MELA – A new project for the dance floor
Music to inspire presence in the Here and the Now. Inspired by vignettes from the life of Gautam Buddha.
Playing Indian classical music, on which this CD is based, is my favourite mindfulness practice. The intense attention on the form and feel of the raga I am playing is a way of disciplining my mind. It is a search for the innermost core of the raga, just as mindfulness is a search for the innermost core of my being, what Osho and the Zen masters call ‘no-mind’.
I invite the listener to join the sense of exploration. For this CD I have chosen to play only the rhythm-less ‘alaap’ that traditionally opens a performance and, eschewing fixed melodies, to freely improvise within the structure of each raga. That way the mind has very little in the way of signposts to grab onto to predict what will come next. As the music unfolds the listener stays in the present moment rather than anticipating the next.
Chinmaya and Paul McCartney
After being invited by Paul McCartney to play at his wedding in 2002, Paul had this to say:
“I love the unique blend of Irish and Indian style music of Chinmaya Dunster’s ‘Celtic Ragas’. It has become one of my favourites.”
Chinmaya was born in 1954 in England and started playing the classical guitar at 15. After taking sannyas in 1982 he took up playing the sarod.
The Osho Commune in Pune provided him the ground for musical experiments over the next quarter century until, today, he has thirteen CDs released on New Earth Records and a further four (three of them under the band names Bhakti and Akasha) on Malimba Records.
Chinmaya is also involved with environmental / social justice issues in India, which took him around the continent with the Green Ragas Band. He also creates awareness-raising films on these issues.
One of his passions is also the production aspect of music of which he has a deep knowledge.
Since 2019 he lives with his partner Naveena and daughter Koyal in Devon, UK.