Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon
Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul call (Soul Chants Music, 2010)
Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon’s silky smooth vocals on her release Om Namo Narayanaya: Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul call prove to be a potent siren’s call and impossible to resist with sarod master Tejendra Narayan Majumdar’s arrangements on this Grammy-nominated recording.
Dipping into a whole host of classical Indian and western instrumentation, Soul Call is a full-bodied revelry of an eight-syllable chant that traces its origins back some six thousand years. Elegant and richly worked, Soul call shimmers with Ms. Tandon’s crystalline vocals and her unique take on the Indian raga.
The musical success of Ms. Tandon comes after years spent pursuing a business career. Owning her own successful business allowed her to travel the world and, more importantly, to explore her secret passion – music. With a wealth of knowledge sampled from street musicians, record stores, music festivals and a Martin Guitar, bought with her first paycheck some thirty years back, Ms. Tandon has come into her own sound and found her life’s purpose.
Ms. Tandon explains, “I woke up one day when my daughter was starting high school and realized that, though I had reached many measure of business success, I hand not connected with my deepest self, my life’s purpose. I went on a journey going back to who I am. I asked myself what makes me happy. And it struck that all my happiest moments in life go back to music! I needed to pursue my passion for music and share it with everyone.”
Relying on the the ancient protective chant – Om Na Mo Na Ra Ya Na Ya – Soul call strings the listener along on a fantastic journey of Ms. Tandon’s extraordinary vocals and original compositions. Packed with flute by Rakesh Chaurasia, keyboards by Ablu Chakraborty and Soumen Sakar and a plumy orchestra of sitar, sarod, strings, percussion and choral vocals, Soul Call moves through sumptuous tracks like “Bhoopali,” “Shuddha Sarang” and “Malkauns.” Moving through the ethereal to the darkly mysterious to a more light and airy sound, Soul Call exudes a freshness without losing the beauty of the Indian classical traditions.
Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul call is indeed a call to the musical soul. Now, if the music weren’t enough of an incentive, Ms. Tandon has promised all of the proceeds of this recording to her non-profit that provide funding for organizations that aid community building, arts and spirituality.
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Author: TJ Nelson
TJ Nelson is a regular CD reviewer and editor at World Music Central. She is also a fiction writer. Check out her latest book, Chasing Athena’s Shadow.
Set in Pineboro, North Carolina, Chasing Athena’s Shadow follows the adventures of Grace, an adult literacy teacher, as she seeks to solve a long forgotten family mystery. Her charmingly dysfunctional family is of little help in her quest. Along with her best friends, an attractive Mexican teacher and an amiable gay chef, Grace must find the one fading memory that holds the key to why Grace’s great-grandmother, Athena, shot her husband on the courthouse steps in 1931.
Traversing the line between the Old South and New South, Grace will have to dig into the past to uncover Athena’s true crime.