Rakesh Chaurasia is an innovative modern bansuri exponent. His style follows in the footsteps of his illustrious guru and uncle Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, but he has found his own territory too - recent collaborations have included jazz, flamenco, and Bollywood. He credits Hariprasad’s open-minded philosophy with encouraging him to explore new sounds, and still finds limitless inspiration in his uncle’s teaching (“I pray to God that I should be reborn to such a guru!”).
His sound is informed by a detailed study of vocal technique, and he also takes a deep interest in the spiritual and therapeutic aspects of music (“while performing...I feel as if I am praying in a temple”). He looks directly to nature too, having released an album which imitates the sounds of wind through nine different melodies.
But despite an eclectic repertoire, Rakesh remains rooted around a detailed classical core. When asked whether classical music still held cultural importance in India, he replied: “that’s like asking if the sun is still important. Classical music is the foundation of all other kinds of music”. He has worked fruitfully with Ustad Zakir Hussain, and continues to delve further into each tradition he turns his ears to.
"I can remember a concert in Nagpur where towards the end we had no electricity - but I didn't realise it because I was very engrossed in my playing"
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