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Music

Khyal: Music and Imagination

Khyal: Music and Imagination” is an AHRC-funded project based at Durham University which explores the relationship between Indian music and the visual imagination. It builds on research into the ways in which Indian musicians and audiences experience and imagine classical vocal performance, using its insights to generate new kinds of engagement and creativity. The project brings together musicians, ethnomusicologists and visual artists to explore the khyal genre and stimulate the artists to produce original works of visual art inspired by the music. This new artistic production in turn facilitates new forms of engagement accessible to a wide range of people: in schools, at concerts and festivals, and at museums and galleries.

In November 2016 we launched our first Multimedia exhibition and our new Interactive app.

In July 2017 we launched our second Multimedia exhibition at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery in Leicester.

Read more below…

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Khyal: Music and Imagination Second project exhibition at the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester

Multimedia exhibition
New Walk Museum and Art Gallery, Leicester, LE1 7EA, 15 July - 5 November 2017

After the successful presentation at the Laing Gallery (5-16 November 2016), we are proud to announce that the Khyal: Music and Imagination multimedia exhibition will be hosted by the New Walk Museum and Art Gallery from 15 July until 5 November 2017.
The exhibition features original artworks by Adinda van ’t Klooster, Mahjabin Imam Majumdar, and Theresa Poulton, which can be viewed while listening to the music that inspired them. Works by professional artists are displayed alongside pieces by school children from the north east of England as well as art lovers from Pune, India, who were invited to respond to the same music.
Featured singers include Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Ranjani Ramachandran, Sudokshina Chatterjee, Surashree Ulhas Joshi and Atul Khandekar.
For more information about the exhibition visit: http://www.visitleicester.info/things-to-see-and-do/arts-museums/exhibitions/khyal/

To read more about the project and see some of the work we have produced, download our Project Brochure:

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Khyal: Music and Imagination 
– Visual Art workshop and Live Event in Pune, India

Studio 7, Karve Nagar, Pune, 4 January 2017
Sawai Gandharva Smarak, Pune, 7 January 2017

As part of the Khyal: Music and Imagination project we run a workshop organised by Mrs Durga Tilak at Studio 7, Pune. A group of art lovers met and, together with visual artist Mahjabin Majumbar and singer Surashree Ulhas Joshi, created works inspired by khyal music. The works were exhibited on 7 January at a public event featuring music performances by Surahsree Ulhas Joshi (voice), Kishor Korde (tabla), Ravi Guru (lehra), Meenal Nandekar (harmonium) and Chinmayee Athalye (tanpura).

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Khyal: Music and Imagination First project exhibition at the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle

Multimedia exhibition
Laing Gallery, Newcastle, NE1 8AG, 5-16 November 2016

Khyal: Music and Imagination is a multimedia exhibition that brings together visual artists and musicians to explore diverse visual responses to Indian classical music.

The exhibition features original artworks by Adinda van ’t Klooster, Mahjabin Imam Majumdar, and Theresa Poulton, which can be viewed while listening to the music that inspired them. Works by professional artists are displayed alongside pieces by school children from the north east of England, who were invited to respond to the same music.

Featured singers include Veena Sahasrabuddhe, Ranjani Ramachandran, Sudokshina Chatterjee, Surashree Ulhas Joshi and Atul Khandekar.

For those who wish to explore the music itself in more depth, a unique interactive app was developed by Durham University musicologists. The iPad Khyal app is also freely available to download from the App Store (see below).

Related to the exhibition, we held a seminar at the Laing Art Gallery on 10th November, 12-1pm.

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The iPad Khyal app is now freely available to download from the App Store

The Khyal app allows users to explore two beautiful performances of North Indian classical music and learn about its form, style, and technique. The app features video recordings of two complete performances, by Sudokshina Chatterjee (Raga Miyan ki Malhar) and Atul Khandekar (Raga Shyam Kalyan). Initially planned as an integral part of the Khyal: Music and Imagination project exhibition, it is freely available for download from the App Store. Moving their fingers over four mixer sliders, or on the video window itself, users are able to hear the different sound elements in their preferred mix (voice, tabla, harmonium and tanpura). This is a unique chance to hear the singing voice alone, for instance, or to experience the difference made by the tabla, harmonium or tanpura when added in. Key points in each performance are marked as selectable ‘clips’: selecting a clip takes the user to a particular point in the performance and opens up information about the techniques the musicians are using at that specific moment. Taken as a whole the app offers an overview of the musical form: it is designed as a flexible educational tool for those getting to know khyal, as well as for the enjoyment of Indian music lovers everywhere. We have been making audiovisual recordings of khyal performances since 2003. These recordings have been made with the full cooperation of the musicians, and intended for research and educational use. The Khyal app extends the intended function of these recordings in a novel and unique format.

Download it now for free! (compatible with iPad air and iPad Air 2, iOS 8 and above)

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A Visual Interpretation of Industani Classical Raga

As an initiative of the artists, Hindustani Classical Vocalist Ranjani Ramachandran and visual artist Mahjabin I Majumdar organised an evening of presentation, dialogue and music based on their collaborative work at the Nandan Museum Gallery, Kala Bhavana,Visva Bharati University, Santiniketan, West Bengal on Tuesday, 28th June 2016 at 4.15 pm.

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Project Team

© Adinda van ’t Klooster, 2015, ink on paper, inspired by a performance of Shree raga by Veena Sahasrabuddhe

Khyal: Music and Imagination
Project Brochure:
low resolution (1.5 MB)
high resolution (27 MB)