Navino and Andres: Soulmates on Stage

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When Nirbija had a few beginners’ guitar lessons with his neighbour at Osho Parimal, Andres Condon, he made amazing discoveries about this remarkable guitar player and his wife Navino.

Andres and Navino

When a musician falls in love with a musician consort, poets say, celestial tunes shower from the spheres of the Milky Way. It must have been a moment like this, when German singer Navino met guitarist Andres from Chile. Andres remembers:

“We met in 2000, in one of the most amazing places in Germany, this little community called Parimal, which is near Witzenhausen. Instantly our souls recognized our past lives and there was no doubt about it. We immediately took the chance to be together again on this beautiful planet. We thank the universe for this great opportunity.”

As one of their neighbours at Osho Parimal, I have been lucky to enjoy their music and be deeply moved by it. This place has many wonderful musicians, each one would merit their story to be written down. As Navino and Andres never talk about their rich artistic life and have better things to do, I will sketch out their story here.

Singing from the Heart

Since her early life, Navino was involved in music and singing. She is a natural singer, and plays tamboura and shruti. Audiences are delighted by the warmth of her voice and the beauty of her presence. She learned different approaches to expressing her voice by studying Sufi chants and giving Sufi Meditation groups. She also studied with Osho’s Sufi disciple Ma Zahira.

Navino offers concerts with Andres, and also Sufi seminars in Europe, India, and North and South America. She has created two albums with Andres. In Dancing Flame she recites poems by the Turkish mystic Rumi. Her powerful resonant voice radiates the heartbeat of a Sufi – full of devotion to the mystery of the inner search.

For this album Andres created a musical landscape of Eastern melodies – with his guitar, sax, mandolin and flute – to evoke the imaginary atmosphere of a Sufi tekke (temple). The music carries the message of our longing to melt with the Beloved [a Sufi term for the Ultimate, ed.] and to reconnect with our true home inside.

Painter's Brush

  Painter’s Brush

A Sufi mystic on stage

Osho Parimal has since become a home and a creative laboratory for both. Navino is also a gifted actor. She regularly performs, often with her sister Malinda, on Parimal’s comedy stage. In 2009 she wrote a theatre play inspired by Osho’s discourse on a Sufi mystic: Mojud, the Man with the Inexplicable Life. She skilfully transformed this significant story into touching dialogues for a one-hour performance with half a dozen actors. Andres then composed the music.

Osho introduced this tale in a discourse in 1978 in Pune, saying :

The story that we are going to go into today is one of the greatest stories. It has that special flavour that only a Sufi story can have. It is incomparable. If you can understand this story, you will have understood the very secret of religion. […]

It is not just a story; Sufi stories are not just stories. They are not to entertain you. They are not to just give you an occupation. They are teaching devices. They indicate something, they show something, they point to something. They are pointers, they are arrows towards the unknown, fingers pointing to the moon.

Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 2, Ch 1

The Parimal artists created the costumes and a stage set of Eastern bazaars and hamlets, with a small chamber orchestra of Oriental string instruments. The various stage decorations were projections of sand paintings created live by graphic artist Anna Löper. (www.gesandet.de)

MOJUD FOTO 1
MOJUD FOTO 10
MOJUD FOTO 11
MOJUD FOTO 16

Sitting in the audience I was spellbound! Navino took on the main role of the tax official Mojud. One day, he was challenged by the sudden appearance of Khidr, the mysterious guide of the Sufis, who ordered him to leave his secure job in search of his true self. As the story unfolds, most of us recognized in his twisting path of a seeker full of uncertainties our own life story with Osho.

The Parimal musicians and the theatre group performed the play twice with great success. Mysteriously, all video recordings disappeared. The story of this powerful drama has to be told again!

Navino is a gifted sangha builder, too. In 1984, together with some friends, she founded Misfit City Gut Hübenthal. It later developed into Osho Parimal which by now has grown into a spiritual village with over 70 inhabitants. When Navino got married to Andres, before flying to Chile on their honeymoon tour to meet Andres’ family, Andres had to promise to bring Navino back to Parimal! And he did!

Andres and Navino

Music and documentaries for environmental consciousness

Andres Condon is a performing multi-instrumentalist, singer, composer, sound engineer and producer of eight CDs. He was born in Santiago del Chile. Inspired by his mother, a gifted guitar player, he later studied music, composition and guitar in various academies in Chile.

As one of the most important Chilean musicians in the World Music scene, Andres has been performing in numerous international concert halls and festivals. In 1999, he was invited to represent Chile at the Latin American Festival in the Royal Albert Hall in London, as well as in the State of the World Forum in San Francisco.

For seven years he was part of the documentary film crew for the prize-winning TV series Al Sur del Mundo (In the South of the World) as a sound engineer and music composer. Hiking into the stunning nature of the Andes mountain range in Patagonia, they captured its untouched beauty. This series is still shown on YouTube.

Asked about the roots of his music, Andres says that it develops within a deep relating with nature:

“The way I play the guitar is to manifest my connection with nature. If there is water, I like to express the water with the strings. The birds singing, I try to play that. In our new album Al Alba (At Dawn) I play with Om Prakash (Cyril Kubiš), a beautiful violin player from the Czech Republic. One of the songs is about the hummingbird: here the guitar and the violin sound like hummingbirds. We fly and enter the flower. For me it is very inspiring to work with nature. You become one with it. One of the purposes of music in my life is to show how beautiful this planet is and how fragile existence can be.”

Picaflor de Arica

  Picaflor de Arica

Navino and Andres regularly perform at Parimal White Robe Meditations, Satsangs, Sannyas celebrations and even send-offs, together with other musicians – including Veeten as their tabla player. Andres shares:

“Participating in Osho Satsangs is a very precious thing. It connects you to a deep silence, to the space where everybody is in the same vibe, which is love and silence. You leave all your worries and thoughts with the shoes outside the hall. There is just you and the moment. Specially for the purpose of bringing people to an inner space with music… that is magic. I love Osho, I feel very thankful because he has been teaching me a lot, as well as the Parimal Community. It is a very good school, a life school.”

In part II of this interview Andres will talk about guitar playing, Osho’s friends in Chile, his experience as a sound engineer in Patagonia and his desire to create more understanding for nature with music and sound.

Sources and Links

Website: andrescondon.wixsite.com
Listen to their music: andrescondon.bandcamp.com
YouTube channel: www.youtube.com
Music video by Om Prakash (Cyril Kubiš) & Andres Condon, “Romántica”: youtu.be
Sand artist Anna Löper: gesandet.de

Osho, Wisdom of the Sands, Vol. 2, Ch 1, shop.osho.com
Osho, Mojud, the Man with the Inexplicable Life, is available as an e-book and audio book

Discourse excerpt 1 on Osho News: Mojud: The man with the inexplicable life

Nirbija

Nirbija is a writer, facilitator of Osho’s meditations, and enjoys life in the countryside.

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