Berklee Indian Ensemble Brings “Untold Stories” To Signature Series Performance

By 
Tori Donahue
December 5, 2018
Press release
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The group will perform at the Berklee Performance Center on Saturday, December 15.

The acclaimed Berklee Indian Ensemble (pictured with Shreya Ghoshal in a 2017 concert) will showcase their "Untold Stories" at the Berklee Performance Center.
Mike Spencer photography

The dynamic and acclaimed Berklee Indian Ensemble will host a Signature Series performance at the Berklee Performance Center on Saturday, December 15, at 8:00 p.m.; it will also be available for a global live stream. The concert, “Untold Stories,” will feature tales of unheard voices through Indian music in all its forms, original compositions, along with spoken word, poetry, dance, and visual art. The performance is inspired by the hundreds of stories that go unspoken, or get lost in the information overload of our digital world.

Throughout the semester, the ensemble has delved into a variety of topical issues, including the #MeToo movement, Time’s Up, Black Lives Matter, bravery versus perfection, modern-day sacrifices (modern-day Sati), nontraditional career paths, the power of one, and much more. The group was inspired by themes of oppression, silent heroes, healing, and the courage of the human spirit, all of which are reflected in the concert program.

“Untold Stories” is produced by the Berklee India Exchange's (BIX) Annette Philip B.M. ‘09 (artistic director), Clint Valladares B.M. ‘98 (managing director), Rohith Jayaraman B.M. ‘16 (assistant manager), and Lydia Renold B.M. ‘18 (assistant). BIX provides a platform for cultural conversation about Indian music through high-profile artist residencies, world-class productions and workshops, and video content.

“This special concert is much needed, in the wake of all that’s going on in the world today. We wanted to make sure we explore and learn as much as we can, so as to do our part to represent often ignored or sidelined constituents in society—be it ASL signers, the LGBTQIA+ community, women who silently suffer domestic abuse, or say, unsung heroes from literally all walks of life who have overcome unimaginable odds,” said Philip. “These stories exist to teach and guide us, to awaken us out of inertia, to remind us of the strength we have inside us, to ask why, and most importantly, to help us relate to each other as human beings.”

The Berklee Indian Ensemble is world-renowned for their spirited live performances and viral music videos, which have received more than 105 million views on YouTube. Since 2011, more than 300 musicians representing 49 countries have collaborated in one of the largest and most diverse collectives at Berklee. The ensemble was founded by Philip in 2011 with 18 students; today, the group features over 40 musicians for each concert. The Berklee Indian Ensemble has also performed throughout the United States and India at various festivals and music venues.

The ensemble has performed with a host of prominent Indian artists, including vocalist, composer, and producer Clinton Cerejo in 2013; Grammy- and Academy Award-winning composer A. R. Rahman in 2014; master vocal improviser Vijay Prakash in 2015; virtuosic vocalist and composer Shankar Mahadevan in 2016; and Bollywood playback superstar Shreya Ghoshal in 2017.

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