A very special concert
On May 19, we travelled to view a a very unique concert that took place in the Royal Albert Hall. Boris Purushottama Grebenshikov is a household name in his native Russia, having spearheaded the underground music scene during the last days of the Soviet Union. In addition to his famously poetic lyrics, his music also takes in influences from all around the world. For the last twenty years he has been spending a considerable amount of time in India and Nepal immersed in the spiritual vibration of the region, and he has even translated some ancient Hindu and Tibetan texts into Russian!
Purushottama and Sri Chinmoy first met in 2006 and a great friendship sprung up between them, and indeed this concert was dedicated in memory of Sri Chinmoy’s life and works. With Purushottama there were a whole range of outstanding musicians from all corners of the world, seven of them playing traditional indian instruments such as sitar, sarangi, tabla and harmo- nium as well as Irish instruments - fiddles, tin whistles, uilleann pipes and bodhrans. These all blended seamlessly into Purushottama’s original Russian compositions to create a cornucopia of musical flavours.
As an encore, a choir from the Sri Chinmoy Centre came up for the last few songs, which included two songs that Purushottama wrote in English in tribute to Sri Chinmoy. The evening ended with all of the musicians and choir contributing to a Sanskrit chant ‘Aum paye Saraswati nama’ which brought a beautiful meditative feel to the whole evening.