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 complex and multifaceted inner human energy that compels us to act, to pursue our passions, to create, and to preserve ourselves. Applying this concept to the state of Indian classical music in the global context, this project aims to highlight the innovative potential of contemporary musicians in the South Asian diaspora, and provides a forum to collectively contemplate new possibilities for musical concepts and sensibilities stemming from the Indian classical idiom.
Artists that have participated as composers/performers/guests in this project include: Rajna Swaminathan (mrudangam), Anjna Swaminathan (violin), Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Amir ElSaffar (trumpet/santur), Miles Okazaki (guitar), Roopa Mahadevan (vocal), Aakash Mittal (alto sax), Maria Grand (tenor sax), Rafiq Bhatia (guitar), Guy Mintus (piano), Nitin Mitta (tabla), Jay Gandhi (bansuri), Lalit Subramanian (vocal), Stephan Crump (bass)
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.):