Last Thursday, September 8, I had the pleasure of going to a concert performed by a band called, “Aradhna.” I had never heard of the band before, but the opportunity to go to a concert featuring native worship music from Southern Asia was intriguing. The venue was at the Center for the Arts (Eagle Rock) in Los Angeles and the band had a crowd of about fifty people.
Aradhna’s musical style comes from countries like India, Nepal, and Thailand. Pete Hicks and Chris Hale, the leading members of Aradhna, sing in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Sanskrit, and Nepali. The songs themselves are either prayers or hymns from Sourthern Asia or songs written by the band members. Aradhna’s band members change depending on the CD with the exception of Pete Hicks and Chris Hale. Their current CD, which was available at the concert, features Pete Hicks playing guitar, Chris Hale playing the sitar, Travis McAfee playing the bass guitar, and Jim Feist playing the tabla.
One of the things that stood out about this band was their true enjoyment in producing music that praised God. I walked out of the venue feeling truly blessed and thanking God for giving these men the gift to make music reflect God’s love and majesty.
Their song Namaste Sate’ is translated, “Conscious One, we greet you. The World is infused with your being. You dwell in our flesh and bones. One without a second, we greet you. Your great liberation brings us loving oneness with you as though no separation exists between us.”
Chris Hale, an American, grew up in a small village in Nepal as the son of two missionaries. He is fluent in Nepali and Hindi.
Chris Hale says on Aradhna’s website, “…my passion in life is to build bridges between cultures. A good bridge builder has a strong foundation on his own side and then builds a strong foundation on the other side, and then he crosses over.”
Providence alumni, Lorah Gleason, described him as one of the most down to earth men that she had ever met. “He seems to really know what God has called him to do and he wants to reach out to people in a genuine way,” says Gleason.
Overall, the night was inspirational. Some people may be hesitant about attending concerts when they are not familiar with the band or the genre of music, but if I had not taken a chance on this band, I would have missed out on a wonderful opportunity.
To listen to their song, Mukteshwar, click here.
If you would like to learn more about this band, check out their website.