A violinist from Bengaluru takes fusion music to the world stage

It’s raining fusion music everywhere and we can’t complain. Take ‘Merging Parallels’, for example. It is composed by Apoorva Krishna, a 26-year-old violinist from Bengaluru.

She blended Western harmonies with Carnatic music to such effect that it earned her an honorary mention as Student Music Composer at the 70th BMI Foundation Awards in New York in May.

BMI Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by leaders of Broadcast Music Incorporated to nurture music culture through awards, scholarships and internships. It is said to be the first time the Foundation has honored Indian classical music.

Let’s take a deep dive into his work. ‘Merging Parallels’ is composed on the concept of ‘Adhara Shruti Bedha Ragamalika’, ie simultaneous changes of tonic and raga/scale. He uses 18 changing tonic ragas in ‘Khanda Chapu Thala’, adding mathematical ‘Jathi Prayogas’ verses and Sanskrit lyrics in the Saramathi raga.

It begins with a Konnakol recital against guitar chords. The chant, khanjira and fiddle work in unison and stay balanced as the tones change. The double bass stays in tune with the pitch change throughout the song.

The video song has clocked up nearly 12,000 views on YouTube.

“I am grateful to English guitarist John McLaughlin (considered the pioneer of jazz fusion). He inspired me to experiment and get out of my comfort zone by fusing traditional Indian classical music with contemporary Western music,” says Apoorva about the origin of “Merging”. Parallels”. Much to her delight, McLaughlin appears at the start of the video to praise how well she has incorporated harmony and sophisticated Indian rhythms.

It was during a scholarship program at Berklee College of Music in 2019 that she was able to perform with McLaughlin and tabla maestro Zakir Hussain.

Apoorva is not new to the laurels. “Bahudari” produced in collaboration with percussionists Vinod Shyam and Sunaad Anoor won him the London Tarisio Trust Young Artist Grant 2017, a first for an Indian.

She constantly pushes the possibilities of music and her latest clip ‘Fly Me To The Moon x Maand Thillana’ is proof of that. She harmoniously blends jazz music with the Carnatic Thillana composed in Raga Maand by her guru and veteran violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman. She is also trained in Lalgudi Bani, a style popularized by Jayaraman, which makes a violin “sing”.

His first album “Intuition” is also an ode to contemporary fusion, with Latin jazz, flamenco, waltz, bluegrass, jazz fusion and other styles.

Comments are closed.