(Composer ans Recording Artist)
Stevin McNamara’s approach to music is based on the concept of raga, a traditional form of Indian music that has been in existence for centuries.
The word raga itself means “that which colors the mind.” It is not only a scale or some fixed sequence of notes; it is considered a living musical entity (like a God or Goddess). When correctly performed — at the appropriate time of day or season of the year — a spiritual connection between raga and musician occurs, thus creating a “sound manifestation” between artist and audience. It is an experience that is literally out of this world.
It is important to note that, in the strictest sense, the music Stevin performs is not traditional North Indian Classical music. Rather, it is borne from a personal musical style developed over many years – a style that is heavily influenced by raga
Stevin McNamara’s musical path began when he started learning guitar and piano at the age of seven. He pursued his playing with a passion, immersing himself in the local township jive, mbaqanga style and gospel choirs of his native South Africa, as well as the jazz, blues and rock imported from the US and UK. He played in a band with future super-producer Mutt Lange, and then relocated to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. A newfound love for Indian music led him from guitar to sitar, which he studied with Ram Chakravarty at Wesleyan in Connecticut.
Stevin soon gained a reputation as a multi-talented studio musician, where frequent recording sessions sparked his curiosity for what was happening on the “other side of the glass.” Fascination led to passion, and Stevin soon set aside his instruments to take a seat at the controls, employing his well-trained ear to help bring to life the musical visions of others.
Working with former band mate Lange to record such superstars as Def Leppard, Tina Turner and Bryan Adams was a quantum leap forward for Stevin’s music and production skills, and eventually landed him in Boulder, Colorado, where he quickly established himself as the go-to mastering engineer for the Denver metro area, and also worked as chief recording engineer for audio publisher Sounds True.
The growing trend of east-meets-west musical fusions inspired Stevin to share with others the music of his mind’s ear. He returned to playing, once again letting the music speak instead of the production.
Stevin, now living with his family in Ashland, Oregon, has since recorded six albums, two of which (Prana Groove and Shanti Guitar) have seen release through Boulder-based White Swan Records.
Recently, his pieces have made their way onto several CD compilations, including Putumayo’s acclaimed World Yoga.
Why I support GATE
Through my music, I aspire to contribute to positive transformation and awareness for all. It is my fervent hope that my music will, in ways subtle or grand, inspire others to move toward a spiritual awakening, a desire for peace and a sense of nurturing and care for our planet and each other. In alignment with GATE’s vision and mission, I strive to use music to move us away from what has not worked, to a time and place where people lived with respect for and connection to each other and natur
My Current Media Diet
Books : Water for Elephants, The Power of One, Eat Pray Love
TV: not so much
Films : Living in the Material World (George Harrison) Happy, Babies, The life of Phi Music : Debashish Bhattacharya – Nikhil Banerjee – Ali Akbar Khan – Derek Trucks – Quentin Dujardin
““You don’t have to explain music. When you hear it, sometimes tears come out; Other times you’re filled with joy that increases your energy for two or three days. Music teaches you to be sensitive.” – Sarod Maestro Ustad Ali Akbar Khan
“A poet is someone who can pour light into a cup, then raise it to nourish your beautiful parched, holy mouth.” – Hafiz