Music is a medium that can connect diverse groups of listeners. It is an art form that can have a remarkably soothing effect on all of them. This is something that noted musician Nimisha Shankar is proving during the all-India tour of Chakra Harmonising Raagas'. Shankar, who was recently in Delhi for the tour, is known for exploring and pushing the boundaries in music. Explaining this project, she says, "According to the scriptures, these ragas can balance the chakras (focal points of energy in the body)." She elaborates she had applied her experience in yoga and meditation to this technique.
In this project, Shankar gives the vocals for the raags such as Shyam Kalyan, Darbari, and Bhairav, among others, against electronic music. She explains this fusion by saying, "There's something about electronic music and its acoustics which really appeals to me. I also like applying what I've learned in Indian classical music to this form of instrumental music." She provides another reason for the mix when she says, "It is also an attempt to bridge the gap between people across age groups and their lack of interest in Indian classical music. I hope to bring both worlds together in a small way. I also hope to make all my listeners see the vast and diverse nature of Indian classical music, and the gifts it may have to offer." Yet the open and experimental nature of her methods is apparent when she remarks, "My performances are open to any and all manner of interpretation."
Shankar is collaborating with the Delhi-based Silent Sage, also known as Anupam Singh for this project. Sage has provided arresting contemporary art visuals, displayed through a projector, which accompany Shankar, and add to the overall soothing nature of the music. Shankar and Sage's mix of jazzy instrumentation with classic ragas, have not failed to appeal and interest all audiences.
Apart from electronic music, Shankar is also interested in the folk music of her native state Bihar. She is also known to experiment with other genres such as Blues and Jazz.
The musician also enjoys alternating between English, Hindi, and Bhojpuri in her music.