Over the last decade, we’ve set out our stall to introduce you to great artists irrespective of genre, especially when they’ve been on the threshold of major international recognition. In Kaushiki Chakrabarty, our instinct tells us we’ve identified another major vocal artist to add to the IMC roll call of Irish debuts. Still in her mid 20’s, this native of Calcutta is rightly being hailed across the sub continent as a very bright star in that expansive musical constellation. She sings both the improvisatory khayal and more devotional thumri, the principle styles of Hindustani classical music, and like many of the new generation, is also versed in the carnatic music of the south and the artful film music of composers like RD Burman.
In her focused intensity and ability to construct and maintain the dramatic arc of this demanding long form music, she displays great maturity. Add to that her emerging mastery of its intricate rhythmic web and unerring control over a three-octave range, all of it delivered with a tone of brilliant clarity, and even by the prodigious standard of Indian classical music, you have a remarkable musician. Inevitably, she is an alumnus of the guru-shishya system, India’s great tradition of master and pupil, and through which this sophisticated music has been transmitted orally over successive generations. Here, its been handed down by her father and guru, the eminent Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty, himself a revered figure in the modern pantheon of Indian vocal music. Those years of devotion at her father’s side are now bearing fruit,. Her debut recording ,Pure, for the UK based Asian connoisseur label Sense, has drawn effusive praise from Indian music’s most exacting critics, who feel a star is born. We do too.