RIP Steve Jobs & Jagjit Singh

I had just finished playing my piece “Tarang” with the Silk Road Ensemble and got back to my green room when I saw Cristin, Yo-Yo Ma’s General Manager, looking for me.

She said, “Yo-Yo’s looking for you, he wants you to come meet this friend of his.” I followed her to the back of the auditorium, where I saw Yo-Yo talking with a small family. On seeing me, he very excitedly tells the woman, “Here is the guy who composed the piece you liked!” And to me he said, “Sandeep meet my very good friend Steve, his wife Laurene and the children.” The gentleman and his wife talked very warmly to me for some time.

As I was turning to leave, my dear friend Johnny, who was standing nearby, nudged me gently with his elbow. He said, “ Did you recognize who that is?” I innocently said, “No, but he seems to be a very close friend of Yo-Yo’s for sure!”

Johnny smiled and said, “ Well does the name Apple ring a bell?” And this is when I realized that I had just been introduced to the Mr. Steve Jobs!

This was the first of many other future meetings with this man. The first thing that always struck me was the simplicity of the clothes of this man, in reality the simplicity of the man. He would hang out with us, the ensemble members, with almost the capacity to be invisible. You almost were not even aware that he was there. Yet he would come and appreciate any piece that he liked each and every time.

I still remember the first time he was kind enough to pull out the then not-yet-seen or known to the world “iPhone” and give us a demo.

I must say that, to this day, I feel proud that I was amongst the lucky few who probably got to see this gadget, which went on to change how the world connects with one another, much before anybody else had even heard of it. And a demo from none other than Steve himself!

I remember Yo-Yo discussing this with me one day, when we were talking about pollution and cars etc… that Steve is also very passionate about this and he might already be on his way to do something unique about solving this problem.

Whether or not this was to be…I don’t know yet. But when I had just finished recording in NYC that day and w