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From Our Roots

From Our Roots is a collaboration to create new music that explores the commonality of the music traditions of India and the Oneida Nation.

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From Our Roots

Posted on November 3, 2017 by Devesh Chandra

On a crisp April morning the scent of burning sage filled the air as it’s embers danced to our song. Joanne Shenandoah and I prayed on the land at the grave sites of her ancestors. Performing this sacred prayer we commenced “From Our Roots.” Praying on the land of her ancestors, in this, our first meeting, was the natural beginning to experiencing the commonality of tradition, nature and spirituality in the music traditions of India and the Oneida Nation.

Overview

I would like to request support from New Music USA for the creation of new work with renowned musician Joanne Shenandoah. Our project, titled, “From Our Roots” explores the deep connections and commonality amongst music of India, Indian Classical Music, and Native American music from the rich history of the Oneida Nation. The music we create will explore themes of spirituality, nature and tradition. Music created as part of this project will be premiered in concert at Hamilton College in April 2017. The premiere performance will be recorded through high quality audio and video recordings. The work that we create will also be recorded using 360 video and virtual reality audio and shared publicly.

As a musician, I am constantly intrigued by and motivated to learn about parallels in how music is thought of across cultures and traditions. In our conversations about music, Joanne Shenandoah and I have come across many common elements fundamental to both our traditions. Through our collaboration we aspire to create work that explores these elements musically. Specifically, our work will explore ways that both of our music traditions relate and connect to spirituality, nature and tradition. We feel these elements are at the fundamental roots of both Indian Classical and Native American music traditions.

The premiere of our work will take place at Hamilton College which was founded by the direct ancestors of Joanne Shenandoah. Not only was the college founded by her ancestors but it is also home to their sacred burial sites. Performing and premiering our work on this land is profoundly significant.

Our premiere will consist of a performance, open to the public, that we anticipate to be highly attended by the Utica community at large and specifically the Hamilton College community and Native American & Oneida Nations communities. Through music we believe our project can help bring people together to better appreciate and connect with Oneida culture and tradition. Further, by bringing together and finding commonality amongst two seemingly distant traditions we hope to foster understanding through music.

The premiere performance will be recorded through audio and video recordings. Lucas Rathke, a very highly regarded sound recording engineer who specializes in world music and location recording, will be recording the performance. Cinematographers, Brittany Wait and Jacob Greenfeld will video record the performance.

In addition to the performance, we are going to create a separate 360 video and virtual reality, spatial audio recording of our work. The 360 video will feature our music outdoors on the sacred land. We feel using this immersive technology will enable our audience to experience the music as if they are present on the land with us. The 360 video and virtual reality audio recording will be done by RASA 360, a company that I am founder of.

Personally, it is a great honor to be able to work collaboratively with Joanne Shenandoah, who is a multiple time Grammy Award winner and torch bearer for Native American music. I feel our work together will greatly impact my music.

Project Media

Tabla Solo from The Egg
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Features: Devesh Chandra

This is a brief tabla solo to help conclude MoHu Fest 2012 at The Egg Performing Arts Center, Swyer Theatre. The concert was on October 14th, 2012 in Albany, NY.

Seven Dancers
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Features: Joanne Shenandoah

Seven Dancers performed by Joanne Shenandoah & Gerhard Rebmann with the New Mexico Symphony aired on PBS as Songs of the Spirit.

Description of Songs of the Spirit
Beneath the blazing red-eyed steer skulls staring down from the 1927 “Pueblo Deco” walls of the historic KiMo Theatre, three renowned, multi-award winning Native-American musicians — flutist R. Carlos Nakai, singer-songwriter Joanne Shenandoah and singer-songwriter-painter Bill Miller — perform with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO) in Live from the KiMo: Songs of the Spirit.

Ganondagan
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Features: Joanne Shenandoah

Ganondagan performed by Joanne Shenandoah & Gerhard Rebmann with the New Mexico Symphony aired on PBS as Songs of the Spirit.

Description of Songs of the Spirit
Beneath the blazing red-eyed steer skulls staring down from the 1927 “Pueblo Deco” walls of the historic KiMo Theatre, three renowned, multi-award winning Native-American musicians — flutist R. Carlos Nakai, singer-songwriter Joanne Shenandoah and singer-songwriter-painter Bill Miller — perform with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra (NMSO) in Live from the KiMo: Songs of the Spirit.

Start and End Dates

04/01/201704/30/2017

Location

Syracuse & Clinton NY, New York

1 update
Last update on November 3, 2017

Project Created By

Latham, New York
DEVESH CHANDRA has been learning the Tabla since the age of 3. He has learned Northern Indian Classical Music by accompanying his mother, Veena Chandra. Devesh, the youngest of six children, grew up immersed in Indian music. His first spoken words were the syllables of tabla -Dha Dha Tita. Immersed in music at a young…

In Collaboration With

Composer
Oneida, New York
360 Video & Audio Recording
Albany , New York
Sound Recording Engineer
Cinematographer
For example: composer, choreographer, librettist, etc.

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