When I was asked to write an article for DANCE some months ago, it was like a confirmation of the intention behind my new project, #ShakeYourPower. ‘This is the Dhamma’, I thought, ‘This is it right here’.
To explain, my name is Sudha and I am a British Asian female musician, more specifically a percussionist. I’ve been playing with the likes of Faithless, The Spice Girls, Dido and more, for the last 20 years. The new project I speak of is about bringing clean energy to places in the world without electricity, through the medium of music. For the last year, I have been developing a musical instrument, a percussion shaker, which converts the energy from shaking it, into electricity. Users can then plug in a light or charge up a mobile telephone.
People have been asking me about the motivations behind the project, and my answer is honest and simple; that for many years I have wondered whether the huge amounts of energy created from performing on some of the world’s largest stages, could be harnessed and used. But there is a deeper motivation which underpins this project, one aligned with a call for right living.
Playing music has been my life and bringing thousands of people together through the power of music is something that has always left me with a felt sense of purpose. To benefit others in this way, to provide the means for release, joy and happiness has been a huge motivation.
But last year, something shifted inside. Sitting a retreat at Suan Mokkh monastery in Thailand, I realised that the search for the next big tour or gig would not bring me the gratification it had brought for so many years. Of course I needed to earn a living for the welfare of myself and subsequently others, but it’s like the game was playing and it just wasn’t working any more. Being there in the Thai forest, suspended in nature, so fragile and so impermanent, the realisation arose that right living was to help change the collective consciousness, to help find a new way of being on our beautiful planet. Nature was calling and music was the natural response.
Music, a gift from life, a way into the hearts of so many people suffering on this earth, was the way my story could bring together the urgent need to protect the earth whilst providing power for those in need, in a joyous, celebratory way.
And so, the manifestation arose and the product was born. Whilst the design of the percussion shaker would be based around the shape of a flint stone, the inside would be modelled on the internal chambers of the heart. The very foundation of this project would come from the heart.
A year on, and the project is moving full steam ahead. I am just back from taking the shaker around schools and homes in Kenya, where 75% of Kenyans currently live off-grid. The work there was filmed as part of a crowd-funding Kickstarter campaign, now due for launch.
On the one hand, #ShakeYourPower is a project about taking clean energy to places in the world without electricity. But primarily, it is a project about interdependence and togetherness; an invitation for us all to rise up as guardians of nature and to bring power to those who need it.
Come and join the #ShakeYourPower Kickstarter campaign, your energy is needed to fuel this project in whatever way you can. If you can donate funding, then your contribution will be much appreciated. But just as important is sharing this project with others, so please do click on the link above and share it with as many people as possible.
Let’s use music as a cure for our planet and for all sentient beings!