Gurmat Sangeet Project presents :
(Note : Scroll down
Sikh Musical Heritage at
the Millis Gurdwara on August 1 2003;
Balbir Singh, Ranbir Singh, Kudrat
Kaur, Prof. Surinder Singh, Surjit Singh
The Gurmat Sangeet Project
was delighted to host Prof. Surinder Singh and his group from Sikh Musical
Heritage in Boston for two wonderful Kirtan programs at the start of their
2003 US tour. Recordings from these two sessions are featured on this
page. In addition some shabads sung by the children of the Boston Gurmat
Sangeet Project as well as Bhai Gopal Singh are also featured.
Sikh Musical Heritage's 2003 US
Tour had a great start in Boston. Both programs were very well attended.
The Sangat greatly enjoyed the melodious Kirtan, sung in the Ragas in
which the Shabads were revealed to the Guru Sahiban, to the accompaniment
of string instruments. The most remarkable feature of the singing was
how accessible the group made Raga based Kirtan to the Sangat. There were
no displays of musical virtuosity, no gratuitous Alaaps or Tankari, just
a very dignified and soulful rendering of the Guru's shabad.
During this visit Prof.
SUrinder Singh and his group provided great inspiration to students of
Gurmat Sangeet, in particular evoking a strong interest in studying traditional
Sikh instruments such as the Dilruba and Taus.
This page contains short
bios of the musicians, recordings and plenty of pictures fomr the visit.
The Sikh Musical Heritage group's 2003 US Tour Dates are also available.
Professor Surinder Singh spent
several years studying for a BA and MA in Music at the Guru Nanak
Dev University, Panjab. During this period he also studied vocal
music, tabla and various string instruments under Pandit Khraitee
Lal Ji Taheem of Delhi Gharana. He has also trained in the Pt. Ram
Narayan style of Sarangi from Shri Surjeet Singh Aulakh ji. Prof.
Surinder Singh Ji has made several contributions to Gurmat Sangeet
including releasing Mere Mun, a set of Shabads with compositions
in 59 ragas as defined in the Guru Granth Sahib, together with a
detailed book introducing Sikh musicology . In order for the message
of the Shabad to remain as the Guru intended, each Shabad has been
sung in the prescribed Raag. The Raags have been harnessed to explain
and enhance the message of Siri Guru Granth Sahib. Prof Surinder
Singh has offered Kirtan Seva and sung at many venues, most recently
at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Prof. Surinder Singh currently heads the Raj Academy
of Music, which was established in 1994 and now runs its music courses
in conjunction with East Berkshire College. The Raj Academy was
established to restore the traditions of Gurmat Sangeet and was
inspired by the musical system of the Sri Guru Granth Sahib. It
is the only school in the UK offering a nationally recognized course
in Gurmat Sangeet.
Surjit Singh is a senior student of Pandit
Ram Narayan's, who is the leading exponent of the Sarangi today.
He started his early training under the tutelage of Gurdev Singh
and Ustad Harbhajan Singh. He is a member of the staff at Raj Academy
and includes Prof. Surinder Singh in his students. Surjit Singh
has performed extensively all over the world and has accompanied
leading vocalists as well as performing solo.
Ranbir Singh is an extremely talented and versatile
young musician. He is one of the handful of musicans in the world
today to have mastered the Taus (pictured here). He receives instruction
on the Sarangi from Surjit Singh. Ranbir Singh also plays the Dilruba
and is an excellent tabla player. Ranbir is a talented vocalist
and has provided vocal support on the recordings featured on this
page. Ranbir is extremely bright, humble and unassuming and has
the potential to develop into a leading musician. He was kind enough
to volunteer to play the tabla with the Boston Gurmat Sangeet Project
children during the Sikh Musical Heritage group's visit.
Balbir Singh was trained in the Punjab Tabla
Baj by Rakesh Malviya, a student of Ustad Alla Rakha's. Humble and
unassuming, Balbir is an outstanding tabla player with a wide repertoire.
On the recordings featured here, Balbir has played talas as diverse
as Chartaal, Tintaal, Jhaptaal and Dipchandi.
Kudrat Kaur is a student of Prof. Surjit Singh's.
She receives vocal instruction and studies the Dilruba as well.
Kudrat Kaur is the manager of the Sikh Musical Heritage and is responsible
for formidable logistics of the US tour.
Guru Das Singh is a musician and a musicologist.
He is working on his Masters in Music from London University and
is currently writing a dissertation on Siri Rag, analyzing and comparing
various seminal compositions sung nby eminent Ragis. Guru Das Singh
has a deep interest in Gurmat Sangeet and is a talented singer as
Prof. Surinder Singh and Surjit Singh at Hopkinton on August 2,
Kudrat Kaur, Ranbir SIngh and Prof. Surinder Singh at Hopkinton
on August 2, 2003
Bhai Gupal Singh at Hopkinton
on August 2, 2003
Ekongkar Singh Khalsa, Harbhajan
Kaur and Amritpal Singh at Millis on August 1, 2003
Prof Surinder Singh teaching
Mehr and Amrit (Hopkinton August 1, 2003)
Simran tries his hand at
the Dilruba (Hopkinton August 1, 2003)
Mehr at the Dilruba (Hopkinton
August 1, 2003)
Amrit tries out Dilruba
as Vijayant, Avneet, Aman, Deep and Baljot watch (Hopkinton August 1,
Guru Das Singh and Kudrat
Kaur give Baljot and Avneet a lesson (Hopkinton August 1, 2003)
Prof Surinder Singh offering
Kirtan Seva(Hopkinton August 1, 2003)
Ranbir Singh, lost in the
intricacies of his Taus(Hopkinton August 1, 2003)
Balbir Singh, Ranbir Singh,Aman,
Mehr, Kudrat Kaur, Guru Das Singh and
Surjit Singh take some time off to enjoy a stroll in Hopkinton State Park