This esraj recording was originally published on audio tape in 1980 and includes eight Bengali songs. Sri Chinmoy started playing the esraj in 1976 and soon became Sri Chinmoy’s favourite instrument.


Carnegie Hall Concert

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Photo from another concert in Carnegie Hall in New York in 1987.

Sri Chinmoy’s esraj performances of the 1970’s and 80’s were the pre-cursor of Sri Chinmoy’s Peace Concerts that he started in 1984, some of them were presented in prestigious concert halls like Carnegie Hall.

A free concert of spiritual music was given on Sunday 20 April, 1980 at Carnegie Hall . All the music performed were selections from Sri Chinmoy’s 3000 devotional songs, that he had composed. The concert was presented as a gift to people of New York from Sri Chinmoy student’s, who were sponsoring the event. It was also their gift to Sri Chinmoy, and honoured their teacher’s sixteenth anniversary in the West.

Carnegie Hall Concert a resounding Success

It was full house at Carnegie Hall last April 20 – Sri Chinmoy in Concert was “Sold out” a week in advance!

The evening of spiritual music brought together rock, Western classical and Eastern musical traditions an a oneness that cut across cultural distinctions. All of the music performed was composed by Sri Chinmoy, but each instrumental or vocal group embellished the melodies in their own unique style of performance. The variety of mood was broad, which in understandable considering the groups had over 3,000 devotional songs to choose from!

Foremost among the performers was Sri Chinmoy himself. Although he was trained in Eastern musical traditions since early childhood, Sri Chinmoy’s 16 year in the West have led him to a deep understanding of Western modes and he has incorporated elements of both cultures into a style distinctly his own.

– From Sri Chinmoy News bulletin in New York 1980

AUDIENCE COMMENTS FROM THE CARNEGIE HALL CONCERT (April 20, 1980)
Following are just a few of the many interesting, inspiring and often humorous comments received at Carnegie Hall.

“Attendants were gracious and friendly. Thank you.”

“I feel you are providing a beautiful opportunity to expand ourselves in the path of realisation and hope to share the next event with you. Thank you.”

“Thank you very much for having us. It was a very great gift for us. We receive it in love and gratitude.”

“I am an admirer of Guruji and my topmost goal is the complete absorption. I look to Guruji as one of my sources of inspiration and guidance. ”

“Simply ‘formidable’. Great and beautifying and enlightening.”

“I am very seriously interested in Guru Sri Chinmoy and his teachings. Please send all information possible.”

“It was hard to pick out things I enjoyed the most. The whole thing was very soothing, peaceful and joyful. I thought the audience was a bit funny at times, not knowing how to react, whether to clap or not, clapping being a very natural Western response. I particularly enjoyed Sri Chinmoy’s flute solo – and his duets with some of his students. ”

“Thank you for the free concert. Are you in need of an oboe player?”

“I greatly appreciate the work you are doing in bringing Eastern philosophical ideas to America.”

1980 New York 104 (1)

Concert poster from 1980

Phuler matan sabakar man
I shall look at everybody’s mind
The way I look at flowers.
I shall paint everybody’s face
The way I paint the dawn.
I shall always blossom In the firmament of light
Like the sun.
– Song  4, Journey’s Goal, Part 9a

Artist: Sri Chinmoy
Name: Sri Chinmoy Plays the Esraj 9
Release year: 1981 (MC)
Notes: The exact location of this album’s recording is unknown.
Duration: 0:25:30
Acknowledgements: Sri Chinmoy
Page Created: Ashish / Tejvan
Format: Advanced Audio Coding
Photos by Sarama and Bhashwar

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