SAMA Arts Network in Association with The Bagri Foundation present
Multi award winning singer -songwriter and composer, Sonam Kalra is an artist whose skill spans both Indian and Western music. She has had formal training in Indian Classical music under Shubha Mudgal and Sarathi Chatterji and has also studied various genres of Western music including Gospel, Jazz and Opera under Hur Chul Yung and Ashlee Clement.
This diverse experience has taught her that despite their different roots, different musical traditions have more in common than they differ. This realization was the genesis of The Sufi Gospel Project, which Sonam has been working on since early 2011
The brainchild of singer and composer, Sonam Kalra, The Sufi Gospel Project is an attempt to blend the many voices of faith, through the use of song, music and the spoken word. Traditional western gospel melds with Indian classical sounds, and Indian spiritual texts are enriched by elements of western poetry to create a sound that touches every soul. Revealing that no matter what the language of the lyrics, or the ethnicity of the sounds, there is but one language, the language of faith. And that is the universal truth.
“I first conceived this Project when I was asked to sing Gospel music to commemorate the birth centenary of the Sufi Hazrat Inayat Khan at the Inayat Khan Dargah in Delhi. I had sung Gospel in churches and at other music venues but for the Urz of Inayat Khan, I wanted to create a sound that blended the faiths. I belong to the Sikh religion and am often asked why I sing Gospel. My answer is always the same; because God has no religion. I work with a keyboard player and guitarist who are Christian, my accompanists on the Sarangi and Tabla are Muslim, my flautist and percussionist are Hindus - a testament that when it comes to faith and music, religion is not relevant. The music emerged through a collaborative and organic process, combining our musical abilities and collective improvisation and feeding off our diverse beliefs.”
Khusrau blends with Amazing Grace, Kabir shares the stage with Abide with Me and Bulleh Shah’s voice is heard amidst English and Gaelic texts.
Accompanying Sonam on this project are Ahsan Ali, Rajesh Prasanna, Amaan Ali, Tarit Pal and Alex Fernandes.