Professor Surinder Singh
BIOGRAPHY AND DISCOGRAPHY
Professor Surinder Singh was born in 1969 in Kapurthala, Punjab, northern India. His early childhood was strongly influenced by classical Indian music and at nine years of age he began his musicology studies with Mahant Ajit Singh, soon afterwards studying rhythm with Gyani Najar Singh. This early education included the history of Indian music and mastery of its complex rhythmic and melodic structures, plus daily practice on traditional Indian instruments. Most importantly, the young Surinder Singh’s eminent teachers introduced him to the deeply spiritual and healing aspects of Indian music.
During his teenage years, Surinder Singh had the great privilege to study singing, composition and musicology with Pandit Kharayti Lal Tahim from the Delhi Gharana under the Guru-Shishya Parampara system. This was an intense form of tuition, in the Indian tradition of an intimate master-student relationship wherein the secrets of the teachings are shared personally between master and selected student. Within the Guru-Shishya system, musicology includes empirical investigation of the science behind the sound, so that the student gains a profound understanding of how a melody, or a raag, can effect changes in body, mind and soul.
In 1988, at the age of nineteen, 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 most eminent schools for the study and practice of classical Indian music and Gurmat Sangeet of the Sikh musical tradition.
In 2006 Surinder Singh was awarded the status of Professor of Musicology at the Thames Valley University (now named University of West London). He taught degree courses at the university in Gurmat Sangeet, Naad Yoga and Classical Indian Music until 2012.
Professor Surinder Singh is an exceptionally gifted musician, composer and teacher. His field of research focuses on the precise rendition and application of Kirtan (devotional music) as originally practised by the ancient spiritual masters of north India. He has almost singlehandedly championed the revival of traditional Sikh instruments such as the sarangi, saranda, taus, rabab and dilruba. Only these instruments can create the authentic sound and timbre of the music of ancient India, allowing the raags once more to encompass fully their divine healing powers.
Professor Surinder Singh has developed an impeccable system of academic teaching to make public the once secret tradition of the art and science of Sikh music. He is also one of the few teachers to introduce Naad Yoga to the West so that all can now benefit from its profound healing properties. Naad Yoga is the yoga of sound, a discipline still unknown to many despite the growing popularity of hatha yoga. Naad Yoga is a form of inner attainment; rather than simply using music for entertainment, it 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 many graduates throughout Europe and North America, thanks to Professor Surinder Singh’s endless generosity with his teachings and his determination to share ancient Indian sound healing modalities on a worldwide scale.
A continual programme of concerts and teaching activities takes Professor Surinder Singh and his 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 Professor Surinder Singh’s own compositions in 59 raags from the Sikh scripture, the Siri Guru Granth Sahib. The raags are played by the Professor and his accompanying musicians using traditional stringed instruments still rarely seen outside India. Mere Mun contains a 200-page booklet detailing the texts, rhythms and musical structures of the individual raags, as well as the specific moods conjured by each. Mere Mun has provided a rare and invaluable resource for students and music lovers worldwide.
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
Professor Surinder Singh is preparing to publish his much-awaited book The Secrets of Sacred Sound, with his second book, The Composed Mind, to follow.For all enquiries please contact Jasvir Kaur at Raj Academy: jasvir[at]rajacademy.com.