Recalling Roots is a platform which brings both the worlds together and creates the best out of our tradition: Nimisha Shankar

In an interview with EE, Nimisha Shankar spoke about her musical journey, her collabarations, initiatives, challenges and more.


A musical evening curated around the Chakras by Nimisha Shankar in collaboration with Silent Sage was held at Indian Habitat Centre. The event was attended by Indian classical music enthusiasts and people who were looking for a meditative break from their lives.

In an interview with EE, Nimisha Shankar shared more about her musical journey and what led her to create this different music form.


-What inspired you to create music built around the chakras?

What inspired me was that I was sick and that led me to take control of a few things. My friend who is into yoga introduced me that how the chakras work on your body and how there are notations that go along the lines of the chakras and about the healing power of vibrations. When your bone is broken you are given a therapy called sonography and it is nothing but a sound wave that goes into your body. And that is how I discovered if a simple technician with vibration and machine can heal your bone then everyday practice with vibration of your voice and specially a certain frequency can heal your body and it totally works.

-Do you think that people are aware about this form of music in India?

Not many people in India but fairly they have an awareness about the chakras and the people who are into the field of spirituality and now wellness is in vogue.

-Tell me something about your collaboration with ‘Silent Sage’ and how does it contributes to your overall performance?

I like to experiment a lot and then if I do something again and again in the same format, it becomes very boring for me. So I thought that I wanted to create something very visually exciting and also something which gives an immersive experience to the audience. I like the concept of 3-D, when people can feel the presence of something. This gives them a visual treat. Since my music is Indian classical and yet I am playing on an electronic track, it has already gone beyond the traditional set. Calling for this collaboration was the reason to make it more accessible to people who generally are not into this genre.

-What according to you is the role of therapeutic music for our senses and how does it helps to balance our body?

Do you think we can live without music or would we want to take away music from our lives? Music always has something to offer us. Different people are affiliated with different genres of music. It is something that nourishes us, whether therapeutically or emotionally. The therapeutic value of music goes in terms of frequencies and vibrations. We are all made of energies and we all are vibrating. So when you go into the physics of it ,it can have a effect on our body. Similar to the ripple effect caused in a pond when a stone is thrown into it. I am entering into that therapeutic world through raagas because it takes me to a different place.

And its value is in the frequencies of the sound that you produce from your voice. The chanting and the OM helps us maintain a balance through its vibrations.

-Tell me something about your initiative ‘Recalling Roots’

We want to create a bridge between the two wide worlds of tradition and the contemporary because we would not survive without that. Lot of things are losing because we are so fast paced in today’s time and nobody wants to go back and look into even small little things and details about traditional food, attire or festival. Recalling Roots is a platform which brings both the worlds together and creates the best out of our tradition. It is time where everybody is questioning their identities and where they are coming from. A lot of identity crises is happening. So if you do not ponder upon your roots, you become rootless. This is where Recalling Roots plays a vital role.

-What are the challenges that you have faced in your musical journey?

The challenge is that musically we need more support from people. We need people to come and encourage us not just with words, but supporting us tangibly- like helping us with the funding. As an artist I struggle with how do I balance my life while making money and doing music. We need support from people to help us create platforms where artists can perform and practice their art-forms.

-How will you take this forward from here and what are your future plans?

I do not have a long term plan but I have some immediate goals. I am releasing my folk music which is from Bihar, where I belong to. I am trying to do it in the manner I perceive it. I want to show the world, what kind of traditional music comes from Bihar and I want to create a space for myself in folk music. At the same time I am also experimenting with other artists. Doing more music is my plan. More time practicing and working on my instruments, more time collaborating with other artists, than struggling with the funding.

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