Today I went to a concert at the University of WA Ethnic Cultural Theatre to see my friends the Nagar Family from Delhi. I had the great pleasure of visiting with them in Delhi for three weeks, at which time we recorded music that eventually became used for a movie soundtrack. But I digress as there are actually three separate stories in there to tell. Let's start with today's concert. Here's some pix:
Here is the family group: L to R, Vishal, Ujwaal, Urmila Nagar
Ujwaal Nagar, age 21, featured vocalist in today's concert
Vishal, the older brother and tabla virtuoso
Urmila Nagar, Mother and Guruji.
Urmila has many disciples in India that strudy Karthak dance and music with her. She has been given the Presidential award for a lifetime of outstanding achievements in the arts in India.
OK, second story:
I was working on my band the Yoginis first album, and I invited Vishal to play tablas on the piece Terana, which is an Indian Jazz Fusion piece. Vishal came to the studio of Limitless Sky Records, and worked with me there and the engineer and owner of Limitless Sky, Michel Tyabji. The piece came off very well. Vishal then later invited me to come to India for the purpose of recording some music with him. I told him I was excited about the idea of an Indian/Jazz fusion album that would further explore the directions hinted at by the piece Terana.
Listen to Terana (with Vishal playing tabla) on the Yoginis MySpace Page.
So...in January 2006 I found myself on a plane to Delhi, where I spent three delightful weeks co-composing, rehearsing and recording all the Indian instruments for a second Album, to be called Terra Shivaiya ("the Land of Shiva" i.e - India). The name is a reference to a song on the first album called Terra Sabaea (the land of Sheba - i.e. - Biblical Ethiopia).
Now, the 3rd story: back in the USA, Michel and his wife Rosa had moved to Los Angeles, seeking work in the independent film world (smart move, as they have benn swamped with work ever since). They landed, serendipitously, and also because of Michel's Indian/Persian ethnic background, the job of being the music editing team for a new Documentary called "Dalai Lama Renaissance" and featuring, of course, His Holiness The Dalai Lama. Michel lobbied hard, and eventually was successful in persuading the film's Director, Kashyar Darvich, and the producers to use a significant amount of live recorded music played by Tibetan and Indian musicians.
So, along with Sitarist Roop Verma, Tibetan Singer Techung, and others, the Yoginis Indian recordings were selected to comprise the soundtrack for the movie.
View the directing, producing, and music bios for the Dalai Lama Renaissance.
The movie has been very successful at film festivals worldwide, playing to sold-out venues, and even being in such high demand that extra screenings had to be scheduled at some festivals to due overflowing crowds.