Aradhna Live At Brickfields City Church, Cambridge

Tuesday 14th February 2006

Brickfields City Church, Cambridge, Saturday 3rd December 2005 concert review by Sarah Lawrence.

Aradhna Live At Brickfields City Church, Cambridge

Aradhna means "worship" in Hindi and that is what this band is about. Chris Hale (sitar) and Pete Hicks are Aradna's founding members and both have lived in the USA as well as in India. The other members playing at Cambridge were Travis McAffee (bass guitar), Jaspel Singh (tabla) and Fiona Hicks (violin). They are an acoustic band who have fused their eastern and western influences together in their music, creating harmony and unity.

On entering the venue we were immediately aware of this fusion of east and west which Aradhna capture beautifully in their music. The hall was filled with people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, gathered together to spend an evening worshiping their God. The stage was draped with Eastern fabrics and the room, lit by candlelight to create a peaceful atmosphere. The audience were invited to sit on chairs or cushions according to their preference, but from the moment you entered you were put at ease.

The evening began with a slideshow of the devastating impact of the earthquake in Pakistan. The images of the despair and damage were as powerful as the figures were shocking. This was shown as the concert was raising money in aid of a hospital near the epicentre of the earthquake. Then entered the band through the audience, who sat down on the platform, raised only so they could be seen. This helped us to feel involved as they weren't giving the impression of giving a performance, but were inviting us to worship with them.

Aradhna began with a song that allowed us to relax and encouraged meditation, followed by a livelier piece to which people, if they wished, could have easily danced. At this point, to our surprise, a sitar string broke and the organiser graciously took over and gave us some more information about the earthquake and how we could help. The evening then continued with "Binti Sunle", which speaks about God upholding our honour. Chris told us a moving tale of some of the poor elderly in India who had been abandoned by their families who couldn't afford to keep them, but whose honour God had upheld through a Christian hospital. The song was beautiful and though it is lively and upbeat on their latest CD 'Satsang', they played it more gently this evening, resulting in a calm atmosphere, allowing meditation on Chris' sobering story.

Aradhna Live At Brickfields City Church, Cambridge

A few charming songs later and we were asked to join in prayer for the victims of those in the earthquake and the poor in India, while the band played their next song. The song was a prayer of thanks to God for Christ and asked for the world to know his light. It was another moving song. After the interval we were invited to participate by singing along with "Gaao Re"; many did join in quietly, but it was during this song that we saw a great show of passion from the band, which served to encourage us to praise God more. They continued to amaze us with what was later described as "an easy blend of east meets west," which was achieved by the use of instruments from both the east and west, for the remainder of the evening. There was a wonderfully calm atmosphere throughout, and everyone was at ease. All in all, a fantastic evening.  CR

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
About Sarah Lawrence
Sarah Lawrence is about to begin work with a missionary organisation.


Reader Comments

Posted by Jay in Cambridge @ 20:17 on May 29 2006

Absolutely spot on. Aradhna are awesome and extremely talented. God has given them amazing skills and they shared them with us tonight.

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