The music of Rasa – Hans Christian and Kim Waters – is based on Indian devotional love songs from the Vaishnava tradition, sung in Bengali and arranged with both Western and Indian elements. RASA honors the spiritual values of the Vedic culture while expanding the traditional threshold of devotional music. All of their CDs to date have received world-wide acclaim.
Hans Christian’s musical journey began many years ago in Germany by studying the cello. “I started to play when I was nine years old and had a private teacher for 10 years. Although my teacher imposed a strict and disciplined approach to learning the instrument I remember him fondly; he was preparing me to go to the music conservatory to become a professional cellist. Deep in my heart, though, I knew all along that this was not going to happen.” His life was to unfold along different lines.
Kim Waters is a distinguished illustrator and singer whose publications include Illuminations from the Bhagavad Gita, Enchanted Tales, The Butter Thief, The Vrindavan Fold-out Temple, and Devi, a fold-out altar. She has been singing devotional songs of the Vaisnava saints for many years, inspired by the mystical teachings and rich cultural heritage of India. To describe the path that led Kim Waters into the public eye as the singer of RASA one has to sift through many stories and historical anecdotes.
Recalling her first memories, she remembers that “In early childhood I spent summers on a lake in a beautiful forest preserve called Mt. Riga. It was there that my desires to be an artist and folksinger first arose. My first artistic inspiration was my father who always had a canvass in progress; but my mother also encouraged me, teaching me various crafts and singing with us. Both my sister and I enjoyed a very creative upbringing…”
In a live concert, Kim Waters’ singing in Bengali and Sanskrit is accompanied by Hans Christian on cello, sarangi, nyckelharpa, sitara, and electric bass. In addition, the artists are also using a sophisticated setup of samplers and live-looping devices to create an unusually rich and textured sound. Their concerts are both meditative and invigorating, full of virtuosity and devotion.