Rings of the Heart
Breathing Room began in 1998 as kirtan offered to a yoga weekend named "Breathing Room." Margot Milcetich gathered musicians in the Kent, Ohio area to begin developing call and response chanting with accompaniment. She and Michael Curtis on classical guitar are from the original group. "Rings of the Heart" is the second release and shares the acoustic feel and timeless echoes of the first, "Namo Namah." On this new release, the unique instrumentations of guitar and tabla inspire a soaring motion and thoughtful meditation. Joe Culley blends ingeniously on tabla, the India drum, with the tones of the guitar and the pure vocal line. The accomplished musicians that come together on "Rings of the Heart" blend the flavors of South America, Spain, and India. Michael Curtis travelled in the 1990's to Ecuador, Uruguay, and Spain with different scholarships including a Fulbright. He has a doctorate in music from a joint program of the Cleveland Institute of Music and Case Western Reserve University. Joe Culley is a life-long percussionist who has spent the last eight years focusing on tabla, studying with Ustad Kakir Hussain, Ty Burhoe, and Arup Chattopadhyay. Margot Milcetich brings to the group a life-long love of Sanskrit, sound, song, and teaching. Margot and Michael are both senior yoga teachers who collaborate to train yoga teachers in their area through Brahmrishi Yoga and The Yoga Place. As Breathing Room, they travel with Joe to various Northeast Ohio Yoga Centers to teach and share kirtan. Within her chanting are the values of awareness practice and the disciplines that cultivate the warm heart and open mind. Here, they are joined by local musicians, including singer/songwriter Hal Walker and hammered dulcimer artist Tina Bergmann as vocalist. She featured on the first CD as a vocalist and with her instrument. Betsy Zajko managed to record on "Rings of the Heart," returning from her current residence in Los Angeles, and the songbird Leah Thornton has added her vocal thrill. The full yogic choir is too numerous to list here, but their full sound is a silvery delight.