Enjoy our delightful conversation with Alana Levandoski about life, love and forgiveness…about the joys and challenges of touring…and about her new album Sanctuary – Exploring the Healing Path. As a special treat, we’ve included a taste of the album’s beautiful, contemplative music.
Alana Levandoski is a singer/songwriter who has travelled many paths. As a young recording artist, she toured the world with musicians such as Bruce Cockburn, Blue Rodeo and Tanya Tucker, and signed with prominent record labels. In 2010 Alana left that world behind and took a sabbatical, not sure if she would ever return. Six years later she is happily married with a young family, living in Alberta on the edge of a lake, in a little cabin that she and her husband built together.
After attending and graduating from the Living School for Action and Contemplation, Alana experienced a rebirth as an artist, finally opening to a way of integrating her spirituality, her craftsmanship and her lifestyle. Abiding by a monastic rule inspired by time spent living with the Benedictines during her sabbatical, she and her husband Ian have committed to a life of minimalism and sacred simplicity.
In September 2015, Alana released the album Behold: I Make All Things New as a “Christ Narrative”, which runs from the mystery of origin into the era of conscious incarnation, with rich songwriting and beautifully crafted songs. She also created a course that walks individuals or study groups through the album.
In September 2016, Alana released her latest album Sanctuary – Exploring the Healing Path with Alana Levandoski and James Finley. The album is a series of chants and compositions, with spoken word in collaboration with contemplative teacher and clinical psychologist James Finley (author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere). The album is sequenced in three sections: Purgation, Illumination and Unitive, with the “inner child” appearing three times in the voice of the Edmonton Children’s Choir. The album itself is a journey of awareness and healing. (A songbook and video guide are also available.)
“What I have personally discovered,” says Alana, “is that when we choose to walk the path of healing, we eventually become people who can energetically unify with the world’s suffering and participate in its healing instead of wallow in our own story. But our story must be told before we get to this unitive place. Somehow, it always starts with how we treat ourselves, how we treat those we know, and eventually those we do not personally know but are connected to, at the incarnate level. Somehow we learn that the whole of creation is infused by and loved by God as much as we are, and we are able to compassionately witness the suffering and not hold onto it but somehow give it over to light and love.”
We chatted with Alana after her return home this fall from a six-week CD Release Tour and “family pilgrimage” across the U.S. with her husband, young son and six-month-old baby packed into their van and pulling a homemade trailer. The trip was a time of beauty, grace and blessed encounters…but, as Alana also points out, “There were times when, as a nursing mother, with the hormones raging inside my head in combination with the humidity, my utterly exhausted body and a built-in default for emotional insobriety, I felt like I was seriously going to lose it.” Luckily, there’s always ice cream.
Alana’s Advent/Christmas video, featuring her new song Hope Beyond all Hope (part of a free 5-song Christmas album Imago Dei – click here to receive it.)