Monday, 21 January 2013

Amrit Vela: A venture in the musical sublime of the Gurus


'Amrit Vela’ is the first official music release by The Gurmat Sangeet Academy (GSA) - a ‘not-for-profit’ Sikh Music school. The primary artists Bhai Harjinder Singh Lallie and Bhai Narinderjit Singh Lallie  are very well known in the UK and abroad for their very traditional and orthodox kirtan which is performed using authentic stringed and percussion instruments such as the taoos and the Jori.

During the twentieth century, kirtan became increasingly influenced by both internal and external pressures such as the growing popularity of popular music (film, bhangra etc). Sikh ragis were directly influenced by this and this led to a deterioration in upholding our musical traditions leading to a near extinction of particular Sikh instruments, reets (musical renditions and tunes) and even the rendition of some of our ragas. The GSA set out to reinvigorate these styles and in particular to raise awareness of the traditional style of kirtan.

The release of 'Amrit Vela’ comes amidst a revival of traditional Sikh musical instruments and an avid interest in Sikh musicology around the UK and the rest of the world. The album features a number of traditional compositions performed with a number of Sikh instruments including the Sarangi, Taoos, Dilraba, Tarsehnai and the Rabab. All the recordings are accompanied by the Jori (Sikh percussion) and a tabla. This album contains sabads that are in Ragas generally recited in the early hours of the morning during sunrise. During these hours one has the opportunity for deep contemplation and self-reflection, it is an opportune time for spiritual practice and growth. The Sikh scriptures give Gurbani Kirtan the highest status with regards to spiritual practice and we hope the listener can appreciate the subtleness, penetrating and empowering sequencing of notes within the Ragas and sabads chosen for this album.



Amrit Vela can be purchased directly from the Gurmat Sangeet Academy from here: http://www.gurmatsangeet.org/purchaseamritvela/. 

Alternatively, you can purchase from iTunes/Amazon by clicking here:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/amrit-vela/id582445335

In addition, the album is also available from DTF stores (Birmingham UK).

The Gurmat Sangeet Academy provides professional and high class Indian music tuition open to all regardless of background, colour, race, religion and perhaps most importantly musical ability! Their aim is to promote kirtan (Sikh music), especially Tanti Saaj (stringed instruments) based kirtan which is done in accordance with Gurmat (the way of the Guru) Contributions made by the musicians on the album are done solely on a Seva (selfless service) basis and all proceeds are going back into Gurmat Sangeet Academy projects. These projects are purely non-profit in which no money is made by any of the project contributors. All proceeds go back into Seva and to maintain the future longevity of the series. We urge you to offer your support by purchasing only legitimate and legal copies of the album.

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