Raaga pianist Deepak Shah launches ‘Tirthankar Vandana’ music collection

Raaga Pianist and Music Composer of ‘Tirthankar Vandana’, Deepak Shah. Photo: Still from ‘Tirthankar Vandana’ promotional YouTube video.

‘Tirthankar Vandana’, a collection of 51 Jain devotional prayer songs, will be launched September 18th in a special ceremony on Bhavan’s Cultural Center Andheri (BCCA) YouTube channel at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time. The launch ceremony, organized with help from BCCA, will feature live singing of Jain devotional prayers and playing of video excerpts of a previously performed dance ballet ‘Mahavir Ek Alaukik Katha’ directed by Raaga pianist Deepak Shah.

‘Tirthankar Vandana’, a portable Bluetooth speaker, will make it possible to listen to 10 hours of digitally recorded Jain Stavans, Bhaktambar Stotra, Ratnakar Pachissi and more performed by professional singers in compositions of Shah. “All the songs of the digitally recorded collection are sung by professional singers,” Shah told News India Times. “We also made sure that the songs were in keeping with religious sentiments.”

Shah’s grandfather, ‘Sangeet Ratna’ Shantilal Shah, was a pioneer of Jain music. “My grandfather’s songs have been very popular and are sung in Jain festivals even today. He started his musical journey 85 years ago, and has written more than 5,000 Jain songs and Katha Geet,” Shah said.

Being a Raaga Pianist is a full time job, with much practice and many performances. Shah said he found time to launch ‘Tirthankar Vandana’ as a special project close to his heart. “I am proud of my grandfather’s tremendous work and always wanted to carry forward his legacy,” Shah said. He said he had been toying for some time with the idea of introducing his grandfather’s work to the present generation, in a modern music device. In the days when his grandfather launched his music, music technology had not yet evolved to its present stage, Shah said. Those were the days of audio cassettes and Compact Discs which allowed people to enjoy non-stop music for hours but needed electric connection and were not entirely portable.

‘Tirthankar Vandana’, the Bluetooth Speaker. Photo: Still from ‘Tirthankar Vandana’ promotional video on YouTube.

Shah said he finally came up with the idea to create a newly recorded compilation of his grandfather’s songs with some newer Jain Stavans added. The Bluetooth device is small and easy to operate and is affordable. Shah said he thought of making the new device simple and easy for seniors to operate. “Many seniors are not tech savvy,” Shah said.

‘Tirthankar Vandana’ music collection is on a small speaker with a simple ‘On’ and ‘Off’ switch, making it senior friendly, Shah said. The compact speaker is so light that it can be carried around, and taken along on travels. “The unique feature of the speaker is that it does not require any internet connection,” Shah explained. “All one requires to do is charge the device like we charge our mobile phones. And the charging cable is included in the package,” Shah informed. There are added functions to the speaker. The speaker can be used as a normal speaker on which personal music can be played by inserting a pen drive or by connecting to the mobile phone via Bluetooth, or connecting to the radio.

Bhavan’s Cultural Center Andheri (bhavansculturalcenter@gmail.com / 91-932-428-8607) has been active for many years in promoting cultural activities. Overseas audiences can participate in these events live on BCCA’s YouTube channel. BCCA also welcomes donations and memberships which include special benefits.



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