Page 21 - Marist Magazine Fall 2012

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says Gupta, who curated an event
called TEDxSkidRow in June with the
help of friends he made through TED
(a community of individuals from the
worlds of technology, entertainment,
and design). “But we also want to start
reaching out to veterans with PTSD,
or with massive brain trauma, as well
as hospices and hospitals—any place
where this music would have a role
in healing.”
If Street Symphony represents one
passion project of Gupta’s, the other
has been his first album—a globe-
spanning collection that reflects his
culture and his influences. “Indian
classical music is the first music I ever
heard, and it’s music that was part of
my family and my culture and my
childhood,” he explains. “But I’d never
played it before.”
In the same exhaustive fashion
typical of his other ventures, Gupta
listened to “probably every recording
on iTunes and watched every video
on YouTube” to learn ins and outs of
writing Indian classical. Suryodaya
(now available on iTunes and Amazon) opens
with “Jaunpuri,” an Indian classical raga that
he composed by hand, then segues from
Persian music to European music spanning
the medieval, baroque, and romantic periods,
fast-forwarding to American music (closing
with an original composition by Philharmonic
timpanist Joe Pereira).
Gupta—who raised $22,000 over five weeks from 216 backers via
Kickstarter—describes
Suryodaya
as “very much a musical offering
and a journey of music and myself from East to the West.”
“I’m very happy that I will reach an audience
wider than the classical audience alone,” says
Gupta. “Suryodaya means ‘sunrise’ in Sanskrit,
but it also means a kind of gift of light.” In talk-
ing to audiences about Street Symphony, he fre-
quently quotes 19th-century German romantic
composer Robert Schumann, who also suffered
from schizophrenia. “He said, ‘To send light into
All in the Marist
Family
Patrick M. and Patricia E. Lavelle
’73/’74 (center) have been
among Marist College’s most
dedicated supporters over
the years. Pat, the president
and CEO of Voxx International
Corp., is a Marist trustee and a
member of the committee that
led the successful
Campaign
for Marist
. He and Patty served
as national alumni chairs
of the 2004 and 2005 Marist
Fund campaigns. The Marist
tradition continues with
their son, Michael ’02, and
new daughter-in-law, Kristen
Stevens ’05. The family is shown
with a host of Marist friends at
Michael and Kristen’s wedding
on Nov. 19, 2011. Michael is a
key account manager at Voxx
International and Kristen is a
manager in human resources
administration at MSC
Industrial Direct.
the darkness of men’s hearts—such is
the duty of the artist.’ And I feel like
it’s a beautiful way of making a parallel
between the light of music and what
we do for Street Symphony.”
The Stradivarius he plays on the
album belongs to businessman and
philanthropist Jerry Kohl. It was
played for many years by Nathan
Milstein (1904-1992), who to Gupta
was “the ultimate violinist. He had
this 60-year career churning out
perfect, deeply honest music.” The
first time Gupta played on the nearly
300-year-old violin, “I felt like a puppy
on Ritalin. My mind was going to
explode. Playing on that Strad was
just a dream.”
As Robert and his younger
brother, Patrick ’08 (who is now fin-
ishing up a PhD in chemistry at RPI),
thrive in their post-Marist careers,
their mother is now following in their
footsteps. Chandana Gupta enrolled
at Marist this fall after a couple
of years of coursework at Orange
County Community College. “I’m
thrilled and so proud of her,” says Robert of his
mother, whose undergraduate studies at Queens
College were interrupted by his birth in 1987.
“She’s an incredibly hard worker—she’s staying
up very late—but she wants to get the most out
of Marist that she can, and I think she will. She
certainly knows the campus very well.”
n
—Dick Anderson