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'Salve For The Soul'
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Salve For The Soul                                                                                                                     << Back to Previous Page

Article Published in on 11th February 2005

It was a serene evening and the strains of the sarod added mystique to the Embassy of France.

The occasion: Release of the music CD of Shivoham by French Ambassador Dominique Girard. The CD, produced by Silk Road Communications, has verses of the 8th century seer and poet Adi Shankaracharya.

The music has been composed by Bhargav Mistry. Mistry, who has trained under sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, also plays the sarod and is accompanied by Debashish Upadhyay on the keyboards. The vocals are by Aparna Panshikar, who has trained under two great exponents of the Gwalior and Jaipur-Atrauli gharanas: Pt. Bhaskarbua Joshi and Meera Panshikar respectively.

Aparna's chanting, interwoven with the sublime sarod notes against the background of synthesiser, creates a deep, rich and contemplative mood. The end result is deeply moving and unique.

The CD also includes a booklet that has translations of Shankaracharya's Sanskrit verses into English by Silk Road Communications Managing Director Achille Forler. Says the Frenchman who has a Doctorate in Sanskrit from the Gujarat University, "The poems of Shankaracharya have greatly inspired me. Its themes relate to the atma, the discovery of self and the purpose of life."

Compositions from the CD played at the evening were immensely appreciated by the audience which included, among others, Ambassador of Pakistan to India Aziz Ahmad Khan, his wife Aisha and Francis Wacziarg of Neemrana Hotels. "Classical music is wholesome. It is a tradition that has been improved, studied and analysed for centuries," said Girard.

Aisha Khan, who enjoyed the main composition Shivoham the most, described her experience as "very different and soothing for the soul."

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