Bengaluru music fest 'Conversations with Traditions' celebrates Indian music, gives tribute to Sant Kabir

The one-day festival featured musicians like Aishwarya Raghunath, Priya Purushothaman, and Prahlad Tipaniya

Alwin Benjamin Soji Published :  10th March 2023 08:15 PM   |   Published :   |  10th March 2023 08:15 PM
Priya Purushothaman

Priya Purushothaman

RV University's Centre for Performing and Visual Arts recently held Conversations with Traditions – a music festival celebrating the various traditions of Indian music. The event featured renowned Hindustani vocalist Priya Purushotthaman along with well-known carnatic vocalist Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath, who presented a jugalbandhi. The evening also witnessed a performance by Indian folk singer Prahalad Tipaniya, who, along with his troop, presented bhajans in Malwi folk style. The bhajan performance was a tribute to poet Kabir Das. We spoke to Priya Purushothaman, who let us in about her performance, her experience working with Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath, her upcoming projects and more. 

Can you tell us a bit more about your performance?
My performance Meeting Rivers showcased the two classical music traditions of India, Hindustani and carnatic music. It aimed to present the areas of overlap and divergence of these two styles, that are rooted in common melodic and rhythmic principles. 

What was the idea behind naming the performance Meeting Rivers?
The idea behind the name is rooted in the fact that these two styles of music are like parallel river streams. They both are made of the same components but are different in the paths in which they flow and move. 

Priya Purushothaman

Tell us about your collaboration with Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath.
I was delighted to be collaborating with Aishwarya, who is a wonderful and dynamic carnatic vocalist. It was a pleasure working with her, experimenting musically, and exploring different territories in our respective styles from new perspectives. 

How did your journey in music begin?
I began learning music when I was five years old, learning bhajans from my grandmother. This soon led to my formal training in carnatic music for 15 years, after which I switched to the Hindustani style, which I have been singing since the last 20 years. 

If you had to choose one, which would be your most memorable performance till date?
I am always touched to perform before audiences in schools or children, because their engagement with this genre of music is always very honest and inquisitive. 

Aishwarya Vidya Raghunath

You are also a writer. Tell us about your book Living Music: Conversations with Pandit Dinkar Kaikini. 
I had the privilege of spending extended periods of time with my dada-Guru, Pandit Dinkar Kaikini. During this time, we spoke in detail about his philosophy on sound and music, his thoughts on the creative process, and his approach to pedagogy. These discussions inspired me to write this book, where I have documented many of these thoughts. 

What are your future projects?
I am honoured to be performing in my guru’s memory in Mumbai on March 11 as part of the Dinarang Smriti Festival.

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