Celtic Ragas, by Chinmaya Dunster & Vidroha Jamie, is a musical love affair between Celtic and Indian instrumentation. The strings of Dunster’s sarod and Jaime’s guitar eloquently meld into rich, flowing melodies making the similarities between the musical traditions of these two cultures apparent.
“I love the unique blend of Irish and Indian style music on this record. It has become one of my favorites.”
Track 1: Chance Meeting
time 5:02 min
Track 2: The Mists of Ruantallain
time 5:50 min
Track 3: At the Edge of the Known World
time 5:03 min
Track 4: Mere Hamsafar
time 4:50 min
Track 5: Tara
time 4:34 min
Track 6: The Goddess
time 4:53 min
Track 7: Wandering Way
time 4:24 min
Track 8: A Gypsy Tale
time 4:08 min
Track 9: Dorset
time 4:32 min
Chinmaya Dunster: sarod (a classical Indian fretless stringed instrument) and guitar on two tracks
Vidroha Jamie: guitars
Manish Vyas: tablas
Jerry Demos: drums
Sangit Om (S. Petersilge): bamboo flute on ‘Mists of Ruantallain’
Friedmar Hitzer: violin
Don. V. Lax: violin on ‘Tara’
Naman (M. Leuschner): trumpet
Douglas White: bass
Henrik Gumos: hand percussion
Shastro: hand percussion on ‘At the Edge of the Known World’ and ‘Tara,’ soprano recorder and keyboard bass on ‘Tara’
Chinmaya and Jamie collaborated on all the tracks except for ‘Dunster’ (Jamie) and ‘At the Edge of the Known World’ and ‘Tara’ (Dunster).
(Released 1998 – New Earth Records)
Guitarist Vidroha Jamie who has contributed to this album says: “It’s a musical love affair. As if East and West – Chinmaya’s melodies on sarod and my harmonies on guitar – are eager to join in an intimate conversation like two old friends.”
“Now, I realize you may be thinking the words ‘Celtic’ and ‘raga’ are an unlikely combination. But Chinmaya Dunster, who plays the Indian sarod, and Vidroha Jamie, who plays guitar, make it all sound effortless. The instrumental melodies of Celtic Ragas are at once contemporary and timeless, the spiritual union of two seemingly disparate cultures. Dunster had originally heard the sarod back in 1979. It struck him how Celtic folk music and Indian classical music had much in common, and the idea for Celtic Ragas was conceived. The eight tracks comprise nearly 45 minutes of soothing, healing music. Dunster and Jamie have played in concerts, meditations, and healing groups all over the world. Even a casual listener will understand that these two artists have a very special relationship when it comes to this unique music. They’re joined by musicians playing tablas, drums, violin, flute, bass, trumpet, and percussion. The resulting blend of sarod and guitar melodies with these multicultural instruments makes Celtic Ragas fresh indeed. While there isn’t a weak track on the album, one of the standouts for me is ‘Mere Hamsafar.’ The way Dunster and Jamie dance the entrancing melody with their instruments is a joy to hear. It’s as though the sarod and guitar were meant to be played together. Perfect for meditation, massage, or relaxing with friends, the soothing charms of Celtic Ragas are sure to please.”
“Just the title of the CD is enough to get the attention of the musically curious and, happily, musicians Chinmaya Dunster and Vidroha Jamie deliver the goods on Celtic Ragas. […]
The eclectic mix of musicians produces a CD of smooth, soothing instrumental music that also provides an intellectual challenge. This is not Celtic music with overtones of Indian music, and it isn’t Indian music with Celtic flair. Dunster and Jamie have blended the two into something else entirely. The twang of the sarod accents with the softer guitars, and the tablas and other percussion, sharper than the sound of a bodhran, add an exotic rhythm under the music.
All nine tracks are lovely to listen to, and the music commands more scrutiny than ambient music. Listening as I type, I find myself pausing to pay attention to the interplay of instruments. It’s relaxing meditative music, but not soporific. Rather, it evokes authentic emotions in the listener and is uplifting and inspiring.
This is a wholly unique CD. It’s well worth the time and money of anyone who appreciates new and eclectic approaches to music.”
Rambles.net, 27 March 2004
In the whirling of joyful melodies a sound is born.
It whispers: ‘Greetings, world! Greetings, love!
What a happiness to be here!
Oh, how I longed for all this!’
This music is really a talk of two close friends – an Indian sarod and a guitar. Indian and Celtic music. They are together. They are one whole. The alchemy of Divine music. This music wraps you up. It uplifts and inspires. It delicately helps your life energy to grow strong and takes you high above, in the World of Spirit, in the All-human World. This is the World where there are no East and West, little countries and large ambitions, and where is the All-human Unity, which is beyond Earth. In this Unity East and West are together.
They are together in this planet, being rendered by wars, conflicts and foolishness of people. And Chinmaya Dunster together with Vidroha Jamie let us feel all this by their airy, full of energy and inspired music. They help us to feel and sense the very Life.
What can be more precious than the very Life on this planet? What can be more beautiful than Love? This Love is completely reflected in the music of two perfect musicians. It comes by a strong jet. It alloys together the Celtic and the Indian music, the heritage of two great peoples. It alloys this all together in an equal flow. And we can feel that all the music is ‘poured’ on this planet from the one source. Time to come back. Time to be together. Time to live full life.
Thanks to the two remarkable musicians: Chinmaya Dunster and Vidroha Jamie! This music of Joy and Love weakens heart, fills us with life and let us feel that in this world exists other reality – the Reality of Spirit. This Reality is the real, the largest precious!”
“While Celtic music and Indian ragas seem vastly different, their fusion made perfect sense to Dunster. Immersed in the musical tradition of the Celts as a child, he later traveled to India where he fell in love with the sarod and was struck by the similarities between classical Indian music and the folksongs of his youth.
In this release, these similarities also become apparent to the listener – the strings of Dunster’s sarod and Jamie’s guitar eloquently meld into rich, flowing melodies. Other instrumentation such as flute and percussion add warmth and depth to each song. The result is an outstanding recording whose beauty springs from the incredible chemistry between the two lead artists.”
BT, NAPRA Review