Craig Pruess is one of the few session musicians, conductors and composers active in the UK music scene who has mastered and synthesized three great musical traditions of the world: Western classical and contemporary, Indian classical, and African music. His credits are extensive and impressive: two UK number one film scores for “Bend It Like Beckham” and “Bride & Prejudice”, plus art films, “The Mistress of Spices”, “What’s Cooking?” and “Bhaji on the Beach”. He has scored some of the most successful independent TV drama series in UK history (“Peak Practice” for ITV), and arranged and conducted orchestras for Massive Attack, Def Leppard, Bond and Sir Cliff Richard. The latter garnered him gold and platinum records for production honors, with many chart hits, including composing the number one UK chart hit single at the Millennium, “Two Worlds” (the double A side to Sir Cliff Richard’s “The “Millennium Prayer” - a million seller).
As a session musician and Indian music consultant, Craig played sitar on the Manic Street Preacher’s number one UK album “This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours” (on the track “Tsunami”). Craig has created the Indian music colors (playing sitar, tambura, swaramandala - zither) for the Johnny Depp film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, the Harry Potter film “The Goblet of Fire”, the Madonna film “The Next Best Thing”, the Heather Graham film “The Guru”, and most recently “Shoot on Sight” with Greta Scacchi. Other keyboard and sitar session work has included Elton John, Mike Oldfield, Katie Melua, Gareth Gates, Selena Jones, Joe Cocker and Japan.
Craig is an accredited yoga/meditation teacher for the international Art of Living Foundation, and regularly stages music/meditation concerts/experiences internationally. He has performed for the Dalai Lama, at the WOMAD Festival in the UK, Glastonbury Festival, and also for Prince Charles (private concert at the Prince’s home). His original ground-breaking albums “Sacred Chants of Shiva”, “Sacred Chants of Buddha” and “The 108 Sacred Names of Mother Divine” are sold in over 80 countries around the globe, with “Sacred Chants of Shiva”, especially, selling millions in the Indian subcontinent.
Born and raised in Westchester County, New York, he attended MIT, and later traveled and became a full time member of staff at the East African Conservatoire of Music in Nairobi, Kenya (1971-1973), before coming and settling in England in March 1973. For his full professional biography and early background, see his Heaven on Earth Music website.
Besides being a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, record producer, singer and seasoned arranger, Craig is also a sound designer and sound engineer with a great wealth of experience and technical expertise, which shows in his unique and crystal clear recordings. Indian music is a very old and powerful tradition, with intricate knowledge of the connection between sound/vibration and the human body and emotions. Craig has also studied Ayur-Veda (the science of perfect health), and his approach to music and recording is a totally life integrating and life affirming undertaking.
"Welcome Home" creates a warm, expansive template for gently lilting melodies that draw from Indian "ragas", yet which please the Western ear. The attention is on joy and beauty. The soundscapes are delicate and charming, with the rich, multi-layered sound of the Indian sitar presented in all its glory. There is the resonant drone instrument, the "tanpura" and the Indian zither, the "swaramandala", supporting in the accompaniment, along with featured melodies on the bamboo flute, "bansuri". Gentle Indian drums, the "tablas", create some swaying rhythms. There is even an atmospheric trumpet rendition of the evening raga Yaman, in the last piece, "Mountain Call", creating that feeling of an alpine horn echoing off over the valley in the evening.
This CD is perfect for relaxing, for yoga, for making your plants grow better (!). Many body workers, healers and therapists are fond of using this CD as gentle background music. It's full of heart, warmth and exotic beauty.