Robert Vijay Gupta, a beacon for the City of Los Angeles, serves as the youngest and one of most vibrant members of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (Robert won his audition and joined the orchestra when he was 19 years old). And as a TED Senior Fellow, Robert speaks internationally on his work with Nathaniel Ayers (the formerly homeless musician whose story is told in the book and movie “The Soloist.” Robert continues to be Nathaniel’s real-life violin teacher).
The CD cover shows Robert Gupta and Badal Roy standing in front of the Walt Disney Concert Hall organ. It looks like the image above. The download version of Suryodaya has a cover that looks like the album image at the top of this website, with Robert holding the Nathan Milstein Stradivarius, which he plays in this recording.
The famous tabla player Badal Roy, Robert’s illustrious cousin, joins us for many of the works on this album. This record is Badal’s umpteenth disc. We follow in the footsteps of the performances and recordings Badal made with Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman. Badal does not offer us free jazz on this album; rather he offers a combination of East and West, in ways that channel centuries of Indian and specifically Hindustani musical tradition. Badal blends this inheritance comfortably with new music written in the West in the 21st Century. Badal opens our album with Calcutta Sunrise, a work for solo tabla. Calcutta Sunrise won the Audio Oasis Award at THE SHOW in Newport, 2012.
Raga Jaunpuri is a salutation to the late morning. The roots of Hindustani music stretch back four millennia in history and this particular melody originated in the 15th century. Feel the slow burn as it begins quietly, builds incrementally to its ecstatic climax, and then ends just as quietly and serenely as it began. This is what “Suryodaya,” the coming of light in the late morning, is all about. Robert felt strongly that we should record this raga at the time it should be heard, in the late morning. And so we did. We began our takes at 10:15 in the morning on July 6th, 2011, and we were finished before noon.
–Bob Attiyeh, producer