La Lumière du Son

La Lumière du Son by Betty Roi, A Bientot Records.

Parisian-born San Francisco Yoga teacher Betty Roi’s latest release, La Lumière du Son, is a stunning blend of Sanskrit chant and French vocals set to raga, jazz, and classical instrumentation.  Translated as “The Light of Sound,” the album bathes any activity it accompanies (yoga practice, dinner by candlelight) in ethereal brilliance and joy.  With each mantra and each stunning track, Roi’s reverence for the Divine is palpable.

The soothing opening track, “Sagesse,” is an invocation of wisdom and love; it sets the tone for the captivating journey to come.  In “La Compassion,” Roi sings the mantra “Lokha samastha sukhino bhavantu” with indian classical vocalist Shweta Jhaveri, accompanied by a snake-charming bass clarinet for a hypnotizing effect that does not wear off until the album ends and the spell is broken.  The “Ode à Saraswati” is, perhaps, the brightest star in this shining collection – a dazzling example of Roi’s unique devotional chanteuse sound. La Lumière du Son is a luminous collection of transformative music that will soothe your soul and complement all aspects of the yogic life.

Katherine Rae, Yoga Journal Magazine, August 2011

I listened to La lumière du son and was so very impressed with what Betty has created!  It’s a beautifully put together project, and her voice sounds gorgeous.  Not only is her voice pretty — as it always is — but there is a great conviction, an arresting presence in it. Saraswati is devastatingly beautiful.  The musicians did such an extraordinary job.  This is the most thoroughly “Betty” project to date, integrating and expressing different wonderful aspects of who she is.  Quite extraordinary — Bravo!

Ann Dyer, vocalist and yoga and sound teacher

Betty Roi’s hauntingly beautiful new CD, La lumière du son, is a dip into the sublime. Her rich voice is perfectly suited to the sacred chants and, while I love hearing them in the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, I so appreciated the unique poetic sounds of her French translations just as much. This CD will soothe your senses while massaging your mind. It seems Betty’s own spiritual practice adds a gravity of presence to the tones that allow the listener to drop into their own vivid presence, a place where sound and silence arise out of the same source.

Sarah Powers, international yoga/mindfulness teacher

La lumière du son is fantastic! I honestly think it is one of the best new age albums I have ever listened to. Betty has a distinctive voice and style that, when applied to Eastern mystical music, creates something new and exciting. Her music is alive, never boring, and full of soul and passion. Congratulations on creating something beautiful, new, and full of heart.

Tom Grothe, singer

Having had the pleasure of hearing Betty Roi sing A Capella on many occasions in the yoga room, I was eager to hear her new studio album, La lumière du son. I am impressed by the delicate blending of Eastern and Western sounds, which feels like an authentic expression of Betty’s sensibilities as an artist and musician as well as a devoted student of yoga. The songs vary in style, from the simple melodic structure of the mantra Om Mani Padme Hum, to the deeply emotional sonic journey of Ode a Saraswati, perhaps the strongest track of the album. Hidden gems on the album include the perfection of Shweta Jhaveri’s classical Indian vocals on the track Om Namah Shivaya. In addition, the track Heureuse keeps the instrumentation interesting by adding electronic rhythms, giving the track an edgier sound.

The album is truly unique, not trying to be anything but a heart-felt expression of Betty’s love of song and beauty. Richly orchestrated strings and piano support the vocals and hold the continuity of the sonic landscape from beginning to end. Well done!

Peter Wolff, health and wellness visionary, yoga teacher, music producer

Betty’s ethereal voice will lift your spirits, and transport you to another world that will facilitate your connection to your higher self.  It is full of mystery, alluring and sensual. The instrumentals and orchestration are brilliant, sophisticated, complex, and inspiring.  It is simply beautiful; I love it!

Camille McDowell

La lumière du son provides direct access to an experience of ananda. Whatever state I’m in, I know that when I listen to Betty’s haunting vocals, my soul will enter a state of peaceful bliss. I listen while I’m doing work, and even the frustrating tasks are soothed with this enchanting music.

Chloe Lauer, health counselor

I love La lumière du son.  It is the perfect blend of transcendent music and music that is mentally and emotionally intriguing – offering something for the heart as well as for the mind.  This makes it a perfect accompaniment for bodywork.  The yoga practice of Betty is reflected in her music…musical fire and water.  I cherish the healing, thoughtful vocals.

Kathryn Delwiche, Western herbalist

I was lucky enough to take Sarah Powers Yin session at the Yoga Journal conference.  Betty’s voice during savasana was unbelievable.  I had seen her walk in before starting and as soon as she began I knew it was her!  What a joyous gift she has to share.  What a beautiful feeling there was in that room.  Thank you so kindly for sharing your voice and spirit with your students and those around you.

Jessica Turner

La lumière du son is a gem in the mosaic of meditative music.  Its multiple facets reveal Betty Roi’s dedication to both the love of music and the teachings of the yogic tradition.  Pick up this gem; as you listen, you’ll see how some facets are brilliant (La Compassion), while other tracks, like Tara Verte, reveal the deep, rich color of the mantras that they portray.  This album shimmers in its wisdom.

Penelope Armstead-Williams, professional dancer

I played Betty’s new CD, La lumière du son, this morning while I practiced yoga.  I was immediately transported into the stream of yoga and enjoyed such a good feeling, hearing her beautiful voice while I practiced.  It made me feel like I was in Betty’s class and all the yogis were in the room with me, while she was singing to us.  It was so wonderful!

Gail Keeley, yoga teacher

La lumière du son has been a lifesaver for me! I’ve been very stressed due to my frenzied pace of work and traveling, and Betty’s CD soothes me instantly.  I wake up hearing her voice and play it as soon as I start my day! La lumière du son uplifts me on a cellular level! Sagesse has become my mantra: I think of this song and feel great peace and comfort!  It’s magic in the very best way! Thank you so much for this gift!  The day I traveled by plane for 20 hours and went 42 hours without sleep, my mind would reach for Sagesse to keep me going!

Brigitte Center, artist

Each song on this CD is so lovely. Transporting, calming, rich and layered, it touches many parts of me.  Thank you for the gift of this music, for taking the time to make it.  I can’t wait to play it for my students and tell them where it came from – from the heart and soul of a wonderful woman.

Patricia Sullivan, yoga and meditation teacher

In this CD Betty moves into world music mixing all kind of genres. This is a really interesting CD of world-class level!  The musicians, the tunes, the moods – it is all very impressive and enchanting. It is not just about Betty’s voice – but a collective expression of art. Well done!

Borge Madsen, painter

Haunting, evocative, luscious…Betty’s offerings are rich tapestries that call us deep into our own hearts.  She has created a truly luminous offering that is perfect to practice with, use for bodywork or bring you back to yourself after a full day.  I love them!!!!

Darcy Lyon, therapist and yoga teacher

At last Betty has given the world two new collections of music, completely different from each other and yet both reflecting different facets of her sparkling personality.

“La Chanteuse de Paris” is a wonderfully enjoyable collection of chansons francaises.  The songs are full of joy and life energy and the unique beauty that is the Paris of our dreams.  Betty sounds so radiant and self-assured on all of these songs.  They are truly in her blood, and each of the songs feels like a gift she happily shares with us–windows into the world of Paris that helped to make her into the distinctive, actualized person her friends have come to know and love.

“La Lumiere de Son” gives us a completely different, and amazing, look into Betty’s soul.  These chants for meditation seem to channel and focus energies from many different sources–different cultures, moods, and spiritual approaches–and allow us to feel for the moment what it is like to be at peace within oneself and to be at one with the world.

When I listen to Betty’s remarkably pure, focused voice on these tracks (and the sympathetic instrumental accompaniment provided by Jonathan Alford and others), I feel that is possible to know serenity.  I feel that Betty’s physical body is a well-tuned instrument in perfect condition to transmit a pure, radiant light that comes from afar but is also available to each of us from within the deepest part of our selves.  Each piece on this collection instantly seems so right, so flawless, that it is easy to forget that Betty and her fellow musicians composed and collaborated together to create these beautiful moments of music and spirituality.

Thank you, Betty, for these two unique and wonderful gifts you have made from your own self.  I know they will bring much joy and light to everyone who is fortunate enough to listen to them.

Barry Warren