You Are with Me
WHAT IS Aksara? The name Aksara has Eastern Indian origins and means 'Syllable of Sound'. When you listen to Aksara, an 8 woman a cappella group from southern New Hampshire, their enchantingly expressive harmonies and variation in repertoire and instrumentation bring the listener to a place of composed peacefulness; an experience not an event! 'Their lyrics speak beautifully of the strength of spirit in all of us...serene, very harmonic...each piece has a profound message of it's own.' Mainely A Cappella Catalog WHO IS Aksara? Their individual professions are as varied as their personalities and repertoire pieces. Among the eight women you'll find TWO environmental engineers, a speech pathologist, professional musician, educational mentor, social worker, computer software programmer and a juvenile probation officer. Add to that mix GREAT humor and deep affection for one another.....it doesn't get any better than THAT, folks! '...And in what genre is your music?'...this is the quintessential question asked of Aksara since it's inception on June 24, 1998. And to this moment Aksara members will tell you that their music is in a 'genre of it's own'! Their style is soft and gentle, evoking a sense of stillness and wonder in the listener as portrayed in the sweet lullaby, 'Falling Star', as well as a sense of peace and healing as in the Celtic Prayer, 'Deep Peace'. 'What a treasure! The music and voices are so peaceful and serene; almost celestial. I felt as though I were in a warm cocoon of heavenly sound.' - Nancy Letizia, Bedford, NH However, there are playful and energetic facets to Aksara as well. More than one song, like the African children's playground song, 'Sansa Kroma',(coming in their THIRD CD) or the African freedom song, 'Singabahambayo', has had the audiences smiling, tapping their toes and singing along. Other pieces such as the medieval 'Alle Psallite Cum Luya',(found on their winter holiday CD, GENTLY ENTER) a 13th century French conductus, is delivered with a majestic, processional flair; Aksara's voice in festive celebration. '...know that this CD, 'YOU ARE WITH ME', has brought healing, nourishment and joy to many, many people.' - Chan Newton, Chaplain for VNA Hospice. Each member emanates her own unique vocal quality yet together, their blend truly defines the meaning of Aksara, 'Syllable of Sound'; eight women, one voice; eight voices one sound! 'Some might accuse me of overdosing on my new CD, but I'm immersed, and thoroughly enjoying it....words don't capture what you do-the music alone does. - Althea Valentine, Resource Development & Community Relations Coordinator for CASA . Aksara's first CD,YOU ARE WITH ME, was released in September of 2000. Among the fifteen pieces, of which nine are original compositions by one of the members, Victoria Schneider, is the song, 'You Are with Me'. Inspired by a German poem, the lyrics, 'You Are with Me...like a treasured memory beyond a thousand dreams... carried deep within me day and night', have special meaning to the members of Aksara. The hauntingly beautiful 'Unfinished Tapestry', is a song based on the extra-ordinary story behind the tapestry weaving of Patryc Wiggins from Guild, NH, and 'Circle of Angels', another original composition, is truly an angelic invocation. You Are With Me...let it take you on a journey to your heart. WHERE HAS Aksara PERFORMED? These are just a few venues where Aksara has graced audiences with song. Greater Manchester Thanksgiving Breakfast (to Benefit local Soup Kitchen & Shelter) YMCA Benefit for Youth Dinner Mind/Body/Spirit Conference at Elliot Hospital Alpha Delta Kappa Conference Journey into Wellness Conference Bedford Library 'Sunday at the Library' Concert Series Walk for Hospice NH Historical Society Conferences at Star Island Holiday Stroll, Nashua, NH 2001-2004 Crossroads Coffeehouse in N. Andover, MA Quota International Nashua Music Festival- Arts Council of Tamworth Concert Series Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Salem & Manchester, NH Area Code 603-Benefit for Palace Theatre Benefit Appearance for PINK DAY! Adubon Center 'It is exciting to find such talented musicians right in our backyard'. - Sue Holstein, Community Program Coordinator, Bedford Public Library.