Concert integrates music with love
Dana Gillespie, an English singer with more than 60 albums recorded under her name, will be spreading the love on campus Oct. 9 at her concert in the Nicholas Music Center on the Cook/Douglass campus.
The “Love the Love” concert is a tribute to Sathya Sai Baba, a spiritual leader in India whose followers included Gillespie herself. Sai Baba passed away six months ago on April 24, said Sunil Lekhi, one of the organizers for the concert.
“The intent [of the concert] is to spread love. Love is the beginning, the crux and the end of it,” he said.
Gillespie is still unsure of what she is going to sing at the moment because it will depend on how she feels during the performance and on what the audience wants, Lekhi said.
“She’s letting the spirit move her,” he said.
Dr. Samuel Sandweiss, Sai Baba’s psychiatrist, said Gillespie performed an extraordinary concert at the University of California, Irvine.
“[Gillespie] sang with 17 world-class musicians, and everyone just had rhythm and drive that you couldn’t imagine,” said Sandweiss, a producer and organizer of the concert in California. “The sounds [were] just phenomenal.”
Gillespie sings a combination of Eastern, Western and New Age music, with sounds from East India and Asia, Sandweiss said.
He calls Gillespie’s music and style of singing especially inspirational because he believes it speaks to people across the globe.
“It’s something you really want to hear — it’s full of a lot of life and brilliance,” Sandweiss said. “Because it’s an amalgam, people will feel comfortable with the live rhythm. It really brings people from all walks of life together because music speaks to everyone universally.”
Lekhi describes Gillespie’s music as sincere and would not be considered mainstream, but unique.
“The main thing is that you feel something in your heart,” he said. “While doing that, you’re actually being who you are. It’s natural and relaxing, and [it] brings yourself closer to your true self.”
The concert is in large part an effort of the Sathya Sai Baba Society, an organization of the spiritual guru’s students, Lekhi said.
The purpose of the organization is just to promote values, said Lekhi, who is also a student of Sai Baba’s teachings. Truth, righteousness, peace, love and non-violence are the basis for individual and world peace.
“We just try to carry Sai Baba’s message by spreading love. The inspiration is there, and we try to carry it out with our lives,” said Robert Bozzani, a member of the Sathya Sai Baba Society.
Bozzani said a key aspect of the spiritual leader’s message is to stress less and live in harmony.
“As we begin to love, everything gets better,” he said. “If you want the world to change, change yourself.”
As an expression of his spiritual teachings, Sai Baba has taken on several public projects, including the creation of a free education system, free medical care and a program that brings clean drinking water to people in need daily, Lekhi said.
Sai Baba’s school, which runs from kindergarten to the Ph.D level, is based on character development and leadership and is one of the top colleges in India, he said. Meanwhile, his hospitals provide complicated heart and kidney surgeries for free.
“If you look at the definition of love, it is really to give without expectation. Giving unconditionally — that’s the kind of love we all have in our hearts. The question is, how do we express and expand that love and share it with others?” Lekhi said.
For some, the answer is music.
“Music has a very special place,” Sandweiss said. “It’s the language of angels, it touches the heart really quickly. When it gets in there, you start to feel inspiration and love and hope that things will get better.”
He said students who attend Gillespie’s concert could leave with a newfound sense of peace.
“You must leave [the concert] with a smile. You’ll feel it, it’ll make you happy,” Sandweiss said. “When you feel unity and it makes you smile, that’s worth a million bucks