From the DirectorI first experienced Aradhna way back in 2001, shortly after they released their first album Deep Jale. About twenty of us crammed into a living room for a house concert somewhere in the heart of suburban New Jersey. There we all sat among the candles, floor pillows and fading light, absolutely hanging on the intoxicating sounds that wafted through the room. For myself, I was more stunned than anything, as the sharp strings of the sitar gently carved into the flat square walls of my heart with the distinct and delicate patterns of the East. Like the quiet confidence of skilled craftsmen, Chris and Pete sang melodies of ancient woven Urdu, English and Hindi over the masterful drone of steel string guitar, punctuated with the ringing shocks of the tabla. I was invited into a world that was at once strange and familiar and enduring. Certainly, this was one of the most formative performances of my life.
In short, that night I became an Aradhna fan, not only of their music, but also of their mission, their unflinching vision, and their friendship. All along, I have always hoped that our creative paths would someday converge. Being an artist and filmmaker, I dreamed of someday making a short documentary that could somehow capture the unique place of Aradhna in the music across the world.
This September, this dream began its fulfillment, as a team headed to Varanasi, India to begin production on a collection of six music videos featuring songs from Aradhna’s forthcoming Album, Namaste Saté to be released in January 2011. This DVD is built around the idea of “Drishti Bandhak” – a Hindi term describing the faculty of sight – of not just looking at something but really seeing it for what it is with an accurate perspective. This is our desire behind this project – to capture the essence of each song in visual form, giving the viewer not only a greater reading into lyrical content, but also the spirit behind the music itself. The marriage of Aradhna’s music and the arresting imagery from a city like Varanasi is bound to bring a whole new dimension to the mission of Aradhna as they continue to unite disparate cultures and engage the heart and soul of communities around the globe. As of January 26th, Aradhna fans are now able to purchase the DVD at Aradhna’s online store in combination with the Namaste Saté as well as at live performances.