Irish violinist Colm O’Riain and Tamil poet Pireeni Sundaralingam performed live recently at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Born in Sri Lanka and educated at Oxford, Pireeni currently lives in San Francisco, and performs her poetry to Colm O’Riain’s mesmerising violin accompaniment which can be viewed below.
Dedicated to examining the confluence of science and art, Sundaralingam holds national fellowships in both cognitive science and in poetry. Her poetry has been published in several journals and translated into many languages, including Gaelic, Swedish, Vietnamese and Tamil.
Colm O’Riain & Pireeni launched their CD “Bridge Across the Blue” which brings together musicians and writers from a host of different ethnic traditions, to tell the immigrant stories of America. Recipient of the Potrero Nuevo Fund Prize, the album garnered much critical attention, including being selected by the About.com website as “one of the best poetry anthology recordings of all time”.
Indivisible: An Anthology of Contemporary South Asian American Poetry, which she co-edited has won the 2011 N. California Book Award. It features poets who trace their roots back to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan & Sri Lanka…grappling with multiplicity of languages, cultures and faiths.