On May 26, 1987, Sri Chinmoy opened a new musical chapter with his first pipe organ performance in a church in the centre of Zurich, Switzerland. It was one day before he gave his first big 7-hour concert in the Swiss mountain village of Davos. Sri Chinmoy does not play the pipe organ as you would expect. He creates spontaneous and powerful improvisations seemingly connected to another world. He does not prepare any written music nor did he study at a music school. His approach is purely from his heart; you would say these are expressions of his feelings. Sri Chinmoy’s performances on the organ do justice to the majestic nature of the pipe organ. His improvisations have a cosmic, expansive feeling to them, as if one is traveling throughout vast, universal spaces. They are at once subtle and powerful. peaceful and dynamic, sublime and massive in their sonority and undertaking. The richness and variety of this performance is so encompassing, that the listener will derive great joy and delight from it, no matter how many times he/she listens to it.

The result is unforgettable and it was the first of many more improvisations on famous and less famous pipe organs in churches and music halls all over the world that followed. The performance in Zurich was one the longest ever. It lasted for 38 min. and was later titled by Sri Chinmoy as “The Summit-Song of Self-Transcendence”. Although there was a problem with the video recording and we could not capture the whole performance visually you can enjoy the full length of the audio and the middle part of around 17 min also with video. Pictures of the church replace the empty spaces.

Edit & Camera: Kedar Misani
Photos: Martin Doering, Andy Faessler
Audio Post Production: Vallabha Kaul
Copyright of music © 1987 by Sri Chinmoy
The audio track is published on radiosrichinmoy.org