But back to my email box. In this message Chinmaya simply asked me if I would like to participate in a series of live concerts in India. Well, this was beyond my wildest dreams, although I had already thought many times about visiting Mother India once again (after 20 years of absence). So I packed my suitcase, gave my dog Mayla into the loving care of my Welsh neighbors Roy, Louise and Zoi (thanks!) and off I went in February 2010 from Crete via Athens to New Delhi. And what can I say? It was one of the greatest experiences in my whole life! Besides Chinmaya and the fantastic singer Sandeep Srivastav we were six more musicians: three from the West and three from India. In the cozy living room of our little hotel we spent 10 days of intense rehearsal and worked out the program for the „Green Raga Band“. I mostly played bansuri, except for two songs where Chinmaya had begged me into playing a few Cretan tunes on my Cretan Lyra. At first I was a little worried if this instrument would really fit into the all over style of the band. But I quickly realized that our Indian friends played those tunes as if they had Cretan blood running in their veins. Even the singer Sandeep contributed a vocal solo on a Cretan „Sirtos“, a mixture that has most probably never happened before. Instead of describing these highlights verbally I am just presenting here one videos, I think it says enough.
In October I went to New Delhi again, for two concerts that were given as part of the 2010 Common Wealth Games festivities. Another fantastic experience! The audience was simply freaking out – there was so much joy and heart touching energy happening during those concerts. Here is a link to an article in the Osho Times about Green Ragas Concert in Delhi, that says it all.
What also made these concerts so special was the fact, that they are really multi media events. This is mainly Chinmayas contribution, who is deeply engaged in spreading awareness about environmental concerns and social justice issues, mainly in India. He presents on a screen above the stage his great video films, carefully chosen to fit with each song of the program. Moreover, to add more color to the program, the female poet Kanupriya Dhawan from Delhi presented her poems and the vocalist Anand Risha from Gujarat performed two of her great songs with the band as a guest artist.
And whats next? I don't know, but I have a feeling as if this was just the beginning. Lets stay in touch, I will keep you informed.