Born in the UK, Chinmaya is an established recording artist whose music blurs the boundaries between cultures. After discovering the sarod in 1979, he embarked on a fifteen-year training in Indian Classical music.
Along with his backing ensemble, the Celtic Ragas Band, he has since found a unique way to merge Indian music with Western folk music. This has drawn accolades from, amongst others, Sir Paul McCartney, who invited Chinmaya to perform at his wedding in 2002.
Whether he’s wearing the hat of the innovator or the traditionalist, every album from Chinmaya is filled with surprises.
"I’m a natural explorer," he says "and I hope that the listener can feel that my music is about evoking depth and the inner world of silence."
Ragas Relax 2
by Chinmaya Dunster • MB0029
Twelve duets between the Indian classical stringed instrument the Sarod and Spanish classical guitar.
Each melody is based on a classical Indian raga scale,
with chords on the guitar formed only from
the same notes used in the raga.
Chinmaya keeps the arrangements sparse, so that there is a balance of sound and silence between the notes.
The result is twenty-five strings (nineteen on sarod, six on guitar) vibrating in resonance, creating a
harmonic tapestry which is deeply relaxing.
“Indian classical music….needs a certain understanding in you... a deep understanding of sounds and silence -- because music consists of sound and silence. It is not only sound, it contains silence in it”.
In his latest musical offering, Chinmaya Dunster explores five traditional Ragas in an "alaap" form – pure, directionless wanderings within the ragas structure but without the distractions of rhythm or fixed melody. With the simplicity of the compositions he has successfully created an intimate, open and fluid soundscape for the listener to relax into. Specifically suited for restorative yoga, relaxation, meditation, wellness practices and the healing arts.
"When I pick up my sarod and prepare to play an Indian Classical raga, I feel as if I am about to enter on a pilgrimage, a sacred journey of discovery. It is a great mystery… these ancient ragas are not just rules of how to play the twelve musical notes; they are spiritual places to be visited." - Chinmaya Dunster