KRISHNA MEETS PAN: INDIAN-WESTERN FUSION IN TWO WORKS FOR FLUTE AND HARP BY RAVI SHANKAR AND JOHN MAYER
With a career spanning over six decades, Ravi Shankar has been the seminal figure in the dissemination of Indian classical music to the West. His presentation of Indian music to Western audiences has heightened American interest in and appreciation for Indian music and has resulted in the exportation of thousands of sitarsto Western countries. His extensive training in Indian music, coupled with his exposure to Western society, has led to a compositional style that embraces elements of both cultures. Shankar is not the only Indian musician, however, to explore Indian-Western fusion. A less well-known Indian musician who has contributed extensively to this genre is John Mayer, a composer and violinist from Calcutta. More than a decade before the partnership between Yehudi Menuhin and Ravi Shankar at the 1966 Bath Festival, Mayer began composing works that combined these two distinct musics. Shankar’s and Mayer’s careers have many parallels with regard to Indian classical training and exposure to Western society. Both also created their own musical languages for compositions that combine elements of Indian and Western music. However, differences in their biographies have led to divergent approaches to Indian-Western fusion. While learning to compose effectively in this new genre, both composers were drawn to the combination of the flute and harp as a medium for this expression: Shankar composed L’aube enchantée(The enchanted dawn) in 1976, and Mayer followed with Nava Rasa(Nine moods) in 2003. This document provides a comparative study of L’aube enchantéeand Nava Rasaand thereby illustrates the composers’ diverse approaches to Indian-Western fusion. First Indian aspects are explored, followed by Western influences, and finally elements shared by both traditions. In addition, biographical information about Shankar and Mayer demonstrates how the degree to which they borrowed from each tradition reflects their differences in background and training.
School:University of Cincinnati
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:ravi shankar john mayer nava rasa enchanted dawn l aube enchantee
Date of Publication:01/01/2006