David Starfire Releases Benefit Album, Karuna
Veteran electro-fusion producer, David Starfire, recently released his Kickstarter-funded charity focused album, Karuna. Receiving its title from the Sanskrit definition of compassion, Karuna discovers the depths of empathy for a world that seems so far away from our own. Starfire features Burmese musicians, such as Len Pong, and sounds of nature to transport the listener onto the path of enlightenment through a mysterious forest. All profits from Karuna will be donated to Thai Freedom House, a nonprofit that provides free education to Burmese refugees. David Starfire has carefully crafted an excellent album that unites us all through the love of music — the true pulse of life.
Karuna illustrates a rich soundscape for exotic instruments to build upon. An electronic base provides a solid foundation to intriguing melodies. Starfire showcases his expertise as an electro-fusion producer by blending the sounds of Eastern and Western cultures. Each featured artist adds another brush stroke to the landscape Karuna paints in the listener’s mind.
David Starfire serves as the conductor for an extensive and diverse list of featured artists. Burmese stroh violinist, Len Pong, exhibits his skill while projecting the sound over a steady bass line on three tracks of the album. Also, for the first time legendary visionary artist, Alex Grey, reads from his book Art Psalms to serve as a heady guide on the track titled “The One.” Other featured artists include: electronic artist/violinist Govinda, violinist HAANA, hammer dulcimer player Jamie Janover, vocalist Gonlao, world-renowned musician and installation artist William Close, harp player and social activist Doo Plout, and prominent Karen social activist Chi Suwichan. In producing Karuna as a collective effort with other artists, Starfire joins Eastern and Western cultures into a beautiful blend of sounds.
Listening to Karuna sends the listener on a guided tour to another dimension. The first track, “Qilin,” introduces what is to come with the soundtrack of an electric forest journey. Throughout the album a featured violin adds a delightful layer to the soundscape in a way that both contrasts and complements an electronic foundation. After traveling through the human mind with Alex Grey, listeners will have ascended to a higher being the end of track three. With a heart-swooning violin and pulse-driving hammer dulcimer, the next track, “Khong,” is your reward for breaking through the veil.
The notion of breaking through comes to full fruition on “Na Hearn” when Gonalo sings in a foreign language among a wobble and bounce bass line. An overwhelming sense of exoticism grabs ahold of the listener and transports the mind’s eye. Track six, titled “Tenaku,” is the epitome of Starfire’s vision for Karuna. Recorded in Mae Sot, a Burmese refugee town, “Tenaku” features the heavenly Earth Harp and realistic wildlife sounds to create a contemplative piece. But your journey is not over yet. Chi Suwichan expounds upon the idea of Karuna as a state of “flowing infinity” the interconnection of life and nature.
To commemorate the release of Karuna, David Starfire will descend on Los Angeles for an album release party at Santa Monica’s Zanzibar on Wednesday, March 2nd 2016. Hosted by The Luminous Movement, the evening features supporting sets from Rhythmstar, Imagika Om and Electric Dandelion. Starfire will be devoting 2016 to touring in support of the album, including an album release party in Toronto on Friday, March 5th, as well as performances on the festival circuit, beginning with Tree Fort Festival and Lightning in a Bottle.