Root + Rhythm presents; Speak Easy.. Rare Music. Decocted Plants. Conversation.
You step out from the cold into the warmth of Iris Studio. Forgetting everything.. you remember to breathe as you sit with a warm botanical decotion. You can feel that something brilliant is about to happen. The air is filled with an aroma that transports your mind to the spas of Asia. Seeing the musicians you take notice of instruments familiar as well as instruments you’ve never seen before. As you finish your brew, the music starts.. those sounds.. together. You know it’s not Jazz, but you can feel the levels of collaboration.. a reminiscence of the Blue Note days. Your mind slips into the flows of sound. As the music fades, you realize you have been mediating. The aromas you have been experiencing are now being poured. The strangers you were sitting with are now friends, the room is buzzing with appreciation for what was just heard, and we all Speak Easy.
Initially, Vinay received knowledge in vocal/harmonium/tabla from Shafiq Rahman in his teens. After completing his college in both Pre-pharmaceutical science as well as Pre-Law in Delaware, Vinay sought out to learn Santoor in India. In 2011, with blessings and direct guidance of Padma Vibhushan Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Vinay began his studies under Takahiro Arai and Dhananjay Daithankar. He later moved back to USA to learn from Kunal Gunjal. To expand his knowledge in music, Vinay has learnt from different Maestros such as late Pandit Ramesh Mishraji, Parthasarathi Chatterjee, Jay Gandhiji, Suryaksha Deshpandejii, and sits with Maestros who come through Shanti Mandir for performances to expand his knowledge and receive the invaluable blessings of them all. Now vinay learns from Pandit Shivkumar Sharma directly.
His music is influenced by his stay in Ashrams and ancient practices of meditation and yoga. His music is interwoven with the general feeling of peace and stillness interspersed with lively, powerful and rhythmic phrases.
Eric Archer is a multi-instrumentalist (fingerstyle guitar, charango/ronroco, tabla, bansuri and native-style flutes), visual artist, and poet drawing inspiration from nature and its bounty. He has performed in varying settings in the United States and in Europe, and is happy to call the Hudson Valley of New York his home. Exploring collaborations as diverse as americana, trip-hop, kirtan, folk, meditative, celtic, ambient, and Indian-classical, Eric aims to continually expand his own sounds and tastes to offer a unique feel to the universal language.
Eric has taught and played music at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies as the Bard/Musician-in-Residence, and as a staff-instructor. He was also one of the Innkeepers of the historic Sunnybank Inn in Hot Springs, NC -- a focal point within the tradition of Southern balladry, Appalachian roots music, and Scotch-Irish folk songs. Eric continues to collaborate with Prema Mayi and Radharani on their mantra music fusion, and accompany Biff Mithoefer in his Yoga Teacher Trainings -- pairing music with these deeply meditative and educational settings. Eric is a tabla student of Sri Suryaksha Desphande of the Farrukhabad Gharana, and a bansuri flute student of Grammy-Award winner Steve Gorn. Eric synthesizes these eclectic musical threads into a sound that is at once both traditional and modern.
Eric's visual art is a hybrid of natural, found, and recycled materials channeled into wall sculpture through the human touch. His woodcarved-paintingsallow natural and organic shapes and processes to guide his work, where these patterns speak first, drawing the viewer into a sense of curiosity and wonder.
Eric's spoken word poetry is a linguistic expression of his musical and artistic passions, and has flowered from his love of teaching meditation, exploring the question, "Where does guided meditation end, and spoken word poetry begin?" Through the use of imagery, self-inquiry, visualization, and metaphor, Eric guides listeners through an experience of collective in-sights, heartbeats, and felt breaths.