A South Bangalorean growing up in Basavanagudi, Deepti Navaratna was surrounded by music and literature since childhood. Encouraged by her parents to pursue an art form, she trained in Carnatic music under Shanta Subba Rao and Rohini Manjunath from the tender age of five.
A neuroscientist by profession and a faculty member at the Harvard Medical School, music is Navaratna's way of accessing the divine. It helps her appreciate the beauty and meaning of life. She also teaches Carnatic music at prestigious institutes such as MIT and Holy Cross College.
As the Artistic Director of the Carnatic Alchemy Project (CAP), a cultural entrepreneurship initiative, Navaratna aims at facilitating inter-cultural appreciation through high-impact concerts in mainstream American venues and engaging diverse communities through 'Singing Circles', where participants sing and engage in Carnatic music.
The Massachusetts Cultural Council and Cambridge Arts Council gave CAP a generous grant to produce a concert of Carnatic music in September 2014.
The goal of 'Singing Circles' is to introduce, increase awareness and engagement of traditional Carnatic Raagas and songs to diverse mainstream audiences. In small and informal groups, participants sing and engage with Carnatic music, text and sound by facilitated participation. The Singing Circles workshop introduces participants to ancient NadaYoga principles of sound-chakra relationships and elements of South Indian Raaga-based singing. Participants chant, improvise and learn Raaga-inspired voicework by guided listening and group improvisation exercises. Educational materials and handouts are provided. Once people attend these workshops they get a little foothold into the realm of Carnatic music and become very interested in exploring further.
Deepti Navaratna's YouTube channel
Links to Deepti Navaratna's performances and presentations