Classical Indian Vocal Music

With Matthew Rahaim (vocal), Srinivas Reddy (sitar), Suhail Yusuf Khan (sarangi), Mat Becker (tanpura) and Nitin Mitta (tabla).

At Blackstone Field, across from the Narragansett Boat Club (2 River Drive, Providence, RI 02906). Bring a blanket!

To register for the event please click here.

Rain date: Wednesday August 9, 6:00 PM.

The classical music of India is an improvisatory art music tradition with roots in ancient philosophies and yogic practices. Today there are two distinct classical systems: the southern Carnatic tradition and the northern Hindustani tradition. Matthew Rahaim is a vocal practitioner of the Hindustani tradition which he learned from multiple  teachers in the traditional master-disciple mode of apprenticeship. The Hindustani music tradition is unique in its rich blend of Indian and Islamic aesthetics.

All classical music of India is based on two fundamental concepts of melody and rhythm, known respectively as raga and tala. Ragas are melodic landscapes that encode specific musical parameters related to note combinations and embellishments as well as non-musical guidelines regarding the intended mood and time/season of a given performance. Ragas evolved from the voice but can be expressed on any melodic instrument. The exposition of a raga is further accompanied by the complex polyrhythms of various talas as realized on the tabla drum.

This evening Matt and accompanists will perform a medley of early evening ragas set to a variety of talas.

Srinivas Reddy


Links for further reading:  My Maestro As I Saw Him by Nikhil Banerjee


Matthew Rahaim is a Hindustani vocalist in the Gwalior tradition. His guru is Laxman Krishnarao Pandit of Gwalior, currently based in New Delhi; he also studied for twelve years in the Gajanan Rao Joshi lineage with Vikas Kashalkar in Pune. His specialty is Khyal and Tarana, though he also is fluent in Hori, Thumri, and other poetic forms. Matt is also an ethnomusicologist, an improviser (analog synthesizers, electroacoustic instruments, voice) and a composer. He is Professor of Global Creative Studies and Ethnomusicology at the University of Minnesota.

Srinivas Reddy is a scholar, translator and musician. He studied classical sitar in the traditional guru-shishya style with Sri Partha Chatterjee, a direct disciple of the late sitar maestro Pandit Nikhil Banerjee. Srinivas also trained in classical South Asian languages and literatures at Brown University and UC Berkeley. He has released three independent CDs and published three books of Indic translations with Penguin Books. Currently Srinivas is Visiting Professor of Religious Studies and Contemplative Studies at Brown University. He lives in Rhode Island and spends his time performing, teaching and conducting research around the world.



Easy ways to join: