Fragrance of the East


Product Description

In Fragrance of the East, Chinmaya Dunster and the Celtic Ragas band unite to perform this live concert at the Bharatiya Vidapeeth Institute of Environmental Education and Research (BVIEER) in Pune, India. BVIEER is an institute that emphasizes environmental awareness and conservation. Included with the CD is an mpeg video of the concert.

Chinmaya Dunster and the Celtic Ragas band unite to perform this live concert at the BVIEER:

Additional Information


Chinmaya Dunster, The Celtic Ragas band

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  1. :

    “A stunning music and visual tribute that takes the listener to the heart of the India experience.”

  2. :

    “This is a delightfully different sound for those accustomed to hearing Indian Raga bands. This is a delicious mix of very traditional Indian music with some very Celtic influences. This is unlike anything you may have heard before, and it is expertly executed and a pleasure to listen to. This CD is the bands live concert performance at the Bharatiya Vidapeeth Institute of Environmental Education and Research (BVEER) in Pune, India from January of 2004. The CD includes three “Quicktime” video clips from the concert.
    The BVEER is a facility for training teachers in environmental awareness, and the clips include some overdubbing of facts and information on the environmental issues that this institute addresses, along with some beautiful panoramas of Indian landscapes, students and teachers addressing their part in the programs and video footage of the band in concert. This is a wonderful addition to this CD and worth watching. But it’s the music you came here for. And you are in for a most delightful time. C. Dunster has blended traditional Indian music with the melodies of the Irish/Celts and produced a most wonderful product that has even caught the ear of Paul McCartney. Do not let the fact that this is a live performance throw you off.
    The production quality of this CD will never let on this is a live performance. The auditorium that this was recorded in is a state-of-the-art facility completed in 2002 and it shows in the first rate recording and sound on this CD. The CD has a total of 9 tracks running just over four minutes to about seven and a half minutes, making a total of just over fifty-two minutes of delightful music. The tracks are mostly compositions by C. Dunster and sometimes a co-author, but there is the inclusion of two “traditional” pieces, Sarvane Rute Aye and Mausam Ayenge, both featuring the expert and lovely vocals of Shruti Banu, as well as including the unique flavor of C. Dunster’s arrangements.
    Focusing on the compositions of C. Dunster, the opening track of Chance Findings leads you right into what this band is all about. While presenting you with the sounds of traditional Indian music, the melodies played by the violin and keyboards and at time even the beats are most defiantly of Irish/Celtic origins, and you are lead into a mix that is both as unexpected as it is appetizing. Moonstone focuses on guitar and keyboards, a very slow and deliberate composition, which changes over to sarod (a classic Indian string instrument) and includes some violin and flute and then goes back to guitar and keyboards throughout the piece.
    The instruments play well against each other, forming a very moving and inspiring piece, Irish in flavor with just a hint of Indian spices. Bhattigali returns to the very unique Indian/Celtic flavor of the band, another subtle work that features the artistry of the musicians as they highlight their mastery of the traditional Indian instruments with their unique sound. This piece is a little more upbeat, while still being very deliberately paced. The track Manipuri Megh is best described as “mystic India meets the mournful soul of Ireland”. This composition is a mix of flute, guitar, base, keyboards and santoor that causes a pause for reflection and contemplation.
    Circlemakers takes off in a very Irish/Celtic direction, with accordion, pipes, guitar and violin in a very light and dancing mood. This is a very different piece for this collection, almost missing the Indian influence all together, but it feels right at home here without missing a beat. The track Changes brings us back to the mix of Indian and Irish/Celtic with the sarod and the santoor and guitar. Chinmaya Dunster displays in this piece the expertise he has achieved with the sarod and this composition displays the unique flavor this band has become famous for. The final track Rag Shivranjani starts off with traditional Indian sounds, the sitar, the sarod, the drone of the tanpura and some great Indian drumming.
    The pace changes and is picked up about three quarters of the way through to change quickly back again and bring this piece to a very traditional ending for a very transitional concert. Overall, this is an excellent performance of the unique blend of sounds this band has to offer. It is easy to see why they have caught the ear of some very interesting musical folks. And not to be forgotten is the focus of this CD, the environmental issues that have to be faced by India. This CD is an educational tool as well as being entertaining.
    If you have heard the other works by Chinmaya Dunster, you will want to add this to your collection. If this is your first introduction to this group, you are in for a very pleasant and different experience as this CD serves as a perfect platform for this group. And if you are a fan of Indian music, and you like Celtic flavors, this would be a good exploration of the expert blending of these two musical cultures.”

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