Sarod player, singer / songwriter and composer Stephen Day writes songs and compositions inspired by his many music adventures around the world.
Day describes playing the 21-stringed fretless silver-necked lute-like Sarod as ‘being the perfect instrument for meditation with the characteristic microtonal ‘slides and glides’ facilitating the emotional yearning of the seeker on a ‘rocket ride for the inner soul’.
Born in California, and raised in Canada and France, Day developed an ardent search for meaning in life from a very young age. When he was 18 years old, while hitchhiking for the summer in Italy and Greece, he experienced a profound sense of joy and freedom. He was so moved by the experience that he vowed to search for a lifestyle that would allow him to remain in touch with the awakening that he had felt that summer. A few years later, he was introduced to a meditation called Sahaja Yoga by its founder Nobel Peace Prize nominee Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Shri Mataji encouraged Stephen to play Indian Classical music and introduced him to world-renowned award winning Sarod player Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Day was then awarded a scholarship by the Indian Council of Culture to come to India to study. Day not only had the privilege of regular lessons with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan for three years but also traveled with him to various parts of India for recording sessions and performances.
After living in India, Stephen spent time touring in Europe and America where he played premier venues including the Kodak Theater in L.A. and Town Hall in N.Y. He then settled in Los Angeles and began to write music for TV and film. His body of work now contains music in 7 films, 4 music libraries, 4 albums and hundreds of television shows including 51st State with Samuel Jackson and NBC’s series ‘Madmen’.
In 2007 Mr. Day organized and performed in a concert at the United Nations where his music was featured as a uniting force for ancient civilizations and modern countries in the East and in the West.
In addition to music for TV and Film, Stephen has recorded albums of songs and traditional Indian music ragas. Namaste, a collection of songs about adventure, mysticism and the road less traveled, was produced by two-time Gold Disc Award winner Matt Forger (Michael Jackson, Stephen Spielberg, Paul McCartney), and Shenkar (John Mcglaughlin, Peter Gabriel, voice of NBC’s smash hit “Heroes”). It features musical appearances by Matt Malley (Counting Crows), Daryl Jones (Miles Davis, The Rolling Stones), Satnam Singh (Nikka Costa, Hans Zimmer), and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt (Ry Cooder) among others. Stephen’s latest album ‘One Heart Highway’ features Indian Classical Ragas played on the Sarod and Tablas with an added guided meditation vocal track.
Stephen is the founder of “Ombience” a 501 c3 non-profit organization dedicated to self-reflection through the Arts. In 2017 his life long dedication to music and meditation for humanity was honored with the prestigious World Peace Award from the Global Peace Foundation in Southern California. Stephen currently resides in Los Angeles where he is recording and performing his new 1 Man Show entitled “RsVp” which invites audiences to join in and collaborate in an evening of music, dance, and theater that celebrates seeking, surrender and adventure in the new frontier of the Universal Soul.
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801 Las Lomas Ave, Pacific Palisades, CA
Tel: (310) 985-0095
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-Full Length Feature film ‘Waking Dreams’ – 2007
-NY Film Institute Thesis Film ‘Whispering Waves’ – 2008
-AFI Thesis film ‘Badger’ – 2002
-One hour Documentary Film ‘Ajanta’ – 2000
Additional Music (a few examples)
-Feature Film (Bafta nominated for Best Foreign Film) ‘Wadjda’ -2012
-Award winning Documentary Film ‘Naked in Ashes’ – 2005
– One hour Documentary Film ‘Origins of Yoga’ – 2005
-Full Length Feature Film starring Samuel L. Jackson ‘Formula 51’ – 2002
Television (a few examples)
– Mad Men AMC (2007 – 2015)
-Rich Girls MTV (2003)
-Discovery Channel (2002 – current)
-America’s Next Top Model (2002 – current)
-BBC 1 and BBC 4 Primetime (2002 – current)
-Indian Classical Fusion (Boosey and Hawkes 2001)
-Indian Dance Fusion (Boosey and Hawkes 2001)
-Urban Rhythms (Abaco Music 2003)
-Bollywood Beats (Megatrax 2010)
-The Awakenings Show, Various Venues 2015 – Current
-Sonic Ashtanga, Love Can Reign, 2015 – Current
-‘On the Inside’ (Stephen Day Music 1996)
-‘Universal Silence’ (Stephen Day Music 1998)
-‘Eternal Roots’ (Stephen Day Music 1999)
-‘Namaste’ (Stephen Day Music 2010)
-House of Blues, Kodak Theater, Wiltern Theater, The Whiskey, Molly’s, etc. in L.A.
-United Nations Headquarters, New York City
-Town Hall, Ethnic Cultural Center & United Nations in N.Y.
-Miami Beach Convention Center in Miami, Florida.
-University of Toronto in Toronto, Canada
-Mimar Sinan University in Istanbul, Turkey.
– Entertainment Studies & Film Scoring Certificate / UCLA –2010
Worked with composers Thom Sharpe, Stuart Garfinkle, & Robert Drasnin among others
– Private Vocal Lessons and Workshops with Cheryl Bentyne of the Manhattan Transfer 2011 – 2013
– Vocal Lessons and Studio Production with Shenkar aka. L.Shankar (Peter Gabriel, John McGlaughlin) 2008 – 2012
– Private Guitar Lessons with Victory Mori at the Mori Method Guitar Academy 2004 – 2012
-Professional Clear Teaching Credential / State of California – 2009
-Single Subject Secondary School Teacher Training / Cal State Northridge – 2007
-ICCR Scholar to study Sarod with Ustad Amjad Ali Khan – 1999 -2001
-Certificate for Sarod & Indian Classical vocals PK Salve Academy of the Arts – 1998
-B.A. Economics Simon Fraser University / McGill University -1997
Music Editor for feature film ‘Waking Dreams’.
Audio Professional proficient in working with Pro Tools, Logic, Sibelius, Final Cut & Soundtrack Pro.
Musician who plays various instruments including sarod, guitar, drums, piano and voice.
Linguist who speaks 6 languages including English, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and some Hindi.
Memberships and Associations
President and Founder – Ombience – a California 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to spiritual transformation through the arts.
Voting Member – PRS (Performing Rights Society)
Member – The SCL (The Society of Composers & Lyricists)
Member – ASCAP (American Society of Composers & Lyricists)
Member – IBS (Intercollegiate Broadcasting System)
– Global Peace Activist Award – Global Peace Foundation
– Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) Award.
– Simon Fraser University Alumni Award (twice).
– Simon Fraser University Academic Achievement Award.
– James McGill Entrance Award.
– Community Services Award, Chilliwack, B.C.
– Sam Ash Music Salesman of the Month (three times).