IBNS: Samir Chatterjee a scientist cum noted musician has come up with his debut album Stairway To Nirvana under his new artist name Samir Bodhi.
A resident of Southern California for several decades, Indian-born musical visionary and tenured professor Samir Bodhi’s multi-faceted life and career reflects the classic immigrant experience of thriving in the pursuit of his creative and academic dreams.
Samir Chatterjee applied his virtuosic talents as a guitarist, composer, producer, and recording engineer to a multitude of projects involving legendary Indian musicians – including several for his wife, Madhumita Chatterjee, a noted Bollywood singer.
His sorrow and concern for his adopted home country inspired Samir to reach out to a cadre of top Indian based musicians and collaborators to realize his vision for Stairway To Nirvana, his debut album as a new age artist under his new artist name Samir Bodhi.
Fusing Eastern (Indian) classical music and instruments with modern Western music, Bodhi and his ensemble create a melodically, rhythmically, and harmonically transcendent album that offers a musical roadmap to peace in these troubled times.
The title and vibe of each track on Stairway to Nirvana reflects one aspect of what Samir and his ensemble believe the world needs to work through these troubled times and achieve an enduring sense of Nirvana in the here and now.
The song “Tranquility” flows like a lush, sensually swaying film score, artfully blending symphonic synth strings, a lead guitar melody, flute, and subtle tabla textures.
“OM” is based on the universally recognized breathing chant and sacred sound and spiritual symbol in Indian religions that signifies the essence of ultimate reality and consciousness.
The soulful, atmospheric ballad “Harmony” embodies its lofty concept via a fusion of a languid and haunting electric guitar melody, synth washes, hypnotic percussion claps, and colorful, jazzy guitar and piano solos.
Samir sees this meditative track as the one which most powerfully blends Eastern and Western aesthetics. “Peace” is a hypnotic and lyrical, folk rock flavored tune that begins with a synth generated droning sound and showcases the sultry, emotional vocals of Madhumita Chatterjee singing lyrics by Dutta that translate to a call for the world to come together.
“Nirvana” is a mystical piece by Sanjoy Das that starts by blending soothing atmospheres, a mournful cry from the sarangi (Indian string instrument) and an exotic groove behind the echoes of sarangi and a weeping electric guitar.
In Samir’s eyes, “It covers this whole feeling of going through the stages of life, from mournful to joyful, and eventually reaching enlightenment.”
He added, “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 would love this album to serve as a healing agent for people during this challenging time in world history.”
Suvodeep Mukherjee, a noted singer, has also rendered his voice to Stairway to Nirvana.