Participants 2017

We are happy to announce the final list of
PARTICIPATING MUSICIANS OF SAMUR II 

 Asif Sinan (Pakistan) - guitar
 Rachintan Trivedi (Ahmedabad, India) - harmonium, piano
 Deepak Srinivas (Chennai, India) - guitar
 Nakul Krishnamurthy (Chennai, India) - composition
 Pabalu Wijegoonawardane (Sri Lanka) - percussion, composition
 Pavithra Chari (New Delhi, India) - vocal, composition
 Prashant Mishra (Varanasi, India) - tabla
 Ramya Thiyagarajan (Pune, India) - vocal
 Roshan Putwar (Nepal / Kolkata, India) - flute
 Shubhangi Joshi (Mumbai, India) - guitar, songwriter
 Stefan Schönegg (Germany) - double bass
 Teerath Kumar Majumder (Bangladesh) - composition
 Uvindu Perera (Sri Lanka) - electric bass
 Vanraj Shastri (Ahmedabad, India) - vocal, sarangi
 Waheedullah Saghar (Afghanistan) - vocal



Asif Sinan (Pakistan) - guitar

Asif Sinan is a quintessential World Musician from Pakistan who seamlessly blends the genres of Indian Classical with Jazz Music. A summa cum laude Music graduate, Sinan has gained recognition for his dexterity in playing Raagas on the guitar and changing its tonal quality to make it sound like a sitar. He has also collaborated with numerous Jazz, Brass, Folk as well as Grammy Award winning musicians from Germany, USA, India, Cuba, Canada, UK, Madagascar, Egypt, Spain and Australia.

Sinan is an IVLP Alumni and a MOCA Fellow and recognized by both the US State Department and the World Islamic Economic Forum for his contribution to the world of music. Sinan is also TEDx fellow recognized as a potential breakthrough artist of South Asia.
Sinan has toured the US, UK, Mexico, UAE, India and Germany extensively.

In Pakistan, Sinan performs regularly on National level Eastern Classical festivals as well series of public concerts and special performances for Schools, Universities and Colleges as well as Corporate entities.

Asif Sinan has also worked closely with the Oxford University Press and is the visiting faculty at the Aga Khan Medical University teaching Music to doctors. Sinan is also an active member of the Samvaad Foundation that works for the promotion of music in Pakistan especially in the underprivileged areas.
the link on my small work. 





Rachintan Trivedi (Ahmedabad, India) - harmonium, piano

Hailing from a musical family, I have been on the constant look out to explore my abilities and knowledge as a musician. Being the son of one of the leading music composers and directors of Gujarat, I have been exposed to a variety of music and cultures from a very young age. My first qualification in music has been in harmonium performance (Visharad in Hindustani Classical Music), which is the Indian equivalent of a Diploma in music. I have also been performing as a keyboardist for the past 15 years, playing genres such as Indian Classical, popular music, jazz, Sufi and folk. I have also studied Gujarati Folk music in Saurashtra
University,Gujarat. During my years of studying and teaching at KM Music Conservatory, I have collaborated with artistes from India and many parts of the world.

I have had the opportunity to perform with leading artistes from around the world, notably, playing for the US Consulate in Chennai, India, honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi (2008), performing Hindustani and Western Classical music fusion as part of the A.R. Rahman Unplugged concert in New Delhi (2009), playing at a series of concerts with international artistes such as Sonu Nigam, Louis Banks and Leslie Lewis all over India (2007-2013). I also perform as the lead keyboardist for A.R. Rahman’s stage concerts and tours (2014- present). Apart from performance, I have also produced music for regional and international films. The movie, American Gandhi for which I had scored the music, was accepted with great critical acclaim at the Cannes Film Festival (2014). I have initiated a new venture called Folk Box, where we produce music videos with the aim of propagating and popularizing Indian and world folk music. I also compose for and conduct the KM Percussion ensemble, which plays Indian Classical music with an underlay of jazz and Western Classical music. I also perform as the lead keyboardist for the KM Sufi Ensemble and have been a part of it since its initiation in the year 2009.

OPERA INDIA: (PIANIST)
Alongside teaching music, i am a part of venture called Opera India, which aims to propagate Western Classical music in India by blending genres from around the world that complement each other in the message they convey through music. Having an avid interest in performance has always helped me learn music in a more efficient way.

FOLK BOX: (COMPOSER/Arranger)
Music lovers are so aroused with the different tastes of world cultural music, and Folkmusic is also a part of it, We chose to transform and spice up the forgotten Folk Music. The Genuine root of culture is Folk music. We believe to create awareness to all the soulful people out there, on the richness of each and own culture,art and Music.

Video: https://youtu.be/Vx29SInvMos



Deepak Srinivas (Chennai, India) - guitar

Deepak Srinivas, is a Guitarist who plays many genres but majorly tries to embellish Carnatic Music (The South Indian standard of Music) into his compositions. Having learnt the Piano, Vocal and Violin from the tender age of 5, Deepak has a strong base in Music. His tutelage under Lalgudi Srimathi Brahmanandam (Carnatic Violin) and Augustine Paul (Piano) has helped him a lot to understand the intricate concepts of composing and improvisation. Gaining inspiration from legends like Prasanna, Steve Vai, John Petrucci and many others, He picked up the Guitar and tried to put in all the concepts of Carnatic Music into it, thus blending it with other styles. Having played in many major venues across India, Deepak has unanimously gotten a great response from the crowd for his unique style of playing the instrument. His online videos of Covers, Compositions and Improvisations have been steadily getting a very good response. His time as a Session Guitarist with many leading Composers in India has helped him gain a knack of improvising and fitting in according to the given song and the emotion being handled. Doing many live concerts, He is also working on new compositions with his own band which he will be debuting soon. Look out for his music!





Nakul Krishnamurthy (Chennai, India) - composition

Nakul, based in Chennai, is an Indian composer of Indian and Western Classical music, contemporary art and experimental music. Trained in South Indian Classical music since a young age, he joined KM Music Conservatory in 2014 and graduated top of his class as a specialist in Western Classical composition, securing the best composer award for the year. He was recently invited to participate in the Counterflows 2017 music festival in Glasgow on a full British Council grant where he collaborated with the notable artist Mark Fell in his composition and installation, musician Rian Treanor on an electronic music composition based on Markov chain probability, and assisted Sandro Mussida, a London based composer and cellist, in his microtonal composition, all of which were exhibited/performed at the event. His compositions, The Wire, based on a found object, Tazkiyah, a Carnatic music based installation work, and Can the Subaltern Speak (for themselves)?, a sound art work, have been exhibited in Berlin at the Errant Bodies Project Space as a part of the exhibition, Contemporary South Indian Art in 2016. Demoocracy, a politically motivated performance piece for harp and voice, where he collaborated with writer Namita Krishnamurthy, was recently premiered at KM Music Conservatory by harpist Jaclyn Wappel and mezzo-soprano Cynthia Smith. His compositions have also been performed by artists from Australian World Orchestra and contemporary musicians from the USA. This year, he also co-presented a paper titled Sexuality, Identity and Subjectivity in Female Covers of Radiohead's Creep at the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences Academic Conference 2017 along with Namita Krishnamurthy. He has also composed the music and background score for a feature film in Tamil and is also a playback singer in the Malayalam film industry. Currently, he is collaborating with Namita Krishnamurthy on an installation art work and a performance piece based on the notions of sexuality and gender performativity.





Pabalu Wijegoonawardane (Sri Lanka) - percussion, composition

A musician and dancer, constantly creating, interpreting and evolving, Pabalu Wijegoonawardane is an extraordinarily talented performing artist who has captured attention nationally and internationally.
Pabalu is a founder member of the renowned Sri Lankan fusion band ‘Thriloka’ that launched their debut music album ‘Bisura- Realm of Higher Listening’ at Barefoot, Colombo in 2007 and ‘Nirmanarathiya’ in 2010 as the second production of his band. Continuing to create improvised music inspired by traditional Sri Lankan sounds within the local rock-band setting, Pabalu and his band recorded a 20 minutes long experimental piece in 2015 that was entirely funded by ‘Thriloka’ fans. The Sri Lankan up-country ‘Kohomba Kankariya’ ritual traditionally performed for the ‘Kuweni Asne’ lament was their inspiration.
Prior to ‘Thriloka’, Pabalu worked with Percussion Band ‘Naadro’, Gothic Rock band ‘Stonebroke’, Mantra Rock Band ‘Tapas’, Classic Rock Cover Band ‘Akaash’, Ethnic Fusion Band ‘Megha’ and Folk Rock Band ‘Yaga’.
Pubalu’s skills led him to perform for the Independence Day celebrations held at the Sri Lankan Embassy in Cairo, Egypt (2006), the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh (2009) and the Asian Bands Festival in Delhi, India (2012).
 In year 2010 his lifelong investigation led him to receive the 2010 Fulbright Award as a Visiting Scholar to conduct a 5-month research on a comparative study on World percussion traditions and their spiritual aspects. He conducted this study with affiliation to the Department of Ethnomusicology of the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).

Website: www.wizdrums.com





Pavithra Chari (New Delhi, India) - vocal, composition

Pavithra Chari is a graduate of Psychology from Lady Shri Ram College for women. She is a Delhi based musician, and vocalist of the band Shadow and Light (a duo project with Anindo Bose from the band Advaita). Their debut album was released in June 2014 worldwide followed by a second album released in February 2016. Sennheiser recently ranked Shadow and Light No. 2 among 200 bands in India. Their second album was awarded ‘Best Pop Artist 2016’ by Radio city Freedom Awards. As a vocalist of this project she has collaborated with artists like Karsh Kale for the NH7 Weekender and Red bull Studio Science.Having been trained in Hindustani classical under Shri. Satya Narayan Maharana for over ten years she is currently honing her musical skills under the tutelage of Smt. Shubha Mudgal. She is a recipient of the Sahitya Kala Parishad scholarship for advanced training in Hindustani Music (vocal). Pavithra is an accredited artist under All India Radio and performs regularly in the Delhi music circuit. Notable bands she has been associated with are Advaita, Adi Suhail, Faridkot and Dhruv Viswanath. She has also been involved in commercial projects and jingles for DS group, HCL, Indigo Airlines, Sesame Street School, Hero Moto Corp, CREA, The Indian Navy and Mentos. ‘Aaradhyam’ an album of ten devotional songs composed by Pavithra was released in 2015. She has also served as a vocal instructor of Hindustani Music at Global Music Institute. She regularly conducts vocalization and songwriting workshops for school students (Step by Step School, Vasant Valley School, DPS, Mirambika Foundation). A recipient of the Shri Netar Kapur Scholarship for 2015 she represented India as a vocalist at Ethno, an international music camp (Belgium and Germany). Apart from music she is also a professionally trained Bharatnatyam dancer, trained under Smt. Kanaka Srinivasan and has performed at various venues of repute in India as part of a troupe and a solo artist. She has provided vocals for three songs in the Himachali film ‘Saanjh’. In one of the songs she got the opportunity to collaborate and sing with critically acclaimed playback singer Mohit Chauhan. She is currently working with Music Basti, a community based music and media learning project, catering to over 300 underprivileged children in New Delhi. Her paper on the confluence of different genres of music titled ‘Inevitable’ from the standpoint of a composer has been selected for presentation at an international conference at William Paterson University, New Jersey. She was invited to guest lecture a class of music majors. She is a UNESCO and CID (France) certified creative movement/expressive arts therapist trained in Fortis hospital, Gurgaon. She has associated with organizations like CREA and Integrated Development Education Association for projects to spread awareness about youth related issues and negative body image among adolescents.





Prashant Mishra (Varanasi, India) - tabla

Prashant Mishra is one of the best young Tabla player of benaresGharana. When he was five he started to learn tabla with the family member of Biru Mishra of Varanasi also studying Tabla presently with Mr.Chakkan lal Mishra (Student of Great Tabla player Anokhelal Mishra.
Soon after few years of hard practice with his grandfather Pandit Shivanath Mishra and uncle Deobrat Mishra he was able to perform with Mishras his skills beautifully compliment and support the Mishras in their concerts and travel around the world with them.
In 2004 he won first prize in Tabla competition organized by Sangeet Natak Academy Uttar Pradesh India. He received many awards for his tabla playing at many different places.





Ramya Thiyagarajan (Pune, India) - vocal


The aspect of collaborating with different artists and bringing together our strengths, learning from each other and creating new work excites me about this residency. I also compose and would love to write for other artists who come to the residency.

I have done BA (Hons) in Music from Middlesex University in London on scholarship and KM Music Conservatory in Chennai where I trained in Western Classical voice and composition and was part of sung-acted productions. Besides this, I have also been training in Carnatic Classical and have been performing across Chennai and Pune at venues like Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, Kapaliswarar temple through sabhas like Giri Fine Arts and GanaMukundaPriya. Besides this, I sing jazz in a vocal-guitar duo, "The Fifteen Eleven". Besides this, I am also an educator and teach across venues in Pune.





Roshan Putwar (Nepal / Kolkata, India) - flute

I started learning flute traditionally at the age of 9 with Guru Nhucche Ranjiy.I joined Nepal Music School in
2009 and started learning Eastern Classical Music with Shree Durga Prasad Khatiwada and later with Shree Jiwan Ale. In 2013,I got scholarship for Graduation from ICCR at Rabindra Bharati University, Kolkata. In India I learnt from Shree Partha sarkar for two years and now I am taking my talim from legendary sitarist Pt.Debiprasad Chatterjee and Shreetaar player Shree Puronjoy Guha in Indian Classical Music. Recently, I also got chance to be disciple of Padmabibhushan Pandit HARI PRASAD CHAURASIA under Gurukul Anubhav Scholarship provided by SPIC MACAY.

Video: https://youtu.be/8oztRNLiVo8









Shubhangi Joshi (Mumbai, India) - guitar, songwriter


Shubhangi Joshi is a musician and poet based in Mumbai, India. Named by Rolling Stone India as one of India's 10 emerging female musicians, she is always experimenting with new songwriting themes and musical elements, using storytelling, satire and more to engage her audience. Her work has been garnering positive press attention from India's leading music magazines and national dailies such as Rolling Stone India, NME India, The Times of India, The Hindu, Deccan Herald, Deccan Chronicle and more, and being featured on India's top English Music channels like Pepsi MTV Indies, VH1 Music, 9xO, Kappa TV. She has performed at major cities, both as a solo musician as well as with her four piece band, The Shubhangi Joshi Collective, at venues, and festivals across India like Sliviki World Music Festival (Goa) ,The Madras Jazz Festival (Chennai), New Wave Asia Fest (Bangalore), Orange Festival (Arunachal Pradesh) Youtube Fanfest (Mumbai), Sofar Sounds (Bengaluru & Mumbai), Alt & Pepper Festival (Kochi), Music Mojo Season 5 (Thiruvananthapuram) , VH1 Music Diaries, Hard Rock Cafe, Blue Frog, Godrej Film Festival, Thespo Festival, Prithvi Theatre Festival and many others.





Stefan Schönegg (Germany) - double bass


Stefan Schönegg (*1986) born in Heppenheim (Germany), Stefan studied Classical Music and Jazz in Berlin and Cologne. Since 2010 he is a sought-after double bass player in the Cologne music scene, working in the peripheries of Jazz and improvised music. He played concerts and attended residencies all over Europe. Stefan is a founding member of the collective IMPAKT, which dedicates itself to the promotion of free improvised music in Cologne. In 2016 he released his debut album as a bandleader on the onsite label IMPAKT records called „Enso“. It's an „intriguing collection of small studies in one elegant movement, effortless and fluid“ (The Free Jazz Collective), partly inspired by Japanese Zen Buddhism. Stefan's music creates an inner tension achieved through ease and silence, while what is being played generates the „richness of a japanese garden, which succesfully pretends to be a whole landscape“ (Jazzthing).

Stefan's ongoing field of musical exploration is the development of music for double bass solo. He also participated in numerous interdisciplinary performance and theater projects, interchanging with dance, drama, visual arts and has worked with artists such as: Arto Lindsay, Theo Bleckmann, Eve Risser, Simon Nabatov, Carl Ludwig Hübsch, Sebastian Gramss, Tetsu Saito, Bernd Konrad, Leonhard Huhn, Philip Zoubek, Etienne Nillesen, Roman Signer, Philip Amann and many more.





Teerath Kumar Majumder (Bangladesh) - composition


Teerath Majumder is a Bangladeshi composer whose works traverse a variety of styles. Having worked across different platforms such as film, dance and theatre, his musical language borrows elements from the vocabularies pertinent to such practices. In March, 2017, Teerath’s first orchestral work 5 was premiered at St Pancras Church, London by London Firebird Orchestra. He also collaborated with choreographers and dancers from Middlesex University; Entropy and the Absurdity of the Universe, created in collaboration with choreographer Himangini Puri and designer Clover Chen, had its first performed in December, 2016 at University of the Arts London. During his time in Chennai, his ensemble work Slow Pan for Bob had two successful public performances. He recently scored two short feature films (one animation) produced in UK and is currently collaborating with Dutch filmmaker Charlotte de Graaf on three of her upcoming short films. Teerath is also in the process of scoring his first full-length Indian movie along with Nakul Krishnamurthy who has been Teerath’s collaborator in a number of previous projects. They have also joined forces with Opera India with the aim of developing a new style from the basics of Hindustani, Carnatic and western classical music. Teerath’s musical training began at the age of six with Hindustani classical voice. He was inspired by the works of various Bengali poets and composers such as Rabindranath Tagore and Kazi Nazrul Islam; their use of classical traditions in what could be considered modern music for their time was of particular interest to Teerath. With deep interest in the art of composition, he felt he required knowledge of other instruments which he gained later on through tabla, piano and flute lessons. In 2013, he joined KM Music Conservatory, Chennai where he excelled throughout the three years of extensive studies in western and Indian musical traditions. With the Best Composer award and a distinction, he moved onto the degree year of his course at Middlesex University, London in 2016, during which he received the Richard Turton Composition Prize. Along with his studies in London, he has been interning as a product specialist under ROLI — the company that created the revolutionary musical instrument known as Seaboard.
The composer aspires for his art to progress through each new endeavour. Be it the score for a commercial film, authenticity and innovation can always be expected in his music.





Uvindu Perera (Sri Lanka) - electric bass


Uvindu Perera is an improvisor and performance artist driven by self-inquiry and exploration through interaction and dialog based performance practices, currently an instructor at Musicmatters, a school focusing on encouraging independent inquiries into music and nurturing the next generation of listeners. He also works with the Musicmatters collective, a group of musicians advocating sound base music, free improvisation and sonic arts. In his free time he enjoys walking and humming little melodies to himself experimenting with sound and behavior, self-awareness through sound, catching butterflies and sporadically getting into trouble for ritualizing with the wild animals in the knuckles mountain range.
Engages in performance using unconventional methods of playing instruments and using the human voice to find different textures for creating tension and release, and likes to play a wide variety of genres.







Vanraj Shastri (Ahmedabad, India) - vocal, sarangi


Objective: The sole aim of my musical journey is to study, Research and develop this rare instrument for global acclamation and recognition.
Family Background: I belong to a family of musicians. I inherit music from my father Dr. Narendra Shastri [Ph.D in music]. He is a freelance singer and music director. Balraj my elder brother too has inherited music. He pursued Masters in performing Arts with classical vocal and has been working as a singer.
Training (Music): I acquired basic training of music from Shri Atul Mistry (Music Teacher, Ahmedabad). I acquired formal training in classical vocal for 6 years from Shri Vikas Parikh (disciple of Padmabhushan Pandit Jasraj) at Saptak School of music. Following the tradition of “Guru – Shishya”. I have also received formal training of tabla for 5 years from Shri Pravin Shinde (disciple of Pandit Nandan Mehta) at Saptak School of music following the tradition of “Guru – Shishya”. I started to learn Sarangi from Shri Allarakha Kalavant (Faculty member of ITC – Sangeet Research Academy – Kolkata) in the year 2009. As a part of training, I was given a priceless and precious opportunity to stay and learn Sarangi under the kind guidance of my Guru Shri Allarakha Kalavant at ITC – Sangeet Research Academy – Kolkata for 7 months. At present, I am receiving training of “Maihar Gharana” under the kind guidance of Vidhushi Smt. Manju Mehta (disciple of Bharat Ratna Pt. Ravi Shankar & co-founder of the Saptak School of Music) I am receiving sarangi's training from Pandit Dhruba ghosh at Mumbai since 2016.
Skills: I am quite able to perform and record live as a Solo Artist, Vocalist as well as each accompaniment. I also perform classical vocal & light vocal in the accompaniment of Sarangi. I perform Duet and also perform with Sitar ensemble and many other various instrument. I play on tabla too.
Study: I have completed my graduation in Performing Arts in Indian Classical Vocal at J.G. College of performing arts, Ahmedabad
Work: I have been working with “KADAMB SCHOOL OF KATHAK DANCE” [an institution of Padma Bhushan – Kumudini Lakhia] as a staff artist since 2016.





Waheedullah Saghar (Afghanistan) - vocal

Waheedullah Saghar is Associate Prof. at Music Department, Faculty of Fine Arts Kabul University from where he received his BA degree. Saghar was born in 1978 in Kabul Afghanistan and he started to learn Hindustani classical music at the age of fifteen under Nesar Hussain brother of renowned classical musician of Afghanistan late Ustad Muhammad Hussain Sarahang. In 2010 he obtained a scholarship from ICCR to complete his MA course in “Hindustani vocal classical music” at the Bhatkhande Music University Lucknow U.P India. Saghar participated in a festival of classical music held at U.P. India in 2012. At this festival, he awarded the Gold Medal over the more famous artists. Saghar completed his PhD at IKSVV University C.G India in 1th May 2017.

Video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5L_fnqM-WPU