A FORMER University of Leicester student has released his second classical album, which was recorded live on piano complete with “glittering embellishments of his Indian heritage.”
Rekesh Chauhan, is a multi award-winning British pianist, who graduated from the University of Leicester in 2011, with a degree in Economics.
He recently released his new album, ‘Live at Symphony Hall’, which was recorded at the Birmingham venue, where he now lives.
“One of the things which I really wanted to capture and celebrate with this album, was my identity and what it means to be British-Indian,” he told The Leicester Times.
“In fact, I think it’s probably one of the first times Indian classical music has actually been played on the piano at a mainstream venue,” he revealed.
“It’s nice because the piano is a Western instrument and to be able to bring my heritage through the music on the piano is quite fulfilling.”
The nuances of Rekesh’s musical pieces, focus on the ancient raga [melodic scale] system of northern India, dating back to the 9th Century. The tracks are titled according to the raga name, with the performances skilfully combining both western and eastern influences.
It was recorded alongside Indian percussionist Surdashan Chana, during the first UK lockdown.
As well as reflecting his Indian heritage, Rekesh said that his new album was created with the aim of lifting people up and bringing them together in these difficult times.
“One of the things that I really wanted to capture is that music brings everybody together and that’s really key for me when I was performing the concert,” said the musician, who was named as The University of Leicester’s ‘Alumi of the Year’ back in 2019.
“It’s a celebration of bringing different communities and cultures together through music, and the great thing with this album is that I’m able to widen the reach of the audience,” he added.
“People who might not have heard Indian classical music before, but are used to hearing the sound of the piano will get a chance to listen and identify with it. Some people might identify with the piano, some people might identify with the concert halls they’re used to going to, other people might identify with the Indian music side of it, so it helps bring those different communities together, and that’s something I’m really proud of.”
To listen to Rekesh’s album, visit: https://music.apple.com/gb/album/live-at-symphony-hall-ep/1596928335 or search for it on all audio digital platforms.