Taboo

by Sunny Jain

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1.
2.
3.
08:24
4.
5.
08:17
6.
7.

about

This project started through a desire and a sense of obligation to use my music as a platform to address social justice issues permeating the world, and that specifically speak to the South Asian community, where these matters are often considered taboo: sexual orientation, inequality and violence upon women, and the juxtaposition of religions. The artistic inspiration was derived from ghazals, love poems that have its origins in the Arabian Peninsula and eventually made its way to India in the 12th century. Ultimately, I wasn’t looking to create compositions based around love poems, but rather utilize the writings of modern day poets and lyricists in addressing the said issues.

Each composition draws upon one Indian raga in order to present a mood specific to each work. While the music in its entirety is influenced by the Indian and African diasporas, the players bring their own unique musical personalities and collectively, we aim to blur the lines of genre. At the end, I hope this music reflects the creativity of humans, connects to your heart, and inspires you to greater heights of goodness towards all living beings.


CD Personnel:

Sunny Jain - drums, dhol (track 4)
Marc Cary - piano
Nir Felder - guitar
Gary Wang - acoustic bass
Achyut Joshi - vocals (tracks 1, 4)
Sheetal Karhade - vocals (tracks 2, 4)
Samita Sinha - vocals (track 6)
Shayna Steele - vocals (track 3)
Sachal Vasandani - vocals (track 5)
YaliniDream - spoken word (track 1)

credits

released May 20, 2010

Produced by Sunny Jain
Recorded/engineered by James Frazee at Water Music Recording Studios, Hoboken, NJ & Joshua Kessler at Bushwick Studio, Brooklyn, NY
Mixed by Scotty Hard at Duro of Brooklyn, NY
Mastered by Michael Fossenkemper at Turtle Tone Studio, New York, NY
Front cover image by Namita Kapoor. Original painting entitled “Somehair Over the Rainbow.”
Inside Photo of Sunny Jain by Sebnem Tasci of Oxygen NYC.
Package Design/Layout by Gudmundur Vigfusson
This recording was made possible through The Aaron Copland Fund for Music.
All compositions © 2010 Sunny Jain, published by Sapana Music (BMI), except Track 7.

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about

Sunny Jain New York

Voted as a rising star percussionist in the 2015 and 2014 Downbeat magazine critics poll, Sunny Jain is a dhol player, drummer and composer. He leads the pioneering 8-piece Brooklyn band, Red Baraat, and drums for Tongues in Trees.

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Track Name: Jack and Jill
Some men like Jack
and some like Jill;
I’m glad I like
them both; but still

I wonder if
this freewheeling
really is an
enlightened thing –

or is its greater
scope a sign
of deviance from
some party line?

In the strict ranks
of Gay and Straight
What is my status?
Stray? or Great
Track Name: Ye Mera Khuda
Ye mera khuda, vo tera khuda
Hain alag alag, hain juda juda

Ye teri zameen, vo meri zameen
Main yahaan rahoon, tu rahe vaheen

Ye desh mera, vo tera vatan
Ye phool mere, vo tera chaman

Na ek dharam, na ek zubaan
Duniya vo teri, mera ye jahaan

Insaan hai tu, main bhi insaan
Par yaad raha hum ko ye kahaan

Ab baant le nadi kinaare bhi
Ye sooraj chaand o taare bhi


English Translation:

This is my god, that yours
Both dissimilar, both different

This is my land, that yours
I shall live here, you there

This is my country, that your nation
These flowers are mine, that garden yours

We share neither religion nor language
Your world is over there, mine over here

Yes, you are a human being, like me
But we both have forgotten that a long time ago

Come let us now split up these streams and river banks
This sun, this moon and these stars too
Track Name: Two Ladies
Gentle strokes become a sensitive sound,
From hands not made to form a primitive sound.

Strung with fine equine hair, her back-bent bow,
Flies sharp arrows of intuitive sound.

She holds her aspect with a tender care,
Lost in sway they dance interpretive sound.

Her buxom mold embraced within her arms,
They share richness through a secretive sound.

With countenance relaxed to peace profound,
Her heart sings to trees a lenitive sound.

Her ornate wooden scroll soft on her cheek,
They are beauty with a volitive sound.

They are a blessing to your soul Zahhar,
Never tire of their fruitive sound.
Track Name: Basa Bhagwaan
Dil ki hai kahi, sach to hai yahi, tu maan le ya na maan
Mandir mein nahin, masjid mein nahin, hai man be basa bhagwaan

Mandir mein nahin, masjid mein nahin, hai man be basa bhagwaan

Gurudwara uska rasta nahin, girijaghar mein vo basta nahin
Pandit se rishta tod chuka, mullah se hai vo anjaan
Mandir mein nahin, masjid mein nahin, hai man be basa bhagwaan

Ho loot jahaan vo dharam hi kya, hai jhoot jahaan vo haram hi kya
Tu buton ke aage sar na jhuka, rab chhupa kahaan pehchaan
Mandir mein nahin, masjid mein nahin, hai man be basa bhagwaan

Jo tair gaya kho jaata hai
Manzil na kabhi vo paata hai
Ye ishq ka dariya hai pyaare
Hai doobne mein hi shaan
Mandir mein nahin, masjid mein nahin, hai man be basa bhagwaan


English Translation:

The soul bears witness, for this much is true, agree with it or not
Not in a mandir, nor in a masjid, God lives but in one's heart

God knows not the way to the gurudwara, nor spends time in a church
Has long forsaken the pandit, and is unfamiliar with the mullah
Not in a mandir, nor in a masjid, God lives but in one's heart

Shun the religion based on loot, ignore the place of worship based on lies
Bow not before lifeless idols, understand where the Lord lies ensconsed
Not in a mandir, nor in a masjid, God lives but in one's heart

The one who swims loses the way, and never reaches the destination
This is the river of Love, glory goes only to the ones who drown
Not in a mandir, nor in a masjid, God lives but in one's heart
Track Name: A Sufi
A child lives inside me.
A boy lives inside me.
A man lives inside me.
A child lives inside me.
A girl lives inside me.
A woman lives inside me.

And I am dancing in circles
Bringing them all in one.

I wear sometimes flashy
Red garb, red lipstick,
Adorn my hair with sandoor
And jhoomer, my ears, nose
And neck with gold ornaments.
My palms and feet are painted with henna.
I cover myself with a red dupatta
Head to toe, waiting for Him to come
And unveil me.

Sometimes I walk around
Wearing torn clothes
Bare foot, disheveled hair
Waiting for Him to come and bathe me.
Bathe me with His light
Wash me down with the water from fountain in Heaven
And take me to His home.
I am His bride.
Track Name: We Sinful Women
Ye hum gunahgaar aurateñ haiñ
Jo ahl-e jabba ki tamkinat se
Na ro’b khaayeñ
Na jaan becheñ
Na sar jhukaayeñ
Na haath jodeñ

Ye hum gunahgaar aurateñ haiñ
Ke jin ke jismoñ ki fasl becheñ jo log
Voh sarfaraaz thahreñ
Nayaabat-e imtiyaaz thahreñ
Voh daavar-e ahl-e saaz thahreñ

Ye hum gunahgaar aurateñ haiñ
Ke sach ka parcham utha ke nikleñ
To jhoot se shaah-raaheñ ati mile haiñ
Har ek dahleez pe sazaaoñ ki daastaaneñ rakhi mile haiñ
Jo bol sakti theeñ voh zubaaneñ kati mile haiñ

Ye hum gunahgaar aurateñ haiñ
Jo ahl-e jabba ki tamkinat se
Na ro’b khaayeñ
Na jaan becheñ
Na sar jhukaayeñ
Na haath jodeñ


English Translation:

It is we sinful women
Who are not intimidated
By the magnificence of those who wear robes
Who don’t sell their souls
Don’t bow their heads
Don’t fold their hands in supplication

It is we sinful women
While those who sell the harvest of our bodies
Are exalted
Considered worthy of distinction
Become gods of the material world

It is we sinful women
Who, when we emerge carrying aloft the flag of truth
Find highways strewn with lies
Find tales of punishment placed at every doorstep
Find tongues which could have spoken, severed

It is we sinful women
Who are not intimidated
By the magnificence of those who wear robes
Who won’t sell their souls
Won’t bow their heads
Won’t fold their hands in supplication