Yogi of Sound Professor Surinder Singh
BIOGRAPHY AND DISCOGRAPHY
Surinder Singh was born in 1969 in Kapurthala, Punjab, northern India. His early childhood was strongly influenced by Indian classical music, which he practised from the age of nine. His earliest teachers were Mahant Ajit Singh for musicology and Gyani Najar Singh for rhythm.
The young Surinder Singh’s education included the history of Indian music and mastery of its complex rhythmic and melodic structures, with daily practice on traditional instruments. Most importantly, his eminent teachers introduced him to the deeply spiritual and healing aspects of Indian music.
During his teenage years Surinder Singh had the great privilege of studying singing, composition and musicology with Pandit Kharayti Lal Tahim from the Delhi Gharana (music school) under the Guru-Shishya Parampara system. This intense form of tuition is an Indian tradition whereby a master shares the secrets of teachings with a selected student. It included empirical investigation of the science behind the sound – the precise ways in which sound manifests emotion – to gain a profound understanding of how a melody or a raag (raga, musical mood) effects changes in body, mind and soul.
In 1988, aged 19, Surinder Singh gained a BA in Economics at NJSA College, Kapurthala. A year later he graduated with an MA in Classical Indian Music at APJ College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, followed by an MPhil in Classical Indian Music at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.
Having gained his professional qualifications, Surinder Singh refined his expertise still further by studying the Sarangi, a traditional Indian multi-stringed instrument, with Ustad Surjeet Singh, himself a master student of the internationally renowned Pandit Ram Narayan.
In 1994 in London, Surinder Singh founded the Raj Academy of Asian Music, which later became the non-profit organisation now known as Raj Academy Conservatoire. The Academy is an international institution and it quickly became one of the foremost schools for the study and practice of Gurmat Sangeet ('music of Guru’s wisdom') of the Sikh musical tradition.
In 2006 Surinder Singh was awarded the status of Professor of Musicology at Thames Valley University (now University of West London). He taught degree courses at the university in Gurmat Sangeet, Naad Yoga and Classical Indian Music until 2012. Naad Yoga is the yoga of sound, a discipline still unknown to many despite the growing popularity of hatha yoga.
Yogi Professor Surinder Singh is an exceptionally gifted singer, musician, composer and teacher. His research focuses on the precise rendition and application of Kirtan (devotional music) as originally practised by the spiritual masters of north India. He has almost singlehandedly championed the revival of traditional Sikh instruments such as the Saranda, Sarangi, Taus, Rabab and Dilruba. Only the original instruments can create the authentic sound and timbre of the music, allowing it once more to encompass fully its true healing power.
Yogi Prof. Surinder Singh has developed an impeccable system of academic teaching to make public the once secret tradition of Sikh music. He is also one of the few teachers to introduce Naad Yoga to the West so that all can benefit from its profound healing properties. Naad Yoga masters the influence of sound to keep the practitioner in premium health on every level – physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
Raj Academy has nurtured an international community of dedicated teachers, musicians and yogis with graduates throughout Europe and North America. This is thanks to Yogi Prof. Surinder Singh’s endless generosity with his teaching and his determination to share ancient Indian sound-healing modalities on a worldwide scale.
A continual programme of concerts and teaching activities takes Yogi Prof. Surinder Singh and his accompanying musicians to many parts of the world, including Europe, the USA, Canada and India.
Most of these recordings are available to buy, either as CDs or as downloads from iTunes or Amazon. Please click on the links to purchase or find out more about them.
Mere Mun, 2001. A box set of eight discs featuring Yogi Prof. Surinder Singh’s own compositions in 59 raags from the Sikh scripture, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. He and his accompanying musicians play the raags using traditional stringed instruments still rarely seen outside India. Mere Mun contains a 200-page booklet detailing the texts and musical structures of the individual raags, as well as the specific moods conjured by each. Mere Mun provides a rare and invaluable resource for students and music lovers worldwide. It may be purchased here (scroll down to the bottom of that page).
Anhad – Beyond Sound, 2005
Partaal – Rhythms of Life, 2008
Mantr – The Spiritual Solution, 2013
Patsahi Dasvee – A Tribute to the King of my Soul, 2013
Vaar Asa – Wisdom of Life, 2014
Yogi Prof. Surinder Singh is working towards publication of his much-awaited book Preparing To Be, with further books The Secrets of Sacred Sound and The Composed Mind to follow.For all enquiries please contact Jasvir Kaur Rababan at Raj Academy: jasvir(at)rajacademy.com.