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Photo: indiatoday

Sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee set out to show that classical music can be cool—and now has a transparent ‘see-tar’ to prove it

Photograph by Ray Mudafare

Photograph by Ray Mudafare

Bhanuj Kappal

ISSUE DATE: Sep 11, 2023 | UPDATED: Sep 1, 2023 18:38 IST

Sometime in 2014, sitar maestro Purbayan Chatterjee set out to remind us that Indian classical music was actually pretty damn cool. After all, it’s got all the necessary ingredients: there’s the improvisational virtuosity that rivals the best of jazz music, jugalbandi’s electric on-stage interactivity, and a recent history of globe-trotting collaboration and innovation (including plenty of celebrated fusion projects by Chatterjee himself). Maybe it’s just the context within which so many of us encounter this music—one dominated by traditionalists and hidebound purists—that prevents us from seeing its inherent coolness.

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