Deepti Navaratna, the current Regional Director of Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, has been invited to perform at the prestigious Parliament of the World’s Religions scheduled to be held on Oct 18.
She is a trained Carnatic singer from Bengaluru who is set to become the first female artist from India bestowed with the honour of performing at an event at the Parliament of the World’s Religions. She will be staging aspects of her concert “The Dialogues with the Divine” — a specially curated musical experience that amalgamates sacred music from various faiths.
Navaratna, trained as a neuro-scientist, came up with the concept of this concert to explore the similarity of the cognitive effect of sacred music on a varied audience. She wanted to explore the idea of introducing unfamiliar religious identities to an uninformed audience while basing it on common denominators of prayers and mindfulness.
“The Dialogues with the Divine” project was created for the greater goal of cultural diplomacy. It will combine sacred music from seven major religions across the world with sacred text to create this experience,” she says.
“It will include the following — The Yin Factor: Shakti — Shekinah (Hinduism- Judaism), Praying for Transcendence: Piyut and Prarthana — (Judaism-Hinduism), Unforming Godliness: Shabad and Kriti (Sikhism-Hinduism), Unboxing the Heart: Heart Sutra and Chant (Buddhism and Christianity), Inner Guru: Antaratama and Assisi – (Christianity and Hinduism), Zikr and Zen — (Sufi Islam and Shinto faith),” Navaratna added.
All sacred music from around the world has the power to rewire the human brain towards universal love chemically and structurally. Instead of shying away from sacred texts and music, they are being used to encourage and negotiate better inter-cultural understanding among inter-religious identities. It showcases the commons of our relations with a higher power, she says.
Owing to the Covid-19 pandemic, the conference will be conducted virtually this year. Navaratna and her artists will be telecasting their performance from Bengaluru.
Navaratna has travelled to multiple places for her concert and the experience has been unparalleled for the audience. The scheduled programme is an amalgamation of cultures — five Hindu children will sing a Yiddish song in a Jewish temple accompanied by the south Indian drum and north Indian Sarod.
An African American gospel singer wrapped in a sari teaches ‘Amazing Grace’ to more than 20 Hindu men and women. A Jewish cantor and a Hindu singer are accompanied by a violinist from Libya and a drummer from Palestine as they sing in Sanskrit which is part of the concert.