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Sambodhi Prem on the making of Cello Circles

Music by
Sambodhi Prem

Sambodhi Prem's albums

Cello CIrcles

My collaboration with Kalyan has been a wonderful journey of reaching across physical oceans, but with a musical closeness and creative richness – resulting in 8 compositions where the sound of the cello merges with my guitar, the textures of my studio, and the range of other instruments that Kalyan plays.

During the recording of Cello Circles I was mostly living “down-under” in Australia and New Zealand, while Kalyan lives in Canada. We collaborated from afar, working together for the love of music, for our own entertainment, until we found that music had emerged which we felt to share with more people than just our closest friends.

At the heart of this music is improvisation - the starting point that guides us when we create. Add a little bit of musical luck and a few blessings from the gods of technology, plus a heavy dose of work to bring things to completion – making music is a bit like cooking – timing and tasting is everything.

Over the course of this recording, which started in 2001 and was released in September 2008, I’ve fallen in love with the sound of the cello. Kalyan’s approach towards the instrument is playful, yet deep. His meditative energy makes the instrument the perfect vehicle for his musical expression. Being an experienced musician on Indian instruments like the dilruba and the rudra veena gives him a point of reference very few cellists have. He brings so much to the instrument and to this project, I feel truly honored to be working with him.

I love the cello because it’s able to express great depths of sadness and is equally able to reach the heights of joy - expressing a special kind of joy – a joy that has a depth unique amongst musical instruments.

I also want to mention that I’ve been fortunate having Sandipa help me with the delicate process of making music long-distance and receiving her great support. She created a beautiful painting, Harmony in Lily Flat Major, while this album was being recorded which you can see on the cover.

One of the best things in my life is to create music with a friend and feeling the connection and shared understanding when all the pieces fall into place and there is an expression of both our uniqueness, merged into one flow. I have experienced this while playing in a live setting, but to have that same feeling on a recording has been a most wonderful gift.

Sambodhi Prem