Thursday, August 5, 2021
Album Review: Starway to Nirvana by Samir Bodhi
Recording and producing under his artist’s name, guitarist, composer, producer and recording engineer Samir Bodhi has released his début album in the World/New Age genre titled Stairway to Nirvana in which the Indian-born resident of Southern California, masterfully fuses Eastern (Indian) classical music and instruments with modern Western styles.
An accomplished and internationally recognized scientist and scholar, with a PhD in Computer Science under his real name Samir Chatterjee, he skillfully applies his expertise in academia to his work as a musical artist. “I feel I have quite a bit of creativity in me and part of it manifests through my academic research and the other via my musical outlets”, says Bodhi.
Samir and his ensemble of exceptionally talented and successful performers and musicians, delicately craft a melodic, rhythmic, and spiritually transcendent album that offers a musical roadmap to peace and serenity in these troubled times.
Samir expresses his purpose for the album with words of gratefulness and compassion: “Stairway to Nirvana is a project that fulfills my vision for creating beautiful music that brings serenity and enlightenment to people of all cultures. I am indebted to my incredible collaborators for blessing me with their tremendous talent and unique ideas. Music has the power to be a great healer of the body, mind and spirit, and beyond providing a meaningful listening experience, I would love this album to serve as a healing agent for people during this challenging time in world history.”
Embellished throughout with haunting melodies, exquisite vocals, electric guitar, hypnotic sounds of the sitar and synth-generated droning, against a backdrop of flowing rhythms, earthy percussion and messages of peace, Stairway to Nirvana gently invites us to ascend a musical ladder by which we reach a state of transition and completeness, or “nirvana”, through music and meditation in which all external influences seem to disappear; separating the listener from the physical world as the listening experience seems to charge the soul with pure and transporting energy. Samir weaves a delicate thread that crosses from loss and pain, to joy, tranquility, and peace.
In "Tranquility", the first track on the album, the flute collaborates with the sitar and beautiful stringed arrangements, gently offering you space to reflect outside of the noise and chaos of the present world. Samir chose to make the flute the center and heart of the melody, attracting you to an interesting dialogue between flute and flowing rhythm.
"OM" like a sacred symbol is a sacred sound which introduces you to an esoteric, meditative experience. The vocals are mesmerizing; almost entrancing.
"Harmony", my favorite piece on the album, is where Eastern and Western styles masterfully intertwine; its profound, deep tones of electric guitar and bass combine with sitar and piano to lure the listener into a sultry, down-tempo harmonic exploration of the senses that dazzlingly recalls the music of Bombay Dub Orchestra.
In the track that follows we move gently to the path of “Peace” we all seek, accompanied by guitar and western influences, in this enchanting melody beautifully sung by Madhumita Chatterjee, Samir’s wife and renown Bollywood singer.
The final track “Nirvana” mystically transports the listener through the journey of life with its joys and sorrows to our ultimate destination of true enlightenment and eternal bliss.
Listening to and reviewing this album was an indescribable pleasure. The music truly conveys a state of tranquility, harmony, and peace.
We thank Samir Bodhi and his friends for this beautiful album, and eagerly await his future artistic releases. To learn more about this incredible artist, please visit his website at SamirBodhi.com.
~Abdul Yamani for Journeyscapes Radio
Stairway to Nirvana is also available at Amazon, iTunes and more.