The modern world can be fast-paced, busy and downright stressful. For many, turning to quiet pursuits like Yoga can present momentary reprieve from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. To aid in our pursuit of a sense of calm, artist Brandon Parr has created a new album called Yoga Guitar. Parr is a multi-faceted artist. He is a singer-songwriter residing in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. He had this to say about his new album:
Q. What was your motivation for creating this collection of songs/tracks?
A. My shepherd dog was bit by a rattlesnake while we were on a walk in central Texas in November 2011. She survived, but it was a bloody and emotionally jarring ordeal. After the mad rush to get her to treatment I faced two weeks of torment, not knowing the eventual outcome. As a way of coping with the possibility of losing her, I threw myself into a new recording project.
I recorded three instrumental albums back to back, but Breaking Down was by far the most successful in terms of downloads and feedback. I got letters from people around the world who loved it, and that is often the next breath of air that keeps an artist afloat.
Perhaps the best feedback came from my wife, who is a dermatologist. She used Breaking Down daily as background music to calm veterans undergoing outpatient procedures. The project had special significance for me personally, but it has been a therapeutic tool for others over the years.
My wife introduced me to yoga last year because it’s an excellent way to build core strength. After taking it up, the thought crossed my mind that those instrumentals could be therapeutic with the right audience. Yoga Guitar was born.
I re-mastered the tracks, focusing on soft textures, and repackaged the collection for yoga enthusiasts. I hope that yoga instructors will fall in love with ambient acoustic fingerstyle guitar, just as I have time and time again.
Q. Do you practice Yoga on a regular basis? If so, which type?
A. I practice viniyoga. While this is the beginning of my daily routine, I’m still very much a novice. I’ll spend about 20 minutes in the morning stretching, but most days I have to take scheduled breaks to stretch specific muscles. Songwriting is fun, but staring at a computer screen is taxing on both the body and brain.
Q. Is this collection meant to be used when practicing a specific type of yoga or more for meditation?
A. Yoga Guitar should appeal to a wide, non-specific audience. The tracks are all about relaxation and meditation, but they are also melodic and energetic. I’ve listened to these songs on cross-country trips, walking the dog, and while washing dishes. They were collected for use with yoga, but are equally at home in any setting.