RAJAS is a project that brings together contemporary musicians from the Indian classical and jazz/creative music scenes in New York City. The Vedantic term rajas refers to the inner human energy that compels us to act, to pursue our passions, to create, and to preserve ourselves. Described in the Financial Times as having "wedded beauty by courting chaos, with the methods of loose-knit latter-day jazz at the service of a recognizably South-Asian melody and pulse," RAJAS provides a forum to collectively contemplate new possibilities for musical concepts and sensibilities at the interstices of multiple traditions.
Maryland Summer Scholars Independent Research
Interdisciplinary research into intercultural exchange, hybridity, and identity in creative improvised music.
Fieldwork in the New York experimental jazz and creative music scenes.
Development of new rhythmic concepts for mrudangam through collaborative work.
Liminal Spaces: Explorations in Musical Hybridity
Culmination of a 2-year research project on the issues of cultural appropriation and power inequalities in the field of "world music"
Original compositions showcase the concept of musical/cultural hybridity and innovation as a proactive resolution to the commodification of genres of world music
Presented at the University of Maryland 4th Annual Honors Humanities Undergraduate Research Symposium in May 2011
Rajna Swaminathan - vocal, piano, mrudangam
Anjna Swaminathan - violin
Ragamala Dance (Minneapolis):
WRITTEN IN WATER (2016) - in collaboration with Amir ElSaffar
SONG OF THE JASMINE (2014-2015) - in collaboration
with Rudresh Mahanthappa
1,001 BUDDHAS (2013) - composer, in collaboration with Art Lee of Wadaiko Tokara
SACRED EARTH (2011-2013)
THEY ROSE AT DAWN (2016)
Anu Yadav (D.C.):
MEENA'S DREAM (2013-2014)
The Spilling Ink Project (D.C.):
in collaboration with Kirov Academy of Ballet (D.C.):
DEFLECT OUR LIGHT: ARTICULATE A DANCE (2013)
in collaboration with Srishti Dances of India (Ann Arbor, MI):
SAMUDRA: CHURNING OCEANS (2012)
Dakshina Dance Company (D.C.):