Music Reviews

Manish Vyas reviews Chinmaya’s recently released album, subtitled ‘Music to inspire presence in the here and now’; “This album beautifully introduces the listener to the unique sound that only the hypnotic nature of Eastern music can offer.”

album coverMindfulness
by Chinmaya Dunster
New Earth Records

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India and its rich cultural heritage of music, arts and dance, plus yoga, meditation and vedantic wisdom passed over generations through the guru-disciple relationship have been inspiring the Western world for more than a century now. During that period many Western musicians, like Chinmaya, have dived into learning Indian Classical music and discovered a taste of its richness of expressions, moods, sentiments and its depth of meditativeness.

Chinmaya has been one of those dedicated students of the complex Indian stringed instrument sarod, and has spent over thirty years in practice to be able to play at performance level. I have known him for more than a quarter of a century, from his days in the early 90s when he was learning the sarod from his guru Pandit Shekhar Borkar in Pune. Initially I accompanied him on tabla for classical music, but our journey grew into creating and recording music together over the next years in Europe and India.

Chinmaya has always been very creative and supportive to his colleagues and fellow travellers and this humility reflects in his latest album ‘Mindfulness’, where his sarod is supported by gentle sounds from other magical instruments India offers, like the bansuri flute, santoor, tanpura and swarmandal. This album gives the listener a taste of Indian Classical music because of its simple and accessible approach, while the alaaps (rhythm-less explorations of the ragas) create a soothing feeling of serenity.

The world of Indian music is so vast and deep that no Indian maestro has ever been able to claim that he knows more than ‘a drop of its ocean.’ Perhaps the true depths of India, its music and its spiritual realm, can be only felt and seen through the inner eyes of a true listener and a meditative being. This album beautifully introduces the listener to the unique sound that only the hypnotic nature of Eastern music can offer.

Review by Manish Vyas – manishvyas.com

List of tracks:
1. ‘Beneath the Bo Tree’ (based on Rag Bahaar) 5.45
2. ‘Turning the `Wheel of Dharma’ (based on Rag Chandranandan) 6.49
3. ‘Sermon in the Deerpark’ (based on Rag Bihag) 6.32
4. ‘Mahakasyapa's Flower’ (based on Rag Megh) 6.47
5. ‘The Elephant’s Spawn‘ (based on Rag Bhairagi) 11.15
6. ‘Mahaparanirvana’ (based on Rag Gujari Todi) 6.40

Chinmaya Dunster: sarod, keyboards, swarmandel, tanpura
Shastro: flute on 3 and 5
Kiran Ahuwalla: flute on 1, 2 and 4
Lalit Kapil: piano on 2
Rushabh Trivedy: piano on 4
Manish Vyas: santoor on 6
Amano Maneesh: slide guitar on 6

Composed and produced by Chinmaya Dunster

A taster on Osho News: ‘Beneath the Bo Tree

Chinmaya DunsterChinmaya was born in 1954 in England and started playing the classical guitar at 15. After taking sannyas in 1982 he took up playing the sarod. The Osho Commune in Pune provided him with the ground for musical experiments and, until today, he has 13 CDs released on New Earth Records and a further 4 on Malimba Records. www.chinmaya-dunster.commore about and by Chinmaya Dunster on Osho News

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