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Who are freeDOM and Leela ?


freedOM
freedOM was conceived in the Mystical land of India and took his first breath on the shores of Mombasa, Kenya in 1958. Raised in the tropical lands of Africa with free roaming wildlife, freedOM made a deep connection with the animal kingdom and the native Masai people. His early childhood was a rich musical experience as he was surrounded by tribal African chants and rhythms as well as the Eastern music of his parental heritage. He frequented Sikh temples with his parents and the Indian music (ragas and talas) performed there, greatly appealed to his ears. The quest for Indian Mystical music had begun. His first Tabla teacher was also a Violin maestro. freedOM would walk for an hour under the hot equatorial sun carrying the Tablas on his side for these weekly lessons. This initial formal endurance and technique training was to become the roots to his present day expedition.

In the early 70's the family migrated to Vancouver, Canada. In their religious and cultural circle, singers and Tabla players were uncommon. freedOM became a popular Tabla player and he furthered his studies in India in 1976. Encouraged by his parents, he pursued a formal study of Chiropractic in Portland, Oregon. The study of the body/mind link intrigued him, but his quest for the inner spirit was paramount. While in College, he collaborated with jazz musicians to create innovative grooves - blending and adapting traditional Indian rhythmic styles in various concerts and performances. In the early 80's Dr. Neel returned to Vancouver where he practiced as a Chiropractor but his desire and passion for music heightened. He pursued Indian music further and began playing the Harmonium and Vocalizing. Traditional Keertan (devotional) singing came natural to him and he became deeply engrossed in it.

In the early 90's an inner urge drove Dr. Neel from the bondage of control, gain and power into the search of inner reflection - freedom? He packed his bags and went full circle back to his "birthplace", Kenya. Here he resided in a village shrine at Makindu, spending months in silence, reflecting within, searching for that inner sound and harmony. As a result, music and song began to flow from his being. His soul began crying and laughing as all dualities came face to face, freedOM's song began. He traveled throughout Kenya for a year singing for charities. The power of Sound and Breath became the focus of his quest in life.

Keertan~Chanting became his lifestyle; he frequented hundreds of shrines and temples in this period He recorded two Keertan CD's (Peace & Bliss) and two cassettes (Sukh Paaya & Mantra Meditation), which were available during his live performances. Thereafter, he ventured to India and Pakistan to collaborate with various Singers, Mystics and Sadhus, performing in various Temples and Shrines. Upon his return, he performed concerts in Mexico City and Guadlajara with local musicians where he experienced a unique connection with the "Indian" and "Eastern" styles of the Latin cultures.

With the momentum of his music increasing, his path once more took him to Kenya. freedOM wanted to enhance his range and style of singing, combining his naturally deep emotional style with correct technique. He teamed up with Leela and left for Thailand where he formally practiced a strict regimen of vocal training. Upon return from these months of inner relaxation, the quest to expound the music and words of the Eastern Mystics became a burning desire.

Keertan~Chants, singing and sharing in the mystical experience of silence is freedOM's expertise. He loves the listener to become one with the music, taking them into a journey of self illumination.

LEELA

ln 1962 Leela was born into a Celtic, musical family in the Canadian town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia. In her early childhood the eight "Fraser-Family" children sang at various Scottish community and Christian religious events. Leela was only eight when she began her journey into the world of music and song. In elementary school she played the clarinet and piano while some years later in high school, she picked up the tenor and alto saxaphones. Music became an integral part of her daily life and this has continued to this day.

To fulfill her childhood dream of being a singer, Leela pursued a formal two year training program at St. Francis Xavier University and received a diploma in Jazz studies. The urge to further her musical talents resulted in a degree in Classical Voice three years later. Leela was drawn across Canada to Vancouver to explore and expand her musicality. At the University of British Columbia, she further studied the artfulness of Classical Voice. With over ten years of formal training, Leela was now ready to use her Voice as an instrument of statement in the journey of human adventure. She performed in Classical recitals, as a Church soloist, in Scottish concerts, Gospel and Jazz choirs and at various musical venues. She also enjoyed teaching and sharing her expertise about voice and breath control with singers and public speakers.

Teaming up with freedOM, Leela's debut album 'Mystics of the East' was a synthesis of her "Western" training and experiences with the "Eastern" styles. Leela has chosen to explore this genre of spiritual music, bringing to it her earlier influences and styles. She follows an inner quest for the source of being and lives to fulfill this quest. The sunset of the 'West' is as equally breath-taking as the sunrise of the 'East'.

Today freedOM & Leela continue to explore their inner journey sharing Keertan~Chants worldwide. Song and music is their true love and they want everyone to have the joyous experience of touching the inner essence.


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