Who is ONENESS-DREAM ?
ONENESS-DREAM is a male a cappella singing group dedicated to the spiritual songs of Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007). Poet, painter, writer, musician, composer, philosopher, athlete and peace-dreamer, Sri Chinmoy composed over 23,000 devotional songs, mostly in his native Bengali, and in English. Sri Chinmoy saw music as a pure language of the heart, a pathway to prayer and meditation, and a pathway to connection with God. His songs were composed spontaneously, and are unadorned with harmony or accompaniment – just the purity, beauty, simplicity, intimacy and immediacy of word and melody. For Sri Chinmoy, all faiths are branches of one life-tree. In addition to his own words, he has set music to sacred texts from Christian, Buddhist and Hindu traditions. Oneness-Dream celebrate this oneness-in-diversity by singing in places of worship of all faiths around the world, these sacred places the perfect setting for songs of pure devotion to the highest and inmost we all share.
The members of Oneness-Dream are not professional singers but sing for the love of it. Some have been singing Sri Chinmoy's songs for several decades. The singers come from 14 countries – Finland, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Scotland, England, USA, Italy, Australia, New Zealand and Colombia – and range in age from their 20s to their 60s. The very name of the choir – ONENESS-DREAM – indicates a positivity, an aspiration towards something higher. If we can dare to dream of a oneness-world, then one day that dream may become a reality.
The inspiration, the driving force behind this choir, is one remarkable man, Snatak Matthíasson from Iceland. A classically-trained pianist and a fine singer himself (as well as an accomplished athlete) Snatak was stricken by a devastating illness which progressively reduced his mobility and his speech. But rather than giving up, he was inspired to bring together many of his singer-friends from around the world to form this male voice choir, performing songs composed by his teacher Sri Chinmoy. Snatak passed away in August 2019.
The choir’s first tour, in 2011, was appropriately enough, in Iceland – ten concerts in the space of a week – and it became clear that what the choir had to offer was something quite special – a beauty and simplicity, an intensity that went beyond performance into something inwardly uplifting. Many more tours followed and are planned for the coming years.
Oneness-Dream have recorded six CDs – In Vastness-Peace (2011), from a tour of the churches of Iceland; In Oneness-Light (2012), sung in the temples and pagodas of Myanmar; Oneness-Dream at Tarpan Studios (2016), recorded at Narada Michael Walden's Tarpan Studios in San Francisco; and CDs from tours of churches and monasteries in Ireland (2016), Tuscany (2017) and Czech Republic (2018).