American composer

Native American composer Charu Suri performs at Carnegie Hall


Charu Suri. Photo: Twitter

NEW YORK – South Indian-born composer Charu Suri became one of the first Native American women to create a work at Carnegie Hall in New York City, with the release of her double bill “Book of Ragas” and “The New American Songbook “, in December. 20, 2019.

Born in Madurai and now based in New York City, Suri began learning piano at the age of five and won an international piano competition at the age of 15. After emigrating to the United States to study at Princeton University, she composed several pieces in her teens for orchestra and chamber orchestra, but never recorded her music commercially until recently.

“I really wanted to create a fresh sound using the jazz trio,” Suri explains of how she was inspired to compose the songs. “I was excited about the possibilities of combining jazz with Sufi and Indian sounds. “

Suri collaborated with the Agra-born singer Apoorva Mudgal, who performs extensively in ghazals and Sufi music, for her album “The Book of Ragas”.

“The journey of ‘The Book of Ragas’ was a journey of discovery,” says Mudgal, who chose the text and improvised sargames based on the musical framework.

The Carnegie Hall program also included “The New American Songbook,” a series of original pieces that pay homage to the style of Irving Berlin, Cole Porter, Bill Evans and others.

“I wanted to show – in one program – two completely jazz styles, and the incredible possibilities of the idiom,” she says. The lyrics of these tunes are sung by Danielle Erin Rhodes. The album cover art was created by Upasana Asrani, an abstract artist based in Chennai.

Suri’s debut album, “Lollipops for Breakfast,” was composed for a traditional jazz trio and won a Global Music Award. She and her group have toured in several cities including Miami, Denver and soon Chicago. His plans for 2020 include performances in India.

In “The Book of Ragas”, the opening raga is based on the Bhimpalasi scale. This piece combines a soft rock beat with the afternoon raga, with the vocals introduced in the middle section. The poetry is “Naina De Akhay” – a Sufi kalaam (a devotional song) by the legendary Punjabi Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Hussain, which describes feelings of silent remorse, where a lover repents of falling head over heels in love with a well – loved indifferent, who has now given up. The central verse, “Ni saiyon asaan naina dey aakhey lagey” (My friends, I have fallen in love with what my eyes have seen), is repeated.

There are also ragas inspired by ‘Raag Kalyani’, considered the ‘queen of Indian ragas’, ‘Raag Bhairavi’ and ‘Raag Hemant’.

DEVA PREMAL NOMINATED FOR THE GRAMMY AWARD

Photo: Deva Premal

Singer Deva Premal has been nominated for a Grammy for her 2019 album ‘Deva’. Shortlisted for Best New Age Album of the Year, ‘Deva’ joins the ranks of outstanding albums from previous nominees including Enya, Vangelis, Mike Oldfield, Krishna Das and Tangerine Dream.

Premal, along with his life and music partner Miten, has spent his life creating music for meditation and celebration of the mind, according to a press release.

Released on Prabhu Music / White Swan Records, ‘Deva’ has already reached seven million streams on audio and visual platforms and has set the bar to new heights in a prolific recording career spanning more than 20 years and encompassing over two million albums sold and 140 million streams, in all.

A superlative collection of mantras and devotional music, ‘Deva’ opens and ends with the Seven Chakra Gayatri Mantra, recognized as the oldest known prayer to mankind, which induces a supreme sense of well-being and relaxation deep. The album also features Nepalese bansuri maestro Manose, Canadian producer, multi-instrumentalist and Grammy nominated Joby Baker, and special guest Anoushka Shankar, who features on two tracks including Prabhujee, written by his late father Ravi Shankar. .

Premal was born in Germany to parents versed in the Eastern philosophy of meditation and song. She traveled to India as a young woman, where she met her possible partner, songwriter, producer and mentor Miten at the Osho ashram. Since their immersion in meditation, the duo have traveled the world sharing the healing power of the mantra to millions of devotees in over 40 countries.

Their admirers range from the Dalai Lama (“Beautiful, beautiful music”) to rock icon Cher, who continues to feature their version of the Gayatri Mantra on her current shows (“My Favorite Music for Yoga”).

THE WORLD’S FIRST BIG CANDY STORE

Photo: THIS IS SUGAR

New Jersey has a new attraction for young and old: IT’SUGAR, known for its oversized candies and giant candies. He opened a new outlet at American Dream, located in East Rutherford, New Jersey. With three floors and over 22,000 square feet, IT’SUGAR American Dream is the world’s first large candy store.

The new store welcomes visitors with a three-story Statue of Liberty replica covered with over 1.5 million Jelly Belly beans, symbolizing the freedom to indulge yourself, the store said in a press release.

Once inside, guests can explore the first-floor centerpiece, an immersive lollipop garden filled with nearly 10,000 lollipops. Around the garden are over 5,000 square feet of candy bins housing an endless variety of candies.

The second floor is home to dozens of brand name stores like Sour Patch Kids, Swedish Fish, Nerds, Starburst, Reese’s, Kellogg’s, and more. In spring 2020, on the third floor of IT’SUGAR, a new concept of Oreo coffee called Oreo TWISTiD. Overlooking American Dream’s entertainment atrium, Oreo TWISTiD will offer guests views of DreamWorks Water Park and Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park.

Covering approximately three million square feet, American Dream will, when fully completed, include more than 450 retail, grocery and specialty stores. These are complemented by more than 15 entertainment offerings, including the fully enclosed DreamWorks Water Park and the Nickelodeon Universe Theme Park; a 16-story Big Snow indoor ski and snow park; Kidzanie; a live performing arts theater; a 300 foot high observation wheel; a Sea Life aquarium, Legoland Discovery Center; The Rink (NHL size rink); and The Dining Terrace with over 15 full-service restaurants and the world’s only Munchie’s Food Hall.

“Starting a large candy store has been a long-standing dream for me,” IT’SUGAR Founder and CEO Jeff Rubin said in a statement. “I have been thinking about this concept for over 25 years and our IT’SUGAR team is delighted to partner with American Dream to make it a reality.”

The IT’SUGAR portfolio includes more than 100 points of sale in the United States, including New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Miami, Dallas, Houston and Chicago.

(Sujeet Rajan is editor-in-chief of Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ SujeetRajan1)

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