Ragas Live is an epic 24-hour, 24-set festival featuring over 60 world-class musicians. A celebration of what The New York Times calls “the Raga Renaissance, flowering in Brooklyn," the event features both traditional Indian Classical music and contemporary cross-cultural collaborations. Highlights include the Ritual Ensemble (Vijay Iyer, Rajna Swaminathan, Yosvany Terry, Ganavya); Max ZT and Karsh Kale; Mitali Bhawmik; Navatman Music Collective & Bulgarian Voices Trio; and Brooklyn Raga Massive's Coltrane Raga Tribute. The visual experience will be curated by Nitin Mukul, whose videos capture a complex, continuous event of painted frozen solids disintegrating into a liquid. Painting abstractly on thin transparent sheets of ice that build upon layers of color, his ambitious video piece will intersect with each raga's specific characteristics, blending with the shifting rasas (essences) of the 24 hour cycle.
Roughly meaning “to color the mind," India's classical music is unique in that its modes are only meant to be played at certain times of day; the music harmonizes not only with the other instruments but also with the moods associated with, for example, sunrise or midnight. Inspired by this unique system, a community of 50 musicians descended upon radio station WKCR-FM in 2011 to bring listeners worldwide on a 24-hour journey of sound. Now in its seventh year, Ragas Live Festival brings this harmonizing, immersive experience to Pioneer Works.
Indian Classical Music is uniquely time specific, a system called Raga Samay. The founder of the Ragas Live Festival, David Ellenbogen, explains how this system became the galvanizing concept behind the event: “With the Raga Samay system, the music harmonizes with the essence of each time of day. Certain modes will only be played at sunrise to capture that particular feeling while others may be reserved to match the essence of deep night. All 24 sets of the festival honor this time system to create a larger immersive experience. This vision brings our artistic community together and inspires the music to new heights. We share this experience, in the moment, with a live audience, on the radio, and around the world."
This year, the festival takes place October 6th, 5 PM to October 7, 5 PM at Pioneer Works. It is produced by Brooklyn Raga Massive, Pioneer Works and the podcast NYC Radio Live, which is releasing an equally epic compilation, Ragas Live Retrospective, chronicling its most riveting sets and fundamental artists (release: September 18, 2018). Listeners can also tune in to WKCR 89.9 FM-NY, stream at www.wkcr.org.
For the complete lineup and performance schedule visit: