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‘Chinar’, ‘Dal’, ‘Pari Mahal’: Santoor maestro composes Kashmir symphonies to beat Covid stress

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Srinagar: If you are feeling stressed out after the long spells of successive Covid lockdowns, try listening to the symphonies named after the Valley’s tourist spots like Dal Lake and Pari Mahal or Kashmir’s cultural symbol Chinar.

The symphonies titled ‘Kashmir – A Rainbow of Melodies’, which is part of the music therapy series – ‘Naad Yoga on Santoor’, have been composed by well-known santoor maestro Pandit Bhajan Sopori.

 

Though the symphonies were composed decades back, the same have now been recreated and released online for the first time with an aim to relax minds and beat the stress induced by the Covid lockdowns.

“The album was first released more than 20 years back and it had then received good response. Doctors would use these symphonies for therapy and it exhibited positive results in the ICUs. It was helping in recovery and people would say there were healing powers in these melodies. Now, there was a demand that we should come up with music that would work as a therapy in Covid times where people are full of stress. Therefore, for the first time, we have released these compositions online,” Bhajan Sopori’s son Abhay Sopori, who is also a santoor player and composer, told The Kashmir Monitor.

He said they have so far released three compositions named Chinar, Dal Lake and Pari Mahal and four other symphonies of the ‘rainbow’ will be released in the coming days.

“My father had initially learnt ‘naad yoga’ from his grandfather Pandit Samsar Chand Sopori, who was spiritually elevated and was known for curing diseases through music. The seven pieces also depict the seven ‘chakras’ in a human body. He (Sopori) presents a fusion of the traditional, the classical, the Shaivite, the Sufiana and the folk music of his motherland Kashmir, with contemporary sensibility,” said Sopori.

Meanwhile, Pandit Bhajan Sopori said the symphonies captured the essence of the place it was named after. He said, for example, the sounds and resonances experienced at Dal Lake reverberated in the composition.

“The entry into Dal Lake through its famous gate is my childhood memory of a Shikara ride, with its accompanying resonance of the singing birds, the sound of the boatman’s oars and the lapping of the waves against the sides of the boat. The flowing breeze, while negotiating the lotus fields and the narrow tunnel under the Camel Bridge (Oont Kadal) on approach to the Nishat Bagh are all vibrant in my imagination in this musical composition,” he said.

The compositions are being well received on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube and WhatsApp.

 “Very beautiful and very serene. Exactly what is needed today” commented one YouTube user Sadhna Shrivastav. Another listener Chandrika wrote: “Ruhani and healing music. Need of the hour.”

“Wah wah…It takes one to another world,” wrote Dr. Shabir Mir.