What is your idea of God?
For me the idea of God is the energy in every atom of everything that exists. God encompasses everything and I am learning to respect it all - good, bad and ugly. I feel the greatest mistake I made in the past was looking for God on the outside.
Have you ever experienced that God in your music?
As God encompasses everything, music is also a part of God - a very, very powerful part. Personally, I experience this every single day. The fact that I can understand and relate to music through composing and performing makes me feel even closer to God, and I can tell you from my own experience that it is not just humans, but animals, birds and even trees respond to music. We have birds who visit us every day at the same time taking solos and even dancing and cheering Dave Grusin; we even have cows that walk right into the house and just stand still in front of the speakers perking their ears up especially to Carnatic music!
What is the connection that you see between Sufi and God?
I have had the good fortune of experiencing real Sufi's and also collaborating with a few artistes; the connection I see is that they have the natural ability to surrender to the music without any inhibition. To me all the great Bhakthi composers were Sufis including Thiru Gnaanasambandar, Appar, Sundarar, Andal, Jayadeva, Thyagaraja, Shaama Shastri and Dikshitar. But the Indian Sufi who really blew me away was Lalon Fakir - the founder of the Baul movement. The idea of the Sufi is very clearly unconditional love and surrender to God.