The NavaGraha Project is being developed in conjunction with www.musicatopia.com an online music publishing business designed to supply specialist, digital music products and services for artists and fans of specialist genres, including world, jazz, folk, improvised, contemporary and early classical music.
Carnatic music, the music of South India, brims with vigour and melodic and rhythmic invention. Popular songs, known as krithis, express the struggles of life, the longing of spiritual devotion and the peace of spiritual attainment. This is music for the soul, possessing extraordinary grace. It presents a marriage of words and melodies that reaches out to the hearts of all listeners.
The Navagraha Krithis is a planetary song cycle composed in the early 1800s by Muthuswamy Dikshitar one of the 'Trinity' of composers who created a golden age in Carnatic music. The Navagraha song cycle is one of the jewels in the work of this major composer. It was composed for 'the benefit of all mankind': a vibrant musical journey through the planets that sings of the unity of life throughout the cosmos, and the eternal human desire to find a place of balance and peace within it.
The Navagraha Band members are -
All are renowned exponents in their respective fields - pianist and composer Dhevdhas Nair touring internationally with African, Indian and jazz groups including Julian Bahula's Jabula, John Etheridge, and the Daksha Sheth Dance Company; guitarist and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Lee composing for many RSC and National Theatre productions, as well as receiving major commissions for Gamelan and opera; bass player Raph Mizraki, also a specialist in medieval and renaissance music with the Dufay Collective, playing with a wide range of musicians, from Jamie Cullam to oud virtuoso Hassan Erraji and Nigerian master drummer Gasper Lawal; Tim Jones pioneering a method of voice teaching, The Nature of Sound, that draws on his long study of South Indian music, and performing as a solo vocalist for, amongst others, Ranjabati Sircar, Unnikrishnan, Opera Factory and the South Bank Gamelan Players.
All have strong musical links with India. All have a deep knowledge and experience of Carnatic forms and an enthusiasm for creating radical freshness within the traditional. As The Navagraha Band they come together to forge new soundscapes in a modern re-working of the jewel that is The Navagraha Krithis, and to bring this to regional, national and international audiences.