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Music Review - Bhajan Lahiri Vol 1 & 2

Ranjani Saigal
03/09/2006

(This article is sponsored by Sounds Of India)

“I am really not a song writer. Goddess Lalita provides me with inspiration that makes these songs happen” says Srinivasa Bala of Soundarya Lahiri  who has presented his beautiful compositions on the Goddess in two volumes of Bhajan Lahiri.

As one listens to the songs, one is drawn into the spiritual circle of Amma. Through his compositions, Bala brings out philosophical thoughts gathered from his studies at Soundarya Lahiri under Sri Subba Rao garu’s guidance.

The first volume of Bhajan Lahiri has a traditional feel to it with local Carnatic musicians flute Raman, Sri. Gauri Shankar and Sri.Rajesh Pai providing instrumental support. Sridevi Padmanathan, a leading violinist from South Africa has also worked on the CD. Satish Bhat from Acton, MA helped engineer the CD. The expert musicianship of the talented accompanists provides the perfect backdrop for Bala’s singing.

The second CD has a different origin.  “When I was in India last summer, I had met with one of the upcoming music directors Ramana Ogeti. I listened to some tunes he had composed which I happened to like. I had him record 7 tracks on a CD. Coming back to Boston, Amma's Divine grace helped me come up with 7 new songs to the tunes on the CD, which I recorded locally” says Bala. 

“The CDs have a recurring theme which glorifies Amma manifesting in HER three forms - Saraswathi, Lakshmi and Parvathi. Srinivasa Bala ties in that theme very beautifully” says Annapoorna Krovi, who is an active member of the Soundarya Lahiri group.

Both CDs are very interesting though they each have their own character. Srinivasa Bala’s powerful voice is just right for devotional singing and the power(Shakti) and the kindness(Karuna) of the Goddess surges through the words and the music. Some songs are in Sanskrit while others are in Telugu. Both languages lend themselves to support poetic imagination and Bala has used phrases effectively to praise the Goddess. The choice use of ragams in the first CD to convey the correct mood makes this a lovely creation.  The second CD has a modern touch with the music director adding a “filmy” touch. The CD is sure to be a hit with kids.

Both CDs are a treat to listen.  Playing them will help set the right mood for any Devi Puja in any home. All proceeds from the sale of these CDs goes to support the charity wing of Soundarya Lahiri.

To purchase the CD please  look up their web site at http://www.srimeru.org.

 


 



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