Indian classical music will again meet a western orchestra in a fusion collaboration between sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan, sons Aman Ali and Ayaan Alia and two French ensembles in a concert featuring the newly-composed Ananta Opus-195 on Feb 26 during the ongoing Bonjour India - Festival of France.
The concerto featuring sarod, symphonic and electronic orchestra, is an original work born from the meetings of different musical cultures, a statement from the performers said Thursay.
Written by Pierre Thilloy and performed by Amjad Ali Khan and his sons with the Avignon Provence Symphonic Orchestra and Kords Collective, the concerto will be conducted by Samuel Jean.
It explores the layers and depth of Indian classical music and the "element of common" that allows it to integrate with international strains, a spokesperson for the concert said.
Musician Pierre Thilloy, who began with cultural collaborations in Africa and then travelled Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan and then to India in 2010, where he met the exponents of Indian classical music. Amjad Ali Khan was the foremost among them.
The duo discussed the possibility of a collaboration - leading to the fusion concerto. "Ananta Opus-195" is one of the few written works based on an India raga, which does not have a history of notation melody. "It is based on the fundamental principles of Indian music as well as the execution of a raga," the spokesperson said.
The sarod maestro, an icon of the Bangash Senia school of music, has been trying to convert Indian ragas into notation music for a long time with several international collaborations. Known for his lyrical style, he plays the sarod "in an unique way" interpreting the music as he improvises on speed and pace - which does not make his music repetitive.
In 2012, Amjad Ali Khan collaborated with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in the "Samaagam" experimental fusion. David Murphy, the conductor of the Scottish Chamber Orchestra who designed the project, said "Samagaam", which means confluence, was a bouquet of 12 ragas that were united, interpreted and improvised to be notated into concerto music.
Amjad Ali Khan, in an interview to IANS, had said the sarod was compatible with western classical chamber music because it was a string instrument of the guitar family.
"Like guitars and other string instruments like the cello and violin, the sarod has 11 sympathetic strings and four drone sounds. The instrument easily accompanies the guitar," he had said.