Raag Poorvi | Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar | Sunset | Darbar VR 360

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#darbarfestival #VR360 | “Charming and beautiful, scantily dressed, lotus-eyed Puravi appears at the end of the day. Idle and sleepy, she suffers from the pangs of separation and dreams only of her lover”
► 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 www.darbar.org/video360

Born in Sangli to a family of Maharashtra musicians, Manjiri started learning vocal music aged six, first under M.T. Mhaiskar and M.S. Kanetkar and later with Padma Talwalkar and the legendary Kishori Amonkar. She excelled academically too, turning down a place at Engineering school and eventually receiving an English Literature degree as well as a classical music scholarship from her time at university.

She considered pursuing a career as a kathak dancer (“music and dance at the end of the day are similar...though the language changes”), winning numerous state competitions in her youth. But in her words, “pursuing dance after marriage and children is always a big uncertainty in our society. So, I dropped dance, and stuck to music”.

Her vocal approach is passionate but methodical, as is typical for her Jaipur-Atrauli gharana, and imbued with rhythmic strength, influenced by her dance training and by growing up around a tabla-playing father and grandfather. She seeks to innovate within traditional forms, saying that “it's important to surrender to what you're doing, and understand, reinvent yourself with the grammar; there's an entire world that one could explore in a raag”. Today she goes from strength to strength, exploring rare ragas alongside the old classics. Learn more at:

"Within a month of starting lessons [with MS Kanetkar] I was totally lost...One day, I broke down before him. He said that my learning would now begin, since I realised that I knew nothing. He was right. After that, my music sorted itself out quite fast." (Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar)

Poorvi is a sunset raga, which to many listeners evokes a serious, mystical mood. It originated in Eastern India, evolving from Raag Purvagauda by around the 16th century. It is the fundamental raag of Poorvi thaat [base scale], but is is somewhat rare today, with the structurally similar Raag Puriya Dhanashree often being preferred.

Poorvi differs from Puriya Dhanashree principally in that it can take both a shuddha and a tivra [natural and raised] Ma. It takes the swaras SrGmPdNS, forming an angular shape which mixes wide and narrow tonal intervals. Ga and Ni are respectively the vadi and samvadi [king and queen notes], and Sa and Pa are often avoided in ascending lines, giving the scale a characteristic vacancy.

Recorded by Darbar in 2019, on location in West India:
-Manjiri Asanare-Kelkar (khayal vocal)

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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