Sacred Hymn (taken from O Breathe Us Deep CD)

Diane’s music and vocals, my lyrics



“When Diane Bardwell sings, her voice wends its way into your heart. Like a healing elixir, it instills courage; it helps you to gather your forces and move again and again toward the expression of your best self. It repairs wounds that need mending. It allows you to breathe easy and free. Like some ancient, primordial embrace, the quality and depth of sound that comes from deep within her, helps you to feel like everything whatever it is will be all right. It is wonderful too, to watch her perform, to see the joy she feels in doing what she knows she was put on earth to do.”Margaret Wolff, MA, author of In Sweet Company: Conversations with Extraordinary Women About Living a Spiritual Life
“I have found that her music and her voice also have a huge, yet gentle impact to help carry me through the difficulties I might be working through, or inspire and touch me in a way that takes me even deeper into where I need to go. Her music is a beautiful vessel for compassion, love, joy, grace, and beauty. For me, at its best, music was made to achieve what Diane’s music does: through it, I experience being reconnected to humanity in my joy as well as in my pain.”Dr. Laura Calderon de la Barca, psychotherapist, Mexico

My first contact with Diane was centered around poetry and music. She emailed me in late March 2005 to ask me if I’d be okay with her setting one of my poems, which she’d just come across online, to music. That poem was Sacred Hymn. I responded by saying I’d like to talk with her first.

And thus began our relationship. For the next three weeks we had many long, deep, easy phone conversations; she was in Ojai, California and I was in White Rock, British Columbia. We reworked Sacred Hymn some, shifting it from its original poetic form into lyrics, and Diane created the music for it. As close as we felt during our talks, we didn’t talk about our evolving relationship, other than acknowledging how good it felt to hear each other’s voice and what wonderful ease and depth there was in our interplay.

Three weeks after our initial contact I went to see her and whatever veils still were between us very quickly dropped. A year later we were married. By that time, she’d sung Sacred Hymn many times at various gatherings and groups — we’d usually close our weekend workshops with her singing it and with the entire assembly chanting the chorus.

There were other poems of mine that Diane saw as potential songs, none of them needing much alteration to be music-ready lyrics. With much mutual pleasure we reworked seven of these and Diane arranged each one musically. It was our first collaboration, soon to be followed by our side-by-side collaboration in our psychospiritual healing and awakening work. Soon we had eight songs done, each birthed out of our ever-deepening intimacy.

Then we were funded to do a high quality CD, and so began the recording process, with the recording studio just one mile down the road from us! Top musicians serendipitously appeared and participated, including a quartet from the Vancouver Symphony. For each song I would sit facing Diane in the recording booth; we’d gaze at each other, connecting very deeply, then she would sing, and sing, and sing, until it was obvious that she’d captured the essential feeling and message of the song.

The outcome of this was O Breathe Us Deep, released in 2008. All the lyrics appear immediately below. Some songs are devotional, some are raw; some soar, and some dive deep; but all are put together in the spirit of awakening to who and what we truly are, featuring a genre-transcending spirituality.

Diane's vocals and music, my words, ours to offer.

O BREATHE US DEEP

Diane brings her richly evocative voice to each song, singing with a heartfelt fluidity. Some songs are devotional, some are raw; some soar, some sing and bleed; but all are presented in the spirit of awakening to who and what we truly are, featuring a deeply embodied, genre-transcending spirituality.

What connects the songs of O BREATHE US DEEP is not a particular style, but rather the poetically-articulated embracing and living of a deeper life, a life in which body, mind, emotions, and spirituality function as a natural integrated whole.


Lyrics & Sound Clips for Each Song

 

Listen:

O Father of my soul, O Breath of my breath
Taking me through death after death
O May I be a vessel for Your Light
As I sail through the night
In You I rise and fall
Pulsing with Your Call
Ever dying into You am I
Like clouds into endless sky
O Guide me, guide me on, guide me free
Guide me, guide me on, guide me into Thee

O Mother of my soul, O Cradle of my every birth
O Green, green heartbeat of my earth
O May I make room for Your Embrace
I awaken to You in every place
In You I rise and fall
Pulsing with Your Call
Ever dying into You am I
Like clouds into endless sky
O Guide me, guide me on, guide me free
Guide me, guide me on, guide me into Thee

O Source of my soul, O Joy beyond desire
Your Welcome is all that I require
As I come alive in Your Spirit-Fire
O May I open to You, up and down
Until my heart finds sacred ground
In You I rise and fall
Pulsing with Your Call
Ever dying into You am I
Like clouds into endless sky
O Guide me, guide me on, guide me free
Guide me, guide me on, guide me into Thee

O Lover of my all, O Joy that cannot die
O Wonder beyond every goodbye
You are forever, forever here
This is how You must now appear
In You I rise and fall
Pulsing with Your Call
Ever dying into You am I
Like clouds into endless sky
O Guide me, guide me on, guide me free
Guide me, guide me on, guide me into Thee

O May all things awaken me
Until there is only Thee
O May all things awaken me
Until there is only Thee



“With the pristine purity of her beautiful voice, Diane Bardwell has created a divine feast of devotional love songs, born from Robert Augustus Masters’ transcendent lyrics and taking form as this deeply spiritual offering: “O Breathe Us Deep.” Her music is an authentic heart-felt gift that uplifts all who can hear.”Robert K. Hall, MD and cofounder of the Lomi School, El Dharma, Todos Santos, Mexico
“O Breathe Us Deep is the most powerful and beautiful music I have listened to in a very long time. It is deeply spiritual and transcendent, yet roars and weeps and laughs and sighs. These songs resonate in my bones and in my soul and invite me to journey with them, and be opened more fully by them. A truly sacred invitation to be fully alive and awake in Mystery. There is something very special being offered in this collaboration between Diane and her husband Robert (who wrote the lyrics). I feel deeply blessed to be receiving it.”Saleem Berryman, Goias, Brazil/Ashland, OR
“The music in each of these beautiful songs takes my breath away. The soul and emotional depth expressed through both the lyrics and Diane’s magical voice moves me to tears. I relate to every feeling in every song. Thank you for this amazing and heart-felt gift.”Pamala Oslie, author of Love Colors
“Diane’s CD is therapy in of itself. I was listening on my way to work and it blew me away. Best CD I have heard in a very long time. In fact, I have never heard anything like it. Totally amazing. If you can’t make one of Robert Augustus Masters’ sessions, get this CD. All I can say is that its having a healing effect on me that I have never experienced from any music before. This music is loaded with powerful stuff. I have heard her perform live also, her voice fills a room (without the need of amplification), she’s a natural. These two make an impressive couple.”Daniel Smith, Florida

EMERGENCE

Western Contemporary Chants for Healing and Awakening

Emergence takes the ancient art of chanting in one’s own language and gives it an original, contemporary, and evocative treatment, featuring seven unique chant-songs in English, each of which invites contemplative depth, soul-centered singing, and spiritually vibrant movement.

In Emergence meaning, melody, richly layered harmonies, and deeply moving singing all resonate together with transformational power, providing a soundscape and meaning-infused environment that alerts us as much as it opens and rejuvenates us.

This is music that doesn’t just uplift us, but also expands, deepens, and grounds us, moving us into a more fulfilling sense of wholeness. This is music to guide us through the challenges, troubles, and transitions of our lives, helping us not so much to rise above our difficulties, as to pass through them and EMERGE!

Diane is not just singing but is expressing, with her whole being, the meaning of her deceptively simple words, weaving them more and more fully into us as we listen. World-class producer Stevin McNamara is at the peak of his many years of musical wizardry and exquisitely attuned sonic sensitivity, doing wonders with the arranging, so that each chant-song very clearly stands on its own.

As we let Emergence touch us, we find ourselves feeling more and more unshackled, swept to our core on a river of sound and primordial meaning. We may sing with it, we may dance to it, we may silently listen to it, but whatever we do, we are brought closer to who and what we truly are.

Listen to Clips of Each Chant

 


 
“I was struck by the astonishing beauty of Diane’s new album Emergence, both aesthetically and lyrically. I love how the music plays with tribal rhythms, conventional pop/R&B song structures, and sweet transcendent melodies. Diane’s voice sounds absolutely gorgeous–I can feel a real transmission coming through her, evoking a subtle sense of being ‘pulled up’ out of mere gross-body awareness, even as the music keeps me grounded in the sensual. Highly recommended!”
Corey deVos, Editor-in-Chief at Integral Life, Boulder, CO
“Emergence calls our authenticity out of hiding, heartfully reminding us of the chord of truth reverberating in the deep within. With depthful simplicity and a divinely inspired voice, Diane Bardwell sings us home. There is nowhere else to go- just home. I love this disc.”
Jeff Brown, Author of Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation
“Diane’s voice is irresistible! She projects a clarity and openness that I have not heard since Karen Carpenter or Barbara Streisand. This recording is a powerful blend of beautiful music and profound messages which gently invites you to leave off thinking about spirituality and enter into an experience of authentic and felt spirituality that is already present within each of us, awaiting our recognition.”
Ronald Radford, world-renowned Flamenco Guitarist (www.ronaldradford.com)
“I am finding listening to Emergence very nourishing. It’s a remedy, a comfort and an inspiration to me. I love the richness of the arrangements and am loving how on deeper and deeper listening new elements are always popping out at me.”
Frances Andre, Music Teacher, London