. There are also four Native American chants, from Sioux, Modoc, Hopi and the Grey Flute clan tribes, one traditional African chant, an Islamic-Sufi incantation, and a Jewish/Hebrew Kabbalistic exorcism, called “Adonai.” There are two CD-only tracks: “Samsara,” with its mystical yearning, and a second version of “Adonai,” with a glowing, processional tempo and sparkling guitar. Each piece begins with one distinct sound; sometimes a plaintive piano, elsewhere furious hand drums, crickets or simply the voice. Then melody and pace are established and begin to intertwine and change as the keyboards, percussion and fretless bass frame the delicate guitar that focalizes each track. At times the sound ventures into rock terrain, and pulsating rhythms dominate portions of several pieces. His voice covers the full extent of his range, exerting intricate inner control while casting his gorgeous voice freely outward. Bernhardt has found a point of true power. His musical statements on Shamanyka clearly communicate the vast possibilities of this unique hybrid of varied cultural origins.
Artist: Patrick Bernhardt
Patrick Bernard creates original compositions in the tradition of devotional chant and invites his listeners into truly centered meditative states.In his recordings, ancient healing mantras and universal sacred chants (mainly Sanskrit, Latin & Hebrew) are translated into a contemporary musical form, using high-tech synthesized multi-choral progressions and many ancient acoustic instruments. A warm and richly complex musical texture generates background for his singing in which he freely expresses his heartfelt longing for many forms of Godhead. Bernard’s blend of soothing instrumentation with his soft devotional chanting is a perfect companion for any healing practice, be it mediation or yoga.
Long before contemporary chant was trendy, Bernard was inspiring audiences with his powerful devotional compositions based on sacred Sanskrit, Latin and Hebrew writings. Mr. Bernard’s recordings of “well being” music have consistently achieved high status, winning awards, achieving Gold status and even landing him on the Billboard charts (he was the first Canadian to climb Billboard’s New Age chart). Patrick has remained a best seller in his category for many years.