Project with Kiranavali Vidyasankar: Tradition – An Evolving Continuum

I’m looking forward to participating in a new project spearheaded by Carnatic vocalist Kiranavali Vidyasankar. Her new project, Tradition – An Evolving Continuum was funded by the Pew Center for Arts & Heritage and is the first music grant they have ever awarded. The project will culminate in a concert on November 7th, 2015 in Philadelphia.

kiranavali

From the official website of the project, Carnatic Tradition:

This project will result in a two-part performance with the first part featuring a Vocal concert of Kiranavali accompanied by V V S Murari (Violin), Vinod Seetharaman (Mridangam), Ravi Balasubramaniam (Ghatam) and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (Kanjira). The second part of the performance will the feature the newly-formed ensemble.

Besides conceptualizing this project and composing music for the new ensemble, Kiranavali will lead it as the Vocalist and Chitravina artist. Accomplished Mridangam player Vinod Seetharaman will collaborate with Kiranavali in arranging the percussion section of the new compositions. Six guest artists from different parts of the United States complete the ensemble: V V S Murari (Violin), Nirmala Rajasekar (Vina), N Muralikrishnan (Electronic keyboard), Prasant Radhakrishnan (Saxophone), Ravi Balasubramaniam (Ghatam) and Akshay Anantapadmanabhan (Rhythmic solfage and Kanjira).

As part of the project, each artist gave an interview and spoke briefly about their instrument in the realm of Carnatic music. Below are some videos on the saxophone from my interview. What is said here is really just a taste, perhaps to inspire further inspiration or interest. I also wrote a brief article on the subject here. Please check the website regularly to see all the other artists, their interviews as well as their articles.

Ethnic Dance Festival with Charlotte Moraga June 29th and 30th, 2013

I’m looking forward to performing with an outstanding Kathak dancer, Charlotte Moraga this weekend at the Ethnic Dance Festival in San Francisco. We are doing a piece called “Conference in Nine” based on poetry by Rumi. Musically, the piece was a collaboration from all of us and  based on one of my earlier compositions, “DSH” in Shanmugapriya. Charlotte is in great form so definitely make sure to come see this!

charlotte_morage

Musicans are: Ben Kunin: Sarod, Samrat Kakkeri: Tabla and myself on alto saxophone.

Bodhidharma Ensemble at Berkeley Redwood Grove June 20th, 2013

The premier of Prasant's original work Bodhidharma Ensemble, May 2013. Wang Fei - Guqin, Jim Santi Owen - Tabla.

The premier of Prasant’s original work Bodhidharma Ensemble, May 2013. Wang Fei – Guqin, Jim Santi Owen – Tabla.

Double header with Gautam Tejas Ganeshan.

Featuring Wang Fei – Guqin, Sankar Narayan – Mridangam and Prasant Radhakrishnan – saxophone.

Thursday Early Evening
June 20th, 5:30pm at the
UC Botanical Garden

Info for the concert.

More about Bodhidharma Ensemble.

Bodhidharma Ensemble is funded, set to premiere May 4th!

First of all, thank you for your amazing support!

Thanks to a successful kickstarter campaign, and funding from the East Bay Fund for Artists and National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), Bodhidharma Ensemble (BE) will premiere at Oakland Asian Cultural Center on May 4, 2013. We are honored to have received both the generosity from listeners as well as acknowledged by these eminent funding organizations.

Here is a quick intro to what the project is about from our Kickstarter page.

Working on this project continues to be an inspiring journey, taking this music in a very different but somehow completely natural direction. BE combines South Indian and Chinese classical music with saxophone, guqin and mridangam through original and traditional compositions. The cultural, musical and spiritual ethos around this project is immense and profound. To share a few glimpses of this, there will be posts about these various aspects on this blog and on OACC’s website leading up to the performance. Please check back here often to find out more.

Bodhidharma is known as an enlightened master. His reputation is both legendary and mysterious, with most accounts of him being anecdotal and some falling into tall-tale territory. However, contemplation on Bodhidharma, on what he represents and to where his teachings point reveals a vast, unknowable space. We hope to find inspiration for this new music from those depths and see what is revealed.

Bodhidharma

Exclusive Artist Preview and Donor Reception at OACC 11/8

I’m excited to invite you to the first artist preview of my new project combining Indian and Chinese classical music, Bodhidharma Ensemble. It will be held at Oakland Asian Cultural Center tomorrow, November 8th.

We will be presenting two brief pieces as an extremely early taste of some of the sounds you will hear in the final project. It will be myself on saxophone and guqin master Wang Fei. The final project will also include mridangam.

If you are in the area, please come out and enjoy some free food and learn more about the project! I will be posting more about what the project is all about and the concepts behind it, but in the meantime, check out the kickstarter page here: http://kck.st/Os7Gso

We cordially invite you to attend a special Artist Preview

& Reception

The Bodhidharma Ensemble:

A Chinese & Indian Music Collaboration

Please join us in attending this very special artist preview & reception of the oakland asian cultural center’s world premiere of the bodhidharma ensemble led by master artist, prasant radhakrishnan

thursday, November 8, 2012

5:30pm – 7:30pm

oakland asian cultural center
388 ninth street, suite 290
2nd fl, pacific renaissance plaza
oakland, ca

r.s.v.p to
gshears@oacc.cc or call 510.637.0464

A review of our SMU concert

Photo of Prasant performing a Carnatic concert

Prasant performing with Patri Satish Kumar and Thripunithura Radhakrishnan in 2009. Photo courtesy SMU.

Just got this link in my e-mail. Thanks to this student at SMU who wrote a brief article about our performance at SMU back in September featuring Patri Satish Kumar and Thiripunithura N. Radhakrishnan. It’s nice to see a perspective of how the music made her feel rather than a song list and technical breakdown of ragas/talas etc. I was moved. A little excerpt:

The first song starts with Radhakrishnan on the saxophone, and it draws me in. I can feel all tension in the air start to melt away, leaving a sense of raw, unadulterated discovery hanging overhead. The man to the left of me closes his eyes, hums softly, and becomes enveloped in the music. As the percussionists enter the song, Radhakrishnan plays as if in a trance. He and his instrument are one and we as the audience witness a conversation between man and music. It is just extraordinary! There is really no way with words to describe the kind of communication between Radhakrishnan and the notes he is playing around him, or the way that it makes me feel.

The whole thing is at http://www.smu.edu/Meadows/NewsAndEvents/2009/090930-WorldMusic.aspx#

Jazz at Intersection presents VidyA at the De Young Museum

This will be a special performance featuring a new commissioned composition on a piece in the De Young museum. I sincerely hope you can join us. Admission is free.

 

VidyA – Friday Nights at the de Young presents Jazz at Intersection

 

Fri, Sep 11 | 6:30pm – 8:30pm | FREE

 

With an almost telepathic interplay, VidyA merges the virtuosity of Jazz with the melodic and rhythmic nuance of South Indian classical (Carnatic) music.

 

Prasant Radhakrishnan – saxophone; Sameer Gupta – drums; and special guest Eric Vogler – bass

 

“Imagine ragas and American blues folded into a single moment.” – San Francisco Chronicle

 

“…when these patterns are played on saxophone, violin, string bass, and jazz drums, there is a build-up of emotional energy and intellectual complexity which seems to recreate the energy that was present at the birth of bebop in 1940s New York. In fact, if Charlie Parker or Dizzie Gillespie had heard VidyA at that time, I think it would have never have occurred to them that VidyA’s music was Indian. They would simply have wondered where these cats had found a sound that was so mercilessly free of the standard melodic and rhythmic clichés.” -Teed Rockwell, India Currents

 

http://www.vidyamusic.com

 

de Young – Inside Wilsey Court
Golden Gate Park, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive
San Francisco, CA 94118

 

More Information here.

 

(415) 626-2787 x.109