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Bridging Meditation and Music

Written By Editor on 5/15/23 | 5/15/23

HUDSON – The love of Indian music begins with exposure.  For many of the musicians who are now a dedicated part of Brooklyn Raga Massive, it began with Ravi Shankar or The Beetles.  But once exposed, musicians like Eric Fraser sought out teachers who could impart history and traditional format.  For him, a co-founder of BRM, it was pundit Gopal Roy.  “He held a position at a radio station in Calcutta as a master musician,” Fraser explained.  “I ended up living with him and came to appreciate his philosophy and how transformative he was.”

 

Fraser was so affected, he returned to Brooklyn with the idea of doing all he could to preserve and expand the appreciation of Indian and South Asian music.  The result is the Brooklyn Raga Massive.  Four of its members, Ehren Hanson – tabla, Dibyarka Chatterjee –tabla, Abhik Mukherjee- sitar and Fraser playing the bansuri (a kind of flute), will be  bringing their dedication and talent to Hudson’s Presbyterian Church on Saturday, May 20th at 3PM.  Tickets can be obtained at www.hudsonfestivalorchestra.org.

 

Called Colors of Raga: A Deep Listening Experience with Indian Classical Music, the musicians hope that listeners will appreciate the intensity of the music.  “These guys all love what they do,” Fraser says. “Mukherjee is really merged with the music; Ehren has a legendary reputation of creating the mood of each piece, and Chatterjee understands that music can be invigorating and ecstatic without being loud.  Together we concentrate on the tone of each selection.  My teacher called it ‘sur’ – nectar.  

 

As a way of focusing the mood, Reverend Ginger Lee of Won Dharma Center in Claverack has graciously volunteered to start the concert with a short mediation.  “It sets the tone for us all,” Fraser says.  “We are approaching raga (the melodic structure of North Indian music) in a very pure way.  We want the audience to sense our intensity.  The meditation is a way to build a bridge into the musical experience.”

 

The concert, presented under the umbrella of the Hudson Festival Orchestra, will begin at 3PM on Saturday, May 20th at the First Presbyterian Church of Hudson on 4th and Warren Streets.  For tickets, go to www.hudsonfestivalorchestra.org.

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