Every so often, a musical opportunity presents itself that is all at once exciting and a little bit scary. The word "improvise" falls into the scary category for most classically trained Western musicians.
I was given the opportunity to collaborate with Geeta Shankar (Vocal), Souryadeep Bhattacharyya (Sarod), and Aditya Srivatsan (Tabla), through a groundbreaking organization called IndianRaga. Geeta, Souryadeep and Aditya were part of a small group of musicians selected from all over the world to meet in New York for a week-long Fellowship. One component of IndianRaga's mission is to create accessible music rooted in Indian classical and folk traditions, and I was asked to collaborate to provide a more contemporary twist. Though we're all "classically trained", our individual areas of expertise couldn't be more different.
The final result after only two hours of improvising together is the video posted above. It is a structured Manodharmam (Improvization) in Raga Behag, bringing together Carnatic, Hindustani and Western styles. As you can see, I was five months pregnant when this video was made and the baby *loved* the music! He was dancing the entire time. :)
I hope this wasn't a "once in a lifetime" opportunity because I would absolutely love the chance to work with Geeta, Souryadeep, Aditya and IndianRaga again!