'With one Church you have tyranny; with two, civil war; but with a hundred, peace' - VoltaireThat photo was taken yesterday evening in the Catholic church of Notre Dame de l'Assomption at Coëx in the Pays de la Loire region of France. The concert of north Indian music and Sufi chants was given by Nawab Khan and his ensemble Mantra - santoor, sarangi, tabla and voice. Nawab Khan comes from a family of musicians who performed in the royal courts of the Maharajas of Rajasthan. His very topical mission is to explore the spiritual and healing elements of Indian classical music, and he studied with two great Indian practitioners of music therapy. Mantra take a syncretic approach to spirituality and their music mixes Hinduism, Islam and the Christian tradition. The audience for last night's concert included a sizeable group of adults with developmental disabilities, and the communication between the musicians and this group was particularly striking. Mantra's late evening concert was followed by an al fresco morning session of meditation and vocal yoga and movement in Coëx's Le Jardin des Olfacties. Nawab Khan and Mantra are compelling evidence of how music can answer the growing cry for help.
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