Joel, playing the Indian slide guitar with Rajesh Pai on the Tabla, performed at the Stone Church Arts in Bellows Falls. The recently released album entitled ‘Sacred Groves’ can be found on @Bandcamp. Find Joel on IG at @joelveena.
Below is a video from the performance, a copy of the album, and a letter about the show from Joel himself. Enjoy!
I had a great concert, thank you!
I was very encouraged and heartened when I received a call from Beau, my host at Stone Church Arts in Bellows Falls, on my way to the performance telling me that they were expecting a great turn out based on presale tickets and asking me if I’d like to perform in the main church hall instead of the smaller, chapel stage I was scheduled for. Upon reaching, I was awestruck to enter a large stone cathedral with sunlight shining in through brightly colored stained-glass windows. What an inspiring atmosphere and location for an Indian classical music concert!
The turn out was wonderful and I got to talk briefly with a number of music fans about my background, the instrument, and Indian classical music. My wife, Vidhi, was standing at the merchandise table with a special collection of stolls we brought from Mumbai. She had a great time as well chatting with concert goers, giving them recommendations on different ways to wear the stolls and sent home a lot of happy folks with CDs and some unique clothing items from India. We also had great sound thanks to the acoustics of the church and to engineer Alan Stockwell who recorded the performance (the audio of which is likely to be available soon and is what I used in this video).
The video above was the final piece from my performance. It is a shorter piece set in Raga Mishra Bhairavi. Raga Bhairavi is considered a morning raga, in celebration and honoring of the divine feminine aspect of Lord Shiva. It has become convention to perform Raga Bhairavi at the end of a concert. This may come from the tradition of all-night concerts in which concert-goers arrive to hear ragas all throughout the day; afternoon, evening, late night and then early morning ragas of the next morning. In this context Bhairavi is played as the final piece the next morning. ‘Mishra’ Bhairavi means ‘mixed Bhairavi’, in this presentation of the raga we borrow notes from other ragas to add color and emotion.
The composition I play here is set to Dadra tal, a cycle of 6 beats played by Rajesh Pai on tabla. It was created especially for my audiences while touring, to finish the concert, by my Guruji Pt. Alok Lahiri. I hope you enjoy it!
Wishing you and yours all the very best,
Joel ‘Veena’ Eisenkramer
Sacred Groves is a collaboration between Joel Veena, Indian slide guitarist, and Kees van Boxtel, bansuri. They met in Auroville, India in 2016 after Kees followed his ears to find Joel practicing on the rooftop of International House. They quickly formed a friendship and played a series of concerts together. They share a common guru: sarod maestro of Howrah, Pt. Alok Lahiri. This album includes two recordings from Kees’ Bless U Studio in the Netherlands and one live recording from their recent tour in India. Recorded and mixed by Kees van Boxtel & Joel Veena at Bless U Studio, Haarlem, Netherlands. Artwork design by Sumeru Salla, Design & Story.
Joel Veena – Indian slide guitarreleased April 7, 2019
Kees van Boxtel – Bansuri