Arundhathi Subramaniam’s Music Playlist: From Dhrupad to Flamenco

Award-winning Indian poet Arundhathi Subramaniam gives a song-by-song breakdown of the many tones and textures in her specially curated playlist for Dance Umbrella.

Photo Meetesh Taneja

Uday Bhawalkar, Bihag
For the meditative stillness of his voice, the gentle gravitas and beauty of this form.

Gipsy Kings, Un Amor
I have felt the need to return to the guitar, the wild exuberance of flamenco – a reminder of longing and sensuality in these times of oddly bodiless, virtual interactions.

Ajoy Chakraborty, Bandish – Bhavani Dayani Maha Vakyani
I find myself doing my hatha yoga to the accompaniment of this paean to the Goddess. It moves me, this note of longing, of wonder, the resonance and range of Ajoy Chakraborty’s voice.

Leonard Cohen, Suzanne
What is it about this hypnotic gravelly voice, that ability to make woundedness seem shared and human, rather than sugared and sentimental?

Kumar Gandharva, Ud Jayega Hans Akela
This is an old favourite, this poem by the mystic poet Kabir, rendered by the maestro of Hindustani classical music with its soaring octave of freedom.

Sounds of Isha, Shambho
This chant seems to me to have the beauty and hope of dawn or moonrise. And then, there’s Maa Janani’s voice.


Listen to Arundhathi's playlist now

My playlist reflects the oddly diverse needs I have at this time – the need for music that is as unhurried, expansive and oceanic as the dhrupad, and as joyous, alive and exuberant as the flamenco. And there are, of course, many tones and textures in between.

Arundhathi Subramaniam & Alarmél Valli in conversation | Continental Breakfast

Part of Dance Umbrella Digital 2020


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