The second of two concerts as part of a symposium in which five scholars and two artists explore poetry, music, society, and performance. The performances and symposium are in conjunction with the South Asia by the Bay Graduate Student Conference. Co-sponsored by the Department of Music, the Stanford Humanities Center, the Department of Religious Studies, and the Center for South Asia. Free and open to the public.
Parvathy Baul is a practitioner, performer and teacher of the Baul tradition from Bengal. She is also an instrumentalist, storyteller and painter. She has performed in over a dozen countries, including such prestigious venues and festivals as the Noh Theater in Kyoto, the World Music Center in New York City, and the Festival of World Sacred Music in Fez, Morocco. Parvathy’s technical virtuosity – her mastery of vocal pitch and tone while playing multiple instruments and dancing – has been lauded by music experts, while the overall impact of her performance has been described by critics as “riveting” and “spellbinding.” She is the founder of Tantidhatri, an international women’s performance festival, and co-founder of the Ektara Kalari school in Kerala for training in both song and traditional spiritual practice.
Parvathy’s performance work emerges from a long lineage of master Baul singers, dancers, and spiritual teachers. Practitioners date the Baul tradition back as far as the eighth century C.E. Baul songs are revered by Bengalis and others around the world and have been declared a “Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO. Parvathy studied closely with two of the most respected Baul singer-gurus of the previous generation, Sri Sanatan Das Thakur Baul and Sri Shoshanko Goshai. She was recognized by Sanatan Das Baul as both a musical and spiritual teacher, carrying forward his spiritual legacy.While fully embodying traditional Baul music and practice, Parvathy is also renowned for her continued efforts in renewing this ancient heritage. As the most recognized woman Baul performer in the world, she is making systematic training in traditional Baul arts available to women on a scale that has never occurred previously. She is a tireless advocate for both preservation and renewal of the tradition.