"An organic set of music that not only warrants repeated spins, it practically demands it."
Transcending Borders One Note at a Time
Delhi to Damascus is a new album by Tabla Maestro Sandeep Das featuring a unique collaboration between Indian and Middle Eastern traditional music in a series of new compositions, arrangements, and improvisations.
"The inspiration for the Delhi to Damascus project came a couple of years ago when, while listening to a world music concert performed by my students, I was struck with something simple and yet profound. With the change of a single musical note, I was seamlessly traveling from one country to another, without needing a passport, a visa, or even getting on a flight!" —Sandeep Das
Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, a Sanskrit shlok, means “the world is one family”. For centuries, the human spirit has been transcending literal and figurative borders to survive and thrive. Inspired by the confluence of cultures this brings, Delhi to Damascus– the HUM Ensemble’s debut album– is a celebration of the shared history between India and Syria. As major trading cities of the legendary Silk Road, a vibrant cultural exchange flourished, exemplified by their common Sufi music tradition and the ancient Indo-Iranian and Indo-European Sanskrit script.
A collaboration between Syrian and Indian Classical/Semi-Classical music, the album features oud, sitar, sarangi, and tabla, some of the most iconic instruments of these countries. Drawn from traditional Indian ragas, melodic Arabic maqams, philosophical Sufi poems, pulsating folk grooves, and lyrical thumris, it takes us on a mesmerizing journey of beginnings, poetry, faith, romantic yearning, and divinity. Its transcendental music, at times foreign and at others familiar, engages differences only to overcome them, inspiring us to embrace humanity as our Community.
An earnest quest to start a dialogue and spark compassion, Delhi to Damascus is a musical invitation to a spiritual odyssey, inspired by the spirit of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam– the beautiful ideal of inclusion, empathy, and global community.
1. Parvaaz-e Noor: Flight of Light (4'39)
2. I Came, I Saw, I Surrendered (6'08)
3. Virah: The Longing (12'05)
4. Delhi to Damascus (7' 32)
5. Shiva-Shakti (6'26)
6. Aafreen (8' 40)
7. Come Hither, My Love (9' 53)
8. Usha (8' 12)
Total Run Time: 62' 15
Label: In a Circle Records
Recorded at Studio Celebration
Recording Engineer: David Correia
Mixing & Mastering Engineer: Andrew Bove
Cover Design: Hamid Rahmanian
Ensemble Photographs: Misha Thomas
Liner Notes: Shonool Malik
Conceptualized, Curated, & Produced by Sandeep Das