Laurie Scott is an author and musician who studied the classical music of North India with the great master sarode player and musical genius from India, Ali Akbar Khan, for almost 25 years.
Laurie Scott has recorded several albums and written a book entitled, "A Spiritual Journey to Now," that shares engaging and candid stories of her life and the valuable lessons she has learned that can greatly enhance the quality of our lives. She also serves others by sharing her music in environments where people are suffering, and brings peace and light to others through her music.
To learn more about the music she plays, her extraordinary teacher, and its unique lineage, please read below.
Indian classical music is an ancient and spiritual form of music that is intended to uplift both the musician and listener, and also bring a person closer to God.
Indian classical music has two major traditions: North Indian and South Indian classical music. Laurie studied North Indian classical music with the great North Indian classical musician, Ali Akbar Khan.
Laurie's music teacher, Ali Akbar Khan, said that in the same way we need food to eat, water to drink, and air to breathe, so is music necessary for life. Music is the food that nourishes our souls.
Laurie Scott's Teacher
Ali Akbar Khan is considered one of the greatest Indian classical musicians of our age. He established the Ali Akbar College of Music in California in 1967, one of the most respected schools of its kind in the world. The school has a very uplifting atmosphere and teaches classes in North Indian classical music (vocal, instrumental, and percussion), and also holds wonderful concerts.
Laurie was very fortunate to study with Ali Akbar Khan between 1984 and 2009, at which time Ali Akbar Khan left his body.
(Ali Akbar Khan's brilliant sons - Aashish, Alam, and Manik Khan - continue teaching his music today. The Ali Akbar College of Music is extremely fortunate to have a phenomenal teacher of percussion, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, as its oldest and most respected teacher.)
The musical lineage of Ali Akbar Khan, Laurie's teacher, extends from Mian Tansen, a revered musician of India who lived in the 1500s. Mian Tansen is the father of North Indian classical music and was considered a great musician saint.
Mian Tansen was born a Hindu and had both a Hindu Guru (Hari Das), and later, a Sufi Guru (Muhammad Ghaus). He was also part of King Akbar's court, a muslim, for over 20 years.
Laurie plays the gorgeous instrument, sarode, which she learned from her teacher, Ali Akbar Khan. Its Sanskrit name is "Sarode-Dhayak-Veena."
The sarode has 25 strings (4 of which are the main playing strings), that must be tuned perfectly to give it its richest sound. It is made out of teak and played with a pick made out of coconut shell. It is a fretless instrument that takes many years of hard work and dedication to learn.
Laurie was born into a musical family and first heard Indian classical music as a teenager. After spending a few years in India in her twenties, she returned to America and discovered the Ali Akbar College of Music in California and its extraordinary teacher, Ali Akbar Khan. She felt very fortunate to study with him for many years.
Laurie says, “Ali Akbar Khan's music washed over us like a purifying river, cleansing our beings and lifting us into a higher state. His mere presence transformed us. He had very spiritual and healing energy.”
These compositions can be found on Laurie Scott's first album, "Sarode Spirit" (featuring ragas Patdeep, Loom, and Sindhi Bhairavi), which was released in June of 2014.
Laurie composes all her own music and also recorded three more albums:
-- River of Ragas (ragas Kafi, Shankara, and Mian Ki Malhar)
-- Gentle Ragas (ragas Bageshree, Durga, and Jog)
-- Indigo Sarode (ragas Dhani, Jhinjhoti, and Chandramukhi).
To hear more samples, or to acquire her music, please click on the "Albums Available" button. A portion of each album sold will go to a charity that builds homes for the poor in India.
Her music can also be heard on her Youtube channel.