Himalayan Muse by Dattaa
About the Artist
The Early Days
Dattaa/Alan Wade grew up in Canada and the UK. From a young age he was always fascinated by music and anything to do with it. In high school he took music as an elective and played alto & baritone sax in the school orchestra. He developed a passion for listening, playing and composing folk, blues, jazz and pop music and took up guitar and piano. Through the music of The Beatles and, in particular, George Harrison and his sitar teacher, Ravi Shankar, Dattaa became enthralled with Indian music and culture.
This ignited a flame within Dattaa that has sustained his lifelong interest in Indian philosophy and its related spiritual practices.
Dattaa studied religions of the world in college, and his university life also featured appearances in rock bands, jazz groups and solo performance projects. He continued to acquire practical skills on guitar and keyboards and extend his theoretical knowledge of music after completing school. Beyond his basic formal training he continuously explored new musical horizons and furthered his grasp of musical technique and theory. Whenever and wherever the opportunity arose he gleaned whatever he could from fellow musicians, helpful mentors and giving guides. In this fashion he developed his own voice and found surer footing on his musical path to Self expression.
The Himalayan Muse
In 1972 Dattaa was fortunate enough to meet his Guru, Swami Shyam, through good friends in Ottawa. He started meditating and reading Yoga philosophy and imbibing its lifestyle. Subsequently, he journeyed to India in 1977 to study more closely with Swami-ji and deepen his understanding and practical knowledge of this ancient and profound tradition. While in India, Dattaa also obtained a wonderful, custom-made veena and started lessons in classical Indian music on this instrument.
Living in the Himalayas—daily sitting for long periods with a fully-awakened meditation master and experiencing the simple, ageless Yogic lifestyle—was a totally transformational period for Dattaa. He received his spiritual name during this visit. Dattaa is the shortened form for his full Hindi name, Dattaatray, the giver of life. Suffice, this yearlong study with Guru-ji, in a magical, mystical Himalayan valley, forever established Dattaa on his current path. He has pursued Self realization through mantra meditation, self-awareness and creative expression ever since!
It had always been Dattaa’s dream to return to live and study in the Himalayas for an extended period. He worked and saved and planned and, finally, in 1999, along with his wife, Shree, moved to his beloved valley in northern India. This musical expression, Himalayan Muse, naturally evolved during this period—from meditations, creative experimentation and musical exploration in his new home. In harmony with his dearest Guru Dev, Swami Shyam—the actual Himalayan Muse—Dattaa gently, patiently and steadily brought this music into recorded existence for your listening enjoyment.