Morning Raga

One of the unique characteristics of Indian music is the assignment of definite times of the day and night for performing Ragas (modes/melodies). It is believed that the Raga can only appear at the height of its melodic beauty if played at the right time of day. Since most concerts take place in the evening, audiences rarely have a chance to listen to morning ragas, thus missing out on a huge repertoire of outstanding compositions.

I shared this fact with Sirish Rao, Artistic Director of Vancouver’s Indian Summer Festival, as well as my desire to perform this repertoire. In July 2016, the festival agreed to mount a Morning Raga performance in the beautiful courtyard garden of the Ismaili Centre Burnaby.

Accompanied by tabla player Amarjeet Singh, I explained the concept of morning raga to audiences and performed Raag Gujri Todi. It was wonderful to have the opportunity to showcase some of the lesser-known ragas in a unique setting.