Sunday, August 25, 2013

Prem Joshua : The Sky Grazes The Earth

Prem Joshua German musician
Prem Joshua
Multi-instrumentalist and composer “Prem Joshua” is an innovator extraordinaire in the field of World Fusion Music. Joshua plays bamboo flutes, sitar, santoor, dilruba to perfection while belting out haunting vocal passages. Additional musicians contribute through keyboards, programming and loads of percussion on many of his albums.  His music has the uncanny ability to passage the listener beyond boundaries to the East and West taking them on a musical journey. Having traveled between India and Europe for over twenty years, Prem Joshua has studied with some of India’s finest musicians, including sitar maestro Ustad Usman Khan. Joshua lures deeply from the well of eastern traditions, but has never lost touch with the pulse of contemporary western music. You've probably heard his music used in many TV commercials in Sri Lanka as well. Prem Joshua has made India his second home, learning music at the bases of many gurus. Through those teachings he has articulated his own distinctive Indo-Jazz fusion panache of music that has made him a household name in the music circles.

Born to a musical family in Germany, Joshua began to pick up the flute at the tender age of five. Eventually the need to continuously search for fresh ways to express and expand his music range and spirituality dragged him towards India. The picture-perfect mix of the culture and music was the potpourri he was searching in life. Joshua once said that He recollects hearing Indian music for the first time, age 16 – a record of a sitar performance by Ravi Shankar: “I had never heard anything like this before,” Joshua recalls. “It was beyond my musical grasp and experience but was something of such immense beauty and depth. It felt unfamiliar and mysterious - yet at the same time like a remembrance of something I knew very well.”
So at the age of 18 he left home and high school and terminated his entire career plans to go overland from Europe to India expecting a life changing experience. On his first three treks to the East he journeyed thru countries like Greece, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And he became profoundly tangled with customary oriental folk music, performing live with and learning from local musicians. This exposure aided him to become the modern maharishi of East-West Fusion Music.

Prem Joshua & Band Fusion World Music
Prem Joshua & Band 

Thinking of giving this band a spin? I would suggest you getting your hand on the magnum opus: “Sky Kisses Earth". it is a profoundly sensual album. It’s a meditative piece, transporting Heaven to Earth. The title track is a 13 minute long reflective journey. One can imagine the great winds hammering down from the skies on a summer afternoon. "Dakini" is a 12 minute ode to the sky dancing goddesses of Tibetan Buddhism. It celebrates the feminine. "Night Rain" evokes a gentle downpour. "The Seventh Eclipse" is more hushed and sober. It evokes the entwining of the sun and the moon in a loving embrace. For a more recent recording, may I suggest "Water down the Ganges" .It’s absolute aquatic meditation. It's an illusory journey down India's holy river. The music just washes over you. It's a fitting companion for Anoushka Shankar and Karsh Kale's "Breathing under Water." Let the music wash over you.

I have pinned my ears back to many European musicians who claim to play Indian & raga fusion. Sadly it usually sounds “Fake”. However, not this group of musicians! This band conveys an honest manifestation of heart informed by life experiences. It has diversity, sophistication and amazement on each note. To date Joshua has released 14 albums. They continue to tour the world for concerts on numerous instances to perform to an ever snowballing number of music lovers in the USA, Japan, India, Malaysia, Singapore and Europe. Inspiring them with a musical message that spreads beyond the borders of tradition, politics, religion and acceptance.

Sky Kisses Earth |Listen:
the track starts off with harmonious voices blended with Sitar and Santoor and soon the beats kick in…. 

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