On August 22, 2005 I could witness a special performance on the “Aspiration- Ground” in Queens, New York. Celebrating his 74th Birthday Sri Chinmoy played on 74 pianos in a row. The variety of pianos was ranging from simple to expensive concert pianos, from all possible brands and in various shapes and colours. Some students of him who professionally work with pianos, hired a couple of trucks to bring all the instruments to the former tennis court, where the maestro made his record performance. He first meditated and then started with piano no. 1. On each instruments he tried to bring out its soul by doing spontaneous improvisations or performing his own melodies. More than a thousand of his disciples attended this special concert and I had the chance to be very close to the action, taking videos of the whole event. We photographers and videographers tried to be very quiet not to disturb the master’s meditative play. As with his art exhibitions, the totality of the music pieces created a unique meadow of notes, never heard before. For those of you who are inspired by the 74 piano concert a DVD is available. You can also watch an online version here.
In 1992 I could witness Sri Chinmoy’s largest concert in Japan, which took place in the famous Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo. When there was a concert of Sri Chinmoy I usually went very early to the concert place because I wanted to have time to prepare my video equipment and find a nice angle to view the concert. When I came the vicinity of the hall I recognized that masses of people were aproaching the hall in the early afternoon. So, I thought there might be football much or something big happening before. But then I realized that these were all seekers coming for the big meditation concert in the evening, that was announced with many posters. It was amazing to see how patiently the masses of people waited in a one proper line, reading a paper or a book – all waiting to get a free ticket at the entrance. Finally 10’000 people came and the hall was packed when Sri Chinmoy appeared on the huge stage, decorated with simple structured panels. For the piano performance the organizer had prepared a laser show which perfectly fit the modern tunes of the master’s improvisations. At the end Sri Chinmoy invited all his Japanese students to perform a song on stage which he especially composed for Japan. The Japanese concert was for certainly a highlight of the 777 concerts he gave over his lifespan worldwide.