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Shillong Chamber Choir's new album helps re-look at 'traditional meaning of Christmas'

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New Delhi, Dec 15 (IANS) The popular Shillong Chamber Choir, which has Padma Shri-awardee Neil Nongkynrih as its director, are ready with their Christmas album. Nongkynrih says the album has songs that are a blend of cultures and languages, and hopes they help listeners re-look at the traditional meaning of Christmas.

“‘Come Home Christmas’ is a multilingual Christmas Carol album that consists of eight masterpieces which are a blend of cultures, languages and will help listeners re-look at the traditional meaning of Christmas,” Nongkynrih told IANS.

To make an album like this one, he has been researching for the past 15 years.

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“Most songs are sung in English, but they have stanzas vocalised in ancient Aramaic in addition to Hebrew, Farsi, and Urdu. Adding on to the aesthetics of the album, the music is a fusion of Western Classical and pop culture Christmas songs,” he shared.

With the festive season around, many artistes have dropped Christmas albums or songs. Nongkynrih says their album is different.

“Setting it apart from the other existing albums, ‘Come Home Christmas’ includes a variety of instruments and languages. From the Middle Eastern percussion instrument darbuka to the melodic instruments like ney, oud, duduk, saz, piano and the acoustic guitar to name a few, each instrument has made its own contribution,” he said.

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The 40-minute “Come Home Christmas” album will be available on multiple streaming platforms from December 18. The choir will also perform live on December 22 on feelitlive.co.in.

The Shillong Chamber Choir, founded in 2001 by Nongkynrih, is a multi-genre choir. It consists of Ibarisha Lyngdoh, Patricia Lyngdoh, Jessica Lyngdoh, Donna Marthong, Rishila Jamir, Keviseno Terhuja, Dorea Rangad, William Basaiawmoit, Banlam Lyndem, Sandon Lyndem, Riewbankit Lyndem and Ryan Lamin.

They had performances with the Vienna Chamber Orchestra and the Fitz William Quartet, and also opened for “Kaun Banega Crorepati” season 6, hosted by Amitabh Bachchan.

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In 2010, they won the reality TV show “India’s Got Talent”.

“Most choirs sing traditional songs in their own traditional languages. But we on the other hand, have always sung a medley of songs which are not necessarily religious. With the Shillong Chamber Choir, we have made everyone re-think and re-look at their definition and concept of the word ‘choir’. The show (‘India’s Got Talent’) was a medium to reach out to all people. Today, while we still are a group of singers, we sing multi-lingual songs and explore various genres,” said Nongkynrih.

–IANS

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