Neel Murgai Ensemble

by Neel Murgai

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This CD is our stimulus of vibrations into the global dialogue, a cross-cultural mélange only possible at this time: the Ancient Future Traditional. The compositions on this recording are rooted in numerous elements: North Indian classical, jazz, minimalism, Eastern European gypsy music and more. But the compositions themselves are only road maps. It is through listening, interaction and improvisation on these indeterminate themes that this music comes to life and the ensemble finds its destination. I am fortunate to have worked with this amazing group of musicians, whose talents have given this album life and form. Beyond the compositions, it is our live interaction that is the real global dialogue.


released May 23, 2017

Neel Murgai, sitar, daf, voice
Sameer Gupta, tabla
Mat Maneri, viola
Greg Heffernan, cello

Engineered, mixed and mastered by Sam Crawford
Additional engineering by Michael Gittleman

Tracks 2,4,5 composed by Neel Murgai
1,3,6 are Murgai’s treatments of traditional material.
Lyrics in 6 by Ghalib
8 by Murgai, Maneri, Gupta, Heffernan

Cover design by Indra Gill
Cover illustration by Matthew Lillis

Special thanks to many people, without whom this music would not be possible:

My teachers: Krishna Bhatt, Edgar Grana, Ravindra Goswami, William Sweeney…
My Family: Jessica Plotnick, Indra Gill, Leith Murgai…
And the many other musicians, teachers, friends and family members who havesupported and inspired me along the way.

Innova Director: Philip Blackburn
Operations Manager: Chris Campbell
Innova is supported by an endowment from the McKnight Foundation.


all rights reserved



Neel Murgai New York

Neel Murgai is a sitarist, overtone singer, daf player, composer and teacher from Brooklyn, NY. He is a Co-Artistic Director of Brooklyn Raga Massive, a nonprofit musicians collective. Neel has studied sitar for over 20 years with Pundit Krishna Bhatt. He is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. Neel has also studied overtone singing with Timothy Hill. ... more

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Track Name: Coi Umeed
Coi umeed bar nahin aati,
All my hopes stand belied,

Coi surat nazr nahin aati.
No prospect is in sight!

Maut ka ek din maayen hai,
Death will come when it will come,

Neend kyon raat bhar nahin aati?
Why comes not sleep at night?

Aage aati thi haal-e-dil pe hansi,
I once could laugh at the state of my heart,

Ab kisi baat par nahin aati.
But nothing can make me laugh today.

Ham wahaan hain jahaan se ham ko bhi,
I am in that oblivious state,

Kuch hamaari khabar nahin aati.
A stranger to myself where I am.

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