ONLINE: Revisiting Pt. Bhajan Sopori’s naad yoga
|Pt. Bhajan Sopori (picture: Innee Singh, source: Pandit Bhajan Sopori Facebook page)
Recently, I had the pleasure of listening to santoor by Pt. Bhajan Sopori. His son Abhay, also a santoor vadak and composer, had put it up on YouTube. The tracks are from Pt. Sopori’s album ‘Kashmir – A Rainbow of Melodies’, part of his music therapy series ‘Naad Yoga on Santoor’. They comprise compositions titled Aalav, Pari Mahal, Dal Lake, Chinar etc. This magical instrument has a soothing effect on your soul. The soft notes always remind you of the tranquillity of hills and valleys. Naad yoga is about the healing effects that the vibrations from the music have on your body. These pieces on santoor made me long to experience the valleys of Jamme and Kashmir and also soothed my frayed nerves.
When I spoke to him about it, Abhay Sopori explained, ‘Aalav is a call and Dal Lake and Pari Mahal are places in Kashmir. The compositions do not have any raga or mishrit raga. They are simply melodies that are set in certain soundscapes according to Bhajan ji’s research on sound therapy. He would form these tunes in his mind. This is an old album. One music company took them and gave them to a pharma company. The tunes, when played in OTs and during medical procedures, had an impact on the doctors as well as on the patients. In fact, they have been sent to other countries as well. So I thought that this was the right time to revisit and revise them – during these difficult times of the pandemic.’