SOAS University of London

SOAS South Asia Institute

Songs of Sameness and Syncretism: When the Muslim Sufi Wrote Paeans to Lord Krishna - Madhumita Ray explores Amir Khusrau

Madhumita Ray

Date: 1 November 2017Time: 6:00 PM

Finishes: 1 November 2017Time: 8:00 PM

Venue: Brunei Gallery Room: BGLT

Type of Event: Performance

What could be greater proof of the syncretic history of the Indian subcontinent than the fact that the most celebrated Hindu god was eulogized by the greatest Sufi mystic of all time? Among the several priceless contributions made by Sufi mystic-poet-composer-musician Amir Khusrau to Hindustani Classical music, one of the lesser-known albeit extraordinarily rare, are his paeans to the Hindu Lord Krishna. This is a proposal for a lecture showcasing these bhajans by vocalist Madhumita Ray. The concert will be accompanied by a talk in which the artist shares the secular content of Hindustani Classical Music, and highlights from her other projects which focus on the same.

Madhumita Ray is a Khayal and Thumri-Dadra vocalist based in New Delhi, and is counted among the foremost Hindustani Classical vocalists in India today. A student of Pandit Vasant Thakaar in her formative years, Madhumita went on to learn from Ustad Ghulam Taqi Khan and Ustad Ghulam Hussain Khan, both sons of the stalwart Ustad Mushtaq Hussain Khan of the legendary Rampur-Saheswan gharana. For the semi-classical idiom Madhumita has learnt under another towering musical giant, Pandita Naina Devi. She went on to train under Rudra Veena maestro Ustad Asad Ali Khan for raga development and trained with him for almost two decades. Madhumita has performed at venues and festivals across the world, including India’s leading festivals like Vishnu Digambar, Harbhallabh, Uttarparha Sangeet Chakra and Sankat Mochan Music Festivals. Although a committed to the classical form, she has straddled the thin line between purity and experimentation, blending her vocals with jazz musicians in Norway, and qawwals in India.

  Poster for Performance by Madhumita Ray (image/png; 2mb)  

Organiser: SSAI and Department of Music, School of Arts, SOAS

Contact email: ssai@soas.ac.uk