This CD is a recording from a live concert by Sri Chinmoy at the Martin Van Buren High School in New York, on March 9, 1982. It includes four tracks – esraj performance (18.10), echo flute (6.09) cello (10.57) and harmonium / vocal (35.46)
Notes on album
“Listening to the concert, one notices the confidence and strength in Sri Chinmoy’s esraj performance. The sweetness and lyrical feeling are there, and the melodies soar, like a bird flying in the sky.
But there is also a strength and confidence in each note, a strength borne in part of Sri Chinmoy’s physical conditioning; he was at the peak of his physical powers. From his early youth, Sri Chinmoy combined his prayer and meditation with athletic competitions. He was a sprinting and decathlon champion in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, where he practised spiritual disciplines from 1944 to 1964, when he came to America to be of service to aspiring seekers in the West.
The flute performance is more contemplative; one feels as if swimming in an ocean of peace. The cello performance is very special; Sri Chinmoy’s tone is impeccable, full-bodied, in perfect tune and with a firm but subtle legato. It is interesting to note that Sri Chinmoy was self-taught in the cello, and yet he was able to perform many of his devotional songs with this instrument. His range of expression is amazing in its scope and inspiring in its elegance, sweetness and dignity.
In the last track of this CD, Sri Chinmoy sings, accompanying himself with the harmonium, for almost thirty-six minutes. Sri Chinmoy’s voice is magical in its expression of soulful and sublime states of consciousness. It is at once lyrical and powerful, subtle and sweet, peaceful and dynamic. Indeed, the range of spiritual and musical expression in Sri Chinmoy’s singing is unparalleled. His voice carries the luminosity, bliss and power of his prayer-life and meditation-life.
Through his music, Sri Chinmoy, who called himself “a student of peace”, tried to share moments of inner peace with the aspiring seekers. His songs are an expression of self-offering, like a drop offering itself to the ocean, the finite offering itself to the Infinite.
We are grateful to Sri Chinmoy for this soulful and illumining offering.
– Kamalakanta Nieves, Feb 25th, 2011