The Ashok yesterday played host to the launch of Saregama India Ltd.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s (Saregama) new album by santoor virtuoso, Rahul Sharma. Titled ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“Ladakh: In Search of BuddhaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢, this cutting edge album explores the concept of reincarnation in Buddhism in an exotic new age fusion presentation, using shades of Tibetan sounds combined with the contemporary sounds of the santoor. Chanting Buddhist mantras, Rahul also provides the vocals on the album.
The result is a fabulous fusion album that transforms the listener to the land of dazzling beauty and serenity, Ladakh. Launched amidst great fanfare, Rahul performed two tracks from his new album, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œOm Mani Padme HumÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWalking into HimalayaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â. The beautiful video of was a Om Mani Padme Hum- In Search of Buddha was also screened. The video has been shot by renowned music director, Shiraz Bhattacharya.
Speaking at the launch of the new album, Mr. Mukul Kansal, General Manager, Business Unit, Saregama, said, ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œAt Saregama, we are constantly looking at doing new and exciting projects which will engage consumers across the board. This album presented us with the perfect opportunity to do just that. ItÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s youthful and innovative, and yet, the beautiful sounds of the santoor will definitely make it an attraction for lovers of Indian music.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
RahulÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s talent and vision was also commended by another visionary, Mr. Parvej Deewan, Chairman, ITDC, who was also Chief Guest at the function. He applauded Rahul as ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œthe future of the santoor, a young and brilliant musician who is giving a new global dimension to new age music.ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â
Despite his young age, Rahul, s/o the renowned santoor maestro, Pandit Shiv Kumar Sharma, is already an established name in his own right. He is the first and the only Indian musician to collaborate with the world celebrated pianist Richard Clayderman, with who he has already released the hugely successful album, Confluence. He is the youngest Indian musician to have performed at the WOMAD (World of Music, Arts and Dance) festival in UK.
Rahul has received several accolades for his immense talent. His numerous awards include The TheIndo- American Society Award (1998), the Bollywood Music Award for Most Promising New Music Director, New York (2002), and the First MTV (IMMIES) Music Award for Best Classical / Fusion Album (2003).
Rahul Sharma is undoubtedly the new face of tradition. He is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIndia-in-the-Twenty first Century” personified. His previous two albums on the Saregama label, Time Traveller and Interface, have been received successfully by listeners and critics alike.