Winds Of Samsara

Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman

What do Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, an Indian composer of timeless melodies, a vivaciously virtuosic South African flutist, and over 120 spirited musicians from five continents all have in common? Winds of Samsara, of course.

A truly global effort, this album is the dream of Wouter Kellerman and Ricky Kej, an unlikely but star-matched collaborative duo. Drawing from disparate cultures, the pair has melted their creative influences into the strange and wonderful sonic gumbo contained within this album. Winds of Samsara speaks to themes of peace and positivity, spinning together forward-moving harmony, progressive composition, and technical prowess with a verve and passion never before attempted in the New Age genre. The deep bond between Kellerman’s South Africa and Kej’s India touched the creation of this project at its core. The countries share legacies of peace led by Mandela and Gandhi, national fathers who inspired Kellerman and Kej and are each honored with songs on this album. “Mahatma Gandhi spent more than twenty years in South Africa and started his road of peaceful resistance there, something Nelson Mandela was very inspired with,” describes Kej. “Satyagraha is the philosophy of non-violent resistance famously employed by Gandhi in forcing the end of the British Raj, but first wielded against racial injustice in South Africa. We wanted to honor that history, that spirit, and that connection between our nations in our music.” “Heaven” is the first track that Kej and Kellerman created together, a collaboration that planted the seeds of Winds of Samsara. “About two years ago, I got this email out of the blue from Ricky, saying that he loved my flute playing on my song 'Half Moon' and asking if I would be interested in adding some flute to a track of his,” recalls Kellerman, laughing. “When he sent me the piece 'Heaven', it took my breath away — it was the most beautiful song I had heard in a long time. I realized that we had lot in common and that this could be a very exciting musical fit, so I tried my best to match the quality of the track with equally passionate flute playing.” The uplifting final realization of “Heaven” — and the thirteen other transcendent musical meditations contained with Winds of Samsara — are evidence enough of how successful those efforts were. From Ricky, Wouter, and their scores of creative compatriots around the world, please accept a warm and sincere “thank you” for taking the time to experience the heartfelt music of this album. May you be blessed with the same joy that brought the melodies, harmonies, and soaring spirit of Winds of Samsara to life.

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