Shani Diluka - Prabhu Edouard - Sahana Banerjee
The Cosmos Project : when Beethoven meets Hindoustanie music
Exceptional concert given by international artists Shani Diluka, Prabhu Edouard and Sahana Banerjee during their tour in South Asia, blending amazing dialogue.
Western and Hindustani music in amazing dialogue!
There is a genuine historical link between Beethoven and Indian culture: in search of the depth of this culture and fascinated by the translation of mystical Indian texts (the Upanishad), which was released in 1816 in Germany, Beethoven immersed himself in these texts and even wrote a Brahmanic Indian poem in his notebooks to put it to music! This relationship has never been explored in concert or recording. That's why we want to pay tribute to Beethoven with this "Cosmos" project.
The sound spectrum imagined by Beethoven with his five-pedal pianos at that time and his long resonances found in sonatas or string quartets seem to call and shimmer the spectrum and resonance of the Sitar.
Very mystical in his search for the link between Man and Cosmos and curious about other cultures, some researches, notably by J.S. Shedlock, prove Beethoven's interest in Indian culture. Some extracts of documents written by Beethoven are thus reproduced in Beethoven 's Letters with explanatory notes by Dr. A.C. Kalischer (translation by J.S. Shedlock), 1926.
It is not clear why Beethoven wrote this documents, which must be an extract from a German translation of a work of Indian philosophy. Shedlock has a few ideas. Beethoven may have copied a work based on the Upanishads or from a work in German on Indian philosophy published at Jena in 1816, or the source may have been an essay or a newspaper article. Another theory is that Beethoven had his attention drawn to the subject by Baron Hammer-Purgstall, who wanted Beethoven to set to music a poem representing Hindu religious beliefs.
This is my own version of Shedlock’s translation, which is written in an archaic style:
God is immaterial; as he is invisible he can therefore have no form. But from what we are able to see in His Works we conclude that he is eternal, almighty, omniscient and omnipresent. The mighty one alone is free from all desire and passion. There is no greater than He, Brahm: his mind is self-existent. He, the Almighty, is present in every part of space. His omniscience is self-inspired, and His conception includes every other. Omniscience is the greatest of his all-embracing attributes. O God! – you have no threefold being and are independent of everything, you are the true, eternal, blessed, unchangeable light of all time and space. Your wisdom apprehends thousands of laws, but you always act of your own free will and to your honour. You were before everything that we worship. We owe you praise and adoration. You alone are the true Blessed, the best of all laws, the image of all wisdom. You are present throughout the whole world and sustain all things. Sun, Ether, Brahma.
Shani Diluka, avril 2017