Varun Narasimhachar

Posted on Posted in Emp1

“Ever since I heard Smt. Sharada Bhat (of the Gwalior Gharana) sing at a Hindustani music concert, when I was all of 12, I was enchanted. With my mother’s encouragement, I asked Sharadaji to teach me, and my formal musical journey began. I also trained briefly under Smt. Sarala Desai (disciple of the Kirana luminary Pta. Prabha Atre) and then for several years under Smt. Geetha Hegde, Sri. Dhananjaya Hegde, and Sri. Dattatreya Velankar, all disciples of the Gwalior-Kirana doyen Pt. Vinayak Torvi. After a long hiatus from formal musical training, I chanced to meet Sri. Arijit Mahalanabis, who took me under his wing, becoming in due time not only a teacher but an elder brother (“Dada”). Arijit-da has been training me in Dhrupad-Dhamaar, Khayaal, and Thumri and has also helped shape my attitude to Hindustani music. I now regard the joy and spiritual fulfillment that music brings to my life, and the connection I feel with myself and others as important ingredients to my growth as an artist, in addition to the formal skills and training I’ve gained over the years. My musical journey, at its core, is inextricably and seamlessly connected with the collective human experience, and ultimately, with the history of the cosmos. The awareness of this eternal narrative, in which my brief lifetime is just a passing episode, inspires me. I pursue art and science because they help me experience this connection.

I am currently a PhD candidate in Physics at the University of Calgary in Canada, and when not pursuing music, also enjoy spending time with my family, food, movies, books and strolls in the Canadian Rockies.”