Last night I got to present the first preview of my upcoming album ‘Like a River to the Sea’ at the Between the Notes festival at RichMix arts centre.
It was truly a joy, though a lot of nerves beforehand, as we were challenged by power failures, visits to A&E, cancellations and delays. It was also the first time I have ever tried to play some of the tracks live, and I learnt very quickly that recreating an arrangement that has been recorded in layers is not an easy task. Turns out it’s not really necessary to try and replicate it exactly. Somehow the live versions, with all their imperfection and spontaneity, were much better.
The festival theme was ‘Bengal and Beyond’ exploring the arts of the Indian diaspora. As I looked over our group I thought it very fitting – our music inspired deeply by the Bhakti yoga tradition emerging from Bengal with Shri Chaitanya, and spreading beyond to every continent, by the efforts of Swami Prabhupada.
I was so proud and honoured to be joined by friends and loved ones singing and playing instruments. Seeing their joyful, encouraging faces was a gift that I have to remind myself to never take for granted.
Presenting devotional music in the secular or mainstream sphere is something new for me, but it was a stimulating experience, and faith renewing, to see that music from the heart will always speak for itself.
I’m looking forward to sharing more of the album – the mixing is coming to an end soon, and then it will just be a matter of weeks.