On Tuesday April 12th, I had the honor and privilege of being part of the band for Samir and Sanghmitra Chatterjee who played an hour-long concert at the United Nations. This concert was hosted by the Indian ambassador to the UN.
The couple has just released a CD called Guru Pranam which features compositions by Sri Chinmoy. Most arrangements of Sri Chinmoy’s music have been done by Westerners (such as myself) so far, so I find it very refreshing to hear a really authentic Indian rendition. For this particular concert, Samir and Sanghamitra were backed up by Austrian, American, Canadian and British musicians.
The CD has similar instrumentation and to my taste the Westerners add just enough Western structure to make the music accessible to our ears. I’m a fan.
Samir is a world class tabla player and works tirelessly as a teacher and performer. We were treated to a solo during this concert. Sanghamitra has an amazing voice. Her musicality and intonation really impressed me. Really amazing. Auto-tune will never get anywhere near this performer! Plus, the Chatterjee’s are super sweet nice people.
There was no rehearsal for this concert so I for one had to be quite focused to pull off something acceptable. Here I am with my friend Mandu. I’m focusing on rapidly scribbled notes about the songs. I depended a great deal on Saraswati’s (goddess of knowledge, music and the arts) grace for this performance!
I would eyeball the crowd at having been around 400 people. The hall was apparently a large meeting room with translation equipment at every seat with glassed-in translator’s booths above and all around. Very UN-y (or Imperial Senate-like (Star wars fans, you know who you are)) . Click here to have a listen. It’s really nice music (and I’m not just saying that because I play a little bass and some heavily auto-tuned cello on 2 tracks). Thanks to Adarini for the pictures and Happy Easter everyone!