Africa & India: United in Music & Harmony
Heart and soul went into the Gondwana Dawn recording and project that partnered South African choral youth with Indian classical luminaries. The liner notes describe the recording as, “From the swirling mists at the dawn of time come the ancient eastern hymns of the Veda, and the ancient spirituality of Africa, the Cradle of Humankind.” Founder of the project Robin Hogarth (producer/composer/specialist in African music) joined with internationally-acclaimed Indian classical musician (vocalist) Sumitra Guha while bringing in classical Indian and vibrant South African choral singers together as they explored the concept of non-violence. The peaceful music allows us to drop our consciousness into our hearts while enjoying traditional music from South Africa and North India. I dare anyone to feel angry, sad, or frustrated while listening to these delightful songs.
The CD opens with Dawn an invocation sung by Sumitra Guha and then the lively choir voices and the band builds the song to a satisfying crescendo. Ghulam Ali’s sarangi solo opens the second track, Kalavati Ubuntu (based on the Indian raga Kalavati) with African vocals and rhythms creating counterpoint with the classical Indian vocals. The song speaks of brotherhood while gazing at Mother India as “the cradle of truth and non-violence.” Freedom Song finds its roots in a traditional Zulu song with the text sung in English. The musicians reflect on the principles of peace and brotherhood as portrayed by Nelson Mandela and Gandhi. These three songs set the tone and context for the recording and then we hear a stunning mix of African rhythms, Indian classical beat cycles, exotic Indian instruments and heartfelt vocals coming together in surprising ways.
The timing for Gondwana Dawn helps each of us to reflect on our expectations for life on this planet. The musicians pose a question to us on whether or not we will focus on peace, brotherhood and forgiveness while enjoying the sacred energies that surround us, or will continue to divide, separate and harm others? Projects such as this one raise consciousness while providing audiences with enticing world fusion music. Buy this CD for yourself and your friends. Give it as a peace offering to your enemies and then sit back and enjoy music that reminds us of the origins of humanity.