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Music Stream

Kalaa Utsavam: Chakra-thon

A series of time-specific concerts that run from dawn to dusk by artists from overseas.


Published: 22 Oct 2020

Time taken : >15mins

In Hindustani classical music, time-specific ragas evoke the cycle of diverse moods and emotions that we experience at different times of the day (prahar) and seasons of the year.

Curated by National Arts Council Young Artist Award recipient Nawaz Mirajkar, Chakra-thon is a series of time-specific concerts that run from dawn to dusk. Each concert features a solo performer or duo giving eloquent voice to human emotion through his/her musical instrument.

1.30am | 21 Nov

Krishna Rajani by Rakesh Chaurasia

Accompanist: Ojas Adhiya (Tabla)
Premieres 21 Nov 2020, Sat, 1.30am

Late night is a time of deep sleep, dark mystery and the surfacing of the subconscious in dreams and tender longing.

Plunge into the depths of night with the haunting sweetness of hindustani flute music as Rakesh Chaurasia plays poignant night (rajani) ragas on his bansuri.

The bansuri is a side-blown bamboo flute. One of the oldest musical instruments of the Indian subcontinent, it is traditionally played in hindustani classical music and is celebrated for its association with the Lord Krishna, commonly depicted playing his divine flute.

Rakesh Chaurasia (India)

The nephew and disciple of flute maestro Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia, Rakesh Chaurasia carries on the family’s musical legacy with his exceptional gift. An accomplished musician who has recorded with most of the leading stalwarts of the Indian film industry, Rakesh has also performed solo at major events within India and abroad, and performed internationally in classical and semi-classical concerts in Japan, Australia, Europe, South Africa and the USA, and in festivals such as WOMAD in Athens, Festival of India in Japan, Russia, Europe and the USA, Festival of Saint-Denis in Paris and Leicester International Music Festival in England. He was invited to conclude BBC Radio’s 24-hour live music broadcast celebrating Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth’s Silver Jubilee.

5am | 22 Nov

Mangal Dhwani by Sanjeev Shankar & Ashwani Shankar

Accompanist: Anand Shankar (Tabla)
Premieres 22 Nov 2020, Sun, 5am

The period between 430am to 6am is believed to be an auspicious time of day, when heavenly beings are said to grace the earth – Brahmamuhurtham. As such, it is a good time for meditation and spiritual practices, when poojas (prayers) can take place.

As the night transitions from deep slumber to the breaking of dawn, awaken to the auspicious sounds (mangal dhwani) of the shehnai whose musical scales induce positive vibrations and energy for the day ahead.

The shehnai is a woodwind instrument with a double reed at one end and a metal or wooden flared bell at the other. Distinguished by its nasal, melancholic sound, the shehnai is both a folk and classical instrument, played at weddings, temples and concerts alike.

Sanjeev Shankar & Ashwani Shankar (India)

Trained by their shehnai maestro father and grandfather, Pt. Daya Shankar and the late Pt. Anant Lala, in the Banaras gharana style of playing, brothers Sanjeev and Ashwani are exceptional instrumentalists in the gayaki ang (using instruments to mimic human vocals) style. The duo has won awards and performed at various music festivals and recitals.

7.30am | 23 Nov

Pratah Sangeet by Anupama Bhagwat

Accompanist: Rahul Pophali (Tabla)
Premieres 23 Nov 2020, Mon, 7.30am

Sunrise heralds a new day, awakening nature and mankind to renew the promise of life.

Pratah sangeet – literally “dawn music” – is thus inspiring and rejuvenating. Get an early morning spiritual uplift as Anupama Bhagwat evokes sunrise melodies on the sitar.

Commonly used in Hindustani classical music, the sitar is a traditional Indian plucked instrument with 18 strings, a long neck, and a gourd resonating chamber.

Anupama Bhagwat (India)

Renowned sitar musician, Surmani Anupama Bhagwat, disciple of Acharya Pandit Bimalendu Mukherjee, has carved a niche with her versatile and eclectic style – her sensitivity and erudition taking her to the highest echelons of the modern genre. She has performed internationally since 1995, at prestigious festivals and conservatories, notably SouthBank Center (London, UK), Ali Akbar Khan School of Music (Basel, Switzerland), Musée Guimet (Paris), Dover Lane Music Conference (Kolkata). A master in the Imdadkhani style, Anupama exhibits great finesse in her gayaki-style performances, bringing out the lyrical beauty and emotive cadences of the sitar.

Rahul Pophali, a disciple of Pandit Nishikant Barodekar, is a leading tabla exponent and teacher of the Punjab Gharana, with several global performances over two decades. Besides classical tabla, he also collaborates in jazz, flamenco, and other world music genres.

11am | 24 Nov

Swara Prabhath by Manish Pingle

Accompanist: Tanay Rege (Tabla)
Premieres 24 Nov 2020, Tue, 11am

Morning is a time of peak human activity, when the brilliance of the sun fills us with vitality and life.

Welcome the reign of the sun and celebrate its cosmic energy with invigorating swara prabath or morning musical notes, performed by Manish Pingle on the mohan veena.

The mohan veena is a highly modified arch top guitar. It features an additional 12 sympathetic strings (taraf) underneath the main melody strings, to make its sound suitable for Indian classical music.

Manish Pingle (India)

Trained in Indian slide guitar by the late Vishnu Walivadekar, and a senior disciple of legendary sitar player, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Manish is one of the few top Indian slide guitarists in India. He has performed extensively in India, as well as across Europe, Middle East, Southeast Asia and Australia. Manish has won accolades performing Indian classical music concerts and also collaborated with international maestros like saxophonist George Brooks, blues musician Michael Messer, French composer Hector Zazou, and African kora player Lamine Cissokho.

Manish’s album CALL OF THE BLUES with Michael Messer topped the Transglobal world music chart for three consecutive months and iTunes UK for two consecutive months. Manish has been awarded the title Surmani by Surshringar Samsad Mumbai and the Music Excellence award by Camroon Creations Goa. He has also received an exclusive honour from the World Book of Records, London, for his matchless contribution to the Indian classical music. Manish is a qualified sound engineer who has worked on films like Life of Pi, Eat, Pray Love and Basmati Blues, and the TV series Satyamev Jayate.

1.30pm | 25 Nov

Triprahar Raga by Sangeet Mishra

Accompanist: Dhaivat Mehta (Tabla)
Premieres on 25 Nov 2020, Wed, 1.30pm

The first half of the afternoon is typically a peak period in the daily routine of work and chores, and the midday triprahar (third part of the day) raga (scale) is a busy raga that captures the period’s liveliness.

Evoking the bustle of early afternoon, Sangeet Mishra rouses audiences with a vivid sarangi performance of the triprahar raga.

The sarangi is a short-necked string instrument that is played with a bow. Used in hindustani classical music, its sound is said to resemble that of the human voice – particularly with ornamentation techniques such as gamaks (shakes) and meends (sliding movements).

Sangeet Mishra (India)

Sangeet Mishra, of the Banaras gharana school of music, is an 8th generation sarangi player. His first guru was his paternal grandfather, the late maestro, Pt. Narayan Das Mishra, from whom he learnt vocals. He learned sarangi from his paternal grandfather, renowned sarangi player late Pt. Bhagwan Das Mishra, and his father, the world-renowned sarangi maestro, the late Pt. Santosh Kumar Mishra. A versatile and sought-after performer, he is known for his solo recitals, accompaniment playing and international collaborations with musicians from different genres.

4pm | 26 Nov

Sangeet Sayamkaal by Dhananjay & Ninad Daithankar

Accompanist: Sameer Puntambekar (Tabla)
Premieres on 26 Nov 2020, Thu, 4pm

As afternoon cedes to evening, the vigour of the day starts to wane as things slow down.

Unwind with the contemplative melodies of sangeet sayamkaal – music of the evening – which, played on the shimmering santoor, lead us gradually from bustle to calm as the sun begins to set.

The Indian santoor is a trapezoid-shaped hammered dulcimer or zither, similar to the Chinese yang qin, and a variation of the Iranian santur, traditionally played in Sufi devotional music. Carved from walnut or maple, the santoor has 100 metal strings which produce a soft waterfall of metallic sounds when struck in quick succession.

Dhananjay & Ninad Daithankar (India)

Renowned santoor player Dr. Dhananjay Daithankar is a disciple of maestro Pt. Shivkumar Sharma. He first learnt santoor from Pt. Ratanlal Tikoo. He has won numerous awards including Pune ki Aasha, Surmani, the Dattopant Deshpande award at the Sawai Gandharva Festival, Prabha Atre Purskar and many more. He has performed extensively in India and abroad, composed music, and released many albums.

Ninad has been learning santoor from his father and guru Dr. Dhananjay Daithankar for the last 12 years, and has performed in various music festivals in India and also performed with his father in the Canada tour. He is a Citi-NCPA young musician scholarship holder and has received many prestigious awards like Ajay Bakshi Smriti Puraskar at the hands of Taalyogi Pt. Suresh Talwalkar, and the young musician award from Ganvardhan.

6pm | 27 Nov

Sur Sandhya by Debasmita Bhattacharya

Accompanist: Ashok Mukherjee (Tabla)
Premieres on 27 Nov 2020, Fri, 6pm

As dusk falls and the last glint of sunlight vanishes from the horizon, the day’s burdens are shed and thoughts turn inward.

The raga sur sandhya—late evening musical notes—typically reflects the reverie and romance of the twilight period between dusk and nightfall. As Debasmita Bhattacharya’s sarod sings, its fluid melodiousness and metallic reverberations evoke dreamy musings.

Used mainly in hindustani music, the sarod or sarode is a stringed, fretless instrument with a body made of teak and skin, and a long metal fingerboard used to produce the continuous slides between notes known as meend (glissandi).

Debasmita Bhattacharya (India)

From West Bengal, India, Debasmita is one of India’s finest young sarod players, representing the rich musical tradition of the Senia Shahjahanpur gharana. She learnt the sarod from her father and guru, sarod maestro Pandit Debasish Bhattacharya and the late Padma Bhushan Pandit Buddhadev Dasgupta of the Senia Shahjahanpur gharana, and at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy (Kolkata). Debasmita has performed at numerous music festivals all over the world including Darbar Festival (London), Ravenna Festival (Italy), Desiyup (Amsterdam), Chaiti Music Festival (China) and Sawai Gandharv (India) to name a few. Debasmita has received many prestigious awards and collaborated with musicians from diverse cultural backgrounds.

11pm | 28 Nov

Ratra Ragini by Arshad Ali Khan

Accompanists: Pinaki Chakrabarty (Tabla) & Tathagata Mishra (Harmonium)
Premieres on 28 Nov 2020, Sat, 11pm

Night is typically a time of stillness and sleep, a time when human activity abates, and the mind and body come to rest.

Be lulled into a state of contemplation, calm and repose as Arshad Ali Khan sings ratra (night) ragini (a derivative melody related to a raga), eloquently expressing a myriad of emotions from tenderness to gratitude for the day.

Hindustani classical music is highly focused on vocal performance. The major vocal forms or styles associated with hindustani classical music are dhrupad, khyal, and tarana.

Arshad Ali Khan (India)

From his grandfather who was a sarangi maestro, the late Padmashree Ustad Shakur Khan, and his maternal uncles and gurus Ustad Mashkoor Ali Khan and Ustad Murbarak Ali Khan, Arshad Ali Khan was extensively trained in the Kirana gharana. He entered ITC Sangeet research academy when he was only six and was invited to perform at the prestigious Sawai Gandharva Festival at the age of nine. Guided by the late Pt. Bhimsen Joshi, Arshad has established himself as a promising talent among the next generation of hindustani vocalists.

Experience the diversity

Kalaa Utsavam – Indian Festival of Arts

Immerse yourself in Indian arts and culture during the festive period of Deepavali, with Esplanade's annual Indian festival of arts.

20 – 29 Nov 2020
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