By the early 2000s, despite having achieved tremendous success in the world of business and global finance, I found myself haunted by the existential worries that loom over us all. I wondered “What makes me happy?” “What is success?” “What if I wake up one day and find I have spent my time wrong, and now it is too late?” I needed answers, but how would I find them?
Looking back on my life, I recognized that the most joyous moments revolved around music. So I chose to dedicate myself to that pursuit—I searched high and low for musical masters who could teach me and guide me on my path. I scheduled classes at 6 a.m. with them to ensure I wouldn’t miss my professional appointments during business hours. I sang for up to twelve hours a day, devoting myself to classical music training and the memorization of hundreds of devotional poems. Despite the vocal strain I felt at times, I persevered—I was desperate to stay in the place of light that the music took me to. It was at this point that I discovered I didn’t want to sing the words of someone else, as I had so much music pouring out of me! I once awoke at 3 a.m. in the midst of a deep sleep, compelled to rush out of bed to do a scratch recording of the music that was playing in my head— from somewhere within me. Those scratch recordings eventually blossomed into my 2011 Grammy-nominated album, Soul Call.
My love of music continued on, but it did not entirely satisfy my craving for truth. Frankly, I had no idea what “truth” even looked like. So I continued my exploration, spending time in silent meditation and meeting with rabbis, gurus, priests and healers from all religions and nations. I saw Shamans in New Mexico and psychics in Australia. I even spent some time with the Chinese mediums who came to look for me in New York. It took some time, but I eventually recognized universal similarities in the message they all expressed (despite the vast differences in their approach.) It was at this time that I began to truly deepen my spiritual practice and venture within myself—going as far as to have lucid conversations with my higher self. Many fragments of songs from my new album Shivoham emerged from these dialogues, and the diversity of influence that led me towards the light is represented in the instrumentation. It felt natural to intersperse 6000-year-old Sanskrit prayers with new and old verses in English. The similarities of the intense yearning and the quest of mankind across oceans and time are heartbreaking; the recounted experiences of finding the light, breathtaking.
I’m truly excited to present Shivoham—The Quest to a live audience in Washington D.C. on Friday, November 22nd at the Kennedy Center. Music has been an integral part of my journey to find truth, and I hope by sharing this performance that others may find their path.
We’ve assembled some tremendously talented musical maestros from around the country and a diverse group of gifted singers from the New York City area. By telling our story through song, I hope to inspire you to seek your truth. This upcoming performance of Shivoham—The Quest shall be dedicated to seekers of the light everywhere and the teachers that guide their path.
More information about the performance and tickets can be found in the following link: https://www.kennedy-center.org/calendar/event/Xuaia?promotionno=367478. We are pleased to offer a Friends and Family discount code (371066) for 25% off any seats in the house.
Chandrika Tandon is an internationally-renowned business leader, humanitarian and Grammy award-nominated artist. She is chairperson of Tandon Capital Associates and a member of the board of directors at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She will be performing Shivoham—The Quest at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. on Friday, November 22nd.