#darbarfestival | Rakesh Chaurasia plays a rare raga, Prabhateshwari, created by his uncle and guru Hariprasad. It is said to blend the early morning Ahir Bhairav with the late night Bageshri.
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Rakesh Chaurasia is an innovative modern bansuri exponent. His style follows in the footsteps of his illustrious guru and uncle Hariprasad, but he has found his own territory too – recent collaborations have included jazz, flamenco, and Bollywood. He credits Hariprasad’s open-minded philosophy with encouraging him to explore new sounds, and still finds limitless inspiration in his uncle’s teaching (“I pray to God that I should be reborn to such a guru!”).
His sound is informed by a detailed study of vocal technique, and he also takes a deep interest in the spiritual and therapeutic aspects of music (“while performing…I feel as if I am praying in a temple”). He looks directly to nature too, having released an album which imitates the sounds of wind through nine different melodies. But despite an eclectic repertoire, Rakesh remains rooted around a detailed classical core. When asked whether classical music still held cultural importance in India, he replied: “that’s like asking if the sun is still important. Classical music is the foundation of all other kinds of music”. He has worked fruitfully with Zakir Hussain, and continues to delve further into each tradition he turns his ears to. Listen to more of Rakesh here:
-Universal Notes |
“I can remember a concert in Nagpur where towards the end we had no electricity – but I didn’t realise it because I was very engrossed in my playing” (Rakesh Chaurasia)
Prabhateshwari is a rarely-heard modern raga created by bansuri maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia, which appears to mix the early morning Ahir Bhairav with the late night Bageshri. His student Rajendra Teredesai describes it as follows “It has all the hues of a beautiful, complex yet spiritually uplifting morning melody with a heart rending emotive reach. The raga is full of pathos & bhakti ras, transporting the listener to a state of perpetual divine bliss.”
Recorded at Darbar Festival on 4 April 2018, at Leicester’s Phoenix Arts:
-Rakesh Chaurasia (bansuri)
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