David C. Newcomb | Satsangi Symphony

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New Age: Spiritual Classical: Musical Theater Moods: Type: Tributes
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Satsangi Symphony

by David C. Newcomb

Gorgeous melodies, traditional western harmonies, and fetching arrangements of themes taught by Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj and his spiritual predecessors on the Path of Sant Mat.
Genre: New Age: Spiritual
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1. When I Look Into Your Eyes
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8:19 album only
2. And the One Lover Strong
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4:02 album only
3. The Creation, According to Kabir
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10:47 album only
4. Love Is An Echo of Itself
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4:24 album only
5. Just One Smile
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3:17 album only
6. God\'s Lament
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3:47 album only
7. People Make the Difference
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4:51 album only
8. Sweet Is Thy Will
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2:31 album only
9. My Song
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5:21 album only
10. Piece By Piece
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3:34 album only
11. Kabir\'s Dance in Ab
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1:42 album only
12. We Are the Children of the One Creator
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5:40 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
About Sant Rajinder Singh….

His Holiness Sant Rajinder Singh Ji Maharaj (b. 1946) has worked tirelessly to awaken humanity to the spiritual legacy that lies within each and every one of us. For nearly twenty years he has traveled the world teaching people that meditation on the inner Light and Sound of God is the means by which we experience our true nature, our soul. Through books, discourses, conferences, workshops, and interviews, Sant Rajinder Singh has provided people with the practical steps needed to make spirituality part of our everyday life, and, by his own example, he has inspired countless thousands with a ruling passion to know God.

Sant Rajinder Singh does not charge for the services he provides. He treats spirituality as a gift of nature, and regards his role as that of humble conduit through which flows the grace of his spiritual preceptors, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj (1921 – 1989) and Sant Kirpal Singh Ji Maharaj (1894 – 1974), two modern-day saints, who, along with their master, Hazur Baba Sawan Singh Ji Maharaj (1858 – 1948) belong to a lineage of mystics, adepts, sants and satgurus that dates back to the beginnings of human existence. In India, the collective teachings of this lineage of masters is referred to as Sant Mat (“Sacred Teachings”), which in the West often translates as Path of the Masters.

Sant Rajinder Singh’s books include INNER AND OUTER PEACE THROUGH MEDITATION, EMPOWERING YOUR SOUL THROUGH MEDITATION, SPIRITUAL PEARLS FOR ENLIGHTENED LIVING, all published by Radiance Publishers, and SILKEN THREAD OF THE DIVINE, published by SK Publications. He serves as president of Science of Spirituality, a nonprofit, multi-faith organization with more than 1600 centers located in forty countries. His books and teachings have been translated into more than fifty languages. The US headquarters of Science of Spirituality is located at 4S 175 Naperville Road, Naperville, IL 60563. For more information, visit www.sos.org, Email info@sos.org, or call 630.955.1200.

About the Performers….

Barbara Collier, soprano, has performed with the Forum Opera Ensemble, Opera Piccola, the Georgetown Community Chorale, and the Continuum Chamber Singers, among other local groups in the Washington DC area. She has appeared in roles that include Susanna in Mozart’s Nozze di Figaro, Madame Herz in Mozart’s Impresario, Serpina in Pergolesi’s La Serva Padrona, and Lieschen in Bach’s Coffee Cantata. Barbara can also be heard on the Erato recording of Boris Gudunov (with Rostropovich and the National Symphony) in the women’s quartet that opens Act III.

Mary Ann Ryan, alto, joined her high school chorus twenty years ago at the age of fifteen, and has been singing ever since. She has participated in various local productions of Washington DC’s active community theater scene, and has produced and performed solo recitals. Her most recent, and on-going, project is a full-length recording of the music of The Carpenters.

Tom Mirenda, tenor, uses his range of two octaves and a fifth (low F to high C), perfect pitch, and superb sight-singing skills in both harmonic and melodic contexts. His diverse musical background includes popular and classical genres, and Tom has performed as a soloist in oratorio, opera, and musical theater across the country, from Hawaii to New York City.

Frank Plumer, bass, music director, and piano accompanist, began piano studies at the age of four, and has made music – as pianist, singer, conductor, composer and teacher – his life’s work. Equally at home with operatic, popular and jazz repertoires, Frank is in constant demand for bookings in Washington, New York and abroad. Career highlights include choral accompaniment in a performance at the Vatican, a rousing recent engagement at New York’s Firebird Café, and the many Washington social events he has graced with his playing and singing. Frank can be heard regularly at Washington’s Bombay Club, where he performs most Friday nights.

Guest artist Gloria Newcomb sings with husband David at various Washington-area venues, where they have introduced most of the songs on this CD. Gloria sings regularly with the Levine Community Singers, and studies with Levine School of Music choral director Lisa Shaw. Her previous engagements include the Georgetown Community Chorale.

About the Songwriter….

David Newcomb arranged the songs in this collection as concert versions of the Act I music of his musical play-in-progress, The Maestro, which celebrates the life and teachings of his master, Sant Darshan Singh Ji Maharaj. David has been writing his entire adult life, and is author of the novel HARRY’S ARK. He is a member of Songwriters’ Association of Washington (“SAW”) and a student at Levine School of Music.


Reviews


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Alba


"Satsangi Symphony" ofrece bellas descripciones de la Creación, Dios, el Maestro Espiritual y las relaciones del alma con Él. Con la música y los coros, se convierte en una obra de dulzura y espiritualidad esperanzadora.



Alba Zuluaga





Love, Alba

Barry Lerner

A Tradition from the East Takes New Birth in the West
The CD Satsangi Symphony presents to the West in musical terms the age-old, largely Indian spiritual tradition of Sant Mat (literally, Teachings of the God-realized Saints). Themes embedded in the lyrics of the songs David Newcomb has composed have wide currency in northern India, in the musical traditions of Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Saints in this context refers to an endless lineage of spiritual teachers, guides or masters who have been appearing on earth from time immemorial for the purpose of reuniting human beings with God. According to Sant Mat, a Master works by awakening in us our own latent divinity, and then guiding us on an inner journey that ultimately leads to God. The chief means at the Master’s disposal is his divinely inspired love, and exposure to that love has been the source of inspiration behind a considerable body of poetry and music.

What Newcomb has done in Satsangi Symphony is recast the musical tradition that celebrates the role of the Guru or Murshid into a Western liturgical tradition that will be familiar to anyone who has ever been to church or heard a musical in the theater. In this impressive collection of songs, Newcomb has written some deeply beautiful melodies, sublimely spiritual lyrics and highly professional arrangements, thereby achieving an admirable work of art that will inspire a seeker after spiritual truth.

As an organizing principle, Newcomb embeds in each song of Satsangi Symphony one or more spiritual themes common to Sant Mat. A brief survey of the eleven songs of the CD (there is one piano track) makes the point:

The first song, \"When I Look into Your Eyes,\" embeds the principle that spirituality does not come primarily through intellect or emotions, but rather flows from the eyes of the Beloved (the Master or \"Maestro\") into the eyes of his lovers — here, the characters, each of whom sing what the Maestro meant to her/him. In the chorus, they sing that looking into the Maestro\'s eyes gives \"heaven in a glance, creation all a dance, and love divine.\"

The second track, \"And the One Lover Strong,\" embeds the principle that, when we pray in our heart sincerely for God, God Himself will arrange to put us in contact with the living Master of the age, who in turn will show us the way back to God.

The third track presents the different material and spiritual planes of creation, using a metaphor of clothing to stand for the coverings over the soul (koshas in Hindi), which alludes to the teachings of the great medieval North Indian saint Kabir in his Anurag Sagar.

The fourth track embodies the principle that love emanates first from the heart of the Beloved, and the love of the disciple is only reciprocal.

The fifth track embodies the principle that the Master is so bewitching in his beauty that \"just one smile\" suffices to bring the jiva (\"embodied soul\") into the fold. This song also introduces the principle that once the poor jiva is caught in the noose of love, which is the easy and fun part of the path (\"pursued was such great fun\"), then separation from the Master sets in, with endless complaints of yearning and pining.

The sixth track embeds the principle of the predicament of God; that God, in sending the souls out into creation, has let mischief afoot, and is paying for the separation that has ensued with the agony of a seemingly endless wait for His children to return. But the track suggests a hopeful resolution and reconciliation through communion with the inner Music of Naam, the Holy Word, to which the Master connects the disciple at the time of his spiritual initiation.

The seventh track says that the only idea which matters is that we are all one family under God.

The eighth track addresses the seeming injustice and cruelty of this life by exposing the underlying machinery of karma, which is driven by our desires and in turn drives us to the pain of the consequences.

The ninth track begins secularly but builds to the spiritual principles that music comes of its own accord, and that, though the instrument may be faulty, the music itself is divine.

The tenth track also explores the origins of music, but makes the case that the arts should serve a spiritual end, that melody is found in meditation, that lyrics are found in the teaching of the Masters, and that harmony connects us all to one another and to God.

Finally, the twelfth track reverts to the idea that we are all children of the one Creator, and introduces the principle that the Master shepherds us toward reunion with God.

Our traditional western musical idiom is the richer for having been presented with Satsangi Symphony, as, for that matter, are seekers after truth, who can now be inspired by the principles of the Sant Mat mystical tradition in a fresh and moving form.

Harbans Bedi

Mr
Even for me, an old satsangi of more than sixty years, blasé so to say, it was a moving devotional experience to read and listen to David Newcomb’s compositions. He is carrying forward the ancient tradition of men of God, the saints and gurus of India and other countries, who stirred the hearts of their disciples to fervor with divine poetry, set to music and made every heart a temple of God. Devotional poetry is on the wane, few write it and few read it because it cannot be composed unless the poet is compelled and inspired by a divine call. Newcomb is enveloped by God’s love and strikes a note to which our hearts make a spontaneous response:

God’s love rose long before this earth,
And blessed us long before our birth.
To make sure that we find Him,
God made our heart,
Echo music deep within.

Whether God exists or does not, we tell ourselves, we have no need for Him. But there is no such easy escape for us. Nor for God. He loves us and cannot afford to let us wander into oblivion and death. Newcomb expresses God’s profound longing for humankind in the following lines, simple on the surface but deeply felt:

God’s lament is that of any parent you know.
Concerned that his children are well.
When one of them suffers, all of them do,
And God, more than anyone, suffers for you.

Reading the poems and listening to the singing one is carried away by a feeling of joy mingled with tears. Newcomb, it is obvious, has written with a sense of inward realization and fulfillment. He has done valuable service in this offering of love and devotion. I hope Satsangi Symphony travels far as it is bound to bring back to life and consciousness our half buried and unexpressed yearning to love and be loved by God.