I have studied and played the Indian Bamboo Flute (Bansuri) for over 40 years. I am so incurably obsessed with the celestial sound of this humble instrument. I have spent a large part of my life honing my skills and perfecting my playing technique, by practicing from two to twelve hours every day. It is my good fortune this work has paid off and led to multiple albums and concerts across India and around the world.
As I reflect over my life during the last few years, I am now convinced that BlueMonk and Real Music were preordained to play a wholly inspiring and meaningful role in my life’s musical journey.
I met Rasull Soon (aka BlueMonk) during mid 2008. When we decided to collaborate we were driven by only one passion — to compose ground breaking meditation music by integrating the best of the eastern and western musical sounds and percussion elements. We wanted to create music that explored new aural dimensions and soundscapes. This was no easy task. But, we were extremely focused and determined.
Surprising as it may sound now, when I first decided to collaborate with Rasull, I must confess, I had not heard a single track composed by him. My producer, John Rawsthorne, suggested I send a scratch demo of my flute recording for Rasull to score. I complied, then waited for a couple of weeks with bated breath, not knowing what to expect.
Finally, Rasull’s revised sample track arrived. I listened with closed eyes. And I listened….
I was simply blown away by what Rasull had done. What quite took me by surprise was how Rasull, who had absolutely no formal training in the intricacies and complexities of Indian classical music, could sense astutely the spiritual essence and craft such an uplifting instrumental arrangement. He seemed to have perceived exactly what I intended to state with my music!
Then began the gruesome ordeal of comprehending and harnessing the singular and collective musical effect of every musical phrase. Every note of the flute, and all the accompanying instrumentation had to be calibrated and positioned accurately for the desired result.
Needless to say, Rasull toiled tirelessly for hours at a stretch, bleary eyed, dealing with mental and physical fatigue, at times, skipping meals to meet the demanding musical standards and deadlines that we had set for ourselves.
What an ordeal it was! Our collective creative juices were flowing like the untamed Amazon, or the Brahmaputra in the monsoon. As the weeks and months passed, there was a growing sense of realization that every effort that we were taking was truly worth it. Though our physical energies were nearly spent, we were still so full of unbridled creativity and enthusiasm, that we would have gladly scaled up the Himalayas and scored another track on Mount Everest without batting an eyelid.
Meanwhile, I had started working on Rasull’s Enlightened Love album. He had sent me several tracks that I found so inspiring, I immediately set about the task of scoring the Native American Flute, the hulusi and the dizi (woodwinds instruments).
After over two grueling years, all the tracks of Divine Dimension, Path of The Divine and Enlightened Love, were ready to be presented to the world. Then, as fate would have it, John, our producer and friend passed way. At that crucial juncture, Terence Yallop, the Miracle Man from Real Music, walked into our lives.
Terence is an extremely perceptive and warm music professional, with a gift for sensing and producing great music. We sent Terence the tracks we had toiled for over two years to compose. A long silence, that was almost unbearable, followed.
Then one fine morning, the defining moment of our lives finally came that jolted us out of our despondence. Terence welcomed us warmly with open arms in to the Real Music family. For such is life!
As Krishna, my flute maker friend, stated to me recently after listening to Divine Dimension,“God has blessed everyone with different talents, only we humans never know what we are here for. You knew it and worshiped God the way he wanted you to….” Can my music, and my life, be summarized more lucidly?
By Rajendra Teredesai