An evening with Amit Chaudhuri: Concert and Conversation
Working between and across art forms, Chaudhuri has come to believe that the raga in North Indian classical music is primarily a reshaping of what Marcel Duchamp called ‘found material’. That is, tunes and melodies aren’t set to ragas; instead, ragas are a slowing down of, and minute investigation into, particular tunes and melodies, with their characteristic clusters of notes and progressions.
In this performance and talk, Chaudhuri will conduct a playful transnational experiment: taking a well-worn melody from the Western classical tradition – the main uplifting section of ‘O Sole Mio’ – he will investigate its interrelationship of notes so as to transform it into a raga. The raga that will emerge is not set to the tune of ‘O Sole Mio’; it will slow the tune down and explore the interrelationship of notes that are found hidden within it. He will also look at the idea of the ‘jod’ or ‘hybrid’ raga through another new raga he created in 2022, called Rammmohan.
The performance will begin with a discussion on the raga as a specific form of thought, and on the khayal in North Indian classical music, as we know it today, as a 20th-century modernist form.
He will be accompanied by Ashok Shinde on the tabla and Vinay Dalavi on the harmonium.
Amit Chaudhuri, one of the most highly regarded novelists writing today, has in the words of Hilary Mantel, ‘perfected, like Proust, the art of the moment.’ He is an acclaimed singer in the North Indian classical tradition: ‘a truly wonderful singer, without any qualification such as “considering his distinction as a writer” (Vikram Seth). Rolling Stone India called him ‘one of the most original composers in the country’.
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