Vishaal and the Chitravina


16 Nov 2018, 7:30 PM - 9:00 PM




Texas-born music prodigy Vishaal Sapuram first encountered the chitravina at the age of six when his parents took him to an N. Ravikiran concert in Chennai. What started out as a family vacation led to two decades of mastering the rare and exquisite instrument. Young Vishaal had been so struck by the mesmerisingly rich and smooth tones of the chitravina that he resolved to become Ravikiran’s disciple despite the distance, and he hasn’t looked back since.

The chitravina, an ancient 20 or 21-string lute also referred to as the gotuvadyam, resembles a veena (slide lute) without frets and sounds like a combination of the veena and a violin. Some believe that it inspired the Hawaiian slide guitar.

The deep resonating sounds and melodious tones that it produces make it suited for presenting all facets of Indian music. However, the absence of frets, as well as the great control players must exercise given the way it is played (the right hand plucks while the left sustains and renders microtones using a plectrum or teflon), makes it particularly challenging to master, and only a handful of musicians around the world today play it.

Today, the 28-year-old Vishaal is one of the rare few making headway with the chitravina. His achievements include inventing a new raga (musical scale) with his guru Ravikiran called vishweshwarapriya, receiving the blessings of the late Ravi Shankar, being an A-Grade artist for All India Radio, and winning awards and accolades over the years. Having started teaching at age 10, he also travels the world to give lectures, demonstrations, workshops and classes.

Don’t miss this chance to catch Vishaal in action with his chitravina accompanied by R Raghul on the violin, N C Bharadwai on the mridangam and S Krishna on the ghatam.

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Esplanade Recital Studio
1 Esplanade Drive
Singapore 038981