'Jyotsna Srikanth is an extraordinary and versatile violinist... free-flowing, often mesmerising' 
4**** stars, The Guardian

'Accompanist or soloist, purist or adventurer, she is a major instrumentalist of vision and imagination' fRoots

'full of delicate ornamentation' 4****stars, The Evening Standard

Jyotsna Srikanth

Jyotsna Srikanth: Call Of Bangalore

Carnatic music from the south of India is renowned for its naturally melodic form. Jyotsna Srikanth’s music is woven through with this aesthetic; her artful violin soars in gāyaki style (as if sung), punctuated by percussionists Patri Satish Kumar and N. Amruth on mridangam (double-sided drum) and khanjira (tambourine) respectively.

Jyotsna hails from Bangalore, the capital of the state of Karnataka. Her music, like her home city, is full of eclecticism and revelling in the collision of old and new. On this album Jyotsna concentrates on a collection of Carnatic classical music showcasing works by some of its greatest composers. Yet via a host of other projects, Jyotsna is equally as likely to be found jamming with her fiddle in free jazz, folk fusion or even rock forms. This elasticity imbues her classical Carnatic playing with a fresh energy that summons listeners to discover the opulent musical history of her home; this is her Call Of Bangalore.

Jyotsna first began to play violin at the tender age of five. As a young child she was influenced by and in the company of greats. Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan, the classical violinist from Tamil Nadu, was an early inspiration and as a young musician she accompanied the respected multi-instrumentalist Mangalampalli Balamural Krishna. She has also worked with international artists Eduardo Niebla, Rao Kyao and Robert Atchison. While rising through the ranks in her music career, Jyotsna also found time to attain a medical degree and is a qualified doctor. Clearly a fiercely intelligent and ambitious multi-tasker, Jyotsna’s music is now the focus of her life. In addition to her live performing career she teaches violin, curates the London International Arts Festival and plays for Bollywood soundtracks.

Traditionally, Carnatic concerts begin with a varnam, a short exploration of the raga in use. True to form, this album opens with the track ‘Varnam’. The raga used here is mohana, a pentatonic pattern used in cultures across Asia. The work is colourful and breezy, an up-beat way in to the album. ‘Gopalaka Pahimam’ was composed by nineteenth century Maharaja and patron of the arts Swati Tirunal and used the morning raga bhowli. Jyotsna also includes a composition by one of the most famous Carnatic composers, Muttuswami Dikshitar. ‘Annapoorne’ is typical of Dikshitar’s craft, sweet and slow in tone and tempo, and heavily decorated with gamakas (ornamental figures). The subject concerns Annapoorne, the Hindu goddess of nourishment. The raga used is sama, one that denotes peace. The closing work ‘Thillana’ is by Jyotsna’s contemporary Lalgudi Jayaraman. The raga mand is adopted from the northern Indian, or Hindustandi, tradition and the time cycle is furious and rhythmically complex.

Jyotnsa’s Call Of Bangalore draws audiences to Indian shores, confiding in them the mystery and beauty of Carnatic classical music. Hear her call.

Tour Dates

25 May - Brighton Festival
16 June - Rich Mix, London
16 June - Bradford Mela, Bradford
30 June - Cardiff Mela, Cardiff
11 July - Ely Cathedral, Cambridge
13 July - Southampton Mela, Southampton
16 July - Sage Gateshead, New Castle
20 July - Carnatic Fest - Dhruv Arts, London
4-10 August - Edinburgh Fringe Festival