A resident of Southern California for several decades, Indian born musical visionary and tenured professor Samir Bodhi's multi-faceted life and career reflects the classic immigrant experience of thriving in the pursuit of his creative and academic dreams. While building his resume as an internationally recognized scientist and scholar, under his real name Samir Chatterjee, he applied his virtuosic talents as a guitarist, composer, producer and recording engineer to a multitude of projects involving legendary Indian musicians – including several for his wife, Madhumita Chatterjee, a renowned Bollywood singer.
In 2019, long before COVID-19 upended our world and sparked anxiety about the future like never before, Samir's sorrow and concern for his adopted home country inspired Samir to reach out to a cadre of top Indian based musicians and collaborators to realize his vision for Stairway To Nirvana, his debut album as a new age artist/producer under his own name. Fusing Eastern (Indian) classical music and instruments with modern Western music, Bodhi and his ensemble create a melodically, rhythmically and harmonically transcendent album that offers a musical roadmap to peace in these troubled times.
I conceived of this album around June last year, says Samir. I'm a naturalized citizen and love America, and was dismayed at the anti-immigrant rhetoric that had become part of our political discourse. I was sad to see a world full of racism, hatred, bigotry and misogyny. We were all witnessing a world where the politics of hate based on race or color, and narcissism, had become rampant. More than ever before, the world needed peace, and I've found after many years as a composer and producer, that music is the way to impart this and connect people beyond their many differences.