Ragas are refined modes of Indian classical music that are designed to be played at specific times of day. 6 years ago a community of over 50 musicians collaborated at the legendary FM Station WKCR, to bring New York City, and listeners around the world, through a live 24 hour cycle of raga.
The event has grown annually over the past six years with a worldwide audience listening in real time via a live radio broadcast and stream on WKCR 89.9 FM-NY. Due to audience and artist demand, the festival expanded to become a live event, broadcast last year from Brooklyn’s Pioneer Works and this year from the Rubin Museum of Art.
More than 50 master Indian classical musicians taking over the Museum for an overnight concert of sacred sounds.The diverse lineup includes the world’s premiere kanjira drummer Selvaganesh, soulful vocalist Ganavya Doraiswamy, electro-acoustic project Orakel, bansuri maestro Jay Gandhi, jazz guitarist Rez Abassi, classically-trained vocal talent Falu, and Max ZT, who has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the hammered dulcimer.” The full lineup is below, and tickets are on sale here rma.cm/271. As in all previous 5 years, the performances will be archived at the podcast NYC Radio Live.
“Literally, raga means ‘to color the mind,’ and the music is very subtle and precise in order to capture specific feelings or essences. As the earth rotates, the music resonates with those changes in light and mood, producing a unique effect on the listener’s consciousness. To experience music of this power and beauty amongst the timeless collection of the Rubin Museum of Art is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said David Ellenbogen, the founder of the festival.
The Ragas Live Festival also connects with the Rubin Museum’s current exhibition “The World Is Sound,” open through January 8, 2018, which invites visitors to listen with the whole body, and explores different dimensions of sound and listening and its many functions in Tibetan Buddhism. Festival goers will be able to experience the OMs of 10,000 visitors, ritual sounds recorded by Tibetan monks, and works from contemporary artists alongside historical objects in the collection.
More details on the festival, the exhibition, and New York’s “raga renaissance” can be found at rubinmuseum.org/ragaslive.