Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Kaushiki Chakrabarty

Blessed by prodigious natural talent and a cool temperament, Kaushiki has not been distracted for one moment by all the accolades and acclaim she has justly received at such a young age. Her last Sense World Music recording ‘Pure’ received worldwide recognition beyond the circles of traditional classical music listeners and confirmed a level maturity and depth in her singing which defies her years.

Following on from her success at the BBC World Music Awards in 2005, this unique collection of both studio and live concert recordings demonstrates why Kaushiki has become the great hope for the future of Indian classical vocal music, giving us an invaluable insight into the full range of her musical prowess.

Kaushiki was born in 1980 in Kolkata, the cultural capital of modern day India. Her parents noticed that she could reproduce complex musical and rhythmic phrases at the age of just two years. Being an able teacher her mother Smt. Chandana Chakrabarty took care of her ‘taleem’ (music training) adopting the role as her first Guru. Subsequently, Kaushiki had the fortune to become the youngest Ganda Bandh disciple (or shishya) of the renowned Bengali educator Guru Jnan Prakash Ghosh when she was just ten. Ganda Bandh is a traditional knot tying ceremony which cements the relationship between guru and student. Later on, after intermittent ill-health, Jnan Prakash Ghosh ordered Kaushiki to continue further training under the tutelage of his most successful disciple, her father Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, one of the most creative and influential Indian vocalists of the modern era.

The guru-shishya system of teaching is the most intensive and effective route of musical learning in North Indian Classical music. Based on the oral tradition, it embodies the living and learning relationship between master and pupil, involving the complete emotional, intellectual and spiritual surrender of the ardent shishya (trainee) to the guru (teacher).

Here is a sample of Kaushiki’s prowess in singing :

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