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Ashwin Batish

music_lylb_ashwinAshwin Batish breathes sitar. He wakes up every morning, puts on his shirt, then grabs his eastern axe. Bringing his self-coined musical fusion, Sitar Power, to Don Quixote's this Sunday, Batish says he is excited to connect with the audience: “I think it’s the sharing of an experience. And there’s a lot of people, I believe, that live for that. Sharing an experience is seriously like bonding.” The Batish family is big on bonding. When he started playing music at 14, he would break from his sitar studies to sing along to Beatles records with his sister. Meanwhile, his father, S.D. Batish, was actually hanging out with the Fab Four in London, giving them sitar lessons. His father was later offered a teaching job in Santa Cruz, and the family quickly made it their home. In the ’70s, Batish and his father would play at their family's restaurant every night, in the same way that he and his son, tabla player Keshav, perform together today.

Surrounded by popular western music and his father’s influence, young Batish began “putting classical Indian music on top of western grooves.” He bought a pickup—a device that captures mechanical vibrations and converts them to an electrical signal—slapped it on his sitar, and the electronic evolution of classical Indian music began. “You could call it sambas, or Afro-Cuban, but it's beat music—with exotic, more cultural melodies on top,” says Batish, who describes the blend as “World Beat.” “You gotta get up and dance,” he says. “I think we don't, as a society, make it convenient enough for people to relax. With music we find an opportunity to escape … I can take my music and relax somebody, or put a smile on their face; they actually break out of their shell and share. They take a journey with me.” | TREVOR STONEHOUSE


INFO: 7 p.m. Sunday, July 31. Don Quixote's, 6275 Hwy 9, Felton. $15. 603-2294.

 

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written by Ashwin Batish, July 28, 2011
Trevor, thanks a bunch for this great review. Loved reading through it as did all my family. All the best and hope to see you at the gig!! Ashwin

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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