Sangâta – A Franco-Indian Creation By Thierry Pécou

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Back in December 2016, Alliance Française de Delhi and the cultural organisation Kalasetu had launched a unique musical initiative in the form of an ongoing series of musical meetings called [InChorus]. With the goal of promoting traditional South Asian Performing Arts, the initiative provides a coveted platform in the form of residencies, concerts and workshops to musicians of all genres from India and France. The first [InChorus] session of 2018 saw Thierry Pécou and his Ensemble Variances performing with three Indian musicians – Amaan Ali, Rishab Prasanna and Ragini Shankar – in Delhi (Feb 23) and Chennai (Feb 25).

The two performances were piloted by Alliance Française de Delhi and Kalasetu within the framework of Bonjour India 2017-18 to honour the history and spirit of Indo-French collaboration. The project proved to be a stimulating exchange between Western and Indian classical musical traditions. The two schools of music approach sound, rhythm, melody, and form in astonishingly different ways and a musical encounter between the two was highly appreciated by audiences!

The performances were structured like a roadmap with Thierry guiding the musicians from behind the piano. Sometimes, Western instruments took the lead whilst Hindustani elements were at the forefront at other moments. From time to time, the two met at a crossroads where they collided and interlinked with each other.

The musicians on stage at AF Delhi

The musicians on stage at AF Delhi

Renowned for their evocative performances, the Ensemble Variances was founded in 2009 by Thierry Pécou and consists of solo musicians and chamber musicians par excellence. After an initial trip to India in January 2017, the group embarked on a new creation in 2018 entitled Sangâta with the collaboration of three Indian virtuosos. It was this creation which was presented in Delhi and Chennai with Anne Cartel (silver flute), Carjez Gerretsen (clarinet), and Thierry Pécou (as Artistic Director and on the piano) along with Amaan Ali (tabla), Rishab Prasanna (“bansuri” or flute) and Ragini Shankar (violin).

An excerpt of a performance by Thierry Pécou can be found here :

The repertoire for the performance was created after a few days of residency in Delhi and will eventually make its French Première at the Festival Détours de Babel in Grenoble. This project is also supported by the region Normandie in France.

Siddharth Bhatt

Rédaction, AF Magazine Inde-Népal

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Directeur de publication : Délégation Générale de la Fondation Alliance Française en Inde et au Népal

Rédacteur en chef : Laurent Elisio Bordier

Rédacteur/Coordinateur national : Siddharth Bhatt

Rédacteurs, contributeurs : Guillaume, Abhirami, Alexandre, Chintan, Cléa, David, Eleonore, Elie, Kanika, Karine, Nita, Thomas, Malvika, Marie-Joëlle, Meera, Mayuri, Mitushi, Alice, Prutha, Romain, Ritika, Manas, Supriya ...