Tanpura and Voice with Batya

Tanpura and Voice with Batya

The essence of the sessions with the voice and the tanpura is a listening, which leads to an inner space of silence, the birthplace of all creative forces. 

The tanpura, also known as tambura, is one of India’s oldest classical string instruments. A gourd-bodied instrument, plucked in an open string position and with a regular pattern, it creates harmonic resonance on the basic note and provides a continuous drone accompaniment to the voice and other melodic solo instruments.

Traveling with the voice and the tanpura is a fascinating explorative path, similar in some ways, to traveling with the breath. The vibrating and swirling overtones of the tanpura have a resonating effect that spreads throughout the room and within the body.  Seemingly amplified, these harmonic sounds still the mind and lead us to unknown inner spaces. They call the voice to join in an effortless way, to feel free and be in the moment.  As an accompanying instrument, the sound fabric of the tanpura has the unique quality of carrying the voice.  When we become one with it, we enter a space where sounds and melodies are born without a thought.

While playing the tanpura, I invite you to join me in this meditative process, where we can unite our voices and meet each other in a new way.  On this road, there is no right or wrong, and no musical background is required.  It is an experimental, personal and self-healing path, which asks, above all, for attention and trust.

Raghava Menon in his book “The Sound of Indian Music” writes about the tanpura:

“Like the water of Lethe, its sound forgives the past, erases your loneliness and restores you to your essence so that you may sing from the very core of your being. Once its sound has inveigled itself into your consciousness nothing seems to matter much.”