Celtic Storytelling - Violin and Harp "I recently had the pleasure of hearing Sudhi, accompanied by a harpist, play a programme of several pieces of Celtic music. The moment Ms Salooja began to play the audience were captivated. Beginning with a deeply melancholic piece, Sudhi’s playing conjured up images of a traumatised land, an Ireland where hunger and poverty prevailed. The lilting refrain took us over the green hills to a place of suffering, reflected by the passion and depth of the music we were listening to. This was music that was heartfelt, honest and achingly beautiful. It brought tears to my eyes. As the violin and harp moved through the sadness and towards the joyful, it was as though the very essence of that distant Celtic land was laid bare before us. Ms Salooja puts her heart and soul into her playing, leaving her audience lost for words for quite some time afterwards. Her playing is extraordinarily sensitive, and, with years of training and experience behind her, Ms Salooja is a wonderfully talented and accomplished musician. I look forward to the day when I can personally book her for an event." Ms Bell, Symondsbury
Voice of an angel - Singing "First off, Sudhi has the most beautiful voice… an angelic quality that stops you in your tracks. In addition, what makes her an exceptionally good choice as a wedding singer/musician is her people management skills. She has a great way of listening to exactly what your needs are, staying calm and open under pressure. She is organised and a great communicator. And she can be relied to sing from the heart. I would recommend her without reservation." Sui Anukka
First Civil Ceremony in Lyme Regis - Violin "We want to thank you very much for your special contribution to our special day. Your suggestions for the music and the performance on the day contributed substantially to the success. It would not be overstating the case to say that the music was a major element in converting a ceremony that is actually agreeing and signing a legal contract into a meaningful and personal ceremony. We both thank you very much." Graham Ferguson and Christopher Heyd-Smith
Teaching Time - Piano and Singing "Sudhi teaches my 17 year old son Daniel piano and singing. Her diverse skills and experience as a teacher and musician in her own right are evident in each lesson, as Daniel’s natural abilities and interests have been given the opportunity to flourish. Ms Salooja has patience, and an extraordinary empathy with her students, and Daniel has felt comfortable from the first lesson. She is very encouraging and supportive, and allows Daniel to express himself fully. I would not hesitate to recommend her to teach adults and children alike." Rachel, Bridport
Indian Charm - Violin and Sitar "I have worked with Sudhi Salooja for the last twenty years, ostensibly as a sitar and violin duo. We use traditional classical Indian ‘jugalbandi’ techniques to improvise within the structure of various Ragas. Sudhi enhances our musical interactions with both her classical training and her improvisational flexibility and originality. Sudhi is a constant joy to work with, always bringing her warm personality and her sense of humour to rehearsals yet remaining totally professional and reliable at all times. We have performed together widely throughout the south west and Sudhi and I also played together for a time in the Indo jazz fusion band ‘Nada’." Ricky Romain
Pupil Praise "I love going to see Sudhi! Her lessons are great! She explains everything well, and I can go at my own pace, which I enjoy. She is very encouraging, and I have learnt a lot." Dan Burns, 17 years
Wedding Music "We want to thank you both for the lovely music you provided for our Wedding Celebration Party at Forde Abbey in July 2013. The music you chose was just as we wanted, enjoyable and interesting, without being overwhelming! Very many thanks again for being part of our big day." Amanda, Wootton Fitzpaine
Review of Lyme Bay Chorale Concert, December 2013 "Once again the Alex Davies and the Lyme Bay Chorale have produced a first class concert, to the obvious delight of a large audience at the Parish Church last Sunday afternoon. There were several invited guest musicians to help make the concert such a success. These included 8 brass players and a timpanist from South West Brass, whose trumpets, trombones and tuba played an exciting role in much of the afternoon’s programme. Just occasionally they could not resist demonstrating that they could easily overwhelm the combined forces of choir, audience and full organ with as thrilling a sound as can ever been heard in the church. Other guests were Roisin Linnet (violin) and her teacher Sudhi Salooja, also a choir member. They played most beautifully in Elgar’s lovely part song The Snow.
The guest conductor for the concert was Dr Peter Milmer, music director of the Seaton Choral Society. Throughout the concert he held the combined forces of the choir and brass together with his clear beat and always appropriate tempi. In the Rutter Gloria it was a joy to watch him negotiating the constantly changing jazzy syncopated rhythms, at the same time transmitting to the choir the confidence needed for this challenging piece. His presence allowed Alex Davies to accompany the entire concert on the organ and occasionally the piano. This he did marvellously, with especially beautiful effects in the Britten Missa Brevis, where the organ part calls for the utmost virtuosity.
What of the programme itself? It was an eclectic mix, with something for everybody (and of course a strong flavour of Christmas). However there were also two very significant choral works, both based on the Latin Ordinary of the Mass but entirely different in character. These were Benjamin Britten’s Missa Brevis (1959) and John Rutter’s Gloria (1975). As is the case of many of his works, Britten composed the Missa Brevis for a specific choir and person, namely Westminster Cathedral Boys Choir and their organist George Malcolm. It is unique in the way it explores the haunting effect of boys’ voices singing in three part harmony, often with close intervals and an organ accompaniment of extraordinary imagination and colour. The sopranos and altos of the Lyme Bay Chorale coped well with the difficult intervals and wide dynamic range of this music, although of course they were spread rather thinly through being a relatively small in number. Another half dozen would have let the great climax at the end of the Benedictus make an even more thrilling impact.
Rutter’s Gloria was composed more or less exactly for the forces available last Sunday, with only the percussion being not quite up to strength. It is one of Rutter’s more substantial works, with three distinct sections. The fast outer parts are full of brass fanfares and rhythmic excitement, and here the LBC showed off just what a talented smallish choir can do when backed by great brass players, magnificent organ accompaniment and a first rate conductor." Richard Godfrey