Raag Madhuvanti - ‘Honey’ | Late Afternoon | Kaushiki Chakraborty | Darbar VR360

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#darbarfestival | “By the time I was five my singing made sense...such was my addiction that it was beyond my grandparents to tame and make me sit with books”
► Welcome to the Darbar VR360 Festival. We’ve released over 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

Kaushiki Chakraborty’s astonishing khayal vocal technique is the result of years of intense training. She spent much of her childhood living at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy, one of India’s premiere music institutions, while her esteemed father Pandit Ajoy Chakraborty worked there as a khayal scholar.

Staff at the academy are said to recall how she would respond to melodic phrases at six months old, and how she was singing tarana and bhajan before the age of two. In Kaushiki’s words, “by the time I was five my singing made sense...such was my addiction that it was beyond my grandparents to tame and make me sit with books”. Quickly hailed as a prodigy, she entered the concert arena early to great acclaim, performing widely while also earning a Masters in Philosophy from Jadavpur University.

Her Patiala gharana is known for a strong Islamic influence and elaborate melodic ornamentation. She is one of the first female Patiala singers to receive international recognition - chiefly gained through her Hindustani classical performances, but also through work in film and popular music. She also leads Sakhi, a diverse group of female artists, explaining that the project “is about understanding, from a female perspective, the diverse culture of India through all its traditional musical forms.”

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"One has to mentally align oneself to the form...My training has taught me two approaches to music – to do music and or to become it. The latter gives you the fluidity to transcend form and become one with it." (Kaushiki Chakraborty)

Madhuvanti is a lilting, romantic raga, often played at medium to fast tempos. It is traditionally associated with sringar (romantic love), and to many the raga evokes a sweet sound (‘madhu’ translates literally to ‘honey’). Formerly known as Raag Ambika, it has been widely borrowed into Carnatic music in recent times, and is also widely popular in classical and film music.

It uses Todi thaat, ascending with the swaras SgMPNS and descending with SNDPMgRS. Pa and Sa are the vadi and samvadi [king and queen notes]. Raag Multani (performed twice at our VR 360 Festival, by Manjusha Patil and Ayan Sengupta) is thought to be Madhuvanti’s main ancestor raga, produced by substituting Re and Dha for their komal (flattened) variants.

Recorded by Darbar in March 2019, on location in West India:
-Kaushiki Chakraborty (khayal vocal)

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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