GANDHI is the beautiful new album from Portuguese bamboo flute master, Rão Kyao, honouring one of greatest spiritual and political leaders of the 20th century, Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948). It features proud and peaceful music evoking the spirit of Gandhi’s life and work in India; including striving for political change through non-violent means, his deep environmental awareness and Gandhi’s tireless work to bridge cultural chasms.
GANDHI features Rão Kyao’s instrumental version of Gandhi’s favourite devotional song or bhajan “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je”, written in the 15th century by the Indian poet and composer, Narsinh Mehta. Originally written for the devotees of Vaishnavism, “Vaishnav Jan To Tene Kahiye Je” is known for its profound teachings about human conduct.
Rão Kyao has produced GANDHI using modern and traditional instruments including bamboo flute, Portuguese + classical guitars, accordion, harmonium, keyboards and percussion. The album also features the traditional stringed viola braguesa from Braga in north-west Portugal. GANDHI is an instrumental album save for the emotionally stirring track “Independência” which features the glorious anthemic vocals of the special Portuguese Cantar Glória Choir from Carcavelos.
Rão Kyao’s starts GANDHI with the uplifting “Respeito Pela Natureza”, literally translating as ‘respect for nature’, a track which recognises Gandhi’s profound ecological sense. Self-sufficiency was a keynote of Gandhi’s teachings and in Rão’s inspiration behind “Regresso às Origens” (Return to the Roots) was the importance Gandhi placed on self-sufficiency, to stand strong in peaceful protest of colonial rule, to weave one’s own clothes as a symbol of self-reliance.
Gandhi pioneered and practiced the principle of Satyagraha—resistance to tyranny through mass, nonviolent civil disobedience – as demonstrated with the renowned 24-day Salt March in 1930. What started a relatively small-scale peaceful, walk to protest British salt monopoly, ended with thousands of protestors joining in the march to the salt pans in Dandi, Gujarat. On arrival in Dandi, Gandhi reached down and picked up salt grains in his hands, claiming the salt for India. As Rão says,
“Gandhi was always ahead of his time, a futurist. His philosophy is exactly what we need now-a-days”.
Since his first albums “Malpertuis” (EMI, 1976) and “Bambu” (EMI, 1977), Rão Kyao has enjoyed an illustrious and evolving musical career and was the first Portuguese artist to reach Platinum record sales with the highly successful album “Fado Bailado” (Universal, 1983). Rão Kyao has taken Portuguese music to the world through fado, one of the World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage Patrimony (UNESCO), as the backbone to his musical inspiration.
From performing fado to jazz saxophone in Portugal’s O Hot Clube to self-taught bamboo flautist, Rão Kyao’s continues to build bridges through his work with melodic dialogue, while working with a host of international artists. He is also part of the meditation music duo including Ruca Rebordão as on the album “Samadhi” (‘Pure Light’ released in 2011).
GANDHI is a journey through some pivotal moments in the extraordinary life of Mahatma Gandhi and has been carefully and thoughtfully produced and arranged. GANDHI is Rão Kyao’s exquisite tribute for a man who changed the world, peacefully and releases internationally through Galileo Music on May 14, 2021.
Musicians performing on the album:
Rão Kyao – Bamboo Flutes Flautas de Bambu
Bernardo Couto – Portuguese Guitar | Guitarra Portuguesa
Carlos Lopes – Accordion | Acordeão
Renato Silva Júnior – Harmonium and Keyboards | Harmônio e Teclados
Ruca Rebordão – Percussion | Percussão
Toni Lago Pinto – Classical Guitar and Braguesa Viola | Guitarra Clássica e Braguesa
Special participation of the Cantar Glória Choir (Carcavelos) | Participação especial do Coro Cantar Glória (Carcavelos) – António Louzeiro, José Manuel Bastos, Luiz Santos, Dulce Thudichum, Fernanda Carrapatoso, Maria José Serra, Maria Fernanda Robalo, Maria Olívia Alves.
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