The Crescent Sound of Moon

Gene “Chandra” is a singer-songwriter and a chronic illness survivor making a comeback to music and to life — a new full cycle!

Since 2020 and during three years in recovery, Gene made a musical retrospective, rescuing and recreating songs originally written over the previous two and a half decades, and infusing them with new overtones, those of being a life warrior.

With these songs, old and new, Gene’s shaking away the illness’s inertia and sharing the music-force that carries him forth!

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Music and singing were always an essential part of Gene’s identity. He studied music from childhood and began songwriting in high school. As a young man, he delved into the spiritual music of India, studied operatic and other vocal techniques and, eventually, owned a project studio where he composed, recorded and produced hundreds of tracks and collaborated with dozens of artists.

Many years experimenting and looking for his “true” sound lead to frustration, and in 2011 he decide to take a pause. He continued to sporadically coach singers, but he stopped creating, except for a few musical scribbles now and then. To create something worthy, he thought, his voice and music needed the seasoning of life experiences. Gene took off.

For a decade, he stayed for months at a time in a dozen different countries, discovering peoples, learning customs, words, songs, languages, chasing the moonlight along many rivers... until early 2020, when he became chronically ill and found himself, suddenly, bedridden and isolated.


Chandra & the Moon

Chandra & the Moon. Somerset, 2023.


Living with a chronic illness may be, to put it simply, overwhelming: breaking one’s body, bit by bit. But that’s alright. It’s when the chronic illness starts chiseling away at one’s soul that the true tragedy begins: it erodes one’s vitality and sense of meaning and hope. Surviving alone no longer makes any sense.

Millions around the world suffer from chronic, debilitating illnesses, many of unknown cause or cure. Patients with Lyme disease in advanced stages are immunocompromised and suffer from a wide range of inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and rheumatologic conditions. In the words of one of the top Lyme doctors, “This disease targets the central nervous system and peripheral nervous system like no disorder known to mankind.” It takes really knowing a patient, perhaps intimately, to begin to understand what that means. Lyme disease gradually erodes one’s body, mood, personality, and then one’s social networks and sense of purpose and of reality. There’s no easy way to diagnose it, and no consensus on how to treat it. Anyone can contract it, and it can go undetected for years.


After years living within the confines of a ravaging illness casting chains over body and mind, in the spring of 2023, Gene attempted a comeback to music as a way of reclaiming his life, his mind, voice and soul. Many nights he pictured this day, and the dream kept him striving out of the shadows.

For three years, Gene was forced to lay back and recall a lifetime of treasured memories. He began dreaming of making music again. He first played and sang in his head. Then, he forced himself to sing for an hour or two each week — if he found the strength. And when his cognition allowed it, he began rescuing a dozen of songs from his past, rewriting them extensively.

Gene’s music began resonating with the overtones of being a life warrior, scratching the darkness in search of light. “My music suddenly feels energized by the urgency of time, the need to not let a day go by, the imperative of being authentic to the bare bones, the drive to complete long-forgotten projects, and the necessity to celebrate the brief and wonderful moments and the human connections that make life worth fighting for,” says Gene.

In February of 2023, Gene realised that it was time to head back to the studio and, together with Zo, his partner, he began making arrangements, preparing his backing tracks, and vocalising and rehearsing. Gene felt strong and happy. Then, just ten days ahead of the first recording day, he suddenly became aphonic. He had never lost his voice like this before and could not explain it. But he would not be deterred. A dozen remedies later, with great effort — and great joy — on May 29, 2023, Gene arrived in Metropolis Studios, in London, for a week of intensive vocals recording sessions. This was the start of the work to produce Gene’s new music project: Moonphonic.

Invigorated by the struggle, Moonphonic is dedicated to so many who suffer illness and disenfranchisement. Moonphonic is an invitation to band up and rock away the inertia, shake away isolation and share in the journey of a life worth living, day by day, beat by beat.


Gene recording vocals

Gene “Chandra” recording vocals for the first time in twelve years, Metropolis Studios, London, 2023.




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