Tuesday, September 5, 2023

Music Minute - Chandrika Tandon: Ammu's Treasures

 Early one September morning in 2021, in the serene beauty of western Massachusetts, a unique ensemble of musicians gathered to begin recording what would become a boundary-breaking omnibus of 35 songs and 21 chants, defying traditional norms and offering what Grammy-nominated Chandrika Tandon calls “a hug for the world!”

This album, entitled Ammu’s Treasures, is produced by Chandrika with a stellar group of musical friends. It will be released by Soul Chants Music and distributed by Platoon on September 7, in time for Grandparents' Day on September 10 in the US and for Janmashtami worldwide. Ammu's Treasures will be available from Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music, YouTube, and at www.chandrikatandon.com. Pre-save link HERE. All proceeds will go to the Krishnamurthy Tandon Foundation to support emotional and economic well-being

Guest artists include Béla Fleck, Kenny Werner, Eugene Friesen, Jamey Haddad, Romero Lubambo, Cyro Baptista, Michael Ward-Bergeman, Howard Levy, Maeve Gilchrist, Rakesh Chaurasia, Martin Bejerano, Purbayan Chatterjee, the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, and more. Production took place largely in New York studios and was led by John Kiehl, Scott Cannizzaro, Teese Gohl, and Mirek Vana.

"Ammu" is a delicious term of endearment used in many parts of India, meaning happiness, sweetness, and purity. Ammu is what Chandrika's grandchildren call her. Ammu’s Treasures, which began as a simple gift from a grandmother to her grandchildren, has become an expression of intergenerational love and wisdom for children and adults everywhere.

The songs and chants of Chandrika's childhood served as inspiration for Ammu’s Treasures. Chandrika sings them often to her young grandchildren, who always clamor for more. Ammu’s Treasures is "a curation of my memories,” says Chandrika, “and this music will connect with the memories of everyone who listens. It becomes a real bonding experience for families."

The music in Ammu’s Treasures ranges from traditional folk tunes like “Molly Malone” to French chansons, to popular songs of the ‘50s and ‘60s like “(How Much) Is That Doggy in the Window?” and “Que Sera, Sera.” “These songs speak of faraway places, in different genres and languages, with varied arrangements, and are meant for quiet times, happy times, or any time, for any age,” explains Chandrika. Additionally, "To the Light" is a 26-minute meditative journey, comprising 21 ancient Vedic chants set to Indian scales, aimed to soothe and relax.

“I chose to release all this music as one giant treasury for people of all ages, all over the world,” says Chandrika. “Why? Because I believe that exposing even very young children to an extensive palette of music will leave a long-lasting impact – just like hearing Mozart in the womb. More is indeed More!”

Chandrika is a globally recognized business leader and Grammy-nominated artist. As The New York Times wrote, Chandrika traveled an “unlikely path to become an internationally recognized Indian singer.” Her stated mission is to elevate human happiness through music and education – working on the dual prongs of emotional and economic well-being.

Chandrika's mission to foster emotional well-being is focused on emanating love, joy, and transcendence through her music and artistry. At the height of her business career, she reevaluated her life and definitions of success – and reformulated her business life to intentionally include music, service, and meditation. Chandrika has previously released four albums under her nonprofit record label Soul Chants Music, including the Grammy-nominated Soul Call. In this music, which has attracted a wide cult following, she draws on ancient Vedic chants that have sound healing impact and melds it with Indian classical music. Her Shivoham – The Quest album, which premiered to a sold-out concert at the Kennedy Center, is an oratorio describing her own path to finding the light. Her newest, Ammu’s Treasures, is at once a simple gift to her grandchildren, a monumental sharing and expression of intergenerational love, and a hug for the world. It uses songs in multiple languages, Vedic chants, and visual animations to help all ages feel the love, light, laughter that is Chandrika's mantra.

Her economic well-being efforts are focused on higher education – in particular STEM – where she brings to bear her considerable business experience as one of the earliest partners of McKinsey & Company and Founder and Chair of her own advisory firm. Chandrika chairs the Board of the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, named after her generous gift. She is a Trustee of New York University, a Trustee of NYU Langone Health, and a Board member of the NYU Stern School of Business. She is a Harold Acton Fellow at NYU and a Sterling Fellow at Yale, where she serves on the President's Council on International Activities.

Chandrika has received the Gallatin Medal, (one of NYU’s highest honors), the Walter Nichols Medal for leadership and integrity, and the Polytechnic Medal recognizing her contribution to science and engineering. She received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor and was inducted into the Horatio Alger Society of Distinguished Americans and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She has been profiled on television, radio, and in print, including on CNBC’s The Brave Ones series.

The multi-award-winning label and music distribution company Platoon was founded by music industry legend and CEO Denzyl Feigelson in 2016. The boutique artist services company identifies groundbreaking talent from around the world, while providing invaluable and innovative tools and services to build their careers and reach new fans. Platoon landed its first success shortly after their inception when they signed the then-unknown Billie Eilish, laying the groundwork for her ascent to global stardom. BRIT Award winner Jorja Smith would soon follow, alongside Nigeria’s Mr Eazi, and both would find worldwide acclaim. Current signings include Ayra Starr, Ms Banks, sadHAPPY, Kiddo K, TA Thomas, Lil Silva, and more.

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Album Details: Ammu's Treasures
Release Date: September 7, 2023
For all ages
Label: Soul Chants Music
Distributor: Platoon
Run Time: 137 minutes

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