Brhaddhvani’s cross-cultural program aims to open the doors of various musical traditions to each other, fostering a unified and progressive world music culture with mutual respect. The program emphasizes that all musical skills and styles complement one another.
In making cultures cross, we recognise the spirit of the cultures in its movement. The strength of the program lies in the Indian musical tradition itself. COMET brings a perspective that remains rooted in tradition while embracing contemporary approaches, leading to an objective understanding of music.
Our students come from diverse backgrounds with unique learning demands, and through COMET, they quickly grasp the profound essence of Indian music as a whole and particularlu Karnatak music. The interactive practical work among the musicians helps build a corpus of interesting cross-cultural compositions.
Improvisatory music is characterized by spontaneity in performance, without a preplanned structure. It has been a significant element in music cultures worldwide. With repeated performances, the individual aesthetics become more pronounced and eventually may evolve into compositional forms.
In contrast, Western classical music is often regarded as compositional, with fixed structures and precise notations guiding the performance of melodies supported by harmony. Nevertheless, Western classical music has also passed through the improvisatory stages.
The American jazz idiom comes close to Indian music, primarily due to its improvisatory nature. Many Karnatak musicians have collaborated with jazz musicians, drawn together by this commonality. In most cases, jazz musicians tend to borrow ideas from rhythmic and scalar-based improvisations, incorporating elements that echo the unique characteristics of Indian raga and tala concepts. On the other hand, COMET introduces Indian musical concepts in a manner that opens up new avenues for improvisation, benefiting both jazz musicians and Karnataka musicians. This approach paves the way for a more unified and enriched improvisatory procedure.
COMET is the ideal framework for the meeting of like minds across artistic, cultural, and intellectual boundaries.
Woody Louis Armstrong Shaw III
I have been struck by the great emphasis that the system places on the re-integration of all these skills into a unified, comprehensive musicianship.
Prof. Eero Hämeenniemi
The vision of Brhaddhvani is to create a platform that facilitates the study of various musical traditions, including Western Classical music. The Western classical music tradition is a global phenomenon, and there are several Indian institutions where it is taught. Brhaddhvani's unique approach to an inclusive study of Western music aims to provide traditional performers with opportunities to access and engage with Western classical musicians, thus expanding their knowledge and experiences.
By promoting interactions between practitioners of different musical traditions, Brhaddhvani seeks to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of Western classical music amongst practitioners of Indian classical music. This approach encourages cross-cultural exchange and allows traditional performers to benefit from the expertise and perspectives of Western classical musicians. Through these interactions, musicians can explore new techniques, styles, and artistic expressions, ultimately enriching their own musical practices.
Experimental music is an area that has little attention in traditional cultures such as India. Music as a social phenomenon needs acceptance by society for its survival. As a principle, we, at Brhaddhvani, believe that there should be space for experiments in music. Creative musicians do experiments but mostly in enhancing the music they practice. They seldom dare beyond certain boundaries. The conception of music in traditional cultures will have to change in order to be accepted in society. At best such experiments may attract very few individuals. Music as compositions or productions of ‘sound and non-sound’ with materials that are not traditionally recognized as musical instruments is quite a new concept. Brhaddhvani, with its World music vision, encourage experiments in music.
COMET, as I see it, is based on modern insights into the psychology of creative processes and music making.
Prof. Hans Neuhoff
Finnish composer Eero Hämeenniemi shares his perspective on Brhaddhvani’s work.