Solar Punch, Nepal & India 2015

i was joined in Nepal by my Solar Punch bandmates Alan Bigelow, Andy Mattina, and Aric Gutnick for a short tour of Kathmandu, and then a week of dates in Western India.

i was already in Kathmandu with Aric; we had just finished principal photography on my documentary Go Without Fear, which followed zen monk Maarten Olthof on his ground-healing pilgrimage as described in his book ‘Walking in the Footsteps of the Buddha’.

Solar Punch visited several schools around Kathmandu, including Vajra Academy in Chappagaun, Joseph Secondary High School, and CWS Bal Kendra.

Vajra Academy was already deep into their Tie the Trash project and showed us their progress as well as treating the band to a short tour of the school grounds, where our namesake herbs were revealed in the school’s organic garden.

It is always a treat to behold the dramatic, and very large, solar thermal Scheffler dishes on the school’s roof, used to cook food in the kitchen below. The school also uses organic composting and bio-waste to generate amendments for their gardens, as well as methane gas for cooking and heat.

At Bal Kendra, the little kids sang along to my original song ‘We are the Light’, which was brought back a couple years later by the Greenheart, and even painted on the school’s courtyard walls.

Solar Punch was given the great honor of a daytime performance and presentation in Patan Durbar Square’s historic temple setting. Hundreds enjoyed our Nepali music jams, as well as our originals about the environment. Vajra Academy’s principal Udit Bhatta addressed the crowd and gavce a stirring speech about environmental responsibiity.