Paul Livingstone, sitarist & composer

Performing artist and activist Paul Livingstone spent a highly formative teenage year initiating his study of music in India, eventually becoming one of the few American disciples of the legendary Pt. Ravi Shankar. He has since toured as a performer around South Asia, Europe, and Latin America, developing a reputation as a serious proponent of the North Indian raga music. 

As a composer, Paul brings a grounded knowledge of tradition to his work. He has composed and recorded for film and television, as well as for numerous live theater and dance productions. He has also performed on two Grammy-winning records and on recordings with popular artists such as Alanis Morrisette, Ricky Kej, and Ozomatli. 

Paul leads the Arohi Ensemble and performs regularly as a classical sitarist. He is on the music faculty at Glendale Community College as a teacher of Indian and world music ensembles. He is also the founder of the Soul Force Project, an ongoing performance vehicle combining live music and with a message of nonviolent change-making.

Prayers for Peace

Paul Livingstone

Our latest EP, ''Prayers for Peace" is a four movement raga meditation soundscape on some of the deepest challenges we have faced in history through to this day. The new album features sitar, sarod and organic flowing dronal textures with spoken words by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel. In his Nobel Peace Prize speech he said, “I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim."

As difficult as these conversations are to listen to, I personally find the message to be one of genuine hope. This hope is one that is sorely needed in these times of great anxiety, disease and war. Perhaps it is only our faith in our spiritual capacity to change that can confront the compounded crises of the climate, refugees and the fear that drives our idolatry of nationalism and violence. This disease of the heart must be challenged, before it continues to dehumanize our own souls and affect a breakdown of our social communities in the process.

This is the fourth release in our raga meditation series, presenting music for stillness, healing, meditation, yoga and anytime calling for a contemplative and regenerative mood. Our focus is on a dynamic listening experience of uplifting and inspiring sounds of the South Asian ragas in a contemporary context.
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