Explore the “Immeasurable Heaven” with Kathy Sanborn's New Release, Lights of Laniakea
September 28, 2015 – For her latest album, Lights of Laniakea, composer, singer, producer, and 2015 American Songwriting Award Winner Kathy Sanborn worked with musician, arranger and Grammy® Award Winner Ricky Kej to create a groundbreaking vocal album inflected with world-fusion elements. The lyrics, which thematically explore light throughout the cosmos, move from the intimate (the light within us) to the grand and majestic (starlight reaching us from far-flung galaxies).
This is Sanborn’s seventh album and it once again features her trademark sultry, sensuous, velvety voice. She sings in English on eight of the songs plus creates wordless vocalizing on three others (“On those I just wanted my voice to be another instrument in the band.”) The recording also contains the Spanish-language “Fantasy” which won an American Songwriting Award in the World category when it was released as a single (It additionally was nominated for a 2014 Hollywood Music in Media Award.)
More information on Kathy Sanborn is available at her website (KathySanborn.com). Her CDs, Lights of Laniakea, Fantasia, Sultry Night, Six Degrees of Cool, Blues for Breakfast, Small Galaxy, and Peaceful Sounds, and digital download tracks from those recordings, are available at online sales sites such as Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, eMusic, Rhapsody, and many others.
On those previous albums Sanborn showed her versatility by mastering many styles lyrically, vocally, and musically: new age (Peaceful Sounds), jazzy-pop and R&B (Small Galaxy and Blues for Breakfast), straight-ahead jazz (Six Degrees of Cool), Hollywood film noir (Sultry Night), and Latin jazz (Fantasia). “I like tackling different genres and finding inspiration from many sources,” explains Sanborn. “I don’t want to sound like or emulate anyone else, and I want to produce something artistically fresh in the world. My musical arc is a natural evolution. As a vocal stylist, I like to change my approach to whatever works best on a particular song. Just like an actor might take on varied roles, I look at each song as a different performance.”
Sanborn writes her own music and lyrics, does all the singing and vocal arrangements, and produces her recordings. On Lights of Laniakea, she teamed with Ricky Kej who arranged the music, played keyboards and bass, and brought in some world musicians: Varsha Kej on sitar, Butto on flute, Vanil Veigas on santoor and keyboards, Karthik K. on percussion, and Keerthy Narayan also on keyboards. Sanborn invited trumpet player Wayne Ricci whom she has worked with previously on numerous recordings. The result is a global synthesis especially spotlighting sounds from both India and the United States, and featuring gentle world rhythms. Kej is a master at producing these sounds having worked with many other musicians over the years, releasing his own CDs, and winning a 2015 Best New Age Album Grammy® for his world-fusion duet recording with flutist Wouter Kellerman.
Sanborn explains the inspiration behind Lights of Laniakea: “Back in 2014 at the University of Hawaii, scientists mapped a new supercluster in space that contains our own galaxy, the Milky Way. They named it Laniakea which means ‘Immeasurable Heaven.’ The name pays homage to the Polynesian navigators who used knowledge about the stars to navigate the Pacific Ocean. So Lights of Laniakea musically explores our universal desire to live in the light – in the ‘immeasurable heaven’ that is our home.
That is exactly what I wanted to evoke with this album. I wanted to write about light – the spiritual light we are always seeking, but also how light is our connection with the stars throughout the cosmos. Their light is what reaches us and touches us. Symbolically we do not want to be in the darkness with war and hate and all the bad things to be found on our planet. We want the light, positivity, love, and goodness. On the grand scale we want heaven on earth, an ‘immeasurable heaven.’ Why not dream big and call on the forces of the universe to bless us?”
Her lyrics expand upon these sentiments. Regarding the album's first track, “Star Catcher,” Sanborn says, “Catch the light and spread some light,” and about the next tune, “Follow the Light,” she states, “You have light, goodness, and a voice inside you which will tell you what to do if you listen, so turn that into a radiant purpose and passion for life.” She addresses deep relationships with “Soul Dancing” and “Fantasy,” both of which relate love to flying across the galaxy together.
The song “Abundant Love” is about the spiritual light always around us, while two tunes with wordless vocals, “Immeasurable Sky” and “Akea,” aim to link the idea of an expanding universe to expanding our inner light in a positive way. She describes children as bright lights in our lives (“Little Candle” and “Lani Heaven”). Sanborn titles one composition “The Stuff of Stars,” and explains, “Carl Sagan said everyone and everything are made of the same cosmic material, but the truth is we are each, individually, much more than that and we must work to achieve our full potential as beings.”
With two songs, Sanborn spotlights her positive outlook on life. “Someday” states her belief that human beings “will see the light and stop wars and killing people and all the horrible things that go on in society because our collective light is powerful and we can carry the torch to victory.” With the wordless “Seeds of Hope,” Sanborn dedicates the music to the environmental activist Dr. Vandana Shiva, who strives to protect the earth’s resources.
“The one common thread through all of my musical evolution is optimism, something I truly believe in,” explains Sanborn. “I know we can make a better world and that each of our lives can be improved for greater personal fulfillment. We need to move out of the darkness into the light. I have explored these lyrical themes before. On my first album, Peaceful Sounds, I aired pro-peace sentiments. On my second album, Small Galaxy, I was very positive lyrically, telling listeners to keep going and encouraging them to achieve their dreams. In some ways that album was smaller in scope, about just our galaxy, while Lights of Laniakea, as the title implies, is broader and deeper and relates to many galaxies, even more stars, more light, and more knowledge. But I try to make my messages soft, like helpful hints for living, rather than hitting the listener over the head with force. With this new music, because the lyrics are universal, I thought it made sense to have the music broaden into a world sound that helps cross cultural boundaries.”
Sanborn adds, “My main philosophy about music is that I believe in creating music to bring more light and happiness into the world. That is my mission.”
Radio Promotion/Publicity: The Creative Service Company * thecreativeservicecompany.com Randall Davis (CreatServ9@aol.com) & Ruthe Forbriger (cscRuthe@aol.com) 719-548-9872
Kathy Sanborn wins 2015 American Songwriting Award
June 30, 2015 - Singer and composer Kathy Sanborn has won a 2015 American Songwriting Award for her World single release, "Fantasy." Produced by GRAMMY®-winning recording artist Ricky Kej, the single will be included in Sanborn's upcoming album, Lights of Laniakea.
GRAMMY®-Winning Recording Artist Ricky Kej Joins Singer-Songwriter Kathy Sanborn in Lights of Laniakea
Teaming with GRAMMY®-winning recording artist Ricky Kej, singer/composer Kathy Sanborn combines her trademark silky vocals and heartfelt compositions with Kej's consummate arranging skills for her seventh album, Lights of Laniakea, to be released worldwide August 14, 2015.
Sanborn says, “Lights of Laniakea is packed with cheerful songs and positive energy. Always an optimist, I wanted to share my upbeat vision for the world in Lights of Laniakea, and Ricky Kej was the ideal arranger to bring my compositions to life.”
Just what is Laniakea? Back in 2014 at the University of Hawaii, scientists mapped a new supercluster that contains our own galaxy, the Milky Way. They named it Laniakea, which means, “Immeasurable Heaven.” The album, Lights of Laniakea, describes our universal desire to live in the light – in the “immeasurable heaven” that is our home.
Lights of Laniakea is World music that weaves delicate vocal tapestries and delightful melodies in a stirring musical treat for the senses. A cross-cultural blend of enchanting and uplifting compositions, Lights of Laniakea fuses the talents of GRAMMY®-winning musician Ricky Kej (India) and vocalist/composer Kathy Sanborn (United States), introducing a fresh and inspiring perspective to the genre of World music.
Kathy Sanborn is an American singer and composer renowned for her velvet voice and elegant style. For her seventh album, Lights of Laniakea, Sanborn stretches vocal boundaries on twelve lovingly crafted, original World songs. Sanborn recently won a 2015 American Songwriting Award for her World single, "Fantasy." In 2014, Sanborn received a Hollywood Music in Media Awards nomination for the single.
GRAMMY® Award-winning musician and composer Ricky Kej has earned multiple honors for his composition and production skills. His most recent project, Winds of Samsara, reached #1 on the Billboard New Age charts and won a 2015 GRAMMY® Award. The album also won Album Of The Year and Best World Music Album at the 2014 Zone Music Reporter Awards.
The 57th GRAMMY® awards held in Los Angeles on February 8th, 2015 brought the win home for New Age super talents Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman. Here are Kathy Sanborn and GRAMMY® winner Wouter Kellerman at a pre-GRAMMY party in Los Angeles. Congratulations!
The 2014 Hollywood Music in Media Awards
Hollywood Music in Media Awards nominee Kathy Sanborn walked the red carpet and appeared at the after party in Hollywood on November 4, 2014. The event was held at the beautiful Fonda Theatre, where Academy Award® nominee Eric Roberts presided over the festivities.
Kathy Sanborn Nominated for 2014 Hollywood Music In Media Award!
Composer/vocalist Kathy Sanborn is a 2014 nominee for a Hollywood Music In Media Award. Sanborn's nominated single, FANTASY, recently reached the iTunes bestselling World music charts.
Featuring producer/Billboard #1 recording artist Ricky Kej, FANTASY combines Jazz, World, and New Age genres in a song that captures the passion of romance. Sung in Spanish, the composition showcases Sanborn's renowned sultry vocals and signature jazzy style.