Monday, July 11, 2016

Music to unite the soul and discipline the body

Despite predisposition in India's favour, I have to acknowledge that Indian music took me by surprise. I knew neither its nature nor its richness, but here, if anywhere, I found vindication of my conviction that India was the original source... Its purpose is to unite one's soul and discipline one's body, to make one sensitive to the infinite within one, to unite one's breath with the breath of space, one's vibrations with the vibrations of the cosmos.
That quote comes from Yehudi Menuhin, and my photo was taken yesterday during a recital of Carnatic music at the Cambridge Live festival. The musicians include* Ranjan Vasudevan, whose day job is a researcher at Cambridge University in X-Ray astronomy. Ranjan has pioneered adapting Carnatic music to the electric guitar, incorporating sliding and Veena bending techniques - SoundCloud samples here. Nearest the camera is Prasanna Sankaran. who is a consultant in respiratory medicine at one of the region's teaching hospitals. Which fits neatly with Yehudi's reference to Indian music to uniting one's breath with the breath of space, and provides yet another auspicious example of the healing power of music.

* The two other musicians are Aniruddh Raghu on violin, undergraduate student in engineering, and Shyam Srivats on kanjira, researcher in pharmacology (visiting from University of California, San Francisco). Any copyrighted material is included as "fair use" for critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Also on Facebook and Twitter.

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