Shantala | Church of Sky

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Folk: Gentle World: World Fusion Moods: Solo Female Artist
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Church of Sky

by Shantala

Contemporary folk music with world influences, great vocals, intimate songwriting, and stunning instrumentals.
Genre: Folk: Gentle
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Etched in Stone
5:05 $0.99
2. Dance Me
4:43 $0.99
3. Roll Over With Me
4:48 $0.99
4. No Safe Place
4:49 $0.99
5. My Island
4:43 $0.99
6. Journey
1:53 $0.99
7. Island Suite
3:41 $0.99
8. Madrone
3:16 $0.99
9. Church of Sky
6:02 album only
10. Looking for a Storm
4:49 $0.99
11. You Are My Soul
4:12 $0.99
12. Hard to Hold
3:56 $0.99
13. Going Twice
4:09 album only
14. Fallen Heart Blue
3:28 $0.99
15. Between the Lines
2:38 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Heather Wertheimer, of Shantala, is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, yoga teacher, and therapist, whose beautiful vocals, unique perspectives and unusual depth reflect a wide array of human experiences. She is part of the musical duo Shantala with her husband Benjy Wertheimer, who is a singer/songwriter and world class multi-instrumentalist. Heather performs and tours with Benjy and virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell. She also combines her special love of both music and yoga to lead devotional chanting for workshops and spiritual gatherings. In the past, Heather was a featured vocalist in the musical "Return to Avalon" and has performed throughout the Northwest with the groups HeartStrings and Lonesome Taxi.

Benjy Wertheimer is an award-winning composer and vocalist who plays tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards. A founding member of the internationally acclaimed Ancient Future world fusion music ensemble, he tours with Krishna Das and has opened for artists such as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden.
Benjy has toured the US, Canada, and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master GS Sachdev.

Benjy's CD Circle of Fire was featured on Echoes, heard on over 150 public radio stations around North America. He has been a contributing composer and member of the Zakir Hussain Rhythm Experience (along with Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead). For over five years, Benjy scored music for the internationally syndicated NBC series Santa Barbara. He has recorded with numerous A&M, Windham Hill, Narada, Nippon Phonogram, and Rounder recording artists.

Beginning his musical studies at age 5 (starting with piano and later studying violin and flamenco guitar), Benjy received his training in Keyboard Improvisation at the University of Colorado and Composition and Ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. He has studied Indian classical music for over 20 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar).

Church of Sky is a contemporary folk CD with musical influences from around the world. It is the debut CD for Shantala, the acoustic world folk duo of Heather and Benjy Wertheimer. Church of Sky creates a magical blend of contemporary folk music with the captivating sounds of instruments such as the esraj and tabla from India, the djembe from Africa, and the balalaika from Eastern Europe. Additional instruments such as the harp, zither, violin, viola, and cello engage the listener in a far-reaching musical journey of the spirit. Church of Sky features the extraordinary musical talents of world-class multi-instrumentalist Benjy Wertheimer, guitarists Michael Mandrell and Tim Ellis, world-renowned slide guitarist Bob Brozman, vocalists Tina Malia, Joe Jencks, and Jim Walker, violinists Julian Smedley and Wah!, and others.



to write a review

Terry Mitchell

Soaring, emotional rich vocals coupled with outstanding musical craftsmanship.
Heather Wertheimer has a voice that evokes all the richness and emotion of the feminine spirit - something like Joni Mitchell meets Carly Simon - and has a songwriting ability to match as well. The songs are deeply moving, rich in metaphor and depth of feeling ("You Are My Island," "Roll Over With Me," the title track). Others are whimsical but still rich with meaning ("Dance Me," "Between The Lines"). All share the same outstanding musicianship and 1st quality production values that make this CD a joy to listen to, to share, and to give. Thank you, Shantala.


beautiful voice, lovely songs.
the cd is calming to listen to. I enjoy listening to it over and over. Their other cd The Love Window is also worth listening to. Beautiful, beautiful voice.

Nina Marie Simpson

Serinity on a CD
Great music, excellent voice, perfect selection of songs. Just... so deep and calming, while also being engaging. Wonderful

Deva Premal & Miten

We love Church of Sky . . . it just breathes love. A true blessing.
We love Church of Sky. Heather is a fine singer and songwriter, and in 'Etched in Stone' she has written a classic. Benjy's production and musical contributions are as usual, first class throughout, and the whole album just breathes love. A true blessing.


I saw Shantala play recently and just had to buy their CDs. All the songs on the album are great. The style is a bit different from that of one of their other albums, "The Love Window," but enjoyable all the same. I'd compare this work to that of Alison Krauss or Cheryl Wheeler. Heather and Benjy Wertheimer are truly talented musicians. I look forward to more of their music to come!

New Age Retailer, July/August 2004

With her clear, accessible voice, Heather offers a remarkable exploration of lov
Shantala partners husband-and-wife duo Benjy Wertheimer and Heather Wertheimer. Although Benjy is an accomplished musician who tours regularly with the likes of Krishna Das and Deva Premal, Church of Sky clearly is the result of Heather's passionate work. Penning most of the songs, playing guitar, and leading with her clear, accessible voice, Heather offers listeners a remarkable exploration of love, life, and loss.

The lyrics lay bare such poignant topics as deep and healing partnership; the Jewish holocaust; family conflict; molestation; and absentee parents. As Heather seems to understand, giving language to our darkest secrets often is a powerful way to transform anguish and move more fully into joy. Indeed, listening to Church of Sky performs some kind of amazing conversion.

Exceptional backup musicians and backup vocals by Tina Malia and Benjy add great depth. The album ends on a high note with the amusing, lighthearted "Between the Lines." Church of Sky will reward attentive listening on headphones, so people really can plug into its nuances without distraction.
-New Age Retailer, July/Aug 2004


Another great CD!
Another great CD by two awesome artists. Seeing them live at the Yoga Center in Arcata, CA, really brought more enlightenment to my soul and to others. I also recommend this CD.