Moderator: Tejaswini Niranjana
Guest Performers: Omkar Havaldar (singer), Rutuja Lad (singer), Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy (singer), Zhang Yi (Pipa player)
Presented by West Heavens
Supported by Moonchu Foundation and Kwan Fong Cultural Research and Development Programme (Lingnan University, Hong Kong)
This unusual concert features three singers from India, a pipa player from China, and three kunqu performers. The singers will demonstrate the main genres of Hindustani classical music and perform compositions in different ragas or melodic forms. The pipa player will engage in a musical jugalbandi or dialogue with the singers, invoking strains of Indian music through the Chinese instrument. The Indian singers and kunqu artistes will perform kunqu music in Indian melodic style and Indian songs in kunqu style.
Saath-Saath means to do things together.
The singers are Omkar Havaldar, Rutuja Lad, and Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy. The pipa player is Zen (Zhang Yi). The kunqu performers are actor An Li, percussionist Feng Lin, and flautist Yin Qian.
TEJASWINI NIRANJANA is Professor and Head of the Department of Cultural Studies at Lingnan University, Hong Kong. She has an MA in English and Aesthetics (1981) from the University of Bombay, an MPhil in Linguistics (1982) from the University of Pune, and a PhD (1988) from the University of California at Los Angeles. She taught for ten years in the English Department of the University of Hyderabad before moving to Bangalore to help set up the Centre for the Study of Culture and Society (CSCS) in 1998 which until 2014 offered an innovative PhD in Cultural Studies, the first of its kind in India. For her research work, Tejaswini has been awarded the Homi Bhabha Fellowship, the Sephis Fellowship, the Prince Claus Fund award (twice), the Rockefeller Fellowship, and the Sawyer Fellowship. Her publications include Mobilizing India: Women, Music and Migration between India and Trinidad (Durham, 2006) and Siting Translation: History, Post-structuralism and the Colonial Context (Berkeley, 1992). She has co-edited Interrogating Modernity: Culture and Colonialism in India (Kolkata, 1993) and Genealogies of the Asian Present: Situating Inter-Asia Cultural Studies (Delhi, 2015). She has co-produced, with Surabhi Sharma, the films Jahaji Music: India in the Caribbean, and Phir se Samm pe Aana (Returning to the first beat), a new documentary on Hindustani music in Mumbai. In 2015, she curated an exhibition in Mumbai titled Making Music-Making Space. At the 11th Shanghai Biennale, she and Surabhi Sharma showed a video installation titled Riyaaz (Practice).
Omkarnath Havaldar was born into a family of musicians, and was initiated into Hindustani classical music by his father Dr. Nagarajrao Havaldar, a well-known Hindustani classical vocalist. He was trained under masters like Pandit Madhava Gudi of Kirana Gharana and Pandit Panchakshari Swami Mattigatti of Jaipur-Atrauli Gharana, and is fortunate to inherit the finest nuances of both the Gharanas. He is now pursuing his training in Dhrupad and Khayal from Pandit Indudhar Nirody. He is a graduate in Psychology from Bangalore University and completed his master’s degree in music from KSGH University of Music and Performing Arts, Mysore. He is a recipient of the Kishora Pratibha Puraskar instituted by the Kannada & Culture department, Government of Karnataka (2000), and has performed at Yale University and the Chicago Center of Music. He also taught underprivileged children at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in 2009. He is also on the elite panel of Artists at the Department of Kannada & Culture Govt. of Karnataka since 2000 and an approved graded artist for All India Radio and national television. QPTV New York has recorded his music and he does regular telecasts in the US.
Rutuja Lad was initiated into music by her parents Tanuja Lad and Umesh Lad right from the age of 5 years. Later She started learning from Gaanyogini Dhondutai Kulkarni, a torch bearer of Jaipur Atrauli Gharana and was under her tutelage until she passed away in 2014. She also learns harmonium from Shri Sudhir Nayak, and is now studying under the able guidance of Dr. Ashwini Bhide Deshpande. She has won several prizes in the intercollegiate state level classical and semi classical music competitions, and has also participated in the music reality show Marathi Idea SRGMP (Season 7) and reached till the top 6 level. She has performed at prestigious events organized by the Dadar Matunga Cultural Centre, Bhavans Cultural Centre, Hridayesh Arts, INT Aditya Birla Centre of Performing Arts, Suburban Music Circle, Gaanyogini Mahotsav, etc. She has completed her M.A in music and stood first in S.N.D.T University music department. She is presently a visiting faculty member of the Post- Graduate Music department of S.N.D.T University.
Bindhu Malini Narayanaswamy is a singer trained in both Carnatic and Hindustani music, and hails from a family of musicians. She was a disciple of Padma Bhushan Ustad Abdul Rashid Khan, who lived in Kolkata and was the oldest exponent of the Gwalior Gharana. She has composed and sung for jingles and films in Hindi, Kannada, and Tamil. Since 2014, Bindhu has also been part of a musical narrative on Hazrat Amir Khusrau. She and her sisters Jaya and Archana perform 'Akatha Kahani' a creative work that integrates song, dance, and storytelling to share their journeys in discovering Kabir. In 2011, Bindhu headed a British Council-supported Connecting Classrooms project. Called International Voices, this project was a run up to the 2012 London Olympics and featured 60 children, including 13 from the School of Blind, in a grand musical show. Bindhu has also been involved in theatre, as an actor and also as a music director. She currently lives in Bengaluru with her husband Vasu Dixit, lead singer and songwriter of the folk rock fusion band Swarathma.