I have many many favorites when it comes to musicians but I had to share this gem with you all after seeing and hearing her live last night. Kaushiki Chakraborty is by far one of my favorite, if not my favorite Indian classical vocalists. She has such complex vocal skills while singing with great finesse. She also happens to have an amazing voice quality. I find this combination to be quite rare. Did I mention that she stays completely in tune all the while?
My husband and I recently returned from a performance held at the MET where she sang three pieces, the first in raag Bihag, the second a Thumri called yaad pita ki aaye and lastly a bhajan in raga Bhairavi. All 3 were exquisite. To listen to another version of yaad piya ki aaye, click here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n5iEPxJYGjk
A word from Kaushiki:
Music has been my best friend since very early childhood. I remember my school book was ones sent home for my parents to check on what I had been scribbling on those pages. My father checked and found out they were a combination of notes. Music has always been a way of life, and something I have identified with. Music, since then, had been only companion. All of my emotions and imagination are, at best, spontaneously expressed through musical vocabulary. I think the process of discovering musical depth is very lonely and inward. It is truly a journey from within- in solitude, which is precisely why “riyaz” (practice) is always a solo act. But even in concerts, the performer tries to create the pseudo space of silence within, wherein music flows from a divine source and the artist resonates to its inspiration. Music is a universal language of communication between hearts that are superficially separated by various boundaries. I am an India singer, hence I mostly sing in Hindi, but my music speaks a language of emotion that is beyond man- made languages- the language of tears and smiles.