SAN DIEGO –Described as a sublime meeting of East and West, a sacred “love story” is being told within the walls of Big Fish Recording Studio in Encinitas.

Though produced in the same studio where multi-platinum albums by iconic artists like Blink 182 and Jimmy Eat World were created, a different kind of masterpiece is being collaborated by a group of San Diego musicians.

Inspired by the sounds of her childhood, Vineetha Menon, a North County business owner and creator, pointed to her time in Kerala, India while drawing in a breath of creativity. She explained that “compositions from the mystic saints of India” are being retold through an album that’s in the making.

According to Vineetha, most of the recreated songs on the album are not available in the public domain. Many come from her memory — an evocation of her mother’s singing. “Exquisite melodies and poetic lyrics” she hopes to revive.

“Something within me spoke to say it was my responsibility, my duty to preserve this music,” Vineetha told FOX 5. “To make sure it’s preserved for generations to come.”

Vineetha Menon
Vineetha Menon is pictured as a child in India. (Courtesy of Vineetha Menon)

As described on her Kickstarter campaign, which gives insight into her vision, Vineetha explained that the album tells “the ancient and divine love story of the Rasa Lila — the quest of the soul to reunite with Infinite Spirit.”

“The word ‘Rasa’ also means nectar, essence, flavor — that which evokes an emotion or feeling in us, but which cannot be described,” Vineetha explained further.

She says this “love story” is told through a harmonious blend of ancient Sanskrit invocations, the predominant language of Hindu texts, and sacred hymns meant to inspire those who listen.

UC San Diego graduate and Cardiff native Tim McNalley, the producer of the album, shared why he thinks this collaboration is going to capture a special aspect of a musical culture in the region.

“These songs are so old and so meaningful still. You know, I don’t expect most of San Diego to listen to the lyrics and necessarily understand it from that, but I think it translates through the listening experience,” said McNalley. “Even if you don’t know the lyrical story that’s happening literally, if you understand the narrative of the story, plus just the energy of the songs and the sonic pallet of the music — I think it really communicates that sort of divine story that it’s telling.”

Other San Diego musicians featured on this album includs sound engineer sound engineer Austin Burns, pianist Matt Sunstedt, Tabla drummer Miles Shrewsbery, among a wave of other local artists who are all listed here.

  • Tim McNalley and Austin Burns
  • The making of Rasa
  • The making of Rasa
  • The making of Rasa
  • The making of Rasa

At this stage in making Rasa, the whole album has been recorded. This includes 14 tracks and six Sanskrit invocations. The next stage is mixing and mastering, and then promoting and releasing their creation, Vineetha explained.

Follow the journay of this locally created album here.

To ensure the album reaches the right audience in San Diego and beyond, the musicians have created a Kickstart campaign to help fund their vision.

“I see it as my duty to preserve these beautiful songs and bring this sacred music to the world. I also know that there is a divine power guiding and nurturing this project, a power so much greater than I can even comprehend,” Vineetha told FOX 5.