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Pop / Rock 18/08/2017

Grammy-Nominated Artist Chandrika Tandon To Release New Album September 15th - "Shivoham - The Quest"

Grammy-Nominated Artist Chandrika Tandon To Release New Album September 15th - "Shivoham - The Quest"

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Chandrika Tandon is set to release her fourth, and by far most ambitious, full-length double album: Shivoham—The Quest. Breathtaking in its scope, this is a majestic musical statement of 90 minutes, populated with five choirs, orchestras, multiple world-renowned soloists, and was recorded in nine studios across four countries over two years.

Tandon composed and produced Shivoham - The Quest describing her own journey which she sees as "a universal journey; of seeking the light, yearning for it; searching for it and finding moments of connection to it." This concept is central to both the album as a whole and also the creative process of putting the album together -and brought together contributors who understood and embraced her vision.

The story of Chandrika Tandon is a circuitous one, that of a woman who grew up in Chennai, the capital of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, in a simple environment, and improbably rose to great heights in several disciplines- as an artist, business leader and humanitarian. From childhood, music was all around. She absorbed everything from traditional Indian classical music to jazz, R&B and the Beatles' brand of rock; and Brazilian, French and African music in her wide travels.

Although music always played an essential part in Chandrika's life, her recorded output came later in life. Tandon, who is a singer, composer and producer, began releasing her own music in 2004: her first three albums, all self-released on her Soul Chants Music label, were Soul Mantra, Soul Call (which topped the world music sales charts and was nominated for a Grammy in the category of Best Contemporary World Music Album) and Soul March. She had already begun work on a fourth "soul" album (which will be finished in the near future, she says) when the calling to make Shivoham grabbed hold of her.

Shivoham—The Quest takes Tandon into a whole new territory. Split into three primary movements preceded by an overture, the suite of interconnected songs is based on thousands of years of literary and musical tradition. Tandon dedicates the work to "seekers of the light everywhere." This theme is paramount within the work and the album resonates with it. Tandon explains, "While the album is expressed in three movements, it is not a linear road. That path is tortuous and follows many landscapes and terrains, and crosses all genres, religions, and races - the music is also reflective of this cross cultural, cross continental journey we all go through, expressed from one person's prism."

At first, Tandon sketched out the song and movement structures, composed the lyrics and the base melodies. She then had workshops in her house with jazz pianist and composer Kenny Werner and about 10-15 musical friends, including John Kiehl, the owner and founder of Soundtrack Studios, Mirek Vana from the Berklee School of music and Brian Gill, from the Indiana School of Music and several singers from Tandon's Soul Chants ensemble. They worked together to refine the songs and then she tried out Indian and Western arrangers.

"The songs had their own language. One composition involved mixing an indian raga with a Dorian scale and a Gregorian chant-like choir; another an Irish jig with Indian dance notes- each of the twelve songs is different. I was hearing music and arrangements that were neither wholly Indian nor wholly Western - and it was a challenge to translate that. I drove everyone crazy", says Chandrika. A key figure in the arrangements and orchestrations was Teese Gohl. The legendary Swedish music producer and composer has been nominated for both Emmys and Grammys, produced two Oscar winning soundtracks and worked as Carly Simons musical director for over 20 years.

The final recording seamlessly envelops multicultural elements, creating in effect a true global experience. Tandon—working in London's famed Abbey Road recording studio as well as in other rooms, included the Kings Singers and the Soweto Gospel Choir, the London Voices of Terry Edwards, and the London Metropolitan Strings to augment her own vocal performances. In addition to jazz great Werner, the numerous musicians include guitarists Romero Lubambo and Peter Calo, keyboardist Martin Bejerano, accordion player Gil Goldstein, renowned percussionists Cyro Baptista and Jamey Haddad, and a dazzling array of Indian musicians like Pandit Tejendra Majumdar, Pandit Ronu Mojumder. The resultant album is unlike anything you will ever have heard.

Shivoham - The Quest Tracklist:

Movement I - Yearning
1. Beginnings
2. Seeker
3. Worldly Dance
4. Yearning

Movement II - Searching
5. Destruction
6. Compassion
7. Surrender
8. Teacher

Movement III - Connecting
9. Light
10. Spirit
11. Peace
12. Blessings

Chandrika is actively involved in leadership roles in multiple world class institutions reflecting her passion for the arts and education - which are part of her journey and shape her vision for this album. She runs her own Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation, which houses her non-profit Soul Chants Music label; and has leadership roles in the Lincoln Center for Performing Arts, serving on its Board and Executive Committees; as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the President's Global Council of New York University, with additional governance roles in NYU schools of Engineering, Business and Medicine; and as a trusted advisor to the Presidents of Yale and Berklee College of Music. And that only scratches the surface.

Shivoham - The Quest is, for Tandon, the latest manifestation of a lifetime of dedication and hard work. Her music, which has been called "medicine for the soul" and "a full-bodied revelry" by the press, "has enriched my life in so many ways," she says. "This album and this journey - of moving from a purely business focused life to a multicolored kaleidoscope with music and humanitarian objectives is what happened. That is my journey, what is yours…"
Shivoham - The Quest is released through the Soul Chants Music label on the 15th September 2017.

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