Asian Arts Agency’s Aashi Gahlot introduces Debasmita Bhattacharya and Gurdain Rayatt ahead of their much anticipated concert at St George’s in October.
WHO IS DEBASMITA BHATTACHARYA?
Rising star Debasmita Bhattacharya is an accomplished sarod player from Kolkata, West Bengal. At just six years of age, Debasmita had picked up the sarod inspired by her father, Debashish Bhattacharya, a prominent sarod player himself.
Debasmita Bhattacharya is a remarkable talent who is taking the Indian music scene by storm with her stunningly powerful performances.
WHAT IS THE SAROD AND WHAT IS RAGA?
Roughly translating as ‘melody’ or ‘beautiful sound’ in Persian, the sarod is an incredibly emotive stringed instrument. It is a prominent instrument used in Hindustani classical music alongside the sitar.
In the talented hands of Debasmita, you will be in for an exquisite evening of classical Indian ragas – a range of different melodies depicting different emotional states that the musician expertly conveys to the audience to experience.
What makes Debasmita’s journey all the more admirable is the societal challenge she has had to conquer. Being a woman, the sarod is traditionally prohibited and intended just for men. In Debasmita’s own words:
“It was really challenging for me to grab ‘Sarod’ as a classical instrument for my musical journey, as it is considered as a male dominated instrument…I accepted the challenge and every morning I try to prove myself by improving my playing.”
Debasmita adds, “Music has no boundaries and it is only for the human.”
Debasmita’s determination has won her a number of accolades including first prize in the “Sangeet Praveen competition” (2008), top prizes at the Doverlane Music Competition and the Rajya Sangeet Academy Competition (2013).
She was one of a hundred musicians selected for “Ethno Sweden” in 2015, Jeunesses Musicales International’s programme for folk, world and traditional music with the mission to revive and keep alive global cultural heritage amongst the youth. The musician has just made her European debut this June 2017 with “Darbar Festival”, an annual Indian classical music festival.
“Astonishing sarod” by Debasmita Bhattacharya; Darbar Festival, 2015:
Debasmita presents the beautiful night time Raga Durga at the ITC SRC Arpan Festival, 2016:
GURDAIN RAYATT, TABLA ACCOMPANIMENT
Gurdain Rayatt, one of the finest tabla players in the UK is set to accompany Debasmita. He began his tutelage at the age of three from his father Harkirat Rayatt, with guidance from his father’s guru and grandfather Bhai Gurmit Singh Virdee.
Gurdain Rayatt describes: “Why Tabla is Awesome” in this video filmed by Canvas:
Gurdain Rayatt plays “Dhir Dhir” at Darbar Festival, 2011:
Speaking of the tabla, Indian carvings at the Buddhist Bhaja Caves in Maharashtra show a woman playing a pair of drums whilst another dances. This carving dates back to 200 BCE.
Now that’s what we call “woman power”!
EXPERIENCE THE MAGIC LIVE:
Sunday 22 October, 7pm
Tickets: £15, £12, £5 students/U18s (limited availability) (plus fees)