Shillong Chamber Choir's new Christmas album gives a refreshing touch to traditional carols
Come Home Christmas: A shift from the commercial and materialistic trend to a more personal and homely celebration of love and oneness. With this thought in mind, the director of the famed Shillong Chamber Choir (SCC), Neil Nongkynrih came up with the idea of fostering the true spirit of Christmas that binds families and loved ones together through music.
And that is what the latest Christmas album of the SCC - "Come Home Christmas" is all about. Neil Nongkynrih explained that the new album is a blend of various Middle-eastern languages interspersed with ancient Aramaic (which was spoken by Jesus Christ Himself) with a hint of Hebrew, Farsi, Urdu, and the local language of the people of Meghalaya - Khasi with a thread of English, throughout all the songs.
The mixture of all these languages created a beautiful multilingual album “Come Home Christmas” containing eight songs, which had its global release on December 18, 2020.
While speaking about the process of creating this album, Neil Nongkynrih mentioned that their group had managed to meet with an elderly gentleman, Melke Tekin in Switzerland who was fluent in ancient Aramaic, who translated the English version of “Go tell it on the mountain” medleyed with “Glory to God” from Handel’s Messiah. This song hit two million views on YouTube within just two days of its release.
"It was quite a miracle to have had a lady from London who translated 'We the Kings' into Farsi," Neil Nongkynrih said adding that they also collaborated with a sand artist from Israel for its music video.
On being asked if the locals would be able to resonate with the album, the maestro replied, “Whenever I do anything, it is a big risk and I always take that risk and with that risk comes the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful, but you have got to be willing to take the risk because, if the risk is not taken, then you just become an ordinary person and I cannot stand the ordinary”.
Neil Nongkynrih, who used to be a big fan of Boney M. as a child, wanted to revive the Boney M's trend by giving a refreshing touch to our traditional Christmas carols with a retro, middle-eastern and of course, western vibe and he believes that they have been successful in doing so, considering the feedback and response they have been receiving for “Go tell it on the mountain”.
To have a more meaningful Christmas, the Shillong Chamber Choir will be hosting a virtual fundraising event in aid of Genesis Foundation on Tuesday (December 22, 2020) at 7 pm, the tickets of which can be bought on https://bit.ly/come-home-christmas.
All proceeds from this online event will go towards saving lesser privileged, critically ill children in India, suffering from Congenital Heart Defects.\
(Edited by Aparmita Das)