The essence of India

A concert of Indian classical music and meditative songs...

The essence of India


One Monday in late February we went to see Colm playing in the National Concert Hall – he was supporting a performance of several classical Indian ragas. After the National Concert hall performance we had the idea. “Why don’t we have a similar concert on Saturday night in the meditation centre and along with Indian Classical music we can have a performance of Sri Chinmoy’s songs?” And so it was set for six days time. We started putting out leaflets and posters, wondering how many people could we get to come in six days...


On the evening itself, the performance area had a beautiful Indian feeling about it - laid out with Indian carpets, flowers, candles, burning incense and some of Sri Chinmoy’s beautiful bird drawings hanging behind us. The Sri Chinmoy Centre music group (we still have to find a concert name for ourselves!) began the night of music with songs and bhajans whose serene and peaceful melodies embraced the curious audience. The melody of the flute and the rhythm of the drums brought soulfulness and dynamism at once and we were very warmly received by the audience.

The room continued to fill up with people even as the performance of Indian classical music began. We announced that our performance would be quite informal and totally spontaneous seen as the three of us had only played together twice before. The evening was a wonderful and varied exploration into Indian music with raga, Indian folk song instrumentals from sitar player Dara, and a tabla solo performance with Colm and his tabla teacher Dhiraj, who was actually leaving Ireland for India the next morning. Dhiraj would ‘sing’ the tabla pieces before playing them – this drew many an appreciative cheer from the crowd. Looking up during the concert, we could see the room filled to maximum capacity, with people sitting practically at our feet. We estimate around 75 people came – I don’t think the room could have taken any more! Afterwards many people stayed around to partake of refreshments and talk to the musicians, and it was very late indeed when the place was finally empty.

We will be having our next concert during March meditation classes, and we are really looking forward to it – they are proving to be very special indeed, both for us and for the audience.