Sanyog, led by violinist Apoorva Krishna, fuses Indian Classical with Iranian music and Polish jazz
One could say that Apoorva Krishna is a natural talent if they believe in magic (or astrology). Born in the USA on a leap day in the 1990s, this young violinist has adorned the role of a Carnatic Classical performer and composer since an early age. She’s come a long way since releasing her debut album named Apoorva Thillanas in 2017.
Among the great feathers in her cap is a collaboration with famed singer Shankar Mahadevan for an original composition named Ragamaya. Others include bagging accolades such as M S Subbulakshmi Fellowship in Music and All India Radio Bengaluru’s ‘A’ Grade Artiste Ranking in Carnatic Violin.
Since 2017, she has been expanding her awareness of music with a Masters in Contemporary Performance from Berklee College of Music in Spain and a Post Masters Fellowship at the Berklee Global Jazz Institute, USA.
With her international education opening up new avenues, Apoorva has shifted her focus to the realm of fusion music including collaborations with artistes like Grammy-nominee William Cepeda and performances in places like Madrid and Warsaw.
We speak to her as she’s headed to India with a performance named Sanyog, which is a confluence of Indian Classical, Iranian and avant-garde jazz. The show features two international musicians, Hami Keivan on the piano and Jerzy Maczynski on the saxophone, alongside two other Indian percussionists namely Vinod Shyam and Sunaad Anoor.
Q. Can you tell us about your passion for collaborating with artistes playing other genres?
Apoorva Krishna: I realised that the raga (melody) and tala (rhythm) structures of Carnatic music allow complex permutations and combinations thereby offering a unique opportunity for collaborations with other music genres. I love working with various world music genres such as flamenco, jazz, Mediterranean, Western classical and Latin, to name a few.
Q. Do you like composing traditional music or do you prefer working on contemporary strains?
AK: I have composed pure classical works and also love creating pieces in the contemporary space of fusion music. Even in Indian Classical music, I like to perform with percussion accompaniments and have them introduce konnakols or participate in ‘sawaal-jawab’ kind of improvisations. When I make compositions incorporating other genres, I like to add harmonies and colours to Carnatic ragas and melodies.
Q. How did you encounter these artistes who are performing with you for Sanyog?
AK: I did duets with both Jerzy and Hami in Poland and Valencia respectively during the course of my stay in Europe. Both Vinod and Sunaad, the percussion artistes of Sanyog, were part of my Bahudari composition which won me the UK-based Tarisio Trust Young Artists Grants in 2017.
Q. Could you elaborate on the nine compositions that form Sanyog?
AK: All the compositions are originals aimed to project individual artistry and collective collaborative sound play. We anchor on a groove and then it’s followed by a set of passages coming from impromptu as well as rehearsed music. Our soundscapes will be a mix of melody, pathos, swing and fast-paced improvisations across various genres in a contemporary fusion style.
At Kerala Museum, Kochi
On October 12, from 7 pm.
At Bangalore International Centre, Bengaluru
On October 16, from 7 pm.
At NCPA, Mumbai.
Friday, 18th & Saturday 19th October from 7 pm.
Watch the music video of Ragamaya featuring Shankar Mahadevan here: