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Day 1 – We Wish You A Merry Christmas
A traditional tale from the days of Merry Olde England, this was sung on the street regularly during the Holidays, by waits, who were municipal choruses of singers. I thought this was a fitting introduction to the album to bestow a Merry Christmas onto the listener! I also like how it segues into the next song, which you can hear along with the full version of this song on my “The Spirit of Christmas” album.
Features Leonice Shinneman on the tabla, Deepak Ramapriyan on violin, Chris Votek on cello, and Eddie Young on bass, with Dan Blanchard on santoor, harmonium, and keyboards.
Day 2 – Ode to Joy (Beethoven’s 9th Symphony)
Although not a traditional Christmas Carol, “Ode to Joy” is commonly played during joyful occasions including the holidays. I have long wanted to play this in the style of classical Indian music – to play these beautiful melody lines along with melodic and rhythmic improvisations, and to expand upon the original melodies. I am very honored to be joined by Chris Votek, an accomplished western and Indian Classical cellist, he along with Deepak Ramapriyan on the violin bring out the orchestral feeling and hopefully an authentic fusion of Western and North Indian Classical Music. Also featuring Leonice Shinneman on tabla.
Santoor, Harmonium, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Tanpura
Dan Blanchard is a multi-instrumentalist, blending ancient Indian Classical Music with world and western music to explore the therapeutic power of music. Dan has been playing western instruments such as guitar and piano since childhood and is classically trained in Indian Classical Music on the santoor by Indian master Pandit Satish Vyas. Joined by other talented musicians from the world and sound healing scene, Dan adapts his music for the modern world, providing a powerful and engaging experience for overall well-being, joy, and inner peace.