The Best Indian Music VR360 Video | Raag Kirwani | Purbayan Chatterjee & Shashank Subramanyam

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#darbarfestival #VR360 | Kirwani’s Carnatic origins make it a popular choice for North-South jugalbandi (duets), providing musicians from both cultures with fertile shared ground
► Welcome to the Darbar VR 360 Festival. We’ve released around 50 immersive VR videos showcasing some of India’s finest artists performing in breathtaking natural landscapes, spanning Hindustani, Carnatic, Dhrupad, and percussion.

For the best experience use a VR headset with headphones. Experience being the sole ‘audience member’ right next to the musicians for your own private raga performance, enjoying the music amidst India’s natural world. For more info, including the full program, see

Purbayan Chatterjee’s accomplished sitar playing is rooted in the Senia Maihar gharana’s blend of Dhrupad and khayal. His style was shaped by his father Pandit Parthapratim Chatterjee, as well as taking great inspiration from the ideas of Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. As a classical artist he has performed with Ustad Zakir Hussain and other leading musicians

He is known for fusion work too, collaborating widely and reworking rock, pop, and jazz classics for the sitar, and has innovated elsewhere, inventing a smaller, more portable sitar that can be played while sitting on a chair rather than the floor. Purbayan continues to develop his classical expertise, while constantly searching for new musical horizons too.

Shashank Subramanyam was born to a biochemist father in the extraordinarily musical village of Rudrapatna, in Karnataka, and started learning early in life - some say he could recognise all 72 Melakarta scales by the age of two-and-a-half. His first musical immersions came with singing and violin, but he fell in love with the venu bamboo flute as soon as he picked it up, focusing on it from that point onwards.

Initially he taught himself, but soon entered the gurukul as a student of legendary Carnatic flute maestro T.R. Mahalingam. His guru insisted that he should continue his vocal training, and avoid listening to other top masters of the day in order to develop his own style. The approach worked, and his tireless study led to the creation of new forms of gamaka (singing ornament) and breathing techniques.

He has incorporated overblowing textures and novel hand positions, and immersed himself into the grammar of Hindustani music too, frequently collaborating with artists from the North, including a jugalbandi with sitarist Pandit Kushal Das for Darbar in 2017. Over the past decade he has worked with artists including Paco de Lucia, Terry Riley, and Remember Shakti, and is today recognised as among the finest bamboo flute exponents to have ever lived.

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Kirwani is an unusually ‘open’ raga, allowing for near-free use of all seven notes SRgmPdN in both ascent and descent. There are no commonly-accepted vadi and samvadi (king and queen notes), but Re, ga, Pa and dha are often given particular importance. Flavours can be added from other ragas, including Pilu, Darbari, and Jaunpuri, although the inherent tensions of Kirwani’s swara set mean that it always retains its distinctive essence.

Its Carnatic origins, as Raga Keervani, make it a popular choice for North-South jugalbandi (duets), providing musicians from both cultures a rich expanse of shared melodic territory. Kirwani also brings a familiar flavour to Western listeners - its scale shape is identical to the Harmonic Minor, wildly popular in European classical music, jazz, and many other widely-heard genres.

Recorded by Darbar in 2019, on location in West India:
-Shashank Subramanyam (venu)
-Purbayan Chatterjee (sitar)

Technical team credit:
-Jagdeep Shah (DOP)
-Sandeep Virdee (location sound)
-Nirmal Singh (360 editor)
-Christoph Bracher (ambisonic sound dubbing)
-Special thanks to Sherna Chatterjee & Mortimer Chatterjee

Darbar believes in the power of Indian classical arts to stir, thrill and inspire. Through shared experiences and digital connectivity we ensure that one of the world’s finest art forms reaches the widest possible audience. Founded in 2006, we deliver premium quality live events, music education, broadcasts and online engagement through promoting artistic innovation and creative technology. We are also committed to providing a platform for new talent from India and the UK.

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