By Shekhar Shastri
Indian classical music carries in it the spirit of the Vedic seers, who were poets, scientists, and romanticists. The aesthetic dimension was integral to and not separate from day-to-day living; without transcendental delight no endeavor would be considered worthwhile. It is through the stories and songs that the Vedic wisdom still reverberates in us.
‘Threads 2019’, celebrates that lineage of delight or the ‘Rasa Paramparā’ through a series of music recitals. The opening night (Nov 1 at 8pm) features two classical music recitals. In the Hindustani music segment, young tabla prodigy Vivek Pandya will be accompanied by Kalpit Pandya on harmonium. In the Carnatic music segment, violinist Aishu Venkataraman will be accompanied by Trivandrum Balaji on mridangam and Ghatam Karthick.
Our goal is for the audience to get a glimpse of where our music tradition is headed in future. Thus, young tabla sensation Vivek K Pandya was a natural choice. This high-schooler has been learning tabla from world renowned tabla maestro Pandit Anindo Chatterjee for the past ten years. Born in Long Island, NY in a musical family, he has performed in Mumbai, Pune, Solapur, and in many music concerts all over the US. His tonal quality, clarity of bols, speed and musicality has been recognized by musicians and music lovers all around the world. He will be accompanied by consummate harmonium player Ramachandra Joshi, who has trained under Smt. Tulika Ghosh and has performed with many leading Hindustani vocalists.
Carnatic violinist and physician Aishu Venkataraman has had an extraordinary background as a child prodigy, the youngest graduate of Berklee School of Music at 14, a Stanford graduate at 20, and an MD from Baylor College of Medicine at 24. She has studied violin in Carnatic style under the illustrious maestro Shri T.N. Krishnan. In addition, she is trained in Classical Western, and Jazz. Her interest in music penetrates her research in pediatric neurology. Aishu will be accompanied by Trivandrum Balaji on mridangam and Ghatam Karthick on Ghatam. Balaji has established himself as one of the most sought-after mridangists of our times and Dr. S. Karthick is a shining star of the ‘clay pot’ instrument.
On Saturday, Nov 2 at 8am, will be a special morning recital by Smt. Rachna Bodas. It is a rare opportunity to listen to early morning ragas from this melodious Hindustani vocalist, who is a star disciple of Vidushi Veena Sahasrabuddhe of Gwalior Gharana. Her deep understanding of music, the literature, and the American audiences never fails to create a magical space whenever she performs. She will be accompanied by Vivek Pandya on tabla and Ramachandra Joshi on harmonium.
On Sunday, Nov 3 at 8am, will be a morning recital by Hindustani vocalist Smt. Shuchita Rao, who is well-known to Boston music lovers as a delightful performer, enthusiastic teacher, and a music critic. She has received her music training under Dr. N.K. Karhade, Smt. Malini Rajurkar, Pandit Ajay Pohankar, and Dr. Prabha Atre.
Culture travels on the shoulders of stories and songs. The essence of Vedic heritage flowers in its musical delight. It encapsulates the literature into an ever-present melody traversing our inner and outer spaces. Each day of the conference begins with a shower in the divine melodies, to prepare us for our respective journeys toward the sublime truth. Look forward to seeing you at the ‘Threads 2019’ conference, Nov 1-3. For more information please visit https://www.threads2019.org/.
(Shekhar Shastri is an entrepreneur, poet-musician, and a dramatist. He is the Director of Meru Education Foundation based in Lexington, MA.)