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Ananda Songs


 for Soprano, Violin, and Piano

(Aug.23-Oct. 27 '07)    

Duration: about 16 minutes  


Premiere performance by Penelope Jensen, soprano;
Eric Pritchard, violin; Randall Love, piano
Feb. 10 2010 (Memorial Concert for Akanda)

 Full Score (PDF)     Cover     Oboe and Violin parts     

I. A Sufi Songtext by Rumi (see Spirituality page, and below)

    With Shining Heart  [5:23]      MP3      Score  video

II. Who Am I? text by B.R. (see Spirituality page, and below)

   Adagio ramana maharshi [5:41]    MP3    Score  video

III. Hare Krishna Mahamantra

  Chaconne Sankirtana      [5:47]     MP3    Score  video




 Program Notes

            I have long wanted to set Rumi and here’s my chance in A Sufi Song, from an excerpt changed around for my peculiar purposes.

             I wrote Who Am I in three minutes at a gas station in West Virginia after listening to cassettes of Ram Dass talking about Ramana Maharshi.

            The Hare Krishna Mahamantra started off in 2002 for six string electric violin and voices in unison (vocal line entirely repetitive); then came a piano and voice version that was too hard for the piano and too simple to sing! Now I have the balance just right, at least I think so.

            This is one of a series of works dedicated to Ananda-Eric Pritchard.


Lyrics to A Sufi Song


  If the Beautiful One is not
       inside you what is that Light
       hidden beneath your cloak?
    From a distance you tremble with fear. 
    Can't you see the mighty warrior

         standing ready in your heart? 

  The flame in his eyes

        has seared away every veil!
   So why do you linger behind the curtain,
      afraid of what you cannot see?
   Open your eyes!  The Beloved is

    staring you right in the face.
   If no guru has placed
      his Light within your heart
      what bliss can you find in this world?


(adapted by B.R. from an excerpt of "Can't You See the Mighty Warrior", ode 406, in "A Garden Beyond Paradise: The Mystical Poetry of Rumi", translated by Jonathan Star, Bantam 1992)

Lyrics to Who Am I? 

Who am I?
      I am not the thought.
What thought?
      The thought that I am not the thought
       is the thought that I am not.
Who am I?
      I am not the mind.
What mind?
     The mind that thinks the thought that I am not
     the mind  is the mind that I am not.
Who am I?
     I am not the breath.
What breath?
     The breath that feeds the mind that thinks the
     thought that I am  not the  breath
      is the breath that I am not.
Who am I?
     I am not the song.
What song?
  The song that sings with breath that feeds the   mind
     that thinks the thought that I am not the song
     is the song that I am not.
Who am I?                                               
                                                                                                                   --B. R.

Lyrics to Hare Krishna Mahamantra
Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare
Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare

Musician Biographies

Eric Pritchard has taught violin and served as the First Violinist of the Ciompi Quartet at Duke University since 1995. Formerly First Violinist of the Alexander and Oxford Quartets, Mr. Pritchard has taught at Miami University, San Francisco State University, City University of New York, and the NC School of the Arts. He was winner of the National Federation of Music Clubs Award in Violin as well as the first prize winer at the London International String Quartet Competition and the Coleman and Fischoff national chamber music competitions. He has performed widely as a recitalist and as soloist with the Boston Pops and orchestras in Europe and South America. His major teachers were Eric Rosenblith, Josef Gingold, Ivan Galamian and Isadore Tinkleman and he holds degrees from Indiana University and the Juilliard School.

Randall Love, pianist, native of Colorado, teaches piano and fortepiano at Duke. He has performed at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, SC, the Boston Early Music Festival, and the Schubert Club in St. Paul, Minnesota. He has collaborated with Eric Pritchard on a CD released in 2010 of Robinson’s music, recorded in October 2009 at Duke.

Penelope Jensen, soprano, is a native of Colorado  and teaches at Duke and at the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute. She has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco and Pittsburgh symphonies and was selected by Robert Shaw as soloist with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus for the 250th anniversary performance of Messiah. She has sung with Ars Musica, the Bach Ensemble and the Smithsonian Chamber Players and received the Franz Schubert Prize for excellence in the singing of German art songs by the Franz Schubert-Institut in Austria. She performed many times with Bill Robinson’s uncle David Vanderkooi, cellist.