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Shambhu: Soothing Guitar for Stressful Times

Jakob Baekgaard By

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AAJ: Many of your titles are very poetic. Do you name the songs after they have been played or have you named a song before you composed it? Could you talk about some of the titles that are special to you and how they can be related to the music?

SV: When I was writing songs for off-Broadway shows, I wrote to evoke feelings in a title or a scene. Now I start with the song and then title it. Thematically through my life I've been working on self-awareness, so my titles often aim in that direction. "Knowingness" (on Soothe) is about those brief and passing moments when we are conscious of a higher 'awareness.' "Pondering When" (on Lilac Skies) is built on a chord progression that could live under a Stephen Sondheim song expressing moments when you're stuck on a thought and figuring out how you'll resolve it. "Sanctuary" (on Dreaming of Now) is my peaceful place inside. "Inspired by the Night" (on Lilac Skies) is one of those amazing nights that you think is the harbinger of the future, but it was just a passing moment. "Eyes of a Child" (on Sacred Love) expresses the spark of innocence in a child's eyes. "Together" (on Sacred Love) is my anthem for a United world family. "Revelation" (on Sacred Love) is the unfolding of self-knowledge. Other titles are just fun, like "Blue Whispers" (on Lilac Skies).

AAJ: Overall, when going through your discography, there's a distinctive lyrical approach, but the sound changes from album to album. How would you sum up your musical journey so far?

SV: The Beatles saw every song as an opportunity to do something unique. I'm still exploring my world of musical possibility and exploring the sounds that I hear inside. My unique 'feel' hopefully binds together the styles in my work.

AAJ: What are some of the most important lessons you have learned from music?

SV: Seems like the world is tearing itself apart these days. Music is a universal language that can bring us together. I'm living in service to that idea. And you gotta put in the time. Music takes lots of work.

AAJ: So far, you haven't recorded a solo guitar album, could you envision doing this or is the interplay with other instruments too important to you?

SV: There is more quiet, relaxing guitar music to come, as well as deeper harmonic explorations that I enjoy. A solo guitar album is definitely on the way.

AAJ: Will you be touring with the new record? Where is it possible to hear you live?

SV: I just moved back to New York and hope to set up performances later in the year. Last year I was busy playing at regional wineries and Festivals in the San Diego area where I lived.

AAJ: Do you have any other projects coming up?

SV: The 5th album is currently happening; I'm running through songs old and new and making studio demos.

Selected Discography

Shambhu, Lilac Skies (Acoustic Shine, 2019)

Shambhu, Soothe (Acoustic Shine, 2016)

Shambhu, Dreaming of Now (Acoustic Shine, 2013)

Shambhu, Sacred Love (Acoustic Shine, 2010)

Shambhu Vineberg & Premik Tubbs, Equinox (Shambhu Records, 2009)
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