manishaManisha Joshi – Hindustani Classical Music Performance

11th November 7.30pm

Sri Aurobindo Auditorium

Manisha and evolution in Classical Indian Music.

Music can be a social experience, but beyond that, it is a heart-and-spirit experience, especially Indian Classical Music. When there is a synchronisation of instruments, sacred language and voice, in their natural environment, the subtlety of all those energies climax to holiness.

Manisha Joshi, a professional singer based in Mumbai, always wanted to visit Auroville, and when the opportunity came, she decided that she wanted to share her other passion …teaching. The final accomplishment of her stay is a Hindustani Classical Music recital, presenting classical, semi-classical and devotional music and also attempting to mix western and Indian styles together.

A master is above everything a spiritual teacher. She is supposed to take the microcosm of the spirit in you and make it shine and disperse it through the world. Manisha’s voice does not only have the purity that one would expect in a Classical Hindustani singer, it also has a movement which touches certain chords of the heart, and this is what makes her so special.

According to her, the tradition can only get richer as its journey evolves, even if some think too many things are being mixed with it.  Indian Classical Music has been slipping into all areas of life, from movies to devotional and modern music. Purity goes hand-in-hand with tradition, and, in a new trend of music, which touches a generation that wants to expand with new technology, Manisha decided to present us with a salad that she picked fresh from the garden of Auroville.

She will start with classical songs, revolving around Krishna, usually chosen in traditional concerts as they cover all area of human life and emotions.

Then she will go on with her 4 students, Lata, Meha, Paul and Maxime. She will perform a duet with Maxime and his magical Bansuri and will progress to a western and Indian duet that she will be singing with Paul, an accomplished theatre musician who played for the 100-year-old Shakespeare Globe Theater in London and also composes folk songs. This is will be her experiment with singing western lyrics and western tunes with her own Indian notes, trying to keep a similar octave.

By coming here, Manisha first gave a gift to herself. This same gift got transformed to a gift to her students, then to Auroville. This performance will prove to be very interesting as it combines a clear structure, features distinct elements, progresses coherently to attain a climax and also measures up to the standards of Classical Indian Music, and all of this with a precious ‘evolutionary’ aspect, so essential in music, as everything always changes.……Evolution, experiment, experience! What a blessing!

This article was written by Chana Corinne Devor for Auroville Art Service. Presently exploring Auroville, she is an art critic and writes for international travel and spiritual magazines.